FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Israel’s Foes as Beasts and Insects

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:
Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
Franklin Lamb
Could “Tough Love” Salvage Lebanon?
George Ochenski
Why Wild Horse Island is still wild
Ann Garrison
Nikki Haley: Damn the UNHRC and the Rest of You Too
Jonah Raskin
What’s Hippie Food? A Culinary Quest for the Real Deal
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Brian Wakamo
We Subsidize the Wrong Kind of Agriculture
Patrick Higgins
Children in Cages Create Glimmers of the Moral Reserve
Patrick Bobilin
What Does Optimism Look Like Now?
Don Qaswa
A Reduction of Economic Warfare and Bombing Might Help 
Robin Carver
Why We Still Need Pride Parades
Jill Richardson
Immigrant Kids are Suffering From Trauma That Will Last for Years
Thomas Mountain
USA’s “Soft” Coup in Ethiopia?
Jim Hightower
Big Oil’s Man in Foreign Policy
Louis Proyect
Civilization and Its Absence
Robert Koehler
The Nuclear Status Quo
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail