Friday, June 4, 2010

Lethal Force

"Those who contend that force is the answer to every problem live by the hour and ignore the future. For them, the fleeting success of force is the last word in history... They are characterized by an egotism that prevents them from understanding the mind of their antagonists, or paying heed to what goes on in their hearts... For extreme nationalism is saturated with profound contempt for other peoples, its disciples are persuaded that force will solve every problem, and they have signed an eternal treaty with the Almighty, designed to ensure them invincible and everlasting might." Yaacov Talmon

"The Israeli attack was timed for dawn prayers - when a good number of the men aboard the Mavi Marmara were praying on the aft deck of the big Turkish passenger ferry, as she motored steadily through international waters in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The call to prayer could be heard across the water - haunting chords made tinny by the ship's PA system, yet haunting enough amid tensions sparked several hours earlier, when the six ships' captains in the Free Gaza Flotilla rejected a demand radioed by the Israeli navy - change course away from the Gaza Strip or be confronted with lethal force." (Prayers, tear gas & terror, Paul McGeough, Sydney Morning Herald, 4/6/10)

That Israel used lethal force against those on the Mavi Marmara should surprise no one. The application of lethal force to expel Palestinians or deter them from ever returning to their usurped homeland is a sine qua non of Zionist practise. Ditto for those who go to their aid:

"It will be recollected that the 1947 [UN] partition [of Palestine] left within the proposed Jewish State as many Arabs as Jews. People wondered how the Jewish State would be able to exist. As matters turned out, the Jews had succeeded in driving out nearly all the Arabs, except for a small number, chiefly in Galilee. One thing on which the Jews were determined was that they were not going to let those Arabs back. At the beginning, many refugees went back innocently and unarmed. None, I believe, in those days crossed the armistace lines in order to fight or injure the Jews. The majority went to try to rescue some of their belongings, or to look for missing relatives. The Israelis were ruthless. Many of these unfortunate people were shot on sight by Israeli posts or patrols, without even the formality of arrest or questioning. Cases occurred of farmers going out to plough their land, and being shot dead by Israeli patrols as they drove their ploughs across their own fields. The farmers had not realized that, owing to a line drawn on a map somewhere, half of their fields were no longer their own. The ruthless manner in which the Israelis dealt with any Arabs they found soon disposed of the innocent returning refugees. The great majority of them gave it up, and made no further attempt to return home. But a small number of the more desperate decided to go. This time they armed themselves and went by stealth at night. They were still, however, principally intent on seeking the property which they had left behind. Probably at this stage, none had any aggressive intentions, but if they met an Israeli patrol they fired."* (A Soldier With the Arabs, John Bagot Glubb, 1957, pp 245-246)

"[Israeli Prime Minister Levi] Eshkol had already had reason to be worried about the Gaza refugees roughly two years before the Six-Day War [of 1967]. The refugees were multiplying, and when their numbers reached half a million, he feared the situation would become explosive. Once, he asked the chief of staff what would happen if the Egyptians [who then controlled the Gaza Strip] simply marched the refugees - women and children in the vanguard - toward the border with Israel. [Yitzhak] Rabin said they would not do that, and if they did, as soon as the IDF had killed the first 100, the rest would go back to Gaza." (1967: Israel, the War & the Year that Transformed the Middle East, Tom Segev, 2007, p 524)

[*"Altogether between 2,700 and 5,000 infiltrators were killed in the period 1949-1956, the great majority of whom were unarmed." Avi Shlaim, reviewing Benny Morris' Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956: Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation & the Countdown to the Suez War, 1993]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I look forward to the day when "murder" is abolished as a crime in Australia and replaced with "lethal force" instead.