[lit-ideas] Re: Why is the UN & EU silent?

  • From: John McCreery <mccreery@xxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 4 May 2004 13:25:41 +0900

On 2004/05/04, at 12:30, Stan Spiegel wrote:

> Here's a note I got from an acquaintance in Israel. Why do you think 
> the UN and EU are silent? - Stan
> When Israel builds a fence to keep out terrorists, the UN and EU are 
> up in arms because it makes it difficult for terrorists to kill more 
> Jews. When terrorists kill an 8 month pregnant Jewish woman and her 4 
> little girls, there is absolute silence from your organizations. If 
> you think your indifference goes unnoticed, count the number of 
> messages you will receive world-wide in the next 48 hours on this 
> subject.
> Jack de Lowe
> Raanana, Israel

Two reasons I can think of:

The first has to do with the human condition in the world of 24-hour 
news. When our TV screens are filled with horrors from all over the 
place--communal massacres in Ambon, ethnic cleansing in the Sudan, 108 
dead in battles in Southern Thailand--numbness sets in.

The second has to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict itself. The 
news that one side has killed some more of the other is now perceived 
as an almost daily occurrence--the usual numbness is reinforced by an 
appalled but unsurprised, "There they go again."

A third factor is that, whatever the justice of Israeli responses to 
the intifada, they have been a public relations disaster. Tales of 
heroic Israeli resistance to the Arab Legion's tanks are an indelible 
part of an education that made me, for example, a solid supporter of 
Israel for most of my conscious life and, also, truth be told left me 
with a highly demonized image of Arabs that I still have to struggle 
with. But now the tanks are Israel's tanks, and it's Israel that 
deploys them, along with bulldozers and helicopter gunships. Israel's 
leaders and Israel's spokesmen say things that often make sense, but 
too often they look like apparatchiks mouthing official anger and 
saying, like a certain American president, that "You are either with us 
or against us." The result is appalling but predictable: Sympathy dies.

John L. McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd.
55-13-202 Miyagaya, Nishi-ku
Yokohama, Japan 220-0006

Tel 81-45-314-9324
Email mccreery@xxxxxxx

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