"We need more detailed, researched, factual pieces which allow persons to formulate educated opinions and with effort and thoughtful discussion, more solutions. What isn’t needed is more incitement to anger." - Rayne (comment # 6 in this post).
If anybody takes Rayne's advice, and researches the Israel/Palestine conflict for at least two days, anger at Israel for its continual obstruction of the peace process, war crimes, and daily humiliation/occupation of 1.5 million people who live in a tiny strip of land is the normal, and correct response. An educated opinion about the conflict naturally leads one to be angry at Israel, otherwise, it's not an educated opinion.
Israel's three year blockade of Gaza underwent a change in July after the Freedom Flotilla massacre provoked international public outcry against the blockade. A cruel form of collective punishment, it forced innocent Palestinians to suffer through life without sufficient supplies of food, water, clothing, building supplies, and teaching material. Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, called the blockade a "flagrant and massive violation of international humanitarian law."
Israel's clever propaganda techniques masks its totalitarianism. It's harsh rulers, who are investing the country's fate in the powers of darkness and deception, reassure the world that Israel is the classical embodiment of the victim while it kills like a self-righteous king. In January, Israeli journalist Gideon Levy suggested that Israel go under psychiatric observation. It wasn't exactly a serious idea, but that didn't make it any less good. Sometimes it's the unserious ideas that make a difference in a person, or a country's life. Levy:
There are numerous reasons for the observation. A long series of acts that have no rational explanation, or really any explanation whatsoever, raise the following suspicions: a loss of touch with reality; temporary or permanent insanity, paranoia, schizophrenia and megalomania; memory loss and loss of judgment. All of this must be examined, under careful observation.
A society that can't self-correct itself is destined to destroy itself. And anybody who is a friend of humanity, and an admirer of the Jewish tradition, does not want to see the destruction of Israel, whether it comes at its own hands, or the hands of others. Breaking the silence about Israel's heartless violence towards Palestinians is necessary to create a true discussion about peace in the Middle East. We shouldn't speak in code, or mask our emotions about the most important issue of our era. Palestine is the real ground zero in the manufactured "War on Terrorism," - not the site of the destroyed twin towers, (plus building seven). And that's not to downplay the death of nearly 3,000 Americans on that day, or ignore the lasting pain that their families are in, but we must keep in mind that the state terrorism that Palestinians have experienced for decades has no comparison in the modern world. What Albert Camus said of Spain in 1948, that "For the first time men of my age came face to face with injustice triumphing in history," is true of Palestine today, where injustice and inhumanity has triumphed in the face of international silence.
In the past nine years, the "War on Terrorism" has been used to justify the ongoing destruction of Gaza by Israel, and the permanent occupation of Palestinians. During the same time, criticism of Israel has accelerated, due in part to Israel's own criminal aggression against its neighbours, but also because outspoken moral leaders like the late Tony Judt and Edward Said, Norman Finkelstein, Ilan Pappé, Richard Falk, Noam Chomsky, and Richard Goldstone have made it easier for others to be more critical of Israel.
I hope such scholarly criticism grows, and more influential leaders speak up. It is crucial, however, that we make sure criticism of Israel's actions doesn't turn into hatred for Israel, and its people. An entire people cannot be blamed for the actions of their leaders, not in Palestine, not in Israel, and not in America. As George Orwell wrote in his essay "AntiSemitism In Britain":
It seems to me a safe assumption that the disease loosely called nationalism is now almost universal. Antisemitism is only one manifestation of nationalism, and not everyone will have the disease in that particular form. A Jew, for example, would not be antisemitic: but then many Zionist Jews seem to me to be merely antisemites turned upside-down, just as many Indians and Negroes display the normal colour prejudices in an inverted form. The point is that something, some psychological vitamin, is lacking in modern civilisation, and as a result we are all more or less subject to this lunacy of believing that whole races or nations are mysteriously good or mysteriously evil.
I hold Israel's leaders responsible for Israel's crimes, not its people. The Israeli people are perpetually deceived about the need for security, and don't know of the role that their leaders play in the breakdown of peace negotiations. They are conditioned day and night to be afraid, and nervous about their future. And it is all unnecessary. This truth needs to be stated more often in the discussion about Israel/Palestine. Minds that are under siege by the state can be made to support any act of state criminality.
The same phenomenon that is happening in Israel is also happening in America, and the West, where propaganda about the unending crisis of terrorism is allowing the government to do anything it wants. That is why a new 9/11 investigation is so critical for peace. If the full truth is known, then the veil of the secret National Security State will be lifted, and the "crisis of terrorism" will be understood by all the people for what it truly is: a false threat used to hijack the liberties of countries, and misled people into supporting illegal wars, and state aggression. Also, let's not forget that Israel's Mossad gave birth to Hamas. Hassane Zerouky:
Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Islamist movement in Palestine, returning from Cairo in the seventies, established an Islamic charity association. Prime Minister Golda Meir, saw this as a an opportunity to counterbalance the rise of Arafat’s Fatah movement. According to the Israeli weekly Koteret Rashit (October 1987), "The Islamic associations as well as the university had been supported and encouraged by the Israeli military authority" in charge of the (civilian) administration of the West Bank and Gaza. "They [the Islamic associations and the university] were authorized to receive money payments from abroad."
Richard Sale, United Press International's terrorism correspondent, wrote an article called "Hamas History Tied to Israel" in 2002. An excerpt:
Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years.
Israel "aided Hamas directly -- the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization)," said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies.
Israel's support for Hamas "was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative," said a former senior CIA official.
Understanding how the roots of terrorism are connected to state policy, whether in Israel or in America and Britain, will help us to move away from the mindset that we are facing terrorist threats, and allow us to map out a realizable peace in the Middle East for all peoples and nations. By identifying the American, Israeli, and British states and their intelligence agencies as the main culprits in the crisis of international terrorism, we will also be able to articulate our anger at the right people. And we have a right to be angry.
Anger is a healthy emotion, it should not be suppressed. It should be incited, because without anger, reform is not possible.
Read what Aristotle said about anger:
For those who are not angry at the things they should be angry at are thought to be fools, and so are those who are not angry in the right way, at the right time, or with the right persons; for such a man is thought not to feel things nor to be pained by them, and, since he does not get angry, he is thought unlikely to defend himself; and to endure being insulted and put up with insult to one's friends is slavish.
We must be angry at American, Israeli, British, Canadian, and overall Western leadership. It is a tragedy that we have tolerated their repeated failure in the handling of Israel/Palestine for this long. We can't be silent about anything, not 9/11, and not Palestine. It is an act of resistance to speak up, and express our anger, and we must do so every single day until we don't have to anymore.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King Jr.