Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Who Will Save Israel From Itself?

Nearly 1000 Gazans are dead. Hundreds of them are women and children. The world is watching this one. Al Jazeera is posting footage from the assault on Gaza. Here is the latest from January 13th:

In an article posted yesterday on Huffington Post, Mark Levine writes:

None of this excuses or legitimizes the firing of rockets or mortars by any Palestinian groups at Israeli civilians and non-military targets. As UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk declared in his most recent statement on Gaza, "It should be pointed out unambiguously that there is no legal (or moral) justification for firing rockets at civilian targets, and that such behavior is a violation of IHR, associated with the right to life, as well as constitutes a war crime." But by the same logic, Israel does not have the right to use such attacks to launch an all-out assault on the entire population of Gaza.

In this context, even Israel's suffering from the constant barrage of rockets is hard to pay due attention to when the numbers of dead and wounded on each side are counted -- almost 700 Palestinian dead and thousands wounded, versus 3 dead Israelis civilians and a few dozen wounded since December 27. Any sense of proportion is impossible to sustain with such a calculus.

Israeli commentators and scholars, self-described "loyal" Zionists who served proudly in the army in wars past, are now publicly describing their country (in the words of Oxford University Professor Avi Shlaim) as a "rogue" and gangster" state led by "completely unscrupulous leaders." Ben Gurion University Professor Neve Gordon declares that Israel's actions in Gaza are like "raising animals for slaughter on a farm" and represent a "bizarre new moral element" in warfare .

"The moral voice of restraint has been left behind... Everything is permitted" against Palestinians, writes a disgusted Haaretz Columnist, Gideon Levy. Fellow Haaretz columnist and daughter of Holocaust survivors Amira Haas writes of her late parents disgust at how Israeli leaders justified Israel's wars with a "language laundromat" aimed at redefining reality and Israel's moral compass ("Lucky my parents aren't alive to see this," she exclaimed). A few pages away there is a report of paramedics finding another seventy Palestinian corpses.

Meanwhile, the big news in the United States is that a college student is auctioning her virginity on ebay.

Hi ho.

So it goes.