Chutzpah Galore

Israel and Somalia are brothers in the international crime of piracy, attacking unarmed ships on the high seas.

There is a difference between Israeli piracy and Somalian piracy: Somalians do it to make profit; Israelis do it to attack mercy ships carrying wheel chairs for crippled Palestinians and medicine for sick children.

Israel has no need to do piracy for profit: it receives more than ten million dollars a day from its client state, the United States of America. Long John Silver and the Somalian pirates would retire if they had an income like that. Thanks to U.S. aid, Israelis are the richest and best armed pirates in history.

There is another difference between Somalian piracy and Israeli piracy. Israel kills during its piracy crimes and then claims it does so in self defense.

That is another first in the history of piracy. Traditionally, pirates were outlaws and admitted it. It is very much like a rapist saying: “The victim I was raping resisted and so I killed her in self-defense.” A defense like that would make even a mob lawyer blush.

The rape comparison is not outlandish. Take the rape of Gaza in December 2008-January 2009. That was more like rape than like war. It could not be a war since Gaza has no army, navy, or air force and its people are under a vicious siege enforced by Israel, Egypt, and Israel’s client state, the United States of America. In that rape of an occupied people they killed 1400 people, destroyed 3,354 homes, Gaza’s only flour mill, hospitals, ambulances, mosques, long term care facilities, 280 schools and kindergartens, the United Nations refugee centers and then they went after water treatments and sewage facilities for good measure.

Of course, calling that rape or even a gang bang would be a euphemism.

That was part of ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing, crimes against

Israel’s justification?

Self defense.

Chutzpah has never been made of sterner stuff.

DANIEL C. MAGUIRE, a professor of moral and theological ethics at Marquette University, is the author of The Horrors We Bless: Rethinking the Just-War Legacy.