Amy Goodman, host of the radio/TV program "Democracy Now!" talks with Israelis opposed to their nation's invasion of Gaza in a post on Truthdig. Among those featured is Neve Gordon, chair of the department of politics and government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in southern Israel:
Speaking over the phone from Beersheba, Gordon said: “We just had a rocket about an hour ago not far from our house. My two children have been sleeping in a bomb shelter for the past week. And yet, I think what Israel is doing is outrageous. ... The problem is that most Israelis say Israel left the Gaza Strip three years ago and Hamas is still shooting rockets at us. They forget the details. The detail is that Israel maintains sovereignty. The detail is that the Palestinians live in a cage. The detail is that they don’t get basic foodstuff, that they don’t get electricity, that they don’t get water. And when you forget those kinds of details, all you say is, ‘Why are they still shooting at us?’ That’s what the media here has been pumping them with, then you think this war is rational. If you look at what’s been going on in the Gaza Strip in the past three years and you see what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians, you would think that the Palestinian resistance is rational. And that’s what’s missing in the mainstream media here.”
Gordon's comments cut through the bankrupt moral equivalency that blames both the oppressed and the oppressors in the same breath, even when the death toll on one side is 100 times that of the other (this was the essence of Barack Obama's comments on the war, when he finally broke his silence yesterday.) Back in the 1960s and 1970s, when the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa was growing and the white supremacist government criticized the African National Congress as "terrorists," some of used to say that the oppressor had no right to criticize the tactics of the oppressed. I would not go quite that far today, but you get the point.
Photo: Neve Gordon
Afterthoughts: Despite my criticisms of Obama's position, I do harbor some hopes that he will pursue a much more active campaign to bring peace to the Middle East once he is in office. Nothing could be worse than the hypocritical, one-sided statements of Bush and Rice, who have left the Palestinians to rot for 8 years while Israel turned Gaza into a prison, expanded settlements in the West Bank, and generally lived off the fat of a land that does not belong to it alone.
How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe. An article in the Guardian by Oxford professor of international relations, Avi Shlaim.
The greatest greatness of George W. Bush. In an eloquent and remarkable post on Truthout, William Rivers Pitt tells Bush, "May you live forever, you son of a bitch." Be sure to read Pitt's scathing commentary on Bush's legacy. Thanks to AG for alerting us to this.