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ISRAEL - IRAN - SYRIA - HAMAS - HEZBOLLAH - WWWIII?

 
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2012 12:09 pm
The Narrative of Perpetual Palestinian Victimhood
By Shelby Steele, Stonegate Institute, November 14, 2011

The following is excerpted from a speech delivered September 22, 2011 in New York City at the event "The Perils of Global Intolerance: The UN and Durban III," referring to the U.N.'s notorious "anti-racism" conference.

The Arab-Israeli conflict, is not really a conflict, it is a war – a war of the Arabs against the Jews. In many ways, this conflict has been a conflict between narratives. We who strongly support Israel have done a poor job in formulating a narrative which will combat the story spun by the other side. We can do better.

The Durban conferences, the request for UN recognition of a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood, and the general animus in the Middle East and elsewhere toward Israel and toward the Jews, what are they really about? Is the Durban conference and the claim that Israel is a racist nation really about reforming the people of Israel and curing them of their racism?

I think their real interest is to situate the Palestinian people within a narrative of victimization. This is their ulterior goal: to see themselves and to have others see them as victims of colonialism, as victims of white supremacy.

Listen to their language; it is the language of colonial oppression. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas claims that Palestinians have been occupied for 63 years. The word oppressed is constant, exploited. In this, there is a poetic truth; like poetic license, in a poetic truth a writer will bend the rules in order to be more effective.

I will give you one example of a poetic truth that comes from my group, black Americans. We make the following claims: America is a deeply, intractably racist society. It may not be as conspicuous today as it was before. Nevertheless, it is still there today structurally and systemically, and it still holds us back and keeps us from achieving the American dream.

To contradict this claim, one can come forward with evidence to suggest that racism in America today is about 25th on the list of problems facing black Americans. One can recount one of the great untold stories of America, namely, the moral growth and evolution away from that problem. This is not to say that racism is completely extinguished, but that it no longer prevents the forward progress of any black in the United States. There is no evidence to suggest that it does. Yet, this claim is still the centerpiece of black American identity – this idea that we are victimized by a fundamentally, incurably racist society.

Poetic truths like that are marvelous because no facts and no reason can ever penetrate. Supporters of Israel are up against a poetic truth. We keep hitting it with all the facts. We keep hitting it with obvious logic and reason. And we are so obvious and conspicuously right that we assume it is going to have an impact and it never does.

Why not? These narratives, these poetic truths, are the source of their power. Focusing on the case of the Palestinians, who would they be if they were not victims of white supremacy? They would just be poor people in the Middle East. They would be backwards. They would be behind Israel in every way. So this narrative is the source of their power. It is the source of their money. Money comes from around the world. It is the source of their self-esteem. Without it, would they be able to compete with Israeli society? They would have to confront in themselves a certain inferiority with regard to Israel – as most other Arab nations would have to confront an inferiority in themselves and be responsible for it.

The idea that the problem is Israel, that the problem is the Jews, protects Palestinians from having to confront that inferiority or do anything about it or overcome it. The idea among Palestinians that they are victims means more to them than anything else. It is everything. It is the centerpiece of their very identity and it is the way they define themselves as human beings in the world. It is not an idle thing. Our facts and our reason are not going to penetrate easily that definition or make any progress.

The question is, how do they get away with a poetic truth, based on such an obvious series of falsehoods? One reason why they get away with it in the Middle East is that the Western world lacks the moral authority to call them on it. The Western world has not said "your real problem is inferiority. Your real problem is underdevelopment." That has not been said, nor will ever be said – because the Western world was once colonial, was once racist, did practice white supremacy, and is so ashamed of itself and so vulnerable to those charges, that they are not going to say a word. They are not going to say what they really think and feel about what is so obvious about the circumstances among the Palestinians. So the poetic truth that Palestinians live by carries on.

International media also do not feel that they have the moral authority to report what they see. On the contrary, they feed this poetic truth and give it a kind of gravitas that it would never otherwise have.

Consequently, we need to develop a narrative that is not poetic, but literal and that is based on the truth. What would such a narrative look like?

It would begin with the presumption that the problem in the Middle East is not white supremacy but the end of white supremacy. After World War II, the empires began to contract, Britain went home, France went home, and the Arab world was left almost abandoned, and in a state of much greater freedom than they had ever known before.

Freedom is, however, a dicey thing to experience. When you come into freedom, you see yourself more accurately in the world. This is not unique to the Middle East. It was also the black American experience, when the Civil Rights bill was passed in 1964 and we came into much greater freedom. If you were a janitor in 1963 and you are still a janitor in 1965, you have all these freedoms and they are supported by the rule of law, then your actual experience of freedom is one of humiliation and one of shame. You see how far you have to go, how far behind you are, how little social capital you have with which to struggle forward. Even in freedom you see you are likely to be behind for a long time. In light of your inability to compete and your underdevelopment, freedom becomes something that you are very likely going to hate – because it carries this humiliation.

At that point formerly oppressed groups develop what I call bad faith. Bad faith is when you come into freedom, you are humiliated and you say, "Well you know the real truth is I am not free. Racism still exists. Zionism is my problem. The State of Israel is my problem. That is why I am so far behind and that is why I cannot get ahead."

You develop a culture grounded in bad faith where you insist that you are less free than you really are. Islamic extremism is the stunning example of this phenomenon. "I have to go on jihad because I am fighting for my freedom." Well you already have your freedom. You could stay home and study. You could do something constructive. But "No, I cannot do that because that makes me feel bad about myself." So I live in a world of extremism and dictators.

This is not unique to the Middle East. In black America we had exactly the same thing. After we got the civil rights bill and this greater degree of freedom, then all of a sudden we hear the words "black power." Then all of a sudden we have the Black Panthers. Then we have this militancy, this picking up of the gun because we feel bad about ourselves. We feel uncompetitive and this becomes our compensation. It is a common pattern among groups that felt abandoned when they became free.

This is the real story of the Palestinians and of the Middle East. They will never be reached by reason until they are somehow able to get beyond bad faith, to get beyond this sort of poetic truth that they are the perennial victims of an aggressive and racist Israeli nation.

Challenging their narrative with this explanation will enable us to be more effective. Until now, we have constantly used facts and reason and have not progressed.

Durban is a perfect example of bad faith because Durban is way of saying Israelis are racist and they are our problem. Durban really is a way of saying I am not free. I am still a victim. That is the real purpose of Durban. The Palestinian unilateral claim for recognition from the UN is also a perfect example of bad faith. If Palestinians proceed to the Security Council, they will very likely be turned down, and will respond by saying: "I told you we were victims. I told you the West is racist," and so on. It refuels the same sad identity.

The irony and the tragedy of all this is that it keeps these groups in a bubble where they never encounter or deal with the truth. This becomes a second oppression for all these groups. They have been oppressed once, now they are free and yet they create a poetic truth that then oppresses them all over again.

How are you going to have good faith if you are raised being told that the society in which you are trying to compete is against you, is racist? It is always the Palestinians who suffer, and will continue to suffer, because all of their energy is going into the avoidance of their situation rather than into being challenged by it and facing into it.

The strength of our argument is that it gives the Palestinians a way out. Development is the way out. The West can help you to compete. It may take a little while. But the alternative is a cycle of violence and hatred and poetic truths about constant victimhood.

The pattern of bad faith in certain places comes to embrace a kind of ethic of death. As Osama bin Laden claimed: In the West, you are all afraid of death, but we love death. Why would you love death? If you are not afraid of death then you are aggrandized; all of a sudden you are a big man. You are not a little, recently freed, inferior. Instead, you are somebody who manages, who conquers his world, who has power. For terrorism is power, the power of the gun. This poetic truth leads to a terrible, inconceivable fascination with death and violence and guns and bombs. It consumes a whole part of the world every single day – rather than the boring things that good faith requires, like going to school, raising your children, inventing software for instance, making money.

This is the way the narrative must be retold.

0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2012 05:37 pm
The Israeli Supreme court just confirmed a law that prohibits Israelis from bringing their spouses to live with them in Israel if their spouses are Palestinians.

In effect, the court has further legalized the ethnic discrimination of Palestinians.


http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?ID=253229&R=R1
Quote:
The High Court of Justice on Wednesday rejected petitions against an amendment to the citizenship law, preventing the unification of Palestinians with their spouses in Israel.

. . .

Justice Asher Grunis wrote that "human rights" cannot be enacted at the price of "national suicide."

. . .

The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law was first passed as a temporary order in 2003, and has since been extended several times. The law places restrictions on the automatic granting of Israeli citizenship and residency permits to spouses of Israeli citizens. Spouses who are inhabitants of the West Bank are ineligible.


http://972mag.com/high-court-okays-citizenship-law-legalizing-racial-discrimination-of-arabs/32802/
Quote:
The High Court rejected the petitions against the Citizenship Law in a split, 6-5 decision. The incoming head of the High Court, Justice Asher Grunis, wrote in the decision that “human rights shouldn’t be a recipe for national suicide.” You can read the full verdict here [Hebrew, PDF]. Justice Edmond Levy, a religious and somewhat conservative judge, harshly criticized Grunis for his language, claiming he misled the public as to the nature of the citizenship law.


The pretext argument for this law was that Israel needed the citizenship law because of Palestinian terror. Now, the Zionists don't even presume on this pretext. As Asher Grunis opined nationalism trumps human rights in Israel.

How the US and the rest of the Western world can continue to support the existence of Israel as a necessarily oppressive and discriminatory state, "the state for Jews," is beyond fathomable to me.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2012 05:18 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:
How the US and the rest of the Western world can continue to support the existence of Israel as a necessarily oppressive and discriminatory state, "the state for Jews," is beyond fathomable to me.


We just like doing the right thing.
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2012 07:23 pm
@oralloy,
Quote:
We just like doing the right thing.


Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

US "doing the right thing"

millions of Vietnamese slaughtered

a million Laotians/Cambodians slaughtered

US supports Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge

US supports the slaughter of 40-50,000 Nicaraguans

US invades Iraq and Afghanistan, two sovereign nations, murdering untold thousands

US puts immoral embargo on Iraq, murdering half a million children.

Yup, Oralboy, y'all really enjoy doing the right thing!
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Jan, 2012 12:22 am
@oralloy,
When Israel gets us into another war in the middle east I hope its your grandkids that get their asses blown off protecting Israel and not mine.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sat 14 Jan, 2012 01:10 pm
@RABEL222,
RABEL222 wrote:
When Israel gets us into another war in the middle east I hope its your grandkids that get their asses blown off protecting Israel and not mine.


Israel is not the cause of our wars. When we get ourselves into wars, it is our own doing.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Jan, 2012 03:58 pm
@oralloy,
Quote:
When we get ourselves into wars, it is our own doing.


You don't get into wars. The US is into illegal invasions of tiny, poor countries.


Quote:
Ralph McGeehee: The CIA is not now nor has it ever been a central intelligence agency. It is the covert action arm of the President's foreign policy advisers. In that capacity it overthrows or supports foreign governments while reporting "intelligence" justifying those activities. It shapes its intelligence, even in such critical areas as Soviet nuclear weapon capability, to support presidential policy. Disinformation is a large part of its covert action responsibility, and the American people are the primary target audience of its lies.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_McGehee

McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2012 03:48 am
@JTT,

That's an interesting explanation, and a credible one.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2012 12:09 pm
@McTag,
Highly credible, McTag. It explains all the delusional people here at A2K - the Finns, the Gobs, the Setantas, the ... .

RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2012 05:02 pm
@JTT,
The JTT's.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2012 05:20 pm
@RABEL222,
That is so dumb, Rabel.

Quote:


http://www.ahealedplanet.net/mcgehee.htm


Ralph McGehee, the CIA and Deadly Deceits


Statement for Ralph's Protection

In August 2001, I received the below statement from Ralph. He wanted to have me post it on my site, and wherever else it can be posted, for his protection.



“I moved to Florida in July 2000. Immediately the harassment I experienced in Herndon transferred here. A major difference is that the FBI here openly advises I am a threat to National Security -- because, I assume, I tell unclassified truths to the American people.

“In 1990 the CIA officially advised me in writing that I may use any information in the public domain -- making the FBI's actions against me false if not illegal as I have never and will never expose secret persons or information.

“Harassment here has grown to such a degree that I fear staged incidents to arrest me for something -- anything.

“I base my actions on what is in the best interests of the United States. This may be difficult to believe given my negative commentary, but I participated in and watched CIA operations in Vietnam and other countries nearly destroy the US/us.

“The CIA said I was an analyst with few peers and awarded me its Career Intelligence Medal. I use this ability and those experiences to inform about the CIA's many opportunities and deficiencies.

“Anyone wishing to know more may find details via a Google search under my name.”

-- Ralph McGehee

Ralph has also asked me to post his letter from the CIA that informed him that his CIABASE activities were perfectly legal, and were no threat to “national security.”


An American citizen, a decorated CIA agent describes publicly available information and he is harassed by his own government.

But, Rabel, I must note that you have made the most compelling argument yet defending US war crimes/US terrorism.

Keep up the stellar work.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2012 01:24 am
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
An American citizen, a decorated CIA agent describes publicly available information and he is harassed by his own government.


Nonsense.

More like: A deranged kook dreams up wild stories about "his supposed service in the CIA", then dreams up wild allegations about "the CIA's supposed misdeeds", and then dreams up wild allegations that "the CIA and FBI are trying to silence him".
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2012 01:43 am
@RABEL222,
RABEL222 wrote:

When Israel gets us into another war in the middle east I hope its your grandkids that get their asses blown off protecting Israel and not mine.


And you call Republicans meanspirited.

Surely there was a number of alternative responses to oralloy that didn't require a wish that his grandchildren should die.

You truly are emotionally, political vomitus Rabel.

Your replies start as a spasm in your nasty gut and then force their way out of typing fingers.

Take a look at yourself.
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2012 11:15 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

InfraBlue wrote:
How the US and the rest of the Western world can continue to support the existence of Israel as a necessarily oppressive and discriminatory state, "the state for Jews," is beyond fathomable to me.


We just like doing the right thing.

Supporting the existence of necessarily oppressive and discriminatory states is not doing the right thing, it's doing the wrong thing.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2012 07:10 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:
oralloy wrote:
InfraBlue wrote:
How the US and the rest of the Western world can continue to support the existence of Israel as a necessarily oppressive and discriminatory state, "the state for Jews," is beyond fathomable to me.


We just like doing the right thing.


Supporting the existence of necessarily oppressive and discriminatory states is not doing the right thing, it's doing the wrong thing.


Israel is not oppressive. They just defend themselves when people try to murder their children. If you don't try to murder their children, you shouldn't have any problems.

As for "discrimination", that is just a veiled complaint over the fact that Jews have their own state. If non-Jews want to live in a non-Jewish state, then they should move out of Israel.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2012 08:05 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
And you call Republicans meanspirited.


It's not Repubs or Democrats, Finn, it's a large number of Americans. Consider that there is virtually no comment even though the US is the largest terrorist group, by far, on the planet.

Consider that there is virtually no comment even though the US has directly murdered or helped others to murder millions.

You, of all people, should not be pointing fingers - meanspirited is your middle name.

0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  0  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2012 08:12 pm
Israel is doing what any other self-respecting country would do under the same circumstances. Iran has made it very clear that its bomb is addressed to Israel. Israel's leaders are not stupid, and will do the intelligent thing.
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2012 12:00 pm
@oralloy,
How about speaking for yourself and change we to I?
0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2012 09:03 am
Israel's military leaders warn against Iran attack

Quote:
Almost the entire senior hierarchy of Israel's military and security establishment is worried about a premature attack on Iran and apprehensive about the possible repercussions, a former chief of the country's defence forces told The Independent yesterday.

Lt-Gen Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, who is close to Defence Minister Ehud Barak, said there had been little analysis of what happens the "day after" when the Tehran regime and its paramilitary allies retaliate. He warned that an assault may lead to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad benefiting from popular anger against foreign aggression.

General Lipkin-Shahak stressed that Iran with a nuclear arsenal would be a hugely destabilising factor in the region. But, he said: "It is quite clear that much if not all of the IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] leadership do not support military action at this point."

The risks of military action underlined by the highly decorated former commander show the apparent divisions within the establishment over the best way to combat Iran's nuclear programme. The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Mr Barak are reported to be veering towards military action while fellow ministers as well as the defence and intelligence communities have reservations about this path.

The General's comments follow the public intervention in the Iran debate by a former head of Mossad, Israel's intelligence service. Meir Dagan said that following such a course of action would plunge the region into war with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

General Lipkin-Shahak stressed he had no idea what decision the security cabinet would reach. He said the current Chief of General Staff (CGS), Lt-Gen Benny Gantz, and Mr Dagan's successor at Mossad, Tamir Pardo, would offer advice. "We have to remember that the CGS and the head of Mossad are there to serve the State of Israel, they are not party political. They will no doubt offer judgement and advice on what is best for Israel," he said. "In the past the advice of the head of the IDF and the head of Mossad had led to military action being stopped."

Sanctions on Iran imposed by the EU and the US, including an oil embargo, were stronger than many people had expected, said Lt-Gen Lipkin-Shahak. "They are already having some impact on the Iranians on the street, they are worried. They may feel that it is the actions of the [Iranian] government which has created this situation. So one would think it would be worth seeing what impact the sanctions have before taking the next step."


GOP Rep. Mike Rogers: An Israeli Attack On Iran Would ‘Light The Middle East On Fire’
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2012 12:54 pm
@revelette,
Quote:
Sanctions on Iran imposed by the EU and the US, including an oil embargo, were stronger than many people had expected, said Lt-Gen Lipkin-Shahak. "They are already having some impact on the Iranians on the street, they are worried. They may feel that it is the actions of the [Iranian] government which has created this situation. So one would think it would be worth seeing what impact the sanctions have before taking the next step."


I think this section from your source is particularly important. The Iranian regime fears its own people more than an outside threat. A Persian Spring would be the best solution all round, military action would strengthen the regime, not weaken it.
0 Replies
 
 

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