Jerusalem (AFP) – Under a photo of a glowering Benjamin Netanyahu, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday vowed harsh retribution against Hamas, the Islamist rulers of Gaza, after a mortar round fired from the Palestinian territory killed an Israeli child.
Stop and think about that for a moment. A mortar round fired from Gaza killed an Israeli child. Frightful to think about whatever the setting. No child deserves to die like that. Now turn the scene around. The glowering face belongs to the Prime Minister of Israel, who has ordered the killing of hundreds of children living in Gaza. Beyond that, he is also behind the killing of children in the occupied West Bank. Does he express any remorse when this occurs? He does not. But when an Israeli child is killed, he emits a roar of outrage, and a snarl of contempt.
In most any other setting, this point of view is condemned as blatant, malignant racism. In Western political circles, it is considered “self-defense” when Mr. Netanyahu engages in it. Where racism is concerned, the “other side” has to right to defend itself. When the face of Benjamin Netanyahu appears on stage and screen, politicians and others nod and look away.
I am not looking away. Are you? In domestic, relationships, abusive spouses view and treat their partners the way Benjamin Netanyahu and the Jewish State of Israel treats Palestinians and their children. There used to be a time in my country when people shrugged whenever an abusive husband beat up his wife and children. In most places now, physical abuse are illegal. Where Israeli politics are concerned, American, British and French politicians shrug and look the other way.
Look at it again: On one side, hundreds of children killed and wounded. On the other side, one child is killed. I think Mr. Netanyahu has just put his foot in his mouth, revealing to everyone what he stands for. I hope the politicians in Washington are watching and listening. But I’m not holding my breath.
As you know I agree with you wholeheartedly. The gutless way that the US and Europe look on while Israel mistreats its Palestinian largely vote-less citizens, without, other countries, using the word “Apartheid” to describe their conduct is part of the sickening hypocrisy and dissembling which has allowed this crisis to attain the proportions it has. Netanyahu calls for “Calm with Calm” but, to my knowledge calm and gross injustice seldom make peaceful bedfellows.
What saddens me more is that I know there are many sensible, civilised and aware Israeli citizens but the hard right has got its grip on the wheel of power in that country, and is adept in using “crisis rhetoric” to keep it there.