Thursday, January 15, 2009

The deliberate killing of civilians. And the American journalists who applaud it.

It's a theme I've detected in recent weeks amongst some of Israel's most fervent supporters; the need to portray civilian deaths in Gaza as not only acceptable, but actually desirable.

It started when Michael Goldfarb almost applauded the fact that Israel had killed a Hamas leader, especially because they had also killed his entire family along with him:

He stated:

The fight against Islamic radicals always seems to come around to whether or not they can, in fact, be deterred, because it's not clear that they are rational, at least not like us. But to wipe out a man's entire family, it's hard to imagine that doesn't give his colleagues at least a moment's pause. Perhaps it will make the leadership of Hamas rethink the wisdom of sparking an open confrontation with Israel under the current conditions.
That was an astonishing and utterly shocking claim. That the killing of an enemies family might actually "teach a lesson".

Even the Mafia considered families out of bounds. But here we have supporters of Israel actually hoping that, by killing family members, Hamas might learn a vital lesson.

But in today's New York Times Tom Friedman actually states that Israel has been engaged in the policy of killing civilians since the recent Lebanon war. And it doesn't bother him at all, in fact, he applauds it:
Israel’s counterstrategy was to use its Air Force to pummel Hezbollah and, while not directly targeting the Lebanese civilians with whom Hezbollah was intertwined, to inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. It was not pretty, but it was logical. Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians — the families and employers of the militants — to restrain Hezbollah in the future.
Now these are merely Israeli supporters - and there is no indication from the Israeli government that they share these views - but can one imagine a clearer way to support war crimes than to call for, and applaud, the killing of civilians?

The very thing which defines terrorism is the fact that the attacks are on the civilian population rather than on a country's armed forces. And now we find both Friedman and Goldfarb celebrating the fact that Israel is, in fact, killing civilians.

The only thing one can say about this is that it is disgusting and utterly without morality.

And yet that is where some of Israel's most fervent supporters currently find themselves. Applauding and encouraging war crimes.

Hat tip to Glenn Greenwald.


Ingrid said... be able to say that and get away with IS immoral and just shocking..
we do have our work cut out for us to change that discourse because it is deeply embedded.."what Israel does is needed, Palestinians are not worthy"..


Kel said...

It is immoral and shocking. I am amazed that there is anyone who can even make the argument that civilians should be attacked. Such people are beneath contempt.