Totalitarian diets and other corrupted ethics

by Yaniv Reich on January 5, 2011

Elsewhere, I have argued that Israel’s policy of siege against the people of Gaza brings up all-too-familiar, yet still wretchedly uncomfortable, connotations for anyone familiar with Nazi practices toward those they imprisoned in ghettos and concentration camps. Since then, of course, even more dramatic evidence of Israeli planning over the caloric consumption and development of Gaza’s 1.5 million human beings.

Today, Wikileaks provides us with still more insight into Israeli attitudes toward their incarcerated colonial subjects. According to newly released cables,

“As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to (U.S. embassy economic officers) on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge.”

What a strange conception of not being pushed “over the edge” is. Is the destruction of tens of thousands of homes, schools, clinics, and agricultural fields consistent even with this already horrifying plan of keeping Gaza on the brink of collapse? One wonders how many houses Israeli army planners believe Gazan people need in order to not be “over the edge”. How many Gazans under one roof constitutes “over the edge”? This is absolutely sickening.

How in the world did we go from Holocaust survivors to sadistic ghetto wardens in two generations? How can anyone justify deliberately holding 1.5 million people in state of perpetual near-collapse?

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1 Clif Brown January 10, 2011 at 2:06 am

Your question “How did we go from…” is one that has had me scratching my head as well. I believe, from observation of someone whose older relatives died in the Holocaust, that the transformation can be attributed primarily to two things.

> the feeling that Jews went like sheep in the Holocaust is compensated for by the knowledge that now Jews (in Israel) are tough as nails, ready and able to deal out violence, almost at the drop of a hat. During Cast Lead, I saw a video of an orthodox Jew in NYC dancing and shouting “Jews kick butt!”. I’ve also heard pride from a person speaking of the fact that “every Israeli has to know how to fight and they think nothing of carrying arms everywhere”. If I’m right about this, it really doesn’t matter who is the victim of the violence because it is the exercise of power and might that is the only thing that counts. In other words, to the perpetrator of violence/oppression, it’s how this violence/oppression liberates him in his own mind, not the person subject to his action; a raging lion can be called many things, but not a sheep.

> my second hunch is that there is transference. It’s impossible to get at the Nazis who conducted the Holocaust. There were some trials, a few executions and prison terms but no “real” punishment of Nazism, no retribution by fire and sword in any proportion to the magnitude of the Holocaust. So, again, some other people will have to serve to be punished instead. The Palestinians are right at hand so they fill the bill.

I call this my “antidote to the past” theory, my attempt to understand the blaming of the victim by an entire national population.

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