Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Did you know that Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni are the children of terrorists?

I didn't, until today. Or at any rate I didn't know the details. As a university student 20-odd years ago, I specialized in Russian language and Soviet studies. After that, I moved to Slovenia in what was then Yugoslavia, and spent the next decade or so learning about that part of the world. It's only in the last five years that I've been paying closer attention to the Middle East, though I have yet to travel there. My education continues, thanks in part to this recent article by Johann Hari from The Independent:
While Lebanon burns, a sour little ceremony in Jerusalem points the way to sanity

As Israeli forces killed more than 300 civilians and drove half a million people from their homes in the name of stamping out “terrorism”, a small, sour historical irony passed unnoticed last week in Jerusalem. The veterans of another “terrorist” organisation gathered, right under the nose of the Israeli forces, to celebrate the slaughter of 91 people, including 28 Brits, in a hotel. It fondly recalled planting bombs that blew up civilians on buses, in marketplaces and cafés, introducing these tactics to the Middle East tango. It looked back on rounding up the population of an entire village – 251 men, women and children – and shooting them all. It even marked the memory of kidnapping the other side’s soliders and holding them for weeks – before hanging them by the neck until they were dead.

So has this “terrorist” organisation been punished with aerial bombardment from the Israeli Defence Force? Not quite. The group was called the Irgun, and it was made up of Jewish nationalists whose children now comprise the Israeli establishment. Through the 1930s and 1940s, it planted bombs across Palestine, targeting both British soldiers and Palestinian civilians. It had two goals: to drive the British imperialists out, and to terrorise the Palestinian population into unconditionally accepting the creation of Israel. Ehud Olmert, Israel’s ‘war on terror’ Prime Minister, can scarcely condemn them. He spent the first three years of his life living in one of their terror training camps while his parents worked as their gun-runners. Tzipi Livni, the Israel foreign minister widely tipped as a future PM, is the daughter of the Irgun’s director of military operations, a mastermind of civilian-slaughter.


Yesterday I left a comment over at The Washington Note on the futility of bringing about change in American foreign policy via the ballot box (I guess it's Diebold voting machine nowadays), since no American politician or candidate dares criticize Israel. (Jonathan Tasini and others have aptly called the Israel-Palestine conflict the third rail of American politics.) I added:
"As the Lebanese pull the mangled bodies of their children out of the rubble of Qana, and the Palestinians bury their dead in Gaza, I could forgive them for thinking that the only way to bring fairness and justice to a world now ruled by the morally obtuse and the politically purblind is through violence and extremism."

which in turn drew this response from commenter MP:
"Except, of course, that is precisely what got them there to begin with."

I think MP might want to go a little further back in history to trace the roots of this particular conflict.

2 Comments:

Blogger Eli said...

And of course you know that Menachim Begin was the HEAD of the Irgun.

5:37 PM, August 07, 2006  
Blogger Jean said...

Didn't know that, no. Still so much to learn. Anyway, I was told the other day by a pro-Israel woman that we commies and lefties should support Israel as a matter of course because it's the home of the kibbutz movement, which is communist. Yeah, right. She said she supports Israel because it's the underdog, and she always supports the underdog. Great reasoning all around.

10:53 AM, August 10, 2006  

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