11-15-12 Terrorists

 

 

The Irish writer Brendan Behan assessing Irish-British relations in the 20th century summed up the madness this way:

The terrorist is the man with the small bomb.

It is an idea Americans, accustomed to hanging around the men with big bombs, should inhale, and, in a paraphrase of another Irish writer, Samuel Beckett, begin revolving it, revolving it all in their poor minds. As difficult as it is to look past the slogans and propaganda, as uncomfortable as it may be to accept a point of view that casts a pale glow of humanity over a maligned culture, it has to be done. Benjamin Netanyahu’s continuing brutal assault on the Palestinian people – paid for by us – must be brought under control. There is, admittedly, only a minority of Israelis seeking peace in their divided land, but they are waiting, eager, for the United States to help them throw off the misery, and self-destruction, wrought by ignoring the United Nations declaration that Israel is in violation of the 1967 Mandate.

Jimmy Carter has pleaded with us for years, suffering opprobrium, for putting a name on a situation which we all know is true, yet turn our faces away for fear of similar disgrace: apartheid; an ugly word for an ugly political decision.

Noam Chomsky, unafraid of anything, writes on a visit to Gaza: “Even a single night in jail is enough to give a taste of what it means to be under the total control of some external force. And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world’s largest open-air prison, where some 1.5 million people on a roughly 140-square-mile strip of land are subject to random terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade.”

Even the rabidly pro-Israeli New York Times is taken aback by this week’s ongoing attack: “Engaging in a full-scale ground war is especially risky. Israel’s last major military campaign in Gaza was a three-week blitz in 2008-09 that killed as many as 1,400 Palestinians, and it was widely condemned internationally. It did not solve the problem. Hamas [democratically elected in one of the few uncontested elections in the mid-East] remains in control in Gaza and has amassed even more missiles.”

Broken and humbled by the Holocaust, Americans have lost their moral compass. To assuage their guilt, they have become like the neglectful father, filled with remorse, who denies nothing to his child even as he watches that child grown into a thug.

Photo: Ed Ou / The New York Times

 

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