Israeli chutzpah is always amusing if not absolutely puzzling. Take this latest Israeli reaction to what took place recently in France and France’s reaction when European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton speaking at a conference on Palestinian refugees in Brussels on Monday, hours after the attack in Toulouse, France where 4 French Jews were killed, said this:
….The Belgian children having lost their lives in a terrible tragedy, and when we think of what happened in Toulouse today, when we remember what happened in Norway a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when we see what is happening in Gaza and in different parts of the world — we remember young people and children who lose their lives.
…which apparently drove the Israeli Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu to the limits of hyperbole
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier that he was “infuriated” by what he called “the comparison between a deliberate massacre of children and the defensive, surgical actions” of the Israeli military that he said were “intended to hit terrorists who use children as a human shield.”
I guess he forgot his own history in regards to human shields.But what’s even more appalling is the inability of Netanyahu to empathize with even the children of Gazan who he has had a hand in slaughtering or imprisoning.
A new, important yet disturbing report published on Tuesday by Defence for Children International – Palestine section has found that Israel’s routine arrests, detentions, interrogations, abuses and torture of Palestinian children are in breach of various UN and international laws, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention against Torture, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all of which have been ratified by Israel.
This is strangely reminiscent of America’s disregard for the conventions against torture that it signed and then reneged on during the Iraq war. Despite Netanyahu’s protestations in some ways he is correct. There is no moral equivalence between the act of a single gunman and the wholesale slaughter of civilians by a military equipped with some of the most lethal weapons known to mankind. In fact, what the Israeli military has done in the name of wiping out terrorism is to institute terror on innocents on a scale unparalleled in modern warfare. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel; imprisoning a population within well defined borders, not letting anything in or out except at the discretion of the Israeli government, the penalty for any transgression no matter how small or well intended being death and unleashing a military juggernaut against such a population whenever the national angst calls for it is no less than a crime against humanity…..all of humanity, which pales in comparison to the shooting deaths of four people by a madman on the streets that the victims felt comfortable traveling. The citizens of Gaza have no such reassurance of safety on their streets. Netanyahu is spared these images or ignores them; you shouldn’t be.But let’s just assume for the sake of argument that Netanyahu is correct and there is no comparison between what happened in France and what is happening on a regular basis in Gaza and the West Bank (The latest Israeli strike has killed at least 23 people, some of them the children that Netanyahu scoffs at the mention of killing.) and that his cause is a noble one, ridding his country and the world of terrorists, then such logic must be extended to an insane gunman, Muhammad Merah who it is claimed acted in defense of those very Palestinian children killed by Netanyahu and ignored by the rest of the world. Merah claims he was acting out of a sense of justice for those innocents killed by Israel. Acting without drones, satellite tracking or special weapons and tactics, Merah sought to bring to justice those people he felt were responsible for murdering Palestinians children in much the same way Netanyahu slaughters people in the name of his justice. The difference is the acceptance of the doctrine that Palestinians are terrorists and Jews are victims of their terror. Merah’s rational, in that context, will never be acceptable to a free thinking populace. The fact that Netanyahu’s explanation is accepted means that in many ways we, especially those of us in the West, are NOT free to form an opinion vis-a-vis Israel’s abuse of human rights due to the lack of information and/or the slant and way it is given us…offering us no chance to form an unbiased opinion of it. That perhaps is the biggest crime of all.