Another day, another call to Israeli war crimes

by Yaniv Reich on December 3, 2009

Israel is such a peace-loving nation that its citizens accept and digest a steady stream—possibly a daily one—of official and journalistic calls to war crimes and crimes against [Arab and Persian] humanity. Every single day we get news of the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, the continued colonization of the West Bank even under a farcical freeze, the wanton destruction of Gaza and the imprisonment and siege of its population, the military threats against Iran, and on and on ad nauseum.

The worst aspect of this impoverished morality, in my view, is the passive acceptance of advocacy for extraordinary violence against human beings. Today’s best example comes from the opinion pages of the Jerusalem Post, a widely-read English-language daily, where some know-nothing US graduate student calls for the systematic destruction of refugee camps “at any price”, as Sri Lanka so infamously did to the Tamil Tigers last May.

Just so the incident is clear in our minds, and therefore the Hart’s incitement to crimes against humanity is transparent, the Sri Lankan military absolutely demolished the Tamil refugee camps where hundreds of thousands of Tamils lived, and some Tamil armed groups operated. According to the UN’s conservative estimates, at least 7,000 innocent civilians were killed and another 13,000 wounded. According to a Times UK investigation, roughly 20,000 civilians were killed indiscriminately in the final Sri Lankan attacks on the refugee camps.

Hart explains his demented argument thus:

The time has come to admit that there might not be a solution to the Palestinian problem, but there is a way to end it. The next time terror forces Israel to take military action, this option should be considered. Israel must realize that there will be no peace with an intransigent enemy that refuses to act in good faith. Palestinian rejectionism and Iranian-backed Hizbullah threats to our existence will never be placated; they will not stop until Israel is destroyed. Once the population realizes this unfortunate reality, there is only one way to change it. Israel must take the Sri Lankan initiative and move into these areas one by one, cornering, enveloping and killing off all armed resistance.

This garbage passes as moral philosophy and policy prescription in “democracy’s outpost” in the Middle East. Nobody bats an eye. Its absolutely normal, well within the standard parameters of Israeli discussion on war and peace. The comments on this article are overwhelmingly supportive of this sickening idea—this literal call to crimes against humanity; my quick gloss-over suggests something like a a three-to-one ratio of support for this “penetrating” analysis.

Israel’s generals talk like this, Israel’s politicians talk like this, Israel’s journalists talk like this, Israel’s public talks like this, and all sanity is systematically eliminated from public discussion. In the end, all we have left of ethics and honor is nothing.

Nothing, too, is Israel/Palestine’s future if we don’t take greater responsibility for our political and moral thought.

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