Sometimes, even very disagreeable people speak the truth. No, they don’t do that on purpose: I will not hold them responsible for it. But yes, even evil leaders of horrible states (as if there are states that are not horrible, but let’s not digress now…), come close to truth-telling. A case in point is Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel.
What truthful thing did he say? This: “The greatest thing mankind faces is a radical regime, without limits to its cruelty.” Well, yes. One might argue about even bigger threats to humanity – human-induced climate disaster, for instance. However, Netanyahu is not wrong in saying that states led by extremists and religious fanatics and armed with neclear weapons are very, very dangerous. States like, for instance, the United States under people like Reagan and Bush.
Which state does he mean himself? Well, Iran, of course. No matter that there is not any proof that Iran is even trying to develop nuclear weapons. No matter that everyone can see that, in case Iran had nuclear weapons, it could not fruitfully use them unless it wanted toe invite immediate and total destruction through US or Israeli action. Whatever the proven facts, Iran is the big radical evil enemy, as far is the state of Israel and its leaders are concerned.
Iran does not quite fit the bill, as we can see. There is a state, rather close to where Netanyahu lives, that does fit the bill. That state is called Israel, with Netanyahu as prime minister. Its limitless cruelty has been on discpay during the murderous attack on Gaza, at the end 2008 and the beginning of 2009. Around 1,400 Palestinian deaths, many of them civilians. Number of Israeli victims: 13. Its cruelty continues, in the form of a blockade of Gaza, imposing desperate poverty and worse on the population there.
And yes, Israel is led by radicals – right wing radicals, that is. The state, founded on occupation of Palestine, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and more occupation, seeks part of its legitimacy ina nationalism that accepts no compromise, and an interpertation of Judaism that does not accept limits on what its holy state is allowed to do. Israel is a radical state, led by nationalist and religious extremists. And it is based on open discrimination along ethnic/religious lines. Jews are worth more than Palestinians, according to Israeli law and governance. Apartheid is a fitting label for the way Israeli society is organised and ruled.
A radical regime, limitless cruelty … and nuclear weapons as well. For Ir srael has themm, even if it never ackowledged their existence. However, documentation has come to light that proves their existence. Israel has in the past offered nuclear warheads to … South Africa, that other apartheid state. The deal was made by South African and prime minister Vorster and Shimon Peres, who was minister of defence in that year, 1975. One state behaving with exemplary racist cruelty helping another state behaving with similar racist cruelty – helping that state in getting weapons of mass destruction. Shimon Peres, who is in denial about the deal, is president of Israel at the moment.
Fortunately, more and pore people are no longer accepting Israeli excuses for their despicable behaviour. Still, double standards for Israeli and Palestinian violence have not died. Here is the BBC, in a recent headline: “Israeli army kills infiltrators from Gaza.” Two men, apparently sent by Hamas inside the borders of Israel, werre killed by Israeli soldiers.
Now, you can think all kinds of things abvout the events themselves. My rejection of the state of Israel does not imply any support for Hamas, who has its own authoritarian form of rule, much weaker that Israel, but certainly no beacon of revolutionary hope (yes, I changed my mind on that, as readers of my Dutch-language blog may notice).
But notice the words the BBC uses! Israel has a ‘military’ that the government sends across borders as it sees fit; Hamas, however, sends ‘infiltrators’. Question: how can you be an infiltrator when you go from one part of the country you considers yours, to another part of that same country? From the indirectly occupied bit of Palestine called ‘Gaza’ to the directly occupied bit calles ‘Israel’? Should’n we call all Israeli soldiers, on whatever part of historic Palestine they are, ‘infiltrators’?