Friday, 2 January 2009

Livni's lies on record

Inside most 'liberal', peace-proclaiming politicians is a career warmonger eagerly waiting to get out.

Step forward Tzipi Livni, the West's great 'peace' candidate, for whom the mass murder of Gazan innocents seems a price worth paying to enhance her electoral prospects.

Livni has just uttered these immortal words, straight from the Madeleine Albright school of political inhumanity:
"There is no humanitarian crisis in the Strip, and therefore there is no need for a humanitarian truce."
Alas, judging by opinion poll evidence, most Israelis appear to share Livni's crass indifference to Palestinian suffering.

Indifference and denial usually go hand-in-hand. Such was the empty psychology, the emotional void, of many Germans while Jews were being slaughtered in the concentration camps.

How bitterly ironic that large parts of the Israeli public, encouraged by their leaders, harbour those kind of mendacious, denialist emotions towards the Palestinians. One is bound to ask: how can this 'civilized' society, with greater reach of the facts, act in such collective denial?

Part of the answer, surely, lies in the deep Zionist indoctrination affecting every layer of Israeli life, a siege psychology that can blind even the more thoughtful citizen to Palestinian suffering.

Another part of the answer lies in the de-personalisation of that inflicted suffering through the proxy actions of the state.

In his fine new book, Disappearing Palestine,
Jonathan Cook talks, in this regard, of the "industrialized" killing that constitutes the Occupation and siege of Gaza, both accurately described as "laboratories" for Israeli experimentation:
"It is my contention that Israel has turned the increasingly confined spaces left to the Palestinians not only into open-air cages but also into laboratories where experiments to encourage Palestinian despair, and ultimately emigration, are being refined...Israel has been able to develop a more aggressive and transparent form of imprisonment for the Palestinians under occupation. It has 'industrialized' Palestinian suffering..." (p 7)
Christopher Gunness, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, adds immediacy to that assessment in describing Israel's ongoing "strangulation" of Gaza:
"The situation is absolutely disastrous. Your viewers must realize that for over a year and a half now, there's been a blockade, strangulation -- if you like -- of Gaza. So, we, as the largest humanitarian agency working on the ground in Gaza have been unable to get the sorts of medical supplies and other humanitarian aid in. So, long, long lists of drugs and other medical supplies which in the U.S. would be considered standard in any hospital, they are just not available in Gaza."
With all the transparent evidence of such killing and deliberate persecution, it comes down, ultimately, to a clear choice. Either Livni is right: there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza - and, thus, no need for a humanitarian truce. Or Gunness is right: Israel is pursuing a wanton "strangulation" in a deliberate effort to intensify a humanitarian crisis.

Take your pick. Condemn Israel without equivocation. Or, as with
Zionist apologists from Obama to One Voice, remain dutifully quiet over the massacre of Gaza.

Whatever one's view, whatever comes to pass, Livni's words are on the record, in the archive, installed in the memories of every Palestinian, noted by millions around the world.

Perhaps, one day, when the 'international community' has its own moral epiphany, we'll hear them repeated as an article of evidence at Nuremberg.



Sport Selections said...

The usual numbers distortion for Glasgow demo
Posted by John Hilley (jhilley) on January 3, 2009, 8:08 pm


Hi John,

Just read the above contribution on medialens website. I am awaiting membership registration - so that I would use this more direct method to respond.

There is along history in relation to this issue. Police estimates are typically not based on numbers involved in the demonstration at any one time but mainly reflect the local authority planning department's risk assessment / estimated licensing capacity figure of the public space in which any demo or rally takes place. In many cases - such as national demonstrations - the police are required to report their figures to the Home Office. This means they have have an incentive to positively portray the ratio of police officers to protestors. They typically arrive at acceptable figures by using estimated spatial capacities as opposed to numbers of people actually present.

We perhaps need to read these press reports differently but more importantly sloppy compliant puppet journalists should do more to ask how police arrive at their figure each time a demo occurs. Maybe they could adopt the practice of accompanying their typically unscientific and dishonest numerical regurgitations with the rider: "The police estimate merely reflects local authority planning department licensing capacities for public spaces. Police figures are not based on statistically reliable counting methodologies and does not in any way reflect the actual number of protestors that could have been present at any one time" .

This point has also been explored elsewhere.


Colin Hooper

John Hilley said...

Many thanks Colin for the valuable information and links. There's clearly a difficulty in establishing the veracity of crowd numbers. Yet, the police and authorities have an obvious interest in citing them on the much lower side than organisers and participants in seeking to play-down dissent. The present procedure of estimating based on local authority/planning department calculations seems particularly unsatisfactory. Perhaps, as you say, all media accounts of crowd numbers should carry a caveat indicating how the figures are determined.