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Do You Have Love in Your Culture?

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  • World View
    Do You Have Love in Your Culture? Israel Flexes Its Muscles By BRIAN CLOUGHLEY http://www.counterpunch.com/cloughley07062008.html [The Israeli security man]
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 8, 2008
      Do You Have Love in Your Culture?

      Israel Flexes Its Muscles

      "[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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