SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE...
I have a feeling I might regret this but there is bile in the Amstelladagain liver which no amount of single Islay malt can flush away.
Wasn't it Spitting Image who first accused Israel of attempting to rewrite the Old Testament and improve on it a bit with respect to the smiting? Whoever it was, they got it pretty much spot on.
So, where shall I start? Talking about the who, why and what of the birth of the state of Israel will do me little good here...although it might be worth reminding the Israelis that, were it not for their own acts of terrorism, it would not have come into being at all.
Should I deal with the facts on the ground? Shit, there aren't any. If truth is indeed the first casualty, then it was stretchered off on a drip to the field hospital before I was even born.
Sod it then, I'll add my own take on events and the hell with it. If you think me ill-informed, I can only say that of course I am. Along with the rest of the world.
So, as I see it, the biggest problem is that you have a whole shedload of people, the Palestinians, who were kicked orf their land and are;
1. almost totally without any form of what we would recognise as representation and independence. Israel is in almost complete control over their water supply in the West Bank and Gaza, for example.
2. because of their lack of a viable state and their diaspora, subject to being used as pawns in other States' political machinations...most other Arab states look down on the Palestinians and yet this does not stop their using them as an emotive issue at home to demonstrate Arab solidarity and divert attention from other, more potentially dangerous domestic issues.
Hamas and particularly, Hezbollah arose in an attempt to solve these problems. The latter runs schools and hospitals in southern Lebanon and provides an infrastructure which includes social services, student grants, help with medical expenses...all those things which no state can provide for them. Hearts and minds? Maybe, but for a poor Palestinian refugee family it's manna from heaven. Even now, who is it that is ensuring a supply of food and bottled water to those suffering as a result of Israel's bombardment? Who is it that funds rebuilding programmes after the dust has settled? You got it. Hezbollah.
There are all the elements of statehood in the above and yet this exists within other states outside of the control of the host government...another problem but I'll skip that for now...so why is it that we are surprised when such a state, demonstrably existing to serve its constituency, decides it needs a military to protect it?
And, by God, did it need protection. Just who else was going to look after their interests? The US? Britain? Syria? Who was Israel going to sit up and take notice of? The UN? Israel does what it damn well pleases and always has done and is still the subject of more ignored UN resolutions than all other countries combined. Who else was going to respond to Israel's acts of aggression?
Were any other country in the world to have followed the same actions as Israel's over the years, the Marines would have been sent in ages ago. So why haven't they?
Is it the Jewish lobby in the US? The fear of being thought anti-Semitic? A post WWII sympathy? Is it that we just hate/fear the fucking arabs? The fact that Israel's got the 'bomb'? Probably all the above, I don't know.
What I do know is that, if one were to look for examples of rank hypocrisy anywhere in the world, the ones of stupendous, off-the-scale magnitude will be found here and I, for one, am heartily sick of it.
You commit acts of terrorism. We wage war.
You commit atrocities. We talk about collateral damage.
Your actions are wanton. We merely defend ourselves.
You fire one rocket. We drop 20 tons of ordnance.
You are non-people, refugees at best. We suffered a diaspora.
Your democratic government is illegitimate. We are exporting democracy.
You abduct and kidnap. We capture and arrest.
You are unlawful combatants. We are prisoners of war.
You can rot without trial in Guantanamo. We expect the Geneva convention.
Our state has the right to exist. Yours? Who gives a fuck?
We enter your territories with armour and uniforms and are therefore, within our rights to do so. You enter ours with explosive clothing and are therefore, not.
We have the right to protect ourselves. You can just get on your knees and assume the position.
And then you've got that fucking chimp, Georgie boy stating for the record on prime time Republican TV that he cannot in all conscience sanction stem cell research because of his regard for the sanctity of innocent life. 'Kinell.
And then all the political media machinery in the US oiling its cogs over the prospect of WWIII. Give me strength.
I realise that all this seems pretty one sided but hey, whaddaya know? Bush and Blair are hardly balancing the arguments, are they?
We're fucked. Absolutely and totally.
A patriarchal world, eh? I'm lovin' it.