Saturday, July 15, 2006

Neighbourhood bully

To comment, or not to comment? That is the question. Political commentary is rare here, for a bunch of reasons.

Oh, screw it. Here goes->

O, wails and lamentations. The burdens of history weigh heavily on the living: Zionism, Britain's 1917 Balfour Declaration, British Mandate, generalised European anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, Jewish/Zionist Irghun and Stern Gang terror groups, United Nation's 1947 Partition Plan, the bloody establishment of Israel in 1948. Bloody? Yes. Arabs were murdered, terrorised, or forcibly removed from their homes and land to make way for those who, one way or another, had managed to survive the truly unspeakable horror that Europe's anti-Semitism had produced.

It is ironic, sad, and true, but from its very beginnings, you know, Israel has always used violence as a first resort to achieve what it wants, keep what it has, and maintain its dominance. That's how they started nearly sixty years ago, by aggression and assault. Since when they haven't changed their ways. Why should they? Muscular language works. Sort of. Beating people works. Sort of. Making people submit works. Sort of. Killing people works. Sort of. Imprisoning people works. Sort of. Military occupations work. Sort of. Bombing and bulldozing olive orchards, homes, blocks of flats, administrative buildings, roads, bridges, it all works. Sort of. Building a continuous 30-foot concrete wall works. Sort of. Kidnapping and abducting people works. Sort of. Assassinating people works. Sort of. Creating facts on the ground works. Sort of.

Another irony of history: Israel is now turning Gaza into a Warsaw Ghetto for the 21st century. Moreover, the Israeli state continues to strengthen, develop and expand its illegal settler occupations in the West Bank; force people out of and further annex East Jerusalem; abduct and imprison people as it sees fit; murder and maim people left, right and centre; withhold medical aid, withdraw educational opportunities and impoverish the general population.

Not content with all that, Israel is now running rampant (again) in Lebanon. Not for the first time, an Israeli blitzkreig is methodically destroying much of that country's vital infrastructure. And, no doubt, it has Syria and Iran in its bomb sights.

We witness an Orwellian War is Peace. Sort of.

There's plenty of blame to go around. The Israelis. The Arabs. The Palestinians. The regional states. The Big Powers. The international community. The weight of history.

These are becoming more dangerous times than usual. If anyone has any solutions that will bring peace and justice -- there is no peace without justice -- to those that live in the Middle East, you are welcome to leave a comment. Thank you.

update: the situation in the Middle East reminds me of the Thirty Years' War (1618-48) in continental Europe. There, too, different state and non-state forces slugged it out -- ostensibly for reasons religious but also for allied social, economic and political interests. Parts of France, the Low Countries, and what is now the western part of Germany were plundered and destroyed, the people butchered. The business of war only stopped when the finances were exhausted and the major players finally got tired of all the fighting and death and destruction. Does history have to repeat itself?