Changing the Story in the Middle East
PALESTINE - ISRAEL, 26 Mar 2012
I’m sure that many have noted how successful Israel and its friends are at shifting the narrative. Palestinian statehood was made a non-issue by ignoring it in the media and concentrating instead on the largely fictitious threat being posed by Iran. Threats by Israel to attack Iran continue, to be sure, and have even increased in both volume and ferocity, but Israel is now creating a diversion in always useful Gaza. Israel has been staging airstrikes against Gaza and it is widely believed in the Israeli media that a new ground invasion is impending. The argument that Gaza is launching missiles into Israel is being trotted out anew, as it always is, but the homemade rockets have hardly had any impact whatsoever. Twenty-five Gazans have been killed in the Israeli response while no Israelis have either died or been seriously injured. So the conversation is not about what is happening with the Palestinians but rather about the terrible danger of rockets flying out from Gaza.
The purpose of the chaff being thrown around by Israel is to preclude any serious discussion of what is going on in the West Bank, where settlements continue to expand inexorably. It is difficult to understand how anyone can take Netanyahu and his government seriously as they more closely represent a criminal enterprise than a legitimate form of rule, but they nevertheless have been able to call the shots on how they are perceived in the west. Meanwhile Barack Obama seems to be running scared, afraid that Israel will do something truly idiotic vis-à-vis Iran that will upset his reelection plans. British Prime Minister David Cameron, meanwhile, is wakening up to the fact that a preemptive Israeli attack on Iran will unleash a wave of new terrorism in Western Europe that will come just in time for the London Olympics.
Perhaps it is time for people in general to wake up to the fact that what Israel does has consequences, for all of us. If Israel’s friends want a new war, fine, but they should be prepared to pay for it and send their children to fight it. I don’t detect much enthusiasm for war among the American people if the consequences are described in that fashion. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is not what America is all about but he is surely a symptom of the rich exploiting the disadvantaged and desperate to do things that they do not want to soil their hands with. Time to change that dynamic. If you want to kill Muslims, do it yourself.
Join the BDS-BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS campaign to protest the Israeli barbaric siege of Gaza, illegal occupation of the Palestine nation’s territory, the apartheid wall, its inhuman and degrading treatment of the Palestinian people, and the more than 7,000 Palestinian men, women, elderly and children arbitrarily locked up in Israeli prisons.
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