We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Was Racism and Fundamentalism a Factor? The Massacre at Qana

by Critical Thinker Wednesday, Aug. 02, 2006 at 4:32 PM

This often ignored menace of Jewish fundamentalism needs to be addressed as seriously as other forms of fanatic religious thought which sows racial hatred, animosity and war mongering. While adhering to moral principles alone will certainly not bring any of Qana's murdered children back to life or compensate any bereaved parent or loved one anywhere, perhaps insisting on the equal worth of all human lives, regardless of ethnicity or religion, and rejecting racism from any source, including from sanctimonious former victims, can help diminish the chances of such ruthless crimes recurring in the future. Irrespective of the Holocaust, or precisely because of it, Israel should not be allowed to get away with its racist, at-will flaunting of international law and its state terrorism against defenseless civilians. It is time to go beyond mere condemnation to properly channel irrepressible grief and simmering anger into morally sound acts of intervention. Just as it worked against apartheid South Africa, a comprehensive regime of boycott against Israel is urgently called for. People of conscience everywhere share the responsibility of stopping this unrestrained behemoth before it scorches everything in its blind quest for hegemony and colonial control.

Was Racism and Fundamentalism a Factor?
The Massacre at Qana

By OMAR BARGHOUTI

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora condemned Israel's massacre in Qana today as a "heinous crime" and called Israeli leaders "war criminals." Reacting to an earlier atrocity, he wondered: "Is the value of human life in Lebanon less than that of the citizens of other countries?"[1] The answer, at least as far as Israel is concerned, is an unambiguous "yes!" Israel's latest bloodbath, which claimed the lives of dozens of children and women hiding from the relentless bombing in what they hoped was a secure basement in Qana, betrays not only Israel's criminal disregard for the value of Arab human life, a typical colonial attitude towards natives, but also its increasingly fundamentalist perception of Gentiles in general as lesser humans.

Israel apologists who will try to spin this new massacre as yet another "mistake" must expect their audience to have an awfully short memory or a very low IQ. Israel has explicitly indicated in the past few days that it may resort to such atrocious measures, especially since its armed forces have failed to achieve any tangible military gains after 19 days of rolling massacres and wanton destruction across Lebanon. Israeli minister of justice, Haim Ramon, issued a stern warning [2] only days ago that a large area in south Lebanon was regarded by his government effectively as a free-fire zone, advocating indiscriminate bombing of villages inside it to ease the so-far unsuccessful advance of the Israeli army. "These places are not villages. They are military bases in which Hizbollah are hiding and from which they are operating," he said, adding that, since Israel had ordered Lebanese civilians to leave the area, "All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hizbollah."

Israel's biggest-selling paper, Yedioth Ahronoth, advocated [3] raising the threshold of Israel's response to Katyusha rockets: "In other words: a village from which rockets are fired at Israel will simply be destroyed by fire." It is worth noting that all available evidence points to the fact that no Katyusha was fired by the Lebanese resistance from Qana before the bombing.

Among Israel's staunch Zionist supporters in the West, the same "talking points" were parroted. Harvard academic Alan Dershowitz recently argued [4] that, "Hezbollah and Hamas militants [] are difficult to distinguish from those 'civilians' who recruit, finance, harbor and facilitate their terrorism. Nor can women and children always be counted as civilians, as some organizations do. Terrorists increasingly use women and teenagers to play important roles in their attacks." He concluded saying, "The Israeli army has given well-publicized notice to civilians to leave those areas of southern Lebanon that have been turned into war zones. Those who voluntarily remain behind have become complicit."

Thus the massacre in Qana.

Qana's name is associated with an earlier Israeli massacre. In 1996, during its military offensive codenamed "Grapes of Wrath," Israel's air force bombed a UN shelter in the village, slaying more than 100 civilians, mostly children, and inviting almost universal verbal condemnation but no real threats of sanctions or any other form of effective punitive measures from the international community. In the current Israeli war on Lebanon this is only the most recent episode in a series of smaller atrocities deliberately committed by the Israeli army against Lebanese civilians in an attempt to collectively "punish" them for the humiliating defeat its elite military units have so far experienced at the hands of the formidable Lebanese resistance, most noticeably in the legendary town of Bint Jbeil.

This intentional and coldly calculated Israeli policy of targeting innocent Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructure stems from a time-honoured, but hardly ever successful, Israeli doctrine of applying intense "pressure" against a civilian population in order to compel them, in-turn, to pressure the resistance into submitting to Israeli dictates, thereby doing Israel's bidding by proxy. It has been consistently used against the Palestinians ever since the Nakba of 1948, and is still applied now in the ongoing barbaric offensive and hermetic siege against Gaza. Israel may have plagiarized this doctrine from the legacies of previous oppressors, but it has refined it to a degree that it no longer raises any moral qualms in most of Israeli society, where it is widely accepted by the public as a right, even a duty in the fight for Israel's "security."

Such blatant racism, which may have been frowned upon in the past by many Jewish-Israelis as a pathological anomaly, is now quite popular in the Israeli mainstream, including among lawmakers, academics, journalists and, of course, military leaders. While it has become normal to read scathing -- occasionally valid -- critiques of the hateful and chauvinistic discourse "inherent" in Islamic and even Christian brands of fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, which is among the key factors informing current Israeli apartheid policies and laws, remains a taboo subject that is rarely discussed or debated in the West. It is rooted in a long tradition of fanatic, yet popular, fundamentalist interpretations of Halakhah, or Jewish law, propagated by influential rabbis and internalized by a widely acquiescent Israeli society, secular and religious sectors alike. Even before the creation of Israel, the core concept in this fundamentalist worldview was publicly espoused by Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak Kook, the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Palestine, who said, "The difference between a Jewish soul and the souls of non-Jews...is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle."[5]

The late Israeli academic and human rights advocate, Israel Shahak, traced the roots of Israeli public justification for killing Palestinians, for instance, to similar readings of the tenets of Halakhah. While the murder of a Jew is considered a capital offence in Jewish law, the murder of a Gentile is treated quite differently. "A Jew who murders a Gentile," Shahak reveals, "is guilty only of a sin against the laws of heaven, not punishable by court." Indirectly, but intentionally, causing the death of a Gentile is "no sin at all." [6] A booklet published in 1973 by the Central Region Command of the Israeli army subscribes to this same doctrine. In it, the Command's Chief Chaplain writes:

"When our forces come across civilians during a war or in hot pursuit or in a raid, so long as there is no certainty that those civilians are incapable of harming our forces, then according to the Halakhah they may and even should be killed Under no circumstances should an Arab be trusted, even if he makes an impression of being civilized In war, when our forces storm the enemy, they are allowed and even enjoined by the Halakhah to kill even good civilians, that is, civilians who are ostensibly good. [7]

In 1996, the same year the first Qana massacre was committed, Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh, a leader of the powerful Lubavitch Hassidic sect, echoed the same principle, rhetorically asking, "If a Jew needs a liver, can he take the liver of an innocent non-Jew to save [the Jew]?," answering, "The Torah would probably permit that. Jewish life has an infinite value. There is something more holy and unique about Jewish life than about non-Jewish life." [8] Moreover, Ginsburgh coauthored a book defending the 1994 massacre of Muslim worshippers in Al-Ibrahimi mosque (Patriarchs' Cave) in Hebron, in which he argued that when a Jew kills a non-Jew the act does not constitute murder according to the Halakhah, adding that the killing of innocent Palestinians as an act of revenge is a Jewish virtue.

During the first months of the current Palestinian initfada, it was common for Israeli army spokespeople to justify killing Palestinian children throwing stones by saying that they "threatened human life." (B'Tselem Report) Not soldiers' lives, not Israeli lives, but human life. One cannot escape the implication that the alleged sources of the threat are not exactly eligible to be called human in the army's common diction.

In this context, it is entirely justified to see Israel's second massacre in Qana as the rule, not the exception.

This often ignored menace of Jewish fundamentalism needs to be addressed as seriously as other forms of fanatic religious thought which sows racial hatred, animosity and war mongering. While adhering to moral principles alone will certainly not bring any of Qana's murdered children back to life or compensate any bereaved parent or loved one anywhere, perhaps insisting on the equal worth of all human lives, regardless of ethnicity or religion, and rejecting racism from any source, including from sanctimonious former victims, can help diminish the chances of such ruthless crimes recurring in the future. Irrespective of the Holocaust, or precisely because of it, Israel should not be allowed to get away with its racist, at-will flaunting of international law and its state terrorism against defenseless civilians. It is time to go beyond mere condemnation to properly channel irrepressible grief and simmering anger into morally sound acts of intervention. Just as it worked against apartheid South Africa, a comprehensive regime of boycott against Israel is urgently called for. People of conscience everywhere share the responsibility of stopping this unrestrained behemoth before it scorches everything in its blind quest for hegemony and colonial control.


Omar Barghouti is an independent political analyst.

References:

[1] Jonathan Steele and Rory McCarthy. "Strike on bunker failed, says Hizbullah. The Guardian, July 20, 2006.
[2] Patrick Bishop. Diplomats argue as all of south Lebanon is targeted. Telegraph, July 28, 2006.
[3] Harry de Quetteville. You're all targets, Israel tells Lebanese in South. Telegraph, July 28, 2006.
[4] Alan Dershowitz. 'Civilian Casualty'? It Depends. Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2006.
[5] Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky. Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. Pluto Press, London, 1999. P. ix.
[6] Israel Shahak. Jewish History, Jewish Religion-The Weight of Three Thousand Years. Pluto Press. London, 2002. P. 75-76.
[7] Ibid. P. 76.
[8] Ibid. P. 43.

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 37 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
How many babies must the terror stat of Israel murder? Proud Jew Wednesday, Aug. 02, 2006 at 4:33 PM
C'mon, baby-killing is their ancient religious tradition! TW Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 4:52 AM
An ad hominem is not a rebuttal you knew that, didn't you? Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 5:15 AM
Bigotry has nothing to do with it TW Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 5:19 AM
It makes perfect sense TW Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 6:37 AM
Revelations for pasty-white supremacist boy shetizdayen indeebay Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 6:42 AM
More grease-rat copping of technicalities TW Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 7:03 AM
Bloggers raise questions about Qana warring for truth Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 7:31 AM
Stage-Managed Massacre Robert Spencer Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 8:54 AM
"let's just go see where baby-slabber hacked this shit from" debate coach Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 12:02 PM
It's amazing, the tolernce here shetizdayen israel Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 1:42 PM
Yo TW! Glad to see that you're holdin' it down here with your usual elan! JA Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 2:04 PM
Here's to YOU, JA TW Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 2:35 PM

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM

BATACLOWNS J18 9:28AM

FALSAS VICTIMAS J18 9:22AM

Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM

MACROTHSCHILD J17 9:38PM

FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM

DEAD MAN LIVING J17 10:46AM

DIARY OF A CON MAN J16 10:40PM

PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

Paraphysique de la désespérance J07 9:38AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy