The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Israeli Blitzkrieg

Fleeing refugees, including women and children, were cut down on a road adjacent to the Lebanese-Israeli border in an air strike as they left the village of Marwaheen. The bodies of several children, one headless, were sprawled on the ground.
- Sunday Independent

Anthony McIntyre • 23 July 2006

In recent days Left wing activists have distributed photos throughout the Internet. They were of Lebanese children, victims of Israeli terror attacks. They were meant to shock and they did. Infanticide bombers raining murder from the sky dilute the moral thrust of any Israeli condemnation of Palestinian suicide bombers who take the lives of Israeli civilians. Apart from the infanticide bombers escaping the destruction they wreak, in a way that the suicide bombers can never hope to, there is nothing in the actions of each that would ethically differentiate one from the other as they seek to destroy the children of a different nationality. Whatever contexts are manufactured to simultaneously legitimise one cause and undermine another, the legitimacy of a grievance does not travel unfiltered to the actions used to redress the same grievance. In societies that do not practice barbarism a range of ethical barriers spikes the grievance-to-action conductor. As the old liberal adage would have it, process alone justifies outcome.

There were also photos of Israeli children. Not those killed by Hezbollah rockets, but of children signing warheads destined to slaughter their young counterparts across the border in Lebanon. Inculcating children with murderous sentiment is hardly the hallmark of a civilised nation. Were SS soldiers to have allowed German children to autograph Zyklon B capsules before they were tossed into the gas chambers of Auschwitz, the bottomless pit that was the sum total of their inhumanity would, more than sixty years later, remain beyond out comprehension.

Those who circulated the photos of Israeli children signing warheads may have left themselves open to the accusation that their action was a subliminal attempt to interpellate recipients of the images into some warped ideological framework seeking to excuse the Hezbollah bombs that rain down on such children. The dispensers of the photographs could as easily have chosen those of dead and mutilated Israeli children who had as much right to live as Lebanese children. That those who govern them from Jerusalem are the primary aggressors in the current imbroglio does not diminish by one iota their rights not to be slaughtered by bombers of whatever hue.

But this is a propaganda war on top of whatever else it may be. Hearts and minds are the territory to be conquered. Although the selective eye of the image disseminators is evident by their choice of some dead children over others, it does not necessarily follow that they think Lebanese children alone are victims. Nor should it be presumed that they are indifferent to the fate of the equally innocent in Northern Israel. In their partisan way they are simply trying to mobilise opinion against those with their finger on the war button. And one-dimensional as their depiction of the suffering tends to be, they have correctly identified the hand from which that particular digit extends.

Israel is concerned about the impact of imagery depicting it as the aggressor. Alarmed that the truth about its brutal occupation of the Lebanon is reaching into the living rooms of millions across Europe, the Knesset is sending Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Perez off to bamboozle Europeans, to ask us all to shut up and remain silent while Lebanese children in cancer hospitals scream in pain for want of proper medication. At the very least, Perez should be told ad nauseam the message from the EU presidency: 'Actions which are contrary to international humanitarian law can only aggravate the vicious circle of violence and retribution.' And then photos of slaughtered children, Israeli as well as Lebanese, should be shoved in his face to let him know his government is the key protagonist in the war on children.

For there can be no escaping it. Israel's bellicose intent in the Middle East fuels a cycle of violence. When it slaughters Palestinian or Lebanese civilians it authors a situational logic which substantially increases the risk factor for its own population. As the Palestinian writer Marwan Bishara has observed, 'Israel's harsh responses to Palestinian militancy have generally increased, not reduced, the threat to Israelis.' He cites US academic Steve Niva who having monitored the cycle of violence from 2000, concludes that major Palestinian suicide bombings against Israeli civilians have been in retaliation for Israeli aggression. Such a situational logic in no way makes the killing of Israelis civilians justified, but it certainly makes them likely.

A humanitarian disaster looms if the Israeli Blitzkrieg of Lebanon is not halted in its tracks. Only 127 kilometres from Beirut, the children of Damascus must lie in bed at night wondering if the infanticide bombers, safe in the cockpits of their modern Messerschmitts, are coming for them.




































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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles

25 July 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Religious Rednecks of Doom
Dr John Coulter

Cut-Throat Politics
John Kennedy

A Poem About Our Children
Mary La Rosa

Israeli Blitzkrieg
Anthony McIntyre

When Leaders Serve Foreign Interests, Everyone Loses
Mazin Qumsiyeh

By Their Friends You Shall Know Them
Mick Hall

Mission Impossible
Anthony McIntyre

Lit Crit Well Writ
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Revisiting A Literary Genius
David Adams

'The Film That Shakes A Lot More Than the Barley'
Eamon Sweeney

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Conclusion
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Additional Information
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Letter of Thanks
Michael McKevitt

Pull the Other One
John Kennedy

Ex-Noraid Boss Still Gloomy on Peace Process
Jim Dee

An Honour to Have Been Part of the Blanket Protest
Anthony McIntyre

The Letters page has been updated.

19 July 2006

Dupe Process
Anthony McIntyre

Heatwave Won't Affect Cold Storage
Dr John Coulter

Hanson's Handouts
John Kennedy

Israeli State Terror
Anthony McIntyre

Judgement Day
John Kennedy

Israel, US and the New Orientalism
M. Shahid Alam

The Right, the Need to Resist
Mick Hall

An Invitation to My Neighborhood
Fred A Wilcox

Prison Fast

Death Brings Fr Faul
Anthony McIntyre

Risking the Death of Volunteers is Not the IRA Way
Brendan Hughes

Principles and Tactics
Liam O Ruairc

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Preliminary Hearings Cont'd.
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Rupert's Reward
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Rupert's Inconsistencies
Marcella Sands

Blast from the Past
John Kennedy

An Elegant End
Seaghán Ó Murchú

West Belfast - The Past, the Present and the Future
Davy Carlin



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