Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine
Israeli hasbara officials are quite desperate these days trying to stop what seems to be a slow but definitive worldwide awakening to Israeli criminality and hateful racism. In the- not- too-distant- past, these officials used to deny the obvious, such as claiming that Israel didn’t murder civilians, knowingly and deliberately, and that the thousands of innocent Palestinians were merely killed by mistake.
Israeli spokespersons would also cite some isolated cases when Israel hospitals “saved” the life of a Palestinian child or woman as if such a mundane deed would atone for the killing and maiming of thousands of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli killing machine.
I remember I once asked an Israeli military spokeswoman how a state that claims to be “the only true democracy in the Middle East” could allow itself to murder children in cold blood and then seek to cover up the crime. I was shocked when the same spokeswoman told me that the murder was justified since the victims might harm Jews if they were allowed to grow up.
Such evil arguments more or less caricatured the Israeli way of thinking which really differs little from the Nazi way of thinking. In the final analysis, the Nazis would have argued that they had to exterminate people they viewed as constituting a potential strategic threat to the German motherland.
Other satanic arguments made by Israel’s hasbara doctors would cite historical or present crimes committed by western countries, such as the American use of nuclear weapons against Japan, the French atrocities in Algeria and British colonial practices, to justify Israeli massacres against the Palestinians.
Israeli propagandists often seemed convinced that such arguments would silence human rights activists originating in these countries. They easily ignore the moral and legal maxim that the perpetration of evil in one place doesn’t justify or legalize the perpetration of evil in another place.
Unfortunately, several Israeli generations have grown up convinced that the world is a jungle and that one has to be either a killer or a victim. Israeli behaviors in the West Bank, South Lebanon and Gaza Strip have been a vivid expression of this morbid mentality. What else explains the murder of school children by Israeli soldiers, which often involves the despicable practice of “verifying the kill” by emptying the entire magazine of bullets into the tender head of a dying child to make sure that he or she doesn’t pose a threat to “the safety and security” of Israeli soldiers?
What else explains the dropping of two or three million cluster-bombs on Lebanese villages during the Israeli campaign against that country in 2006? For those who still don’t appreciate the gravity of such a crime, I would like to remind them that two or three million cluster bombs are enough to murder or maim at least two-to-three million Lebanese children. This would constitute at least half a holocaust by Zionist standards.
The Zionists don’t stop surprising us with their sickening verbal theatrics. For some time lately, they have been trying to convince the international community and the peoples of the world that criticizing Israeli crimes amounted to anti-Semitism. In other words, these sick thugs would want to silence every legitimate criticism of Israel regardless of what the Nazi-like state does to its Palestinian victims.
According to this despicable logic, Israel has a right to incinerate Palestinians with White Phosphorus, starve Palestinians to death, shoot at and sink Palestinian fishing boats, and assassinate Palestinians suspected of resisting the Israeli occupation without charge or trial as it happened a few says ago in the northern West Bank.
And when criticisms are voiced against such practices, the pathological liars of the Israeli hasbara would issue the same ready-made lies to justify their ghastly crimes, like claiming that the victims were seen walking suspiciously or that they were carrying a suspicious object or that they were believed to be members of an outlawed organization.
Predictably, when these lies are exposed even by Israeli soldiers themselves and human rights groups, such as B’tselem, the murderous thugs of Zionism resort to the so-called “red-herring tactics” by pointing out that the killing of innocent civilians is happening all over the world and that it was unfair to single out Israel as if it was the world’s chief villain.
Well, but Israel is the world’s chief villain if only because it is the only country in the world that has stolen the homeland of another people and been seeking to liquidate and eradicate the national existence of that people.
Crimes do occur elsewhere. However, it is also true that the Palestinian people have been the most uninterrupted victim of Israeli colonialism, racism and genocidalism.
A few weeks ago, the Israeli minister for Diaspora and Public Diplomacy, Uuli Edelstein, tried to sound smarter than his fellow Jewish propagandists.
He pointed out that the best approach to “handling” efforts to boycott Israeli apartheid practices was to spread information about how relevant Israel is to the world and thereby change the atmosphere that makes boycotts accepted.
In other words the minister wanted to make the peoples of the world forget or ignore the children being murdered, nearly on the daily basis, in Gaza and the West Bank…because these victims “are not Jews” and their lives are not worth the world’s attention let alone active intervention. Indeed, Edelstein wanted the peoples of the world to feel good about Israel and have no compunctions about the Palestinians and other victims of the genocidal Israeli criminality, the kind of which we saw in Gaza less than two years ago.
“In London,” said Edelstein, I was asked about boycotting Israel. I said I am in favor, but do it seriously. Don’t just stop eating cherry tomatoes, close your laptop computer, call the hospital and ask them to stop treating your relatives with Israeli medicine and medical equipment, it is so easy to boycott Israel when you don’t know what you are talking about.”
This manifestly arrogant Zionist minister would want us to think that it would be the end of the world if people stopped eating cherry tomatoes produced in Zionist settlements built on occupied territories and if people stopped buying Israeli products.
Well, that thuggish official should have realized that a country’s advancement in science and technology doesn’t give it a license to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. Nazi Germany was quite advanced in science and technology, but the Nazis didn’t use such arguments to justify their war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Unfortunately, Zionists are so self-absorbed and arrogant that they are not capable of bringing themselves to understand that no amount of scientific achievement could ever justify or whitewash murdering children on their way to school or returning home from school, ethnically cleansing people from their homes in East Jerusalem, and shooting farmers tilling their fields in Gaza.
In the final analysis, criminals are criminals, even if they happen to be great inventors and geniuses. This is why criminals are treated like criminals, regardless of all other considerations. Certainly, this is the way humanity ought to treat Israel war criminals, no matter how respectable they might appear in the eyes of some people.
Khalid Amayreh is a Journalist living in Dura, Hebron District, West Bank, occupied Palestine . He has BA in journalism: University of Oklahoma , 1981 MA in journalism, University of Southern Illinois , 1983