Friday, November 23, 2012

One Man's Terrorist is another's Freedom Fighter. . .

I was listening to News Radio 1010 in Toronto yesterday night and one of their many mindless, rightwing drones was rambling on about the situation in Gaza. As though the State of Israel dosen't have enough blind and ignorant support, this yahoo was lamenting that people aren't supportive enough of Israel's right to do anything it wants. He actually said this - "Imagine if Mexico were lobbing missils into El Paso! No one would question the right of the US to defend itself militarily would they?"

This is the kind of specious, misleading, and woefully incomplete comparison that is so aggravating about the conflict in the Middle East. It is just amazing, and entirely mystifying, to me that people are so wilfully ignorant and bigoted about this on-going tragedy. Of course people have the right to defend themselves. But why is it that so many people in North America seem to believe that the only people in the world who have no right to defend themselves are those who oppose Israel and US interestes??

For a complete picture, let me complete the comparison that the rightwing radio host so misleadingly left incomplete. Imagine that the US used its superior military might to systematically take over large parts of northern Mexico to build walled and gated communities for the exclusive use by US citizens. Let us imagine that the US took over much of Mexico's territory this way - in a slow process of illegal theft and that they pushed the rest of the Mexican population into smaller and smaller enclaves. Now lets imagine that what was left of Mexico was walled in and controlled with a debilitating embargo. Now let us say that the remaining Mexicans, living in appalling poverty and in what was de facto the largest prison in the world, had the gall to fight back by using the very limited and not systematically threatening use of out-dated missiles against the greatest military might in the world. Would we be saying "How dare those Mexican terrorists fight back from their enforced prison to assert their right to take back their own country!!" The very idea seems absurd but that is exactly what is going on in Palestine.

Most of the Palestinian land has now been taken over by daily acts of war by the hugely powerful Israeli State. These acts of war, in the form of illegal Israeli settlements, as well as the theft of Palestine's natural resources, have been going on for nearly two generations. It is the Palestinians who are defending themselves against a militaristic, expansionist state that seeks to take all the land and resources for themselves. This is not a religious issue, and the effort to portray it as one is simply a classic diversionary tactic. It is a political issue. It is the issue of one state with remarkable military might given to them by the worlds largest military power illegally taking the land of another people and then claiming that those people's effort to fight back is "terrorism" in an effort to further justify their expansionist efforts.

The map speaks for itself.


The UN agreement that created Israel promised a state for the Palestinian people. Instead of getting a state, what little land they have is being systematically stolen. The Palestinians are still waiting.


PS. I think an interesting contemporary post-script to this story is the recent remake of the terrible 80s movie Red Dawn. In that story a group of American youth organize a military effort to fight back against a foreign invasion. Apparently Americans civilians who take up arms against foreign invasion are heroes but anyone from any other country that does the same is a terrorist. In the Red Dawn story teenagers actually kill foreign soldiers. But when Omar Khadr did the same thing he wasn't a hero but a terrorist. What's good for the goose is, apparently, not good for the gander.


9 comments:

doconnor said...

"Imagine that the US used its superior military might to systematically take over large parts of northern Mexico to build walled and gated communities for the exclusive use by US citizens."

Actually they have, but they used their superior financial might, which makes it okay.

kirbycairo said...

Ha, Very good point doconnor.

Steve W said...

Have you heard

this man
speak? His book is unsurprisingly unavailable at Heather Reisman's Chapters/Indigo, but you can get it at Amazon.

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the clip. As Peled says, the right of return cuts two ways.

kirbycairo said...

Thanks Steve - I added the video to the post.

LeDaro said...

Great post and excellent analysis. Palestinian slaughter by Israelis continues. All Western countries say is that ' Israel has the right to defend itself' as if it is oppressed Gaza. Sad!

Anonymous said...

Palestinian actions are a legitimate reaction to Israeli occupation.

Of course, Israeli occupation is a reaction to multiple invasions by its neighbours/enemies.

But those invasions were the result of that UN agreement foisted upon the Palestinians, in spite of unanimous objections by Arab states.

Of course, these Arab states owe their existence (in their modern, post-WWI form) to the same big powers that run the UN.

In a sense, the Serbian terrorist group the Black Hand is responsible for the current 'troubles' in Gaza.

kirbycairo said...

Peled blows apart the myth that Israel has ever been the victim of invasions by neighbouring states.

LeDaro said...

Correction!

Great post and excellent analysis. Palestinian slaughter by Israelis continues. All Western countries say is that ' Israel has the right to defend itself' as if it is oppressed BY Gaza. Sad!

Sorry I left 'by' out.