Evolution of Dispossession

Evolution of Dispossession
How to Steal a Country?

Friday, March 09, 2007

The truth hurts ...

When a delegation of bishops visited Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Israel, of course the Israeli press might try and write an article with the "building bridges" theme. But when the same delegation visits Ramallah, and makes the comparison that Palestinians in Ramallah are being treated by the Israelis like the Nazis treated the Jews, well you better believe the presses will begin a blitzkrieg of articles containing the "schock" of such a statement, even though the bishops could have said much more truthfully.

These Bishops are anti-semitic, Jimmy Carter is anti-semitic, anyone else who has critical words for Israel is anti-semitic, according to the various groups that are well organized and cooperate well in defending Israel.

The problem is when the term anti-semite or anti-semitism is used so frequently when the term does not apply, the term itself is cheapened. That's especially problematic when a situation arises when there is bona fide anti-semitism. The term has been cheapened by the ADL, AIPAC, and many groups that defend Israel's name, whether warranted or not.

The real issue here is are the Palestinians in Ramallah being mistreated by the Israelis? The data suggest an answer of yes. But instead of the these vocal defenders of Israel addressing the root cause of the bishops' statements, namely the IDF's brutal treatment of most Palestinian subjects living under their tyrannical boot, they obfuscate the issue by playing their anti-semitism card, or the Holocaust card. (Thank you Norman Finkelstein for discussing these ploys so crucial to the I-P dialogue).

When the spotlight is focused on Israeli malfeasance, it is amazing to see how quickly the public media can mobilize to fend off this threat. It's fear of Israel being exposed for what it is that drives such frenetic and passionate defenses.

There was a worldwide poll the other day, the query being which country is viewed the most negatively in the world today : More than 28,000 were polled

1. Israel
2. Iran
3. USA

If the USA would cut aid to Israel and force the Israelis to comply with its signed treaties, like Camp David under Carter, and abide by UN resolutions (which it would have to if the US would stop using its veto in the security council to protect its little buddy), then the USA would see a quick resurrection of its worldwide image.

Of course, the mere mention of this course of action is political suicide in the US. And yet the Israeli mouthpieces have the temerity to suggest that AIPAC wields no significant power in the USA!


JohnnyB said...

The bishops used more specific language than you have, which is important. They did not mention "Holocaust" or "Nazis", at least in the articles I read. They did say the Palestinians lived in "ghettos". So often critics of Israel exaggerate their treatment of the Palestinians, and Israelis then respond with "anti-semitism". Are the Israelis gassing Palestinians by the millions? Of course not. Are they putting them in ghettos? I'm inclined to listen to the Bishops on this one.

So the Israelis say, "How dare the Bishops compare us to Nazis?" On this specific point, namely the ghettoization of the palestinians, the comparison is fair. But you can't call it a holocaust.

scottie said...

The bishops made statements like the Palestinians are treated like animals at the checkpoints. I don't remember the bishops claiming that a holocaust against the Palestinians was occurring, and I agree, it is not a holocaust. But why then do the Israelis treat the Palestinians the way they are? You should consider motive.

The rest of my post was dedicated to the defense mechanism that is always employed, playing the anti-semitism card and playing the holocaust card. I had in my own study of this issue come to a rough conclusion that these tactics were used frequently as smokescreens. I credit Finkelstein for clarifying the true extent to which these methods are employed in the defense of Israel.

These defense tactics effectively deflect attention away from Israel's dreadful human rights violations, contraventions of international law and UN resolutions, so these tactics work. But the other point I was making is that if one uses the charge of anti-semitism when it is not relevant simply to deflect attentiom away from Israeli atrocity, then the term gets cheapened, and in the event of a true anti-semitic comment or act, then the charge carries less weight than it would had the charge not been used in so many instances where it is not valid.