Thursday, July 2, 2009

The most moral army in the world

This video was shot about a year ago, and a judgement finally came through.

Watch it here in raw footage, or whatch on youtube with commentary.

The point is not this incident. The point is that it is not a rare event. It is the reflection of the concept of "damam mutar" ("permissible blood") in Hebrew. In this case, the point seems to have been only to "teach a lesson." How do you think that philosophy translated when troops (aka kids with guns) were sent into Gaza in December. Yes - nearly 1,400 deaths.

When a person, a recognized human being, goes crazy and gets violent, the police arrests him.
When an Arab demonstrates against illegal actions by Israel, he gets shot by rubber bullets.
If an Arab gets violent, the police, army, or any rambo with a gun simply kill him.
If a Palestinian reacts to settler violence, the army and police turn on him or let armed settlers settle the account.
Sometimes, you don't have to do anything to get killed.

Israel thinks that as long as it can avoid moral equivalency debates about Apartheid (we're way past this) or Nazi Germany (the forbidden comparison), it can hold its moral ground.
My view is that, no--Nazi policies and Israeli policies are clearly not the same. Genocide motivated by racial hatred is not the same as the conquest of land. The problem as I see it, is that ultimately to maintain the momentum for conquest, the control of the people, you cannot avoid drifting into racial hatred. It simply would be unbearable if an Arab were a person, with full rank and rights, created in the same divine image. And so, a group of people have to become less than human, so the conquest can continue. Their blood has to become acceptable collateral. And pretty soon your young people in uniform, or your colonists in their beards, simply don't see why they shouldn't shoot, or grab a rock to break a leg, humiliate or kill one of these lesser people. Look at the video - it's not the most horrible crime ever. But it is so cold-bloodedly calculated and implemented. You simply cannot do that to your equal.

So, genocide is not conquest of land. But guess what, racial hatred is racial hatred--under any sky. A bullet in the leg--a bullet in the head-- do the same thing to an Arab, a Jew, or a Goy.

And forgive me for saying this, but... we are talking about a political and national movement which claims its roots in the Jewish faith - not in national socialism! Since when is Judaism satisfied to simply not be morally equivalent to one of the most abject and inhuman political philosophies of history? We've come a long way down this road of perdition.

There's a key Jewish concept that comes to mind when I think of this, or when I rewatch this video. The concept is simple, it is called 'repentance.'


ps: If you're going to reply that the Israeli judgement of this crime is sign that things are not perfect but that there is a justice, I'll ask you how many news from exactions of settlers you have read in the last 10 days? How many deaths in Ni'ilin in the last 3 months? How many home demolitions? What about Tristan Anderson? How about the number of lethal gun shots inflected by police and army? And finally -- do you think there would have been a trial had there not be a video camera?

No comments: