Public Discourse on the Palestinian/Israeli Divide

Public discourse on the Palestinian/Israeli divide
Cape Breton Post: September 7, 2010

Public discourse on the Palestinian/Israeli divide usually occurs within a rigid and narrow corridor of lazy assumptions about power and morality; i.e. Israel is a modern democracy surrounded by medieval Arab terrorists bent on destroying her. These corridors are built and buttressed by writers and academics that uncritically support the violence of the Israeli state and its U.S. backer. As well, evangelical Christian extremists and American NeoNazis are also great fans of Israeli militarism. Eventually, and unfortunately, Israeli citizens will suffer from their nation’s increasing insularity and growing isolation.
On the subject of terrorism, it is instructive to note how the U.S. Revolutionary War and Israel’s 1948 War of Independence are both conveniently excused as justifiable anti-state terrorism in the name of freedom and democracy. It requires great discipline to ignore the obvious in defense of the indefensible but that seems to be the prerogative of power, which does as it pleases while the weak are expected accept to accept their plight.
If might really is right, as it seems to be; I wonder what would happen if the Palestinians ever received sophisticated anti-armor, anti-aircraft and anti-ship weapons to counter Israel’s overwhelming military supremacy? The answer lies in Lebanon with Hezbollah and their spirited eviction of Israeli forces from Lebanese territory in 2006. Israel has long had designs on Lebanon’s Litani River, which curves with four kilometres of the Israeli border and would solve Israel’s water woes. According to Andrew F. Krepinivich Jr., writing in the July/August 2009 issue of Foreign Affairs, “…during the Second Lebanon War [2006], Hezbollah irregulars hit an Israeli warship with an Iranian-made guided ASCM and destroyed or disabled over 50 Israeli tanks with sophisticated Russian-made guided anti-tank missiles.” That fact that this stunning military success went unreported in the mainstream press is both telling but sadly typical. Rapidly proliferating RAMM (rocket, artillery, mortar, and missile) weapons may eventually level the playing field in the struggle between the Palestinians and an Israeli government intent on colonizing the West Bank, isolating Gaza and controlling scarce water and the natural gas deposits found off the coast of that isolated enclave.