Israel’s “existential” struggle

The problem is that we’re supposed to see everything from the Israeli point of view. This is most obvious when we’re told that Israel is engaged in an “existential” struggle and will (must) (must be allowed to) do “anything” to survive including what’s ordinarily considered aggression:

Clearing the area between Haifa and Jerusalem in 1948 by deliberate terrorism in order to create refugees

Pre-emptive attacks in 1967


Boarding ships on the high seas and killing their occupants (Mavi Marmara)

Boarding ships and forcing them to divert (Rachel Corrie)

Whether or not it is true that Israel’s struggle is existential, this issue is also moot.

Don’t we all have an “existential” right to fight for our existence? According to Hobbes, we do.

“And because the condition of Man, (as hath been declared in the precedent Chapter) is a condition of Warre of every one against every one; in which case every one is governed by his own Reason; and there is nothing he can make use of, that may not be a help unto him, in preserving his life against his enemyes; It followeth, that in such a condition, every man has a Right to every thing; even to one nothers body. And therefore, as long as this naturall Right of every man to every thing endureth, there can be no security to any man, (how strong or wise soever he be,) of living out the time, which Nature ordinarily alloweth men to live.”

Israel and her public relations firms argue for a truth, but one that’s moot because the right they claim is shared with the Palestinians.

In the case of the Mavi Marmara, the passengers felt, rightly, that their lives were endangered by an IDF commando style raid which had nothing of the dignity of a traditional boarding party.

Indeed, Israel seems to have contempt for military and diplomatic dignity.

The passengers’ feeling was justified despite after the fact claims that the IDF were using “paintball” guns, since one of the victims, a 19 year old American of Turkish ancestry, was killed with five rounds, four to the head and one to the chest. The Israelis were a threatening presence to which a small subset of the passengers responded to in self-defense, and in defense of the women, children and activists below decks.

Israeli PR deliberately obscures the fact that we’re all involved in existential struggle by structuring the narrative using Hollywood subjectivity and over-identification by the smart, spunky, sexy protagonist. This allows the Palestinians to be represented as the stupid, cowardly, unattractive antagonist. But there’s nothing particularly smart about descending one man at a time [1] from a helicopter to be picked off retail by an angry mob. There’s nothing spunky about pumping rounds into kids. And anyone who still gets off on the Israeli narrative is a porn addict.

[1] The IDF’s intention was to descend two men at a time, but in self-defense, the passengers belayed the rope from one helicopter. It of course is just as stupid to descend even into a small riot two men at a time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: