Obama, Gaza and Boy’s in Striped Pyjama’s

Like Obama, I was going to stay silent on the Gaza thing but unlike Obama, it’s not due to a large political ego or sitting-on-the-fence or lack of authority or anything. It’s because I just don’t know what to say anymore. Nothing changes and the same old cries of “he started it first” are depressing. But then, I just finished reading a book called The Boy in the Striped Pyjama’s and it got me thinking about the Jewish people and the conflict so I suppose now I’m going to open my big mouth again. Well I don’t have the discipline to keep quiet like Obama, speaking of which – one President at a time? Hasn’t got the authority? What’s that about? Since when did anyone need authority to condemn the blatantly indiscriminate firing of civilians? Right now, innocent people are dying and Obama is waiting for authority before he can speak! That or he is cherishing his heroic image for as long as possible before he reveals his true intentions. Personally, I can’t understand why is everyone so eager to get a statement from him. Pretty much anything he’s ever said regarding the Middle East has been pro-Israeli so he’s bound to blame the whole bloody conflict on Hamas. But for now he is not going to let himself be painted into a corner. My guess is that when he takes office, he will simply bow to the Israel lobby and maintain the “special relationship”, just like every other Pressy before him. I’ve not gone off the guy. I’m just not optimistic about which way he will go on the Israel/Palestine issue.

Anyway, getting back to the book I read, the story is about a nine-year-old son of a Nazi commandant who befriends a Jewish boy of the same age who is imprisoned at Auschwitz. It’s a simplistic tale with a heavy and sad theme and it got me thinking about the Holocaust. It was a dark time in history and nobody could disagree that what happened to the Jewish people (and other groups of people it has to be said but none on such a scale) was an abhorrent act of evil which makes Israel’s activities in Palestine all the more bewildering. It’s like the victim of bullying become the bully because it feels better to be a bully than to be bullied . . the oppressed becoming the oppressor kind of thing.

Getting back to the current conflict, George Bush (groan) has blamed Hamas for this current wave of violence by Israel, saying that it has a right to continually break international law defend itself from the rockets fired by Hamas militants. Well let’s see, without even going into grossly unequal death statistics on either side, Palestine is an occupied territory, it’s small and densely populated and it’s being strangled and crushed by Israeli policies. The Palestinians have nothing to defend themselves with but a bunch of home-made rockets, an endless supply of stones and the sheer will to not lie back altogether and allow the Israeli’s to oppress them. The Israeli military in comparison, is mighty and has the support of America no less. So for god’s sake, let’s have a sense of proportion. I refuse to condone the targeting of civilians by Hamas and it’s beyond belief that Israel has been allowed to violate human rights so often.

Regarding the emotive claims of human sheilds, And while I’m ranting, does anyone get mad when Israel justifies the killing of Palestinian civilians by saying the Hamas militants are using them as human shields. For one thing, it’s not like Israeli soldiers don’t hide behind Palestinian civilians so where do they get the audacity to be morally appalled at the “alleged” use of human shields by the Palestinians? But what’s also frustrating is that Israeli soldiers fire on the homes of known militants and when their children are killed also, they define these victims as human shields. Huh? The militants aren’t hiding behind their families – they live with them! It’s their home! Where else would they be?


4 responses to this post.

  1. “It’s like the victim of bullying become the bully because it feels better to be a bully than to be bullied . . the oppressed becoming the oppressor kind of thing.”

    This is something I dont understand either. Emotionally, I thought we become more empathetic when we have been through something that the other goes through.

    Also, we dont really know if its the Hamas or some other outfit, as I read conflicting reports.

    I wonder about Israel’s claim to territory within Palestine too. Ok, I get it that they were victims in the WW2. What I dont get is – how is it that the world doesnt pay attention to those who arent Jews but are victims too in different wars. If we look at Numbers, there were far more Original Inhabitants of the Land killed when the American continents, Australia, Colonies of Britain, France, Portugal killed but none of those people actually got to claim the Land for their own. If its about punishing the oppressor I dont understand how craving out Palestine for the Jews, punishes the Germans who persecuted them.

    I wish someone would explain cause my puny brain doesnt get it.


    • Mysoul, I don’t get it either.

      There are some humongous double standards being used . . . and much hypocrisy.

      This attack on Gaza will be counterproductive. It will create a whole new generation of freedom-fighters/militants/whatever.


  2. Posted by ejenne on January 18, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Tyrants and extremists go together. When will we ever learn?


  3. Hi ejenne, I’m beginning to think we never will learn.


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