Sunday, 27 July 2014

Do not disturb - Israel just want a little hush

As the death toll in Gaza pushes over 1000 souls, propagandist-in-chief Mark Regev tells the BBC that Israel really just wants some 'peace and quiet'.

It takes a remarkably callous mind to make such a comment. But then, this is Mr Regev, a veritable study in the darkest art of twisted denial.

His words give alarming insight into how a 'war'-supporting Israeli public has been conditioned to view itself as 'victims' of a 'rowdy neighbour', and the long-entrenched indifference as to why Palestinians are making a 'noise'. 

Support for attacking Gaza is underpinned by relentless promotion of the 'Hamas menace next door'. But, it's also about a privileged society feeling itself 'unduly disrupted'. As Israelis go about their lives, it's really saying, 'look, we took your land, we locked you in, deal with it, just keep quiet'.

Ceasefire 'quiet time' on the Med
Just why do those Palestinians refuse to be bombed without making a fuss?

After all, doesn't a kindly Israeli military give all those sleeping families in crowded blocks of flats a generous three-minute warning to quietly waken the kids, gather some belongings and get downstairs before having their homes obliterated?

Most often not even that. They just kill them in-situ, sparing any more 'unnecessary upheaval'. 

Mass military power and deliberate targeting of children in their beds. Despite witnessing such terror, the BBC are still calling this annihilation of civilians a 'two-sided' 'war'. That description suits Israel perfectly, keeping talk of a siege and occupation to an audible minimum.         

Whisper this quietly too in case it disturbs Israeli sensibilities: the BBC's Jon Donnison has just secured confirmation - from Israel itself - that Hamas played no actual part in the abduction of three Israeli teenagers - Israel's supposed 'motive' for purging the West Bank and unleashing its violence on Gaza. But rather than use this scoop to create a huge political din, the BBC have, so very thoughtfully, kept it hushed.

Meanwhile there's been political and media outrage over MP David Ward's refusal to keep obediently quiet about Palestinians being wiped-out. Ward had the audacity to explain why a people imprisoned, brutalised and murdered for decades just might realise a desperate need to defend themselves.

As detailed in a fine article from blogger Tim Holmes, the vitriol unleashed against Ward, and (renewed) calls for his party suspension, tell us much about the base racism that shrieks about Israel's right to defend itself with vast weaponry, but could never remotely murmur such support for occupied Palestinians. 

The vocal extent of British government 'concern' can be heard in Defence Secretary Philip Hammond's 'urging' that Israel may now be in danger of failing to uphold 'their western values'.  

And the posturing doesn't get much better from our 'best media', with the Guardian's tortured editorial on 'the causes' of this conflict - tracing back only to 2005, apparently - Jonathan Freedland again gazing 'through Israel's eyes', and this kind of facile militarist spin from 'IDF'-approving Trevor Royle in the Sunday Herald:
In Gaza and across the Palestinian territories, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) are also fighting against determined opponents in the shape of Hamas, only in their case they are also defending their homeland. Israeli operations have two aims: to destroy the tunnels used for smuggling weapons from Egypt and to smash the sites from which missiles are fired into Israel. Because Hamas places these sites near mosques and hospitals, civilian casualties are inevitable; unless there is a ceasefire the numbers will soon top 1000. IDF commanders claim that they are using legitimate tactics and that they will only stop when Hamas stops firing its missiles into Israel. The matter is also complicated by Hamas's absolute refusal to recognise the state of Israel and by the Palestinians' visceral dislike of Israeli settlement programmes.
Royle's piece is riddled with distortion. But, like a good liberal, he still worries about the human cost. So, while he can't bring himself to denounce Israel's mass civilian killing and condemn the 'IDF' outright, he seeks semi-silent cover in advocating 'restraint':
Meanwhile, the fighting continues and the atrocities keep happening. I'm all in favour of a country doing its utmost to defend itself from outside attack, but I'm also absolutely against seeing women and children paying the price. It's time for the IDF to show some courageous restraint.
Not even the horrific images of shelled civilians, broken children and rubble-reduced neighbourhoods has induced a word of serious censure from Obama, Cameron and such 'responsibility to protect' journalists.

This is the staggering apologetics of our politicians and media when it comes to Israel's mass war crimes, the most complicit obstacle to peace and deafening quiet of all.

1 comment:

Roslyn Ross said...

Excellent. Keep up the good work.