I appear to be blocked from the Israeli embassy Facebook page. Wonder why? Because I don't recall ever writing on the page. A decidedly pointless pursuit. With Ambassador Boaz and his Madame Ngu-like missus, it would be liked peddling pacifism at Nuremburg.
So I must have come to their attention otherwise. Perhaps it is because I am a signatory to the IPSC boycott list.
(They were the first to approach me as an "artist." I have to admit I was flattered by their good taste. Finally recognised as a poet. Had it been the Hare Krishnas, I'd be shouting Vishnu to you)
But seriously, it was either that, or perhaps some of my other writings on Israel highlighting its policy of politicide and its subverting all prospects of peace, in the Village magazine or on my blog.
This brings me to my point of this rant cos some have asked why Israel? Why the attention on Israel? It’s a fashionable question. And I read recently an opinion piece that talked of the 'unjust' focus on Israel. The issue also seems to have become one of the talking points of Israeli apologists.
Why not Syria? Why not ISIS? Why not Sudan?
Well, at least we are making some progress here. Because these sound like ‘against the ropes’ counter-punches. These now underline the validity of seeing Israel, in the same light, as these other backward, racist, fundamentalist or pariah states. Yes, it's a sign that the “oasis of democracy in a sandstorm of savagery” argument is getting threadbare. Israel struggles to keep peddling that myth in the face of social media erosion. And it directly targets - like the Yanks did before them - significant media outfits like Al Jazeera, who dare to propose a counter narrative. Although an increasingly draconian state, Tel Aviv does not directly target the Western press per se. Sure, it won't cry over the odd dead correspondent. But despite growing increasinly hostile to all deemed “left” or “liberal” – that supposedly includes the press- Israel doesn’t go beheading Western reporters on sight.
So yes, there is no doubt that we get more news out of Gaza than we do out of Mosul. Apparently there were no US correspondents in Iraq when ISIS launched their barbaric blitzkrieg. The press corps was subsequently rushed from Turkey into Kurdistan to give us some datelines. And any Baghdad-based stringers were quickly in demand. But even counting the ISIS upsurge, there is much more reporting out of Israel/Palestine than out of Syria/Iraq. And greater coverage means greater engagement and therefore greater public interest. Social media has played a novel role here too. Social media played a pioneering role in the last Gaza conflict but this time round it has gone mainstream. Social media usage has grown to the point that it has amplified the engagement and given it profound depth. Here's Paul Mason on the subject: Social networks change our perception of war. I’ve written about this before, but seeing both journalists and Gaza citizens at work on Twitter and Facebook, spreading real-time, verifiable imagery of arbitrary killing of civilians has, most probably, been as big a shock to the global audience as, say, movie pictures of the trenches were in the first world war, and the first anti-war novels of the early 1920s. Many people say they can “feel” what it must be like: this is a big change from Iraq, where we saw the war through the nose-cameras of missiles, or satellite imagery from Centcom, or the occasional live-feed from the top of a hotel on 24-hour TV”. Before we raise a toast to Twitter, this novel conveyance of emotional intelligence can lead to ugly implication. Mason argues: "Genocidal thoughts are spreading on both sides. I’ve heard secular, modern Palestinians in the Arab nationalist tradition, previously wedded to the two-state solution, say “after this we can’t live on the same planet”. Likewise, in the Israeli media, parliament and Twittersphere, the rhetoric of ethnic cleansing, “camps” and anti-Arab racism is rife” - See more at: http://blogs.channel4.com/paul-mason-blog/gaza-prove-gamechanging-event/2118#sthash.pNJMa1sg.dpuf
Israeli apologists argue that the percentage of negative coverage Israel receives is unjust and some further suggest that it reflects growing anti-Semitism in Europe. But whatever about Europe I believe there is a far more pertinent issue at play here. It is certainly the one that motivates me. ISIS don't have an ambassador and his wife down in Ballsbridge who personify and represent of the issue. And the issue is the racist consequences of Jewish supremacy and Zionist ethnic cleansing.
Here we have a pair of malicious bigots who argue that Israel is fighting for "us" against "them'. In doing so they have become a global laughing stock - although that term minimises their sinister role. They are also a source of shame and concern to that dwindling, endangered tribe: the Israeli left.
Using racist stereotypes, the like of which they themselves complain so vociferously about, the embassy tell us that were it not for Israel, Ireland and Europe would be overrun by Jihadi hordes.
(Strange that they are concerned about us as Mrs. Bodai recently referred to the Irish as “anti-Semitic heathen hordes”.)
It is staggering, however, to think that this locker room racism and barracks bigotry is coming from a diplomatic mission.
But sadly violent racist rhetoric is often be heard amongst the mainstream. Calls to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages or kicking the population out can heard from mainstream members of today’s Knesset.
It is no wonder that there is a petition going around trying to put pressure
on Enda Kenny to throw Boaz Modai and his Madame Ngu ot.
Sadly we have yet to follow the recent impressive example
Thankfully ISIS does not have diplomatic representation here.
Thankfully once again, my government is not complicit in ISIS atrocity the way it is with Israeli politicide. ISIS does not sit alongside us in the UN pretending to be a civilised nation.
Only when we start viewing Israel as a dangerous rogue nation the way we see Syria and Iraq, can things start to change. Cut off diplomatic relations with the State of Israel, then things can change. Until then Israel deserves our attention. Because it has pulled off one of the best con jobs modern history has seen. And, as we can see from the now infamous Dr. Luntz's manual, it is still pretty effective at peddling the con.
Although, the 'why us not Syria' line shows the cracks in the con job. That's the last line of defence before admitting the game is up. Israel has a far more evolved public relations machine. It knows it is not good PR to go around beheading people in public. And when it does shoot innocent people then finish them off with sniper fire as they lie dying in rubble, they don't promulgate YouTube clips. Thankfully there are other brave people bearing witness. Israel knows that Dresden is more acceptable than Belsen. Drone more acceptable than ISIS sword. When it comes to genocide it seems we deem proximity to be the greater evil. Pondering the difference between the Nazis camp and the Allied firebombing, the great Lenny Bruce said, "the Nazis watched." Whether ISIS sword or Israeli drone, the end result is the same for the victims of differing ethnicity.
Israel must be stopped before it achieves its objective of bombing the Palestinians into an ISIS state of mind. It is a testament to the Palestinians sophistication as a culture that this has not yet happened. But in the despicable prison lab that is Gaza, in a brutalised world without the semblance of hope, in a world of humiliation and constant daily indignity, frightening psychological mutations can happen.
Israel wants/needs vicious jihadi hordes to justify its barbaric repression. Israel panics at the sight of moderation. That is why Israel originally supported Hamas. And that is why - given the recent Hamas- Fatah reconciliation - we are currently witnessing the IDF slaughtering its way through Gaza.
Israel prefers a bellicose status quo to land yielding peace.
Israel has never ever wanted to give up land.
The Gaza 'withdrawal' was a mere cosmetic move where Israel changed its role from repressive occupier to brutal prison guard.
The IDF moved from one side of a wall to another. Locking “in” instead of locking “down”.
Israel strives to repeat what it has done with its own state, that is, to create sufficient “fact” on the ground that it becomes indisputable. If a couple of million Palestinians are in the way, so what.
They have a choice, it says.
Submit, leave or die.
This is why Israel sees itself as innocent of the crime of genocide: the Palestinians don't face certain death if they submit or if they leave.
Furthermore, Israel is at pains to point out that Palestinians live 'freely' within the State of Israel itself and even can participate in the body politic.
Yes they can live as second-class citizens in increasingly intolerant racist society. And their political leaders often stand accused of 'treason' for representing their voters.
Israel has come up with a more “telegenic - as Benny would say -” form of genocide and that's politicide - the attack on all constructs that bring people together as a nation, that give people identity, pride and hope.
Under the cover of endless peace talks, it steadfastly pursues this objective. An objective that clearly explains attacks on schools, hospitals, power plants and universities.
Why do I agitate about Israel? Because the west is complicit.
America enables the whole brutal show. And Europe acquiesces.
America could call a halt to this whole quasi-genocidal show. But it has neither the courage nor the moral integrity to do so. But that can change. The political parties may seem paralysed but the people's view is changing. The change was well heralded by Pulitzer Prize winning Middle East reporter, the late Richard Ben Kramer in his 2005 prophetic best seller How Israel Lost. Change may be tragically slow but it is happening and more is possible. Writing in Dublin Ireland, there is very little one can do to combat the threat of ISIS. But Israel is different. Political support, or the lack thereof, matters to Israel. So it makes sense to create political pressure. Highlighting the issue informs people and makes them more likely to lobby. Look at how Latin American countries are taking a strong stance on Israel. The boycott of South Africa took time for it to be universaly accepted.
And finally Israel, as the Dr. Luntz manual reminds us, is fighting an information war. It used to be very good at peddling the con. But the more it is exposed, the cruder it gets. A rabid intolerance of opposition and dissidence, is the hallmark of intolerant fundamentalists. It is important to fight Israeli propaganda. And personally I enjoy doing so.
Then there is a good selfish reason for the focus on Israel: I don't want to be a victim of an act of 'revenge' by some despair-driven zealot who sees the West as instrumental in the murderous oppression of his people.
I’s sooner see a solution.
So it makes sense to get the world to see some sense.
(And don't even try the cheap bullying trick of shouting anti-Semitism)