[lit-ideas] Re: Strong Stuff

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 08:25:08 -0700 (PDT)

--- John McCreery <mccreery@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 2004/05/10, at 2:44, Stan Spiegel wrote:
> > John - Do you really think Lauri King-Irani's
> comparison of America's 
> > bad
> > behavior in Iraq with Israel's treatment of
> Palestinians holds water?
> Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. I am perfectly
> willing to concede the 
> differences. There is no denying that Israel has
> been under constant 
> attack and is a small democratic country surrounded
> by larger, mainly 
> nasty dictatorial enemies

*I am sorry to be pedantic, John, but I would question
this summary. Israel was, indeed, attacked in 1948.,
following its expulsion of the Palestinians and its
unilateral proclamation of independence. It attacked
Egypt in 1956. It launched what it claimed was a
pre-emptive war in 1967., resulting in an easy victory
and occupation of Arab lands. It was then attacked in
1973. though even that war was largely fought outside
Israel's territory. So the last time Israel actually
came under substantial attack from an Arab state was
more than 30 years ago. Israel further conducted an
invasion on Lebanon in 1982, bombed Syria recently
etc. Without going into too much detail, it seems to
me that there is grounds to contend that Israel has
been a threat to its neighbours at least as much as
they have been to it, regardless of the respective
size. (Also, regardless of the rhetoric of strength
which the Arab leaders, for internal political
reasons, were employing in the past, and which Israel
was able to use to its advantage with the
international public.)

Is Israel today surrounded by large, nasty enemies ?
Sure there isn't much love of Israel around, but Egypt
and Jordan do have peace agreements and regular
diplomatic relations with Israel. (I frankly wonder
whether the people here are aware of this fact.) The
main reason there is no peace agreement with Syria is
that Israel still occupies the Golan Heights, which is
sovereign Syrian territory. Lebanon is not large or
particularly nasty or dictatorial. Further in the
region, Iraq is occupied by the US, and Iran is
surrounded by US troops from two sides and scared of a
US attack. 

The Bush Administration wars do seem to have fulfilled
one objective at least, which is enhancing Israel's
strategic situation in the region. (Though in truth
that situation was quite comfortable even before, and
did not require such an intervention.) I would think
that this creates favourable conditions to argue for
pressuring Israel to renounce its illegal nuclear
weapons and cease its occupation of Palestinian and
Syrian territories. Of course, I realize that some
here would never argue this, but it does seem like a
logical argument for progressives (I mean particularly
the US Democrats) to make.


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