Cutting through the bullshit.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Self defence


Responding to a question from Margaret Talev of Bloomberg News at a Bangkok press conference on 18 November. President Obama said,

...there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders. So we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself from missiles landing on people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians. And we will continue to support Israel’s right to defend itself.

In his call to Prime Minister Netanyahu on 21 November, he

...reiterated his commitment to Israel’s security.
The President made clear that no country can be expected to tolerate rocket attacks against civilians...reiterating that Israel maintains the right to defend itself.
The President said that the United States would use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza.
The President said that he was committed to seeking additional funding for Iron Dome and other US-Israel missile defense programs.

Furthermore, according to Ha'aretz's Barak Ravid, 'A senior diplomatic source said that if Israel identifies preparations for an attack from the Gaza Strip, it reserves the right to self-defense and will act to thwart it.'

The blogosphere has rightly lampooned the man who regularly orders missiles to rain down on Pakistan and Yemen for his unfortunate remark about what 'no country on earth would tolerate'.

But seriously, Gaza is not a country and all its residents are stateless, principally refugees of the 1948 Nakba and their descendants. So, unlike Israel, they clearly have no right to defend themselves. They have no right to arm themselves in a vain attempt to deter Israeli attacks. Unlike Israel, about whose security needs Obama is so solicitous, they will not receive funding for missile defence; they cannot import the latest high tech or low tech military gadgetry; they will not even be allowed to smuggle weapons. And if they detect Israeli preparations to attack them, as well they might, since Israel makes no attempt to disguise its intentions, nobody, least of all Obama, will countenance an attempt to thwart them.

The people of Gaza are not just stateless, they are Arabs, terrorists by definition. If they harm Israeli troops in combat, it is terrorism. If Israeli ordnance dismembers an infant, it's unfortunate collateral damage at best.

Even the most blatant, unrepentant hypocrite would blush to enunciate such transparently racist double standards. But as I never seem to tire of repeating, embarrassing a politician with accusations of hypocrisy is like embarrassing a dog with accusations that he licks his own balls.

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