Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Middle East conflict and selective amnesia

THE guiding rule in this tsunami of drivel apparent in the mainstream network news media, is that the viewers should be denied the slightest access to any historical context, or indeed to anything that happened prior to June 28, which was when the capture of an Israeli soldier by Hamas hit the headlines, followed soon thereafter by the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah.

Memory is supposed to stop in its tracks at June 28, 2006.

Let’s go on a brief excursion into pre-history. I’m talking about June 20, 2006, when Israeli aircraft fired at least one missile at a car in an attempted extra-judicial assassination attempt on a road between Jabalya and Gaza City. The missile missed the car. Instead it killed three Palestinian children and wounded 15.

Back we go again to June 13, 2006. Israeli aircraft fired missiles at a van in another attempted extra-judicial assassination. The successive barrages killed nine innocent Palestinians.
Now we’re really in the dark ages, reaching far, far back to June 9, 2006, when Israel shelled a beach in Beit Lahiya killing 8 civilians and injuring 32. That’s just a brief trip down Memory Lane, and we trip over the bodies of 20 dead and 47 wounded, all of them Palestinians, most of them women and children.

Israel regrets. But no, Israel doesn’t regret in the least. Most of the time it doesn’t even bother to pretend to regret. It says, "We reserve the right to slaughter Palestinians whenever we want. We reserve the right to assassinate their leaders, crush their homes, steal their water, tear out their olive groves, and when they try to resist we call them ‘terrorists’ intent on wrecking the peace process’".

Now Israel says it wants to wipe out Hezbollah. It wishes no harm to the people of Lebanon, just so long as they’re not supporters of Hezbollah, or standing anywhere in the neighbourhood of a person or a house or a car or a truck or a road or a bus or a field, or a power station or a port that might, in the mind of an Israeli commander or pilot, have something to do with Hezbollah. In any of those eventualities all bets are off. You or your wife or your mother or your baby gets fried by precision guided missiles. Is this an issue of terrorists hiding behind civilians? Nonsense!

Israel has been able to target Red Cross ambulances, UN observation post, killing unarmed UN Observers with precision guided missiles, mind you, rushed to her by United States. Israel regrets, But no, it doesn’t regret in the least. Neither does George Bush, nor Condoleezza Rice, nor John Bolton who is the moral savage who brings shame on his country each day that he sits as America’s ambassador (unconfirmed) at the UN and who has just told the world that a dead Israeli civilian is worth a whole more in terms of moral outrage than a Lebanese one.

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