Dagens citat – del 49 (090208)
Från den irländska tidningen Irish Independent hämtar jag dagens citat. Artikeln, Why the Israeli people have finally had enough, skrevs av Ian O’Doherty och publicerades den 5 januari:
So, it’s genocide now, is it? Or is it actually another holocaust, something which one typically restrained Palestinian analyst described as ”worse than Hitler’s war against the Jews”?
Are we watching the ethnic cleansing of an entire people? Are we witnessing the deliberate eradication of a race?
Well, no actually, we’re not.
Footage of air strikes with the ensuing photogenic explosions and dramatic plumes of smoke, quickly followed by clips of collapsed buildings and enraged mourners, makes far better copy than actually looking at the reasons why Israel has done what it’s done.
Anyone who devotes only a cursory glance at the news, both print and television, would be forgiven for thinking that, out of spite, might and malice, Israel has decided to destroy the Palestinian people.
The problem with that conclusion — and it’s not something you’re going to learn from the BBC and most other outlets — is that, contrary to the currently popular belief, Israel is actually acting with a ridiculous degree of restraint.
But Hamas is clever.
As a friend of mine from Sderot pointed out, one of its favourite tactics is to launch Qassams from Palestinian schoolyards — while the schools are still in session.
Hamas does this, you see, knowing that the IDF can’t immediately strike back (they can vector a rocket launch site within 90 seconds) because the last thing the Israelis need is footage of a devastated Palestinian school with dead kids.
And, over the last week, we have seen carefully manipulated footage of dead civilians, with the fact that they were effectively used as human shields conveniently ignored.
But there’s a bigger picture here, something which Israelis have been trying to broadcast to the world, but which, thanks to their spectacular inability to accurately and sympathetically portray their point of view, has not been properly transmitted. It’s this — Israel is the front line of the war between democracy and Islamic fascism.
Would you rather live in a society with a free press, equal rights for women — and anyone who knows an Israeli woman will know that they’re not easily suppressed, anyway — equal rights for gay people and a proud and stubborn belief in the right of the individual to lead their life in the way that they see fit or would you rather exist in a society where women who dare to speak their mind are executed, where gay people are not just shunned but murdered and where having a dissenting thought marks you out for death?
The civilian deaths in Gaza are to be mourned, and anyone who says otherwise is reprehensible. But in a sick and twisted irony, they are mourned more by Israelis than by Hamas, who know that every dead Palestinian kid is worth another piece of propaganda.
Here in the West, where we share the same values as Israel, we need to start standing shoulder with this tiny oasis of democracy in a vast desert of savagery.
To do otherwise is moral cowardice of the most repugnant kind.