Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.
Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.
CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.
The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.
Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683
Thank you for your support,
Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel
CounterPunch PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558
Six Weeks of Quiet?
“The Israeli government reserves the right to be just as outraged at the loss of an Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldier, gunning down a Palestinian family on the West Bank, as at the loss of an unarmed civilian in Tel Aviv ..”
In an article in the New York Times entitled, “Suicide Bomber Kills Israeli Soldier, Ending 6 Weeks of Quiet”, Michael R. Gordon ‘reports’ on a suicide bombing in Israel.
By his choice of topics and viewpoints, Gordon also does an excellent job of illustrating the typical level of Israeli propaganda in American mainstream media.
On the bright side, it is nice to see someone acknowledge that over 3 million Palestinians have shown truly heroic restraint in the face of the most brutal and continuing occupation on the planet for a solid 6 weeks.
The only significant news of terrorism reported by the American media recently was a nail bomb attack on a Palestinian school–but that was done by fundamentalist Jewish terrorists, not Palestinians.
Gordon accounts for this ‘quiet’ by presenting the official Israeli opinion:
“The Israeli government and army officials have argued that the lull was the result of their continuing military operations in the West Bank and Gaza, and not a slackening in efforts by Palestinian militants.”
This is the classic ‘Catch 22′ that those in power will always impose on the objects of their aggression. In this case, if Palestinians resist a brutal and expanding occupation, then more occupation is needed to stop the resistance. If the Palestinians do not resist, this proves that the brutal occupation is working and needs to be continued; the old damned if you do–damned if you don’t.
Gordon ignores the fact that the occupation is really all about ethnic cleansing and has nothing to do with security. In fact, Sharon has a political need for suicide bombings to make his ‘Catch 22′ work. The Israeli Government knows full well an occupation cannot possibly stop a resistance movement by a population of 3 million Palestinians, who look exactly like Middle Eastern Israelis.
Indeed, as I write these lines, the occupation has never been more brutal, and yet, an additional bomb has just gone off, killing another 5 Israelis. I do not condone such acts of violence, but the occupation, which is by far the greatest act of offensive violence in recent history, is obviously not able to stop resistance, nor was it designed to.
Gordon then reports that the United Nations is generously pushing for a full Palestinian State by 2005, and that Palestinian terror may interfere with statehood.
Anyone who has studied Israeli policy knows that allowing a Palestinian State has never been a serious option for any Israeli government. This is just another hollow and deceitful political ruse. By 2005 Israel, using money from the Jewish National Fund and its unique real estate laws, will claim to have acquired all of Palestine for all of eternity, leaving no place for Gentiles to legally exist, much less found a state. Palestinians have long known this.
Gordon is hoping that the readership of the New York Times will not be aware of this obvious and well-documented fact.
Gordon closes his article by making a most revealing point. He notes:
“Though a growing number of moderate Palestinians have demanded an end to suicide bombings inside Israel, many have argued that attacks against soldiers and against settlers in the West Bank and Gaza are a legitimate resistance to military occupation.”
International Law clearly differentiates armed combatants from civilians. One would think it laudable that Palestinians, as hard pressed and out gunned as they are, would strive to make this universal distinction, i.e. an armed aggressor on my land does not equal an unarmed civilian in another state.
Then Gordon quotes the opinion of Mr. Shoval, an advisor to Ariel Sharon:
“We [Israelis] are not going to differentiate between one Israeli person and another.”
That is to say, Israel, in contravention to international Law, will not discriminate between Israeli combatants and civilians. What Shoval means is, the Israeli government reserves the right to be just as outraged at the loss of an Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldier, gunning down a Palestinian family on the West Bank, as at the loss of an unarmed civilian in Tel Aviv.
This clearly shows the extent to which Jewish fundamentalism, which claims that each drop of Jewish blood is equally infinitely precious, has penetrated the thinking of the government of Israel. Statistics also indicate that the IDF does not differentiate between Palestinian combatants and civilians, but indiscriminately slaughters unarmed men, women and children with equal vigor. It seems the only differentiation that matters to the Government of Israel is Jew versus Gentile.
The subtlest propaganda, however, is found in the title: “Ending Six Weeks of Quiet.” By ‘Quiet’, Gorden means there has been no bombings or major action by Palestinian resistance.
If we look at the last 6 weeks from the Palestinian perspective, we see a different story. In the last 6 weeks the IDF quietly murdered 71 Palestinians, mostly civilians of all ages. 95 Palestinians were quietly wounded by live ammunition (attempted murder). 16 were quietly wounded by ‘rubber’ bullets (more attempted murder). 55 were quietly tear-gassed (chemical warfare). 118 were quietly wounded by shrapnel (attempted murder with tank shells and bombs). Thousands of kidnapped Palestinian political prisoners were quietly tortured in Israeli prison camps. Homes and businesses were quietly ‘dismantled’ (i.e. destroyed). Agricultural assets were quietly wiped out. Water and communication lines were quietly cut and brutal curfews were quietly enforced…
The saddest thing about articles like Mr. Gordon’s is that they also quietly ignore the truth, and so I will share it with the gentle reader. If Israel really just wants peace, then all she has to do is end the occupation and begin treating her fellow human beings with dignity and compassion. There will surely be some bumps along the road, but no other way is truly moral or worth pursuing.
Chris Meyer writes for the Palestinian Chronicle. He can be reached at: email@example.com