During and after the Gaza flotilla incident Israel was heavily critizised by most european countries, both from citizens and politicians. Not so in the US.
Not only that most of americans back Israel, many commentators sense a strong, new form of anti-semitism on the old continent.
Ms. Fields seems to be a good example for this stand.
In the well-known blog “Real Clear Politics” she wrote a piece titled with “Scapegoting Israel” (Israel als Sündenbock).
In short, she wrote about the ever-since anti-semitism in Europe, the Holocaust, the love-affair of europeans with Hamas and alike and the new form of anti-semitism, which nowadays does not appear in the old, ugly form, but in a new, sophisticated political version, that is:
Europeans see the palestinians as a new kind of third-world people, seemingly oppressed by Israel which acts as a colonial might. How ridiculous and dangerous this is, thinks ms Fields and comes to the conclusion that all of this is just a cover-up for the new anti-semitism, which she can “smell” (sic!) in Europe.
I gave the following comment:
What a rich phantasy ms Fields must have…
1. She “smells” the reborn anti-semitism all over Europe. Somebody should tell this the many Israelis who travel to their favorite en-vogue city Berlin – and to many other places all over Europe – for they are in real danger. Two weeks ago I attended an anti-Israerl demonstration in Munich. 300 hundred people have been there, of which ~ 70% were residents of turkish origin. The bavarian by-standers were either not interested or apalled…
2. You’ll hardly find many people in Europe (neither in the streets nor in the political area) who sympathize with Hamas or Hizbullah. So this is just a windmill against which ms Field fights against.
3. Quoting Shelby Steele in The Wall Street Journal is no proof but just the try to back one erroneous point with another erroneous point. The palestinians are not suffering under an illegal occupation?
Here the real dilemma begins.
Ms Fields or mr Steele surely never have been in the occupied territories, never encountered the daily humiliation (tägliche Demütigung) of an entire (!) population at the hundreds of checkpoints, never had to see elderly sick people waiting for long hours at the “security-fence”; woman in labour, forced to give their children birth in a ditch for beeing barred to get to the clinic ((schwangere Frauen, die ihre Babies im Schmutz der Straße zur Welt bringen, weil sie am checkpoint daran gehindert wurden, zur Klinik zu fahren) ; soldiers coercing young muslim girls (Soldaten, die junge muslimische Mädchen belästigen); schoolkids and woman side by side kneeling on the street as long as the israeli soldiers likes it etc.etc. (Schulkinder und Frauen, die auf der Straße knieen müssen, solange es den Soldaten gefällt) ….
Beeing forced to conduct such a poor, oppressed life is the real hard thing, writing sophisticated theoretical essays about anti-semitism is the cheap, easy thing. (Zu diesem ärmlichen, unterdrückten Leben gewzungen zu sein ist die wirklich harte Lage, ausgefuchste theoretische Kolumnen über Antisemitismus zu schreiben ist dagegen einfach und billig.)
Ignoring the daily (!) plight of millions (!) of palestinians is as cruel a fact as cruel a fact can be. (Die tägliche Not von Millionen von Menschen zu ignorieren ist so grausam, wie eine Sache nur grausam sein kann.)
How to defend Israel?
“crack palestinians” (Palästinenser knacken)
“let them suffer” (sie leiden lassen)
“teach them a lesson” (ihnen eine Lektion erteilen)
(answers given by troops of the israeli Bethlehem border patrol, see israeli documentary “checkpoint”: [www.transatlantikblog.de])
And exactly this happened and happens in the territories. Of course this is no problem for those who just have their theories and abstract wisdoms. THIS is cruel.
If americans (and europeans) only had a more precise idea about what happened and happens in the occupied territories since 2001, especially during the utmost brutal Sharon years, under the protection of GWB, they really would be shocked: If only we knew… !
The goverments from Sharon to Netanjahu managed that even Israelis look completedly aside from what happens with the palestinians. The brutal oppression is outsourced to the IDF (israeli army).
Jitzchak Laor, lecturer at the Tel Aviv university, with a critical tone towards his government answered the question about what constitutes a massacer this way:
10 dead israelis are a massacre. 50 dead palestinians aren’t even worth to begin to count.
And so this sentence of yours is correct, but not only in your historical realm, but rightly so for todays plight of the palestinians:
“How could such things happen? The question numbs the senses, but it doesn’t go away — no matter how many times the question is asked.”
Jerusalem day 2010
I have been in Jerusalem just a few weeks ago.
Jerusalem celebrated the “Jerusalem day”. All of Jerusalem celebrated? No, just the jewish part. For no reason the whole arab quarter in the old city was under a curfew (Ausgangssperre).
From Mea Shearim thousands of ultra-orthodox poured into the arab quarter, put aside the stuff of the arab merchants, put their chairs and tables on the arabs frontyards, drank wine, sung their traditinal songs and enjoyed their stay and in “their” city. Protected by many thousands of policeman and soldiers. Did any western TV station deliver these disgusting pictures? I am afraid not. Again: Humiliation is a daily routine for the arab population. But, ms. Fields, don’t worry, they are just muslims…
If you don’t have the guts to see the real situation in the Westbank or in Gaza, at least read israeli historians like Ilan Pappe or Idith Zertal or Benny Morris or Tom Segev or Ze’ev Sternhell or Avi Shlaim and stop writing outright propaganda. Because this adds mockery to the plight. (Denn das fügt zur Not die Verhöhnung hinzu).
PS.: Der bekannte US Schauspieler Jon Voight (“Heat”, “Coming home”, “Mission Impossible”, “Staatsfeind Nr. 1”) hat einen offenen Brief an Präsident Obama verfasst und ihn bezichtigt, gegen Israel zu sein und den Antisemitismus in der Welt zu befördern. Ach, würden Leute wie Voight bei ihrem Metier bleiben und sich nicht in naiver, guter Absicht zu Dingen äußern, zu denen sie offenbar keinerlei realen Bezug haben….
Photos: Bildausschnitte aus der Dokumentation “Checkpoint“