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IDF, Gangbanging in Tanks

When I lived in Chicago a few years back, on occasion gangbangers would injure or kill children in the interminable process of turf war. For instance, two kids were caught in the crossfire one sunny afternoon. They were on their bikes outside a candy store near Humboldt Park. Of course, the gangbangers were not really interested in killing children; it was simply a by-product of their senseless violence. I imagine one or two of them even felt bad about accidentally gunning down innocent kids. Some gangbangers, after all, have consciences, maybe even kids of their own.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Israeli Defense Forces. If we are to believe a videotape shot in Jenin, the Occupied Territories, on June 21, the IDF deliberately fired a tank shell at three kids. Two of them, age 11 and 13, were blown to pieces as they rode their bikes. The crime: venturing out to find food without permission from the Israeli Army.

Naturally, Israel apologized. Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the Israeli Defense Minister, said he was sorry and there’d be an investigation, never mind that such investigations rarely go anywhere. Anyway, the IDF said there was a bomb factory in the area and they were on pins and needles. Of course, to many Israelis, the whole of the Occupied Territories – what some people call Palestine – is nothing less than a huge bomb factory.

The IDF and Hamas (Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, etc.) are like gangbangers engaged in a turf war. They are vicious and crazed gangbangers on ideological and religious steroids and – at least in Israel’s case – are armed with cutting edge (no pun intended) weapons. Instead of accidentally shooting children, both groups do so as a tactic. Undoubtedly, a lot of these gangbangers do not feel any remorse for killing each other’s children. In fact, as politically motivated serial killers, they strive to kill children, old ladies, pregnant mothers, grandfathers, probably even dogs, cats, and parrots.

In Chicago, at least, if the OK Coral shoot-outs became too frequent – or if too many kids died as a result – the police did sweeps, arrested people, locked up gang leaders, stepped up patrols, etc. You’d see a lot of young men being searched and hustled off in cop cars. So long as the police were vigilant, the gangbangers were kept at bay to a certain extent.

Who’s going to be the cops in the case of the Israelis and various motley Palestinians? The United Nations?

Yeah, right.

Best policy is to de-fund the political and religious gangbangers. Every year, our tax money – to the tune of more than 5 billion dollars – is forked over to the Israelis and Palestinians, though mostly to the Israelis. We even give the Israelis the most advanced and deadly hardware available (F-4E Phantoms, F-16 Fighting Falcons, AH-64 Apache and Cobra Attack helicopters, Patriot and Sidewinder missiles, M-16s, etc.), which makes a bundle for the likes Boeing, Raytheon, and Bell Textron, etc., but does nothing to save kids and old ladies.

Imagine pimps for Chicago gangbangers going door to door demanding a tax to arm drive-by shooters. Or worse, imagine them claiming part of your paycheck before you even see it. That’s about what’s happening in the case of Israel. Lobbyists are making sure you’re party to killing kids on their bikes. You have nothing to say about it because, essentially, every politician in Congress believes Israel has a right to all that money and all those expensive tanks and helicopters and automatic small and big arms. It has to defend itself against those damn 11 year boys breaking curfew.

Like the war on terrorism, it’s just something you’ll have to get used to. It’s probably best you grow a thick hide. Or believe Congress when they say all those modern weapons are necessary for Israel to protect itself against 11-year-old Arab troublemakers. Well, they don’t say that, not exactly, but that’s essentially the crux of the situation.

Anyway, most of us wouldn’t even know about that tank shell killing those pesky Arab boys if it hadn’t been for that videotape. Last time this happened – when a Palestinian father was wounded and his small son killed – the Israelis said it was terrorists who shot them.

This time they fessed up and apologized.

It’s kind of hard to place the blame elsewhere when a Merkava tank is videotaped shooting at kids, blowing them to smithereens.

Next time the political gangbangers will have to make sure they lob the first shell at the guy with the Handycam.

Kurt Nimmo can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

 

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KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at www.kurtnimmo.com/ . Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair’s, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, is now available from Dandelion Books. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

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