FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Israel’s Foes as Beasts and Insects

by PUNYAPRIYA DASGUPTA

New Delhi

Israel’s ambassador in New Delhi, David Danieli, sees Hezbollah as something akin to a scorpion (Times of India, 28 July). His is not much of a new invention. Other Israelis in responsible positions have made similar statements before. A few days earlier, Dan Gillerman, Israeli representative at UN, regretted Kofi Annan’s failure to mention that the Hezbollah was a bunch of “ruthless, indiscriminate animals”. During its First Lebanon War in 1982 Israel’s chief of staff Rafael Eitan was gleeful that he had shoved the Palestinian ” drugged cockroaches” into a bottle. To Menahem Begin, chief author of the Deir Yassin massacre, who went on to become Israel’s prime minister and get a Nobel peace prize, the Palestinians were “two-legged beasts”. Immediately after the 1967 war Robin Maxwell-Hyslop, a British Conservative, recounted in the House of Commons a conversation he had with David Hacohen, one-time Israeli ambassador to Burma. As related by Maxwell-Hyslop, Hacohen “spoke with great intemperance and at great length about the Arabs. When he drew breath I was constrained to say: “Dr Hacohen, I am profoundly shocked that you should speak of other human beings in terms similar to those in which Julius Streicher [notorious Nazi propagandist] spoke of the Jews. Have you learned nothing?” I shall remember his reply to my dying day. He smote the table with both hands and said: “But they are not human beings, they are not people, they are Arabs”.” One of the many things Israeli spokesmen seem incapable of realizing is that abuse is no substitute for reason. Israel has amassed much military prowess but remains very poor in logic.

Facts cry out against Israel. The root cause of the present war in Lebanon is, according to the Israelis and Americans, in the capture of one Israeli soldier by Hamas and two by Hezbollah. Not true. It is in the original sin of the partition of Palestine by UN against all moral, historical, demographic, legal reasons. The General Assembly’s non-binding Resolution 181 envisaged an astonishingly intricate carving of Palestine into seven pieces to make 608,000 (half of them illegal immigrants) of a total population of 1,935,000 the majority in the biggest possible area. This was the warrant the Israelis needed to begin their relentless drive to restoration of their “historical frontiers” i.e., from the Mediterranean to the Jordan river through the instrumentality of calculated massacres and wars and incredible mendacity.

Had Israel stopped even at the pre-June 1967 lines there would have been no 1973 war, no Lebanon wars, no Hezbollah, no intifadas. Hezbollah was born of the need for an effective resistance to the Israeli juggernaut after the Arab armies had repeatedly failed. Hezbollah ran the Israelis off from Lebanon, excepting Shaaba Farms, a tiny patch Israel treats as a part of the Syrian Golan Heights it conquered and annexed. To the people in the Arab world Hezbollah is their David confronting the Israeli Goliath. Hezbollah’s standing firm and inflicting substantial losses on the world’s fourth mightiest force this time has heightened Arab expectations.

Mr Danieli’s many accusations against Hezbollah include “inventing” the Israeli enemy. The wrong end of the stick. Political invention is an Israeli art. Remember Golda Meir’s statement that there was no such thing as a Palestinian people ­ “they did not exist”? Hezbollah was reckoning with unceasing Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty Israel’s peace activists say they had watched with alarm the deliberateness behind the Israel’s latest war and soldiers admit they had rehearsed the offensives .

Mr Danieli stigmatizes Hezbollah as terrorists. How does he explain the proud confession of Yitzhak Shamir, one-time terrorist and twice prime minister of Israel: “Neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat”? Mr Danieli’s claim about his government’s “calculated restraint” sounds terribly ironic with the current proportion of eight Lebanese dying for each Israeli.

PUNYAPRIYA DASGUPTA is a journalist. Email: siliserh@yahoo.co.in

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 17, 2017
John Pilger
The Issue is Not Trump. It is Us
John K. White
Is Equality Overrated, Too?
Michael J. Sainato
The DNC Hands the Democratic Party Over to David Brock and Billionaire Donors
John Davis
Landscapes of Shame: America’s National Parks
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Politicians and Rhetorical Tricks
Chris Busby
The Scientific Hero of Chernobyl: Alexey V. Yablokov, the Man Who Dared to Speak the Truth
David Macaray
Four Reasons Trump Will Quit
Chet Richards
The Vicissitudes of the Rural South
Clancy Sigal
“You Don’t Care About Jobs”: Why the Democrats Lost
Robert Dodge
Martin Luther King and U.S. Politics: Time for a U.S. Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Jack Sadat Lee
I Dream of Justice for All the Animal Kingdom
James McEnteer
Mourning Again in America
January 16, 2017
Paul Street
How Pure is Your Hate?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed?
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Clobbers Ocean Life
Patrick Cockburn
The Terrifying Parallels Between Trump and Erdogan
Kenneth Surin
The Neoliberal Stranglehold on the American Public University
Lawrence Davidson
Is There a Future for the Democratic Party?
Douglas Valentine
Who Killed MLK Jr?
Robert Fisk
The Foreign Correspondent in the Age of Twitter and Trump
Dale Bryan
“Where Do We Go from Here?”
David Swanson
The Deep State Wants to Deep Six Us
Dan Bacher
Obama Administration Orders Speedy Completion of Delta Tunnels Plan
Mark Weisbrot
Obama Should Make Sure that Haitian Victims of UN-Caused Cholera are Compensated
Winslow Myers
The Light of the World
Bruce Mastron
My Latest Reason to Boycott the NFL: Guns
Weekend Edition
January 13, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Gregory Elich
Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?
Jeffrey St. Clair
The President Who Wasn’t There: Barack Obama’s Legacy of Impotence
Anthony DiMaggio
Ethics Fiasco: Trump, Divestment and the Perversion of Executive Politics
Joshua Frank
Farewell Obummer, Hello Golden Showers
Paul Street
Hit the Road, Barack: Some Farewell Reflections
Vijay Prashad
After Aleppo: the State of Syria
John Wight
Russia Must be Destroyed: John McCain and the Case of the Dodgy Dossier
Rob Urie
Meet the Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
The Russian Dossier Reminds Me of the Row Over Saddam’s WMDs
Eric Sommer
U.S.-China War: a Danger Hidden from the American People
Andrew Levine
Are Democrats Still the Lesser Evil?
Linda Pentz Gunter
What’s Really Behind the Indian Point Nuclear Deal?
Robert Fantina
Trucks, ‘Terror’ and Israel
Richard Moser
Universal Values are Revolutionary Values
Russell Mokhiber
Build the Bagdikian Wall: “Sponsored News” at the Washington Post
Yoav Litvin
Establishment Narcissism – The Democrats’ Game of Thrones
David Rosen
Return of the Repressed: Trump & the Revival of the Culture Wars
Robert Koehler
War Consciousness and the F-35
Rev. William Alberts
The New Smell of McCarthyism Demands Faith Leaders Speak Truth to Power
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail