Monday, August 04, 2014

Netanyahu's Big Lie


History is full of ugly ironies. Among the ugliest is the Netanyahu government's use of the Big Lie to justify what is happening in Gaza. Chris Hedges writes that, while covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

I saw small boys baited and killed by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza refugee camp of Khan Younis. The soldiers swore at the boys in Arabic over the loudspeakers of their armored jeep. The boys, about 10 years old, then threw stones at an Israeli vehicle and the soldiers opened fire, killing some, wounding others. I was present more than once as Israeli troops drew out and shot Palestinian children in this way. Such incidents, in the Israeli lexicon, become children caught in crossfire. I was in Gaza when F-16 attack jets dropped 1,000-pound iron fragmentation bombs on overcrowded hovels in Gaza City. I saw the corpses of the victims, including children. This became a surgical strike on a bomb-making factory. I have watched Israel demolish homes and entire apartment blocks to create wide buffer zones between the Palestinians and the Israeli troops that ring Gaza. I have interviewed the destitute and homeless families, some camped out in crude shelters erected in the rubble. The destruction becomes the demolition of the homes of terrorists. I have stood in the remains of schools—Israel struck two United Nations schools in the last six days, causing at least 10 fatalities at one in Rafah on Sunday and at least 19 at one in the Jebaliya refugee camp Wednesday—as well as medical clinics and mosques. I have heard Israel claim that errant rockets or mortar fire from the Palestinians caused these and other deaths, or that the attacked spots were being used as arms depots or launching sites. I, along with every other reporter I know who has worked in Gaza, have never seen any evidence that Hamas uses civilians as “human shields.”

Truth is always the first casualty of war. And so it is in Gaza -- which exists in another world:

This is the world Franz Kafka envisioned, a world where the irrational becomes rational. It is one where, as Gustave Le Bon noted in “The Crowd: A Study of the Public Mind,” those who supply the masses with the illusions they crave become their master, and “whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.” This irrationality explains why the reaction of Israeli supporters to those who have the courage to speak the truth—Uri Avnery, Max Blumenthal, Noam Chomsky, Jonathan Cook, Norman Finkelstein, Amira Hass, Gideon Levy, Ilan Pappé, Henry Siegman and Philip Weiss—is so rabid. That so many of these voices are Jewish, and therefore have more credibility than non-Jews who are among Israel’s cheerleaders, only ratchets up the level of hate.  

Hate is at the root of what is happening in Gaza. And the Big Lie justifies hate. It turns history on its head; but it also destroys history:

As Hannah Arendt pointed out, the ancient and modern sophists sought to win an argument at the expense of the truth, those who wield the Big Lie “want a more lasting victory at the expense of reality.” The old sophists, she said, “destroyed the dignity of human thought.” Those who resort to the Big Lie “destroy the dignity of human action.” The result, Arendt warned, is that “history itself is destroyed, and its comprehensibility.” And when facts no longer matter, when there is no shared history grounded in the truth, when people foolishly believe their own lies, there can be no useful exchange of information. The Big Lie, used like a bludgeon by Israel, as perhaps it is designed to be, ultimately reduces all problems in the world to the brutish language of violence. And when oppressed people are addressed only through violence they will answer only through violence.

Martin Luther King suggested that the only legitimate response to force was "soul force." At the moment, there is precious little of that -- anywhere.


lorne said...

Owen, it really makes you wonder about humanity's future. doesn't it, when a nation that has so much collective suffering misery in its people's past has become the thing it despises.

Owen Gray said...

The Greeks believed that we could learn from tragedy, Lorne. Perhaps they got it wrong.

thwap said...

Lies told by monsters, believed by stupid people with misshapen psyches. Monsters themselves.

Owen Gray said...

And history repeats itself all over again, thwap.

Anonymous said...

It is said, the Israel government is fascist. They would have to be fascist if, Harper supports Israel. Harper is the ring leader of, Israels war on Palestine.

I have always been suspicious of Harper taking a planeload of his degenerates with him, when he visited Israel. Harper is supporting Israel, in their slaughter of the Palestinian children and the innocent. Those children are, merely collateral damage.

Harper even had the gall, for a support rally for Israel. Harper always has the gall to say, he speaks for all Canadians. I have news for Harper? Most Canadians despise Harper, even more now.

I read, the Common Wealth is going fascist as well. Canada, Australia and Britain. The UK harbors Harper's criminal degenerates. The U.S. can be thrown into the mix as well.

Netanyhu and Harper are, no different than Hitler. Will Israel force the people of Palestine, into ghetto's? Will Palestinian children, have tattoos on their arms too?

Six members of my family, served in WW2. One brother was 17 when he joined. Down the road in that war? My brother was given the duty of, burying concentration camp victims, with a bulldozer.

The family always had compassion for the Jewish people. I have lost my compassion for the Jewish people because of, Israel and Harper's slaughtering the Palestinian children and the innocents of Palestine.

Owen Gray said...

Remember, Anon, Netanyahu does not speak for all Jews. As Hedges makes clear, there are lots of Jews who have spoken out against the treatment of the Palestinians.

Anonymous said...

Excellent Owen, as always here.

Owen Gray said...

It really is ironic, Loving It, that it has come to this.