Sunday, July 27, 2008


Different Day, Same Old #@$%

This morning on NPR, I heard about Israel yet again deciding to conduct some sort of raid on Hamas militants, killing some wanted man (how come they never can manage to bring these people to trial as demanded by Pirke Avos?). Of course, Israel says "this is the West Bank, the cease fire's about Gaza" whilst Hamas is sabre rattling ... and everybody wonders whether this action by Israel means that the cease-fire might not hold anymore ... some even say, in spite of Israel's claim of "l'havdil" Israel did violate the cease-fire which has resulted in a sharp reduction in the rocket attacks from Gaza onto Southern Israel ... yada yada yada ... yet again --

What? Hold on there! "Sharp Reduction"?!?. You thought what I met by "different day, same old #$@%" was a complaint about Israel's stupid addiction to vengeance and retaliation that only feeds into Hamas' strategy of making Israel be widely seen as too violent and too eager to go back on peace agreements that way Hamas gets to keep the position of power (at least in playing the trump card of violence) whilst undermining any hope of real peace for Israel (and if you don't want a peaceful Israel where we Jews can live in peace ... I don't care how 'big' you want Israel to be, in my book that makes you an anti-Semite and not a friend of Israel).

Nope! Yet again, NPR buried the lede, which isn't Israel's action but that fact that this so-called cease-fire didn't really result in a cessation of fire! Yet again, NPR, et al. will report such that everyone will believe Israel "broke" the cease-fire when in reality Hamas has broken it from the get-go! And people wonder why we Jews think there might be some anti-Semitic double standards in regards to coverage about Israel?

No. I've not gone all Likudnik on you all. What Israel did seems profoundly stupid. Nu? The guy they killed is a militant. But why go after him now? Why make sure that Israel is seen as the one who is not committed to peace? Of course, some would argue "they" would hate us anyway ... but maybe, perhaps, new anti-Semites aren't inevitable but get "recruited" in part by the ability of anti-Semites to use Israel's stupid actions to argue to impressionable folk about what kind of people we Jews are? You say "shanda fur dem Goyim" is a retrograde attitude? I say there is a such thing as Hillul Hashem -- we need to do everything to make sure we Jews (and the state with which we are associated) does everything as above board as possible. We should stop being so dedicated to "retaliation" and "showing strength" that we play right into Hamas' hands (you think they don't take into account that Israel keeps doing the same thing? I know -- "what if Israel didn't show strength, it'd be that much worse" ... oh really? how do we know?).

Was killing one militant worth potentially ending a so-called cease-fire that has resulted in very real gains of security against mortar attacks? Was taking the life of this militant worth endangering the lives of many Israelis who could be victims of retaliation? I'm sure many people in the USA will think so, but they are not the potential victims of retaliation, are they?

That being said -- NPR and similar news organizations ought to at least get the story right and not bury the lede. The cease-fire was not a cease-fire if there was still firing! NPR should be ashamed of itself for burying that lede so that everyone will think Israel broke the cease-fire when the cease-fire was already broken!


Update: Meanwhile, I guess I could be like Atrios with his "wanker of the day" and make awards for duck-fondler of the day. Except that it would be so tedious as the award would always either have to go to Israel (for it's continued ability to look weak and undermine its security whilst trying so hard to look strong and to be more secure by, e.g., "attacking militants" and "responding to violence" ... here's a hint ... if you're always in "response" mode, you look weak!), the Democratic party (for obvious reasons ... the Dems are the Israel of American politics it seems sometimes -- maybe this is why many of us Jews are Dems?) and China (what can you say about a place so keen to give the world a good Olympic experience it is denying clubs permits to perform live music, when an influx of tourists might actually have a better experience, and spend more money in China, if they get live music? Of course I heard this story on NPR, c.f. above, so who knows what NPR has left out of the story!).

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