Do You Have Love in Your Culture?
- Do You Have Love in Your Culture?
Israel Flexes Its Muscles
By BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
"[The Israeli security man] took his gun out, pressing it to my
head . . . Another man, who was laughing, said: "Why are you
bringing perfumes?" I replied: "They are gifts for people I love."
He said: "Oh, do you have love in your culture?" "
Palestinian journalist Mohammad Omar, June 26, 2008
That sums it up. It encapsulates the disrespect, the utter
contempt for Palestinians indeed for all Arabs felt and
displayed by vicious and spiteful Israeli buffoons. This tiny but
significant cameo explains the entire ethos of the Israeli regime as
concerns colonially-suppressed Arab serfs who have been for sixty
horrible years without help or hope in their destitution and
despair. This incident, which was not made known by the mainstream
media ("Your search - Mohammad Omar - did not match any
documents" New York Times), became public only because non-
mainstream editors, not subject to pressure or to energetically
held personal beliefs, have nothing to fear from media moguls with
financial or personal axes to grind.
The journalist Mohammad Omar was trying to return home from
attending a function in London to mark his award of a journalistic
distinction, the Martha Gellhorn Prize, for his reporting. His
journey back to Gaza was assisted by the Dutch Embassy, which
deserves great credit for trying albeit unsuccessfully to have
his return free of harassment and the normal casual barbarity of
Israeli officials. (The Dutch and the Scandinavian countries do a
great deal, quietly and usually effectively, in support of decency
and world-wide human rights. Official Washington laughs at them.)
But the Israelis pay no attention to diplomatic custom and civilized
traditions when these do not suit them, although they insist on
them when it seems that someone might be so indelicate as to make it
clear that Israel is behaving illegally and disgustingly, which it
does a lot of the time.
Let me declare an interest : I was made aware of the arrogance of
Israelis when one of my duties was to brief and debrief army
officers going to the UN Mission in the Middle East. My briefings
were straightforward and impartial, but I was interested in the fact
that the young officers were without exception pro-Israeli. "There
are the brave Israelis," they exclaimed, "surrounded by evil Arabs
intent on destroying their country!" (Or words to that
effect.) "Gallant little Israel" was the theme, because it was
standing alone against the massed might of the Arab nations. (And
true enough, because Egypt and Syria had tried and failed to invade
Israel to avenge the treatment of the Palestinians to whom the land
belonged and still belongs, in law.)
I debriefed three of these officers when they returned after their
year in UN service. By that time they despised and loathed Israel
and Israelis. They told me that without one exception, so far as
they knew, their scores of colleagues of all nations represented in
the UN Mission had equally forthright views. One of them, an old
friend, told me in detail of his experiences, and of one in
particular that to his mind demonstrated the jackboot approach.
One day he was in a UN jeep in an area forbidden to Israeli troops,
and driving through a village street, when an Israeli tank blocked
the way. He got out of his jeep to remonstrate, and the Israeli
tank commander "blond, blue-eyed, he was straight out of Rommel's
Afrika Corps or the bloody SS" traversed the gun and depressed it
to sight on the UN vehicle. He didn't say anything, but obviously
was ready to fire. The UN officer was sensible, and got back into
his jeep and reversed the hell out of there. His report, like all
those detailing Israeli arrogance and non-cooperation, was sent to
UN HQ in New York and filed and forgotten. The US does not permit
any criticism of the country that its current secretary of state has
described as "the key to security of the world."
This was an astonishing statement by Dr Rice, and should be put in
context. So here is the report from an Israeli newspaper:
"In an exclusive interview with Israel's daily Yediot Aharonot . . .
Dr Condoleezza Rice said that "the security of Israel is the key to
security of the world." Rice added that she feels "a deep bond to
Israel." Asked if her feelings toward Israel stem from her
religious convictions, Dr. Rice said "That is a very deep question.
I first visited Israel in 2000. I already then felt that I am
returning home despite the fact that this was a place I never
visited. I have a deep affinity with Israel. I have always admired
the history of the State of Israel and the hardness and
determination of the people that founded it . . . I think that we,
Israel and the US, share common values. Israel is the only democracy
in the region. That is also very important . . ."
Obviously she has love for Israeli culture, and she is not alone,
for there are other lovers of Israel, some in high uniformed places.
Much publicity was given to a statement on 2 July by the US Chairman
of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, when he was asked
about a possible Israeli attack on Iran.
He said "This is a very unstable part of the world and I don't need
it to be more unstable . . . Opening up a third front right now
would be extremely stressful on us."
How this could be interpreted, as it was by most US media, as a sign
of "discouragement" to Israel is intriguing. (And use of the
personal pronoun "I" says a great deal : who is this man who is
grown so mighty?)
Associated Press also recorded that Mullen "refused to say what
Israeli leaders had told him during his meetings with them last week
about any intentions to strike Iran." But we might have some idea
about that, if only because of what Mullen said on 4 May concerning
US support for Israel.
He declared that the US "has been at Israel's side for all of 60
years, it will be for the next 60 years, 100 years and 1,000 years.
With all its success, I am a tremendous admirer and have great
respect for Israel."
It is amazing that a military officer of any nation could make such
a public declaration of unconditional support for a foreign
country. It was a blatantly political statement by a uniformed
officer following his leader, George W Bush, who is similarly
committed to Israeli supremacy and has said that "Israel is a solid
ally of the United States. We will rise to Israel's defense, if need
be. . . . You bet, we'll defend Israel."
It was reported on 4 June, following a Bush meeting with Israel's
Prime Minister Olmert, that the latter said "We reached agreement
on the need to take care of the Iranian threat. I left with a lot
less question marks [than] I had entered with regarding the means,
the timetable restrictions, and American resoluteness to deal with
the problem. George Bush understands the severity of the Iranian
threat and the need to vanquish it, and intends to act on that
matter before the end of his term in the White House." It could not
be more clear that the Bush administration is determined to help
Israel attack Iran, not matter what might otherwise be stated in
The Israeli lobby in Washington has a stranglehold on US foreign
policy. There is no US politician of any party who dare criticize
Israel. Such impudence would lead to a campaign for their political
extinction, funded by rich and vindictive zealots who are single-
minded in their support of a foreign country to which they owe
unconditional loyalty. So the stage is set for a strike on Iran,
after which the world will reel from the effects of Israel's lunacy.
There is not much love in their culture.
Brian Cloughley lives in France. His website is
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