Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Pillar of Lies

with 12 comments

Yes, this image isn’t completely fair. Still, it’s not that far off. Only a tiny handful of people are killed and injured by rockets fired from Gaza. Vastly more people are killed and injured by IDF violence in the occupied territories. That’s because Israel has a vast array of modern weaponry at its disposal, they are one of the world’s great military powers. The Gazans have hand weapons and home made rockets and mortars. So that’s the first lie that is perpetuated by the media, that this is is some sort of conflict between equals. No, they aren’t equal in any sense of the word. This goes hand-in-hand with the lie that Israel and the Palestinians in the occupied territories are neighbours, and this is some sort of squabble between two regions, and that Israel is “defending its borders.” No, Israel is not “defending its borders,” since the occupied territories lie within Israel’s borders. That’s why they are called the occupied territories, Israel invaded and occupied them in 1967, and since no one wanted them back, they are stuck with them. Israel created the current situation with the Palestinians in the occupied territories, they aren’t some hapless victim.

There are lots of lies in this situation. Israel was based on lies, known as propaganda in the modern parlance. The very first lie set the tone for what was to follow. This was the story that the 700,000 Palestinians who fled what is now Israel in 1948 did so because the Arab governments told them to flee. Even Israeli historians now admit this was a fabrication from beginning to end, Arab governments did no such thing. (Why the f**k would they, no nation wants refuges flooding into its country.) The Palestinians fled because there was a war going on, which people always do when there’s a war. Israel then not only refused to allow them to return, they stole their homes and businesses, and deny to this day that a terrible crime was committed. In fact it’s illegal to commemorate the Nabka, the 1948 Palestinian exodus, in Israel. When one flees their legal residence during a war, one does not magically give up one’s residency. That’s one of the things so infuriating about the “the Arab governments told them to flee” lie, even if was true, so what? It wouldn’t magically change the law, the Palestinians that fled what became Israel were legal residents, and held legal title to their homes and property.

It went downhill from there. One common lie is that “there is no such thing as a the Palestinian people.” There are many permutations to this, basically boiling down the the racist attitude that the Palestinians are Arabs so they should go live in Arab countries. Again, the beauty of this lie is that even it it’s true, there never was a nation called Palestine, so what? The Palestinians living in Palestine were legal residents of the land, because they aren’t mentioned in the Old Testament doesn’t magically make it OK to steal their homes and property. A codicil to this lie is the “no partner for peace” lie. This is the idea that for one reason or another, none of the Palestinian leaders are “fit” to negotiate with. Israel not only chooses its own leaders, why, they are so superior, they can chose what leaders are appropriate for the benighted Palestinians! And of course none of the Palestinian leaders ever lives up to Israel’s standards, convenient, nu? It’s Israel that refuses to negotiate in good faith, not the Palestinians.

Notice a theme here? Racism. Both of these lies are much easier to believe if one thinks that Muslims/Arabs are somehow less than fully civilized, or even less than fully human. This comes out clearly in lie three, the big lie, the one repeated so often that much of western humanity believes it implicitly. And this lie is simple: “Jews are peaceful, Palestinians are violent.” I hardly even know what to say about this. Anyone who believes it is a racist for starters. Humans are violent, and there aren’t really any exceptions. Israel especially isn’t an exception, in fact they are one of the most violent militaristic nations on Earth, the violence they have perpetrated is at least the equal of the violence perpetrated by Palestinians. And in terms of people killed and wounded, Israel is the hands down winner, killing far more Palestinians than vice versa. And as of today, are Israelis striving for peace with the Palestinians in Gaza? Some few are, but many are braying for blood.  Of course the western media and Netanyahu’s apologists love to portray images of Muslims espousing violence, while images of Israelis braying for blood will never sully the airwaves. Jesus wept.

Lastly, the coup de grace, the capstone lie that glues the rest all together. Once one understands that the Palestinians are an illegitimate, uncivilized, violent people, the natural conclusion is obvious. The Palestinians deserve what is happening to them, Israel has no choice but to use violence to defend itself. If the Palestinians would only behave themselves, Israel wouldn’t have to resort to such measures. Siege mentality, biblical insanity, racism, all of the above, whatever one wants to call it … Netanyahu and his supporters have blinded themselves into thinking that violence is their only option. Unless one grants that Netanyahu was motivated by simple domestic politics, a desire to drum up support before upcoming elections. Racism or killing babies for votes, take your choice. If that is the case, I think Netanyahu may have made the biggest miscalculation in Israeli history. Since the last time Israel waged war on its occupied territories the Arab Spring has occurred, as well as an explosion of social media in the Middle East. He is making millions of new enemies for Israel across the Muslim world, this is not the road to peace.

I have a friend in Egypt. She’s an engineer, an educated and good person, someone anyone would be proud to have as a friend. And yes, a supporter of democracy and secular values in her nation. IE she is not some jihadist wing-nut who spends her time calling for the destruction of Israel.  This is what she posted on Facebook about the current Gaza violence:

“May your skies forever rain with rockets … may you never sleep in peace … my you never have a worry-free smile … may you never live in peace … may you never be safe as long as you live on Palestinian lands … go back to where you came from … to where they kicked you out and burned you alive … “

And note she was careful to say that this sentiment is directed at the baby killers in the IDF, not all Jews or Israelis. To put it mildly, Operation Pillar of Defence, is not going over well with Israel’s neighbors. That’s because it is a genocidal cowardly attack on a helpless population, a population Israel has kept imprisoned in stateless limbo since 1967. That Americans fall for Netanyahu’s siege mentality and disproportionate brutality is a sad reflection of how our western media simply regurgitates Israeli propaganda as if it were fact. If a population of Jews or Christians were being treated the way Israel treats the Palestinians in the occupied territories, Americans and the mainstream press would be foaming at the mouth with the injustice of it all. Yes, hypocrisy has become America’s core value.

Merry Christmas indeed.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. This won’t be my last post on Netanyahu’s insanity, and if it goes on, they will get even less diplomatic than this post.)


Written by unitedcats

November 19, 2012 at 7:48 am

12 Responses

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  1. Israel is a sovereign state. If we are to look back at how a country has gained its status as a sovereign state, ALL countries in the world are illegitimate and have no right of existence. The USA stole their country from the Native Americans. The Saxons stole England from the Kelts.

    Hamas are a bunch of terrorists hiding behind and between civilians. And those civilians are no less innocent, because they willingly and freely harbour and hide those terrorists. The accomplice is just as guilty as the criminal. Thus: the civilians are just as much terrorists as the Hamas folks.

    If we always go back to the very beginning of any country and let that be the basis of what is right and wrong, we will get nowhere, because you can always go even further back in the past. We live not in that past. We live now.

    It’s any sovereign state’s absolute right to defend their ground and their people against violence from outside. It has been proven over the many years that Hamas will not stop their provocations and ‘pesterings’ with occasional missile launches. Hamas itself has stated many times they have no intention of having peace with Israel but that their ultimate goal is to wipe the Israeli people and their country off the face of the earth. In that respect they have the very same ambition as Iran, and should be looked upon in the same way. The only difference here is that Hamas is actually militarily engaging and assaulting Israel, and Iran is not (yet). So Hamas attrackts more attention at the moment, and also much more return fire. As such they call this upon themselves, and don’t deserve any respect or supporting feelings. If you play with matches, you are going to get burned. If you play with explosives, well… nothing recognisable will be left of you really.

    Steffen M. Boelaars

    November 19, 2012 at 9:20 am

  2. Hi Doug,

    I stayed quiet on one post, but with this new one, it seemed that only one side was being talked about. I don’t know how the media in the US is portraying this event, but I’m sure it’s with an Israeli bias.

    You link a wikipedia article referring to the expelling of Arabs from Palestine, and from your link is found this link, where the same thing happened to the Jewish people:
    Furthermore, I’ve sat and had dinner with older generation Jews that lost all their property in Iraq and Libya during the 1940s. It happened on both sides, and they have never received anything from those governments.

    Neither side is innocent, but you really do over-represent the Palestinian people. In the 4(?) years I’ve been reading your posts, enjoying the majority of them, I can’t recall one that you have even attempted to defend Israel/Jewish people. They aren’t all bad, the majority living with freedom to live their lives with social freedoms (yes, even acknowledgement of a homosexual union) and tolerance to Arabs.

    The link to the sites depicting the Israelis as protesting against the Arabs, it’s easy to find people anywhere in the world that will be stupid enough to protest that they want to kill another people: Post 9/11 Americans, Syria, various countries in Africa, the Yugoslav wars, Northern Ireland, just to name a few in history. As I walk around Tel Aviv, most of the people just want it to end, both the rocket attacks from Gaza and the attack on Gaza. They aren’t all walking around screaming for the death of Arabs like the website seems to want people to believe. When you said “many are”, that really upset me. You have said previously that you’ve never traveled here, so I’m wondering how you got the impression that “many” don’t want peace.

    I’ll keep this in line with American political/social scene: everybody highlights the extremes, and then characterizes anyone that agrees to a particular idea from the extreme is automatically lumped together with all of the beliefs of one side of the extreme. What the social media has allowed is for the extreme voices to be heard, and passed along more rapidly, rather than a tolerant, unbiased viewpoint. The more extreme the viewpoint, the faster it gets posted on Facebook, Twitter, etc, even if it isn’t totally accurate. This might be the reason why it appears that “many” Israelis don’t want peace.

    It’s also a shame that the media is taking pictures depicting civilians, kids, women that have been killed or injured in Syria, and claiming it is from Gaza.

    For example:

    Does your friend in Egypt hope that the same things happen to the Syrian people that are killing innocent civilians? I hope she is calling for the same thing on any and all people that do that, not just a particular people. Why did she have to use language that seems to refer to all Jews, not necessarily ‘just’ the IDF soldiers?

    Genocide – the wikipedia definition could basically be applied to any conflict/war. Don’t use the term just to dramatize what is happening. Israel wants to destroy Hamas, a political faction. If they wanted to destroy the Gaza strip, they could do that, especially given the support of warfare technology from the US. As a whole, Arabs are living both within Israel and the West Bank with full freedoms, covered by healthcare and other social programs supported by the Israeli government. The Palestinians need a government leader that can unite the sides into 1 group of people and can then work towards establishing their own country. If they wanted to destroy the civilians, they wouldn’t have sent over 100 trucks of humanitarian supplies into Gaza.

    Although not technically an internationally recognized border, there is definitely a border between Israel and Gaza, just as Oakland lies within the borders of the US, but has city borders. There is no presence of Israel soldiers or civilians inside the Gaza strip, as part of an establishment of occupancy. The Israeli government evacuated the people from the area, and let Gaza to govern the area without having a presence there. Obviously, once the rockets started coming over, the blockade was established (propaganda: to stop the rockets) which wasn’t effective either, as they usually aren’t.

    Happy Thanksgiving, it’s a better holiday – family food and football.


    November 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

    • @John, Interesting, thoughtfull and well articulated comment. Regardless of where the fault lies politically I feel bad for all the average, everyday people living through what must be a very difficult time, pallistinain, isrealie, Syrian, etc all.

      Doug – I have also been reading your post for years, you are one of my favorite bloggers. Way back when you did a few posts leading with a pic showing a snap shot of everyday life in a war torn country , the one you did on Georgia comes to mind, the point being to remind those of us from far away lands that these are real people struggling through real life. With all the propoganda, hatred and violence floating around the media and blog sphere could I suggest a post like that on Isreal and Gaza? Maybee a helpfull and needed reminder about an ugly situation, particularly appropriate this week of thanksgiving.

      Keep up the posts Doug, don’t be shy to comment in the future John.

      Josh V.

      November 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm

  3. I don’t know of anyone in the mainsteam media that claims that Israeli and Palestinian military might are in any way “equals,” or that anyone would deny that more will always die on the Palestinian side than the Israeli side as a result. I don’t think that in itself is a statement of morality one way or the other, as I’m sure any Palestinian would have that be the opposite if they could.

    However it came to be what it is, Israel’s a sovereign state, and it’s never going to just shrug off a rocket attack. You can say that they should just ignore it because they’re morally inferior and that turning the other cheek (leaving aside the fact that that’s a New Testament idea) would raise their moral standing in your eyes doesn’t do anything except give you an unearned sense of moral superiority.

    Anyone who says that “Jews are peaceful, Palestinians are violent” is certainly a liar and/or a bigot. Of course, that’s just as true as if they say, “Palestinians are peaceful, Jews are violent” or any other such absurdity.

    “May your skies forever rain with rockets” she says… why not just say, “may your hard-liners always have ample cover and leeway to perpetrate disproportionate violence upon my people?”

    I’m not sure why that concept is so difficult to understand. It’s why, although I’m not a 9/11 truther, I can understand why that theory is appealing to people. Certainly 9/11 was the Bush admin’s golden ticket to do all the things they really wanted to do anyway: War in Iraq, Patriot Act, increase power of executive branch. I personally think the idea that they actually planned 9/11 is laughable, but one can’t deny that it wound up being about the most effective catalyst for being able to enact their neocon agenda as they could have ever dreamed.

    So, it’s unfortunate to hear your Egyptian friend wishing, in her heart of hearts, to give Israel’s “worst baby killers” exactly what they need most to help them execute their agenda, execution which will always, as you mention, result in disproportionate deaths on the Palestinian side. That’s certainly not what I’d be wishing for in her shoes, but to each her own.

    Chris Erickson (@Subterverse)

    November 20, 2012 at 1:06 am

  4. Also, can we be honest about one thing? Making statements about “never living in peace” and using holocaust in imagery, then turning around and saying it’s only “directed at the baby killers in the IDF, not all Jews or Israelis” is every bit as bad as when a white person says, and I’m sure you’ve heard this, “Well, I’m not racist but ”

    The idea that when individual Muslims, Arabs etc. get a pass on this is itself quite racist in my opinion. It strikes me as a variant of the “White Man’s Burden” where those “noble savages” are too oppressed / bred too ignorantly etc. to be able to understand or held accountable to the same standard of decency that us “normal” or “civilized” people are, so we’ll give them a pass.

    Chris Erickson (@Subterverse)

    November 20, 2012 at 1:13 am

    • part of this message doesn’t come through, the first paragraph should end with, “Well, I’m not racist but (insert obviously racist statement here)”

      Chris Erickson (@Subterverse)

      November 20, 2012 at 1:14 am

  5. But what should Israel do? Although I agree that their response has been characteristically disproportionate they can’t allow rocket attacks to continue. Talk of negotiations and compromise implies that there is a possibility of representatives from each side sitting down and “talking it out”, but Hamas is not a single entity like a government. There is no Mandela-esque single leader who can speak for the population of Gaza as a whole so any compromise would doubtless lead to a split with some of Hamas agreeing to the terms and some vowing to continue to attack. This has been seen before, in Northern Ireland for example, even though there was a fairly unified organisation in the IRA and its political wing Sinn Féin. Ceasefire agreements led to partial disarming, with some forming a breakaway, “provisional” IRA that fought on. Israel cannot give up territory that would put the majority of its population within range of attack from a much more fractured organisation that has vowed to destroy it on the word of a person, or people, who cannot speak for all.

    Now I hate Israel’s government and their appalling foreign policy, and I do believe that they have reaped what they’ve sown but I just don’t see a feasible solution to the present problem. Of course it’s easy to say that they should have behaved very differently in the past but that doesn’t help things in the present. I know this sounds pessimistic, but I really think that the whole thing is totally, utterly and irrevocably fucked.


    November 21, 2012 at 5:53 am

  6. And here’s a little analysis of Netanyahu’s possible motivations for the attacks from Seumas Milne in The Guardian:
    “Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, had plenty of motivation to unleash a new round of bloodletting. There was the imminence of Israeli elections (military attacks on the Palestinians are par for the course before Israeli polls); the need to test Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, and pressure Hamas to bring other Palestinian guerrilla groups to heel; and the chance to destroy missile caches before any confrontation with Iran, and test Israel’s new Iron Dome anti-missile system.”


    November 21, 2012 at 5:56 am

  7. Came across this article today, seems there more to it than you say:

    On May 14, 1948, the newly formed State of Israel was attacked by her Arab enemies, before the Israeli settlements in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, before Israel had control of East Jerusalem. The Arabs attacked again in 1956, and fighting erupted again in 1967, 1973, and 1982.

    In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip, forcing thousands of Israelis to leave behind their homes and fields and greenhouses in the Gaza settlements. Rather than responding with peace efforts, the leadership in Gaza barraged southern Israel with rockets.

    Hamas, the terrorist group duly elected to govern Gaza, has continued to shoot rockets into Israel over the past seven years.

    Last Wednesday, Israel launched “Operation Pillar of Cloud,” an effort to destroy the missile stockpiles of Hamas, and the result has been a week of destruction. The terrorists in Gaza rained 180 missiles on Israel on Tuesday for a week-long total of about 800. Overnight on Tuesday, Israel’s air force and navy made about 100 strikes on the Gaza Strip, focusing on underground rocket launcher sites according to an IDF spokesman. Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system destroyed 15 rockets fired from Gaza on Ashkelon, Beersheba, Be’er Tuviya, Hof Ashkelon and Ashdod on Wednesday morning, with 300 intercepted over the week of fighting, but many other missiles still made it through, many smashing through civilian homes.

    More than 130 residents of Gaza have died in the Israeli air strikes, while five Israelis have been killed. The people of Gaza are to be pitied; their leaders hide their missile stockpiles and major weapons in among civilians. These people have endured in refugee camps for decades, with little or no constructive relief by their leaders. Despite donations over the years from a variety of sources from the U.N. to the Gulf states, little has been done to improve the lot of these people. They’ve been used by radicals that have no interest in giving their people peaceful lives. They’ve been trained up to nurse their anger and hate. The terrorists long for the very destruction of Israel more than the peace and safety of their people, and spurred by hatred, their people continue to support them.

    Michael Oren writes for The New York Times:
    Negotiations leading to peace can be realistic with an adversary who shares that goal. But Hamas, whose covenant calls for the slaughter of Jews worldwide, is striving not to join peace talks, but to prevent them. It rejects Israel’s existence, refuses to eschew terror, and disavows all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements – the terms established by the United States and the other members of the so-called quartet of Middle East peacemakers for participation in the peace process. Bound by its genocidal theology and crude anti-Semitism, Hamas cannot be induced to make peace. But it can be deterred from war.
    The international community has diverted its attention from Syria for a moment to try and turn a hose on the hostilities. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and diplomats from the European Union and Arab League have flown in to try to broker peace. Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi has sought to maintain Egypt’s peace with Israel while standing in support of the people in Gaza. No truce has succeeded yet, but even then, a ceasefire is not the end of the war.

    If Israel wanted to annihilate the people of Gaza, it certainly could do so. The purpose, however, is not to destroy another people; the purpose for Israel is simply to deter the enemy…disarm and deter the enemy, and survive.

    While Israel might be the object of great hatred and its neighbors desire its destruction, the Bible promises protection for Jerusalem. God promised to give the land to Abraham and his descendants forever, and as Israel survives one attack after another, it becomes apparent that God still has plans for this piece of real estate in the Middle East.

    Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.-Zec 12:2-3
    Related Links:
    • Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Strip – Photos
    – The Washington Post
    • Hamas Left Israel No Choice but to Strike
    – The New York Times
    • Israel Launches War On Gaza Terror – Operation Pillar Of Cloud
    – Israel Today
    • Israeli-Hamas Clash Sends Unsettling Ripples Throughout Mideast
    – Los Angeles Times
    • Gazans Fire 40 Rockets At South, 15 Intercepted
    – The Jerusalem Post


    November 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm

  8. A little dumbfounded by the biblical quote… what exactly does a two thousand year old fairy tale have to do with modern politics?


    November 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    • If you’re talking about the middle east, then that two thousand year old fairy tale has plenty to do with modern politics, because it’s right at the heart of what all those people squabble about.


      November 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm

  9. Good point.


    November 30, 2012 at 9:24 am

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