War Rationalisations Deconstructed
Well, gentle reader Dragunov was kind enough to present his arguments to my 1 Shot 2 Kills post in bullet form. Since he covered a lot of typical war justifier’s arguments, I thought it might be fun to have a look a them. It was also kind of annoying to be lectured to, do people over 13 really think that spouting a bunch of slogans and truisms in bullet form constitutes an argument? Apparently. So, with no further ado, Dragunov’s comments and my replies:
1. Israels neighbors have constantly tried to wipe them from the face of the earth
Really? The last time any of Israel’s neighbours attacked them was 1973, nearly forty years ago. And the goal was to recover the territory Israel seized in 1967, not “wipe them off the face of the Earth.” Since then Israel has been at peace with Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Granted they aren’t on the best terms with Syria, but Syria is no threat to Israel. How forty years of peace with Israel’s neighbours translates into “Israels neighbors have constantly tried to wipe them from the face of the earth” is beyond a stretch, it’s ridiculous. (It also ignores the fact that Israel has been the military master of the Middle East since 1948, and that it is Israel that has the ability to wipe its neighbours off the face of the Earth, not vice versa.)
2. hamas fires rockets into cities trying to kill as many people as they can
Well, an Israeli voice can best answer this claim: The Truth About Those Hamas rockets.
3. the Arab countries will never accept Israel sovereignty or right to exist
On the contrary, the Arab peace initiative has clearly spelled out the Arab nations’ willingness to recognize Israel.
4. and yes the idf has killed civilians mostly because they enemies hide among the civilian population or because well the soldiers are fucking tired of having they cities and loved ones attacked so they take they anger out on a civilian but even this is rare where as the hamas purposely targets civilians
And Hamas should line up in the open so that the IDF can gun them down? Hamas has attacked Israeli military targets whenever they could. And by the way, when Israel’s leaders issue orders that they know are going to result in large Palestinian civilian death tolls … they are deliberately killing civilians. This whole “they use women and children as human shields” will be addressed in more depth in a future post, it’s a stunningly racist argument.
5. israel has every right to defend themselves against any foe
Waging war on the occupied territories or Israel’s neighbours is not “defending themselves,” it’s waging war on their occupied territories and neighbours. Again, the last time Israel was attacked was 1973. And no one is claiming Israel doesn’t have the right to defend itself anyhow.
6. radical Islam and other Arabic fractions have always been at war with someone take the crusades for explam this was to fight back the aggressive radical Islamic army that was trying to conquer the world
Right, then why is it that Christian armies are crusading in and occupying Muslim lands … but not vice versa? By the way, the Christians DID conquer the world, and a lot more recently than the Islamic conquests. In any event trying to judge current events by pulling up stuff from more than a thousand years ago is beyond silly, and claiming the Muslims are inherently violent and are trying to conquer the world is both racist and at odds with the facts.
7. Israel has given up the Gaza strip to try and stop the fighting but no hamas was relentless with the rocket attacks
Well, Hamas called off the rocket attacks for over six months after they negotiated a settlement with Israel. Israel violated the agreement repeatedly and then resumed attacks, only then did Hamas resume rocket attacks. And no, Israel didn’t “give up” the Gaza strip, they simply pulled out their illegal (and indefensible) settlements. They control all traffic in and out of the Gaza strip including the airspace above it, basically Israel converted Gaza into a giant open air prison. Legally the Gaza strip is still Israeli occupied territory.
I don’t know what else to say. (That’s a figure of speech by the way.) I still find it amazing that people to this day are trying to claim that Israel is this tiny country beset by ferocious enemies, and that endless violence is their only “defence.” The reality is that Israel’s neighbours and the Palestinians in the occupied territories have vastly more to fear than Israel does, and the wildly disproportionate death toll of the last few decades bears that out. Israel has the world’ fourth largest military, is the undisputed military master of the Middle East, and is the only nuclear armed country in the Middle East.
Lastly, it is stunning how none of the people who justify Israel’s endless violence will even begin to acknowledge that Israel is the one that has chosen to keep the occupied territories in stateless limbo for decades, slowly stealing the Palestinians’ land by building illegal settlements and walls … all the while refusing to negotiate with anyone but the Palestinians Israel designates. It’s Israel that holds all the cards in the Middle East, any time they wanted they could annex the occupied territories and grant the Palestinians Israeli citizenship, or they could allow the Palestinians to declare an independent state. Either would be a fair and just resolution to this situation, and in either case it would give Israel back the moral high ground they surrendered decades ago. So why the hell has Israel refused to do so? Why has Israel chosen endless violence for decades while keeping the Palestinians trapped under conditions that made South Africa’s apartheid state look benign in comparison?
These are good questions, but I’ve yet to see any Israeli war justifier even address them, aside from endlessly repeating “it’s all the Palestinians’ fault.” Talk about blaming the victim. Fortunately I have some answers to these questions, and I will cover them in a future post. Israeli war justifiers aren’t going to like my answers though.
Until then, God save the souls of all the innocents in Israel and the occupied territories who have died in the last century. Peace out.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, it’s central to illustrating the post, and its use here in no way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. Credit and Copyright: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images. It’s an Isreali bomb exploding in Gaza city. I chose it because it’s a dramatic image, and because that one bomb contains more high explosive than an entire month of Hamas rocket fire. If Israel’s latest attack on Gaza isn’t a disproportionate response, I don’t know what is.)