January 01, 2009

Israeli journalists oozing love for Gaza

First, there was Bradley Burston. On the day Israel began its latest mass slaughter in Gaza, Burston was really disturbed by the fact that so many people do not speak for Gaza. Who speaks for Gaza, he asks, feigning as much earnest concern as the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood who worried about who might be speaking for grandma.
"Whose is the voice for a million and a half of the most victimized people on the face of our earth, serially colonized, exploited, deprived of work, deprived of food, deprived of basic freedoms, deprived, decade after degenerating decade, of any semblance of a future?"
Then he goes through a list of all the people who (so he thinks) claim to speak of Gaza but don't.

According to Burtson, Hamas, who was elected by the people of Gaza, doesn't speak for Gaza, because its leaders are not making themselves easy enough targets for Israel's assassinations.

Yes, he actually wrote that. That is how desparate Israel's apologists are for the semblance of an argument.

When I grew up in Israel there was a pretty common "popular proverb" that circulated and was sometimes cited in school yard political debates, "a good Arab is a dead Arab".

I guess Bradley Burston's variation on a theme is "only a dead Palestinian can speak for Palestinians." (who knows, maybe this is all about Burston doing a clever parody of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak )

The rest is equally craven. And it never even occurs to Burston that people from Gaza can actually speak. It's really hard to find out, even with the internet. I thought I'd give it a try: About Gaza, from Gaza, in English.





Five minutes later. Thank you google.com!

http://ingaza.wordpress.com/ ( added later per comment)

But the best is reserved to the end:
Who in the end truly speaks for Gaza?

Those who are willing, just once, to lay down the axes they are accustomed to grinding, and who accurately and with both passion and objectivity describe the suffering and the violence on both sides of the border.

The content isn't the issue. The issue is this: In order to speak for Gaza, according to Burston, you don't have to represent the wishes, or the thoughts, or the interests of the people in Gaza, you certainly don't have to live in Gaza, or to share the fate of Gaza, you don't have to win a democratic election in Gaza, you don't even have to know anyone in Gaza, all you have to do is hold the opinions that one U.S. born colonial journalist believes are the right opinions.

In other words, Bradley Burston speaks for Gaza.

That is, after all, the most charming Israeli colonial fantasy, that one day Israelis will appoint a Palestinian leader who would read from their script, and millions of Palestinians will cheer.

California Dreamin', Bradley Burston.

(Three Palestinian boys who were killed in an Israeli missile strike during their funeral in the Rafah refugee camp. The attacks brought the death toll in Gaza to more than 300, according to Palestinian medical officials. Photo: Khalil Hamra/Associated Press)

A few days and a few hundred shredded bodies later, Ari Shavit is pissed at Israelis who
call Operation Cast Lead a war crime...record the names of each and every Palestinian killed, denounce each and every Israeli action and portray their state as a bully.
I'm not going to tackle the crap inside. Its' really pathetic and any half informed person can demolish it with one hand tied behind their back. The only thing of interest is the title of the article: "Israelis who blame Israel are not helping the Palestinians"

You see, Ari Shavit is losing sleep, not over the slaughter in Gaza, but because he is deeply concerned that folks like me who tell the truth about Israel are not helping Palestinians. Yes, he is so devastated by the possibility that we might be causing more harm to Palestinians than the Herrenvolk Airforce of Israel does.

Count me a skeptic. I don't know if what I and many who are better than me are
doing helps Palestinians or not. I'm just doing what I believe I ought to be doing. But I have the strong suspicion that Shavit wouldn't care about us unless he feared we might be doing something right.

(Just let nobody forget that while Shavit and Burston do speak for the majority of Israel, Haaretz also publishes two journalists who speak for decency and humanity, Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.)


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