A critic of my earlier pieces on the Israeli lobby’s implication in our war on Iraq produced the following response: “Well actually peace is sometimes made by killing people . . . .” In fairness the author was referring to our response to the Nazis. But that is precisely my worry about Israel and its supporters. All too often they are reliving WW2 and applying the logic of that war to situations in which we and they should be working to achieve peace. I have just posted the latest column by Uri Avnery, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uri_Avnery in which he deplores the Israeli glorification of assassination (“liquidation”) which only stimulates a tit for tat response:
“This week this was proven once again. The Hebrew verb “lekhassel” – liquidate – in all its grammatical forms, currently dominates our public discourse. Respected professors debate with academic solemnity when to “liquidate” and whom. Used generals discuss with professional zeal the technicalities of “liquidation”, its rules and methods. Shrewd politicians compete with each other about the number and status of the candidates for “liquidation”.” [from Blood and Champagne}
One may debate the involvement of Israel in our war on Iraq, but one cannot dispute its massive destruction of the infrastructure of all Lebanon and not just the areas in the south where Nasrallah's followers were based -- and those millions of cluster bombs now regularly killing off Lebanese kids and farmers. One cannot dispute the recent Israeli raid on a supposed Syrian nuclear facility. And one cannot dispute the inclination of Israeli pols to attack Iran or to send the U.S. to do so. Such an attack would be an immediate disaster, as it would throw the Middle East into chaos. And most importantly all of the above aggressions are defeating any hope for lasting peace in the Middle East.
It is almost as if the Israelis were trying to convince the Arab and Muslim world in general that they are the new Reich set to dominate all who stand in their way.
This attitude is both paranoid and ultimately will destroy Israel itself when some renegade and outraged nation or terrorist group launches the all too readily available WMDs on it. Only serious peace making can abort this nightmare end game. Let there be no more "Blood and Champagne" -- celebration of the killings of enemies.
"A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope." (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]