Saturday, March 17, 2012

Israel's Similes & Ours

In enumerating the reasons for the latest Israeli wilding in the Gaza Strip, which has to date resulted in the death of 25* and the wounding of 80, Jerusalem Post journalist, Yaakov Katz, has written matter-of-factly that "lastly, the IDF is using this as an opportunity to do some 'maintenance work' in Gaza and to mow the lawn, so to speak, with regard to terrorism, with the main goal of boosting its deterrence and postponing the next round of violence for as long as possible." (Analysis: Easy to start, hard to end, 10/3/12)

[*As of 12/3/12]

Maintenance? Mowing the lawn? Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! I've got a wonderful feeling. Everything's going my way. Hm, I think I'll go out and mow the lawn before it gets away on me. Gotta keep those nasty weeds in check, eh? For example, there's Mohammed Mustafa al-Hassumi, 65, and his daughter Faiza, 30. And there's Nayif Qarmout, 14, and Ayoub Assaliya, 13. Oh, and his 7-year old cousin too. Too damn many to mention, if you must know. OK, what'll it be? I've got so many damn new-fangled American mowers, snippers, trimmers and other whizzbangs in the garage I can hardly keep up with them all. Then there's the weedicides... but don't get me started on those. Maybe I'll just make do this time with the Apache helicopter, and the F16 and V-58 fighter jets. Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go...

Oh well, I suppose horticultural similes come naturally to the kind of folk who, legend has it, made the desert bloom, but for the rest of us mere mortals, whenever we see Israelis in action, somewhat different, darker similes generally spring to mind. Similes like these, for example, from Australian journalist Tony Clifton, who witnessed Israeli industry and whizzbangery like you wouldn't believe in Lebanon in 1982:

"Israeli attempts to get into [Beirut] were like the efforts of a madman trying to smash down the door of a house with an axe. He flails away in a crazed frenzy, then he tires and his battering slackens; but then the rage grips him again and he hacks away with greater vigour." (God Cried*, p 23)

"Watching the Israeli air force smashing Beirut to pieces yesterday was like having to stand and watch a man slowly beat a sick dog to death with an axe handle." (ibid, p 24)

"[Israeli Prime Minister] Begin was not stopped by a phone call from President Reagan... he ended the war because he had got what he wanted, just as a rapist stops humping after he has had his orgasm." (ibid, p 13)

[*One of the finest pieces of engaged journalism/photojournalism ever written. For excerpts, click on the Tony Clifton tab below. Better still, do yourself a favour and pick it up on Amazon; See also my 13/2/09 post Backburning the Palestinians?]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for quoting Tony Clifton, Merc. He's one of the people who give journalism a good name (there are a few). His book "God Cried" should be required reading for all our dirty pollies either before or after they have experienced their all expenses paid junkets to "Israel".