July 22, 2007

Satanic proposals have become politically correct in Israel

I just got this Ha'aretz article from David Shasha's mail-out, the Sephardic Heritage Update. It's by Gideon Levy and carries the headline Little Ahmadinejads which might be an insult to Ahmadinejad:
Ram Caspi has written an article. From the heights of his apartment in Tel Aviv's David Towers, the prominent lawyer has suggested strangulating the Gaza Strip. In the financial daily Globes of May 25, he called for, "neither a land incursion nor an aerial attack, but the creation of a noose ... From the moment that rocket number eight is fired, the government of Israel will act to cut Gaza off from the essential infrastructure systems of fuel, water, electricity and telephones, and will prevent others from providing these utilities to Gaza."

In other words: to cut a million and a half people off from the sources of life. Caspi is a successful attorney, who comes and goes in the tabernacles of justice and rule, a man who moves about in the highest reaches of Israeli society. Not a hair on his head has been mussed as a result of his satanic proposal. This man of the law who incites for the violation of international law has not been chastised. No one has shunned him in the wake of his words. The season for racism, collective punishment and verbal violence is at its height. What was once the reserve of nutcases on the right, the talkbackers and the loony listeners to the call-in radio programs, is now politically correct, in the heart of the consensus, the dernier cri in the violent and overheated Israeli discourse.

Caspi is not alone. Satan is no longer to be found only in Tehran --- he is alive and kicking here in our midst. Israel is being inundated by a murky stream of little blue-and-white Ahmadinejads: If the president of Iran proposes to destroy Israel, they, who are smaller than he, are proposing only to "eradicate" villages, "flatten" them, starve entire populations and in fact to kill them.
The thing that struck me was this invocation of "Satan" to describe the casualness with which the annihilation of the people of Gaza has been proposed. When Deborah Fink said on this site that Israel shouldn't be called Jewish because its behaviour is satanic (in contrast to Jewish) she was relieved of whatever position she held in Jews for Justice for Palestinians. Now a leading commentator with Ha'aretz has said the same thing. Is nothing sacred?

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