[Marxism] the complicity of Israeli intellectuals in the Gaza massacre

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 6 10:27:37 MDT 2009

from Jewish Voices for Peace -

> For years, Israel dismissed the legal applicability of the Fourth Geneva
> Convention to the West Bank and Gaza, claiming that they were and are not
> under occupation but rather "liberated" or at least "disputed" territories.
> For the most part, this verbal/legal sleight-of-hand did not and has not
> convinced world civil society. But it joined other strategies, such as the
> active erasure of the 1949 armistice "green" line by Jewish settlement and
> infrastructure projects, in obfuscating reality for a sufficient number of
> Israelis to uphold a sense of public indignation at accusations of
> illegality.
> Almost as old as the occupation itself, the basic strategy of word-washing
> and mind-tricks has been reused repeatedly by Israel, also assisting its
> evasion of International Humanitarian Law as well as other international
> standards and conventions.
> The opinion piece below is a vehement, pointed accusation leveled by
> journalist Gideon Levy against the extensive group of Israeli philosophers,
> thinkers, lawyers, jurists and leading academics who have, over many years
> now, readily and faithfully provided the language and concepts for these
> strategies of evasion. First and foremost among the conscience-clearers, he
> writes, is Prof. Asa Kasher who is "the one responsible for that toxic 'IDF
> spirit' – which holds that when … protecting soldiers, anything goes".
> As Levy intimates, despite his seminal importance, Kasher, who "glossed
> over every transgression during this war" [i.e. Israel's last major assault
> against Gaza] is just a single, though prominent, instance of the complicity
> and collaboration of a vast community of intellectuals in maintaining
> Israel's freedom and capacity to go on enforcing a criminal, horrific
> occupation and committing war crimes with impunity.
> Rela Mazali
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Lincoln Shlensky adds:
> Eliot Weinberger, the American translator and political critic, turns a
> sardonic eye on the use of white phosphorus by US forces in his widely
> disseminated anti-war essay "What I Heard about Iraq in 2005," published in
> The London Review of Books http://bit.ly/zySZc (an excellent article by
> Scott Saul on Weinberger's three decades-long role as a cultural critic
> appears in the September 30 issue of The Nation <http://bit.ly/Iq3nv>):
> "I heard that, in Fallujah and elsewhere, the US had employed white
> phosphorus munitions, an incendiary device, known among soldiers as ‘Willie
> Pete’ or ‘shake and bake’, which is banned as a weapon by the Convention on
> Conventional Weapons. Similar to napalm, it leaves the victim horribly
> burned, often right through to the bone. I heard a State Department
> spokesman say: ‘US forces have used them very sparingly in Fallujah, for
> illumination purposes. They were fired into the air to illuminate enemy
> positions at night, not at enemy fighters.’ Then I heard him say that ‘US
> forces used white phosphorus rounds to flush out enemy fighters so that they
> could then be killed with high explosive rounds.’ Then I heard a Pentagon
> spokesman say that the previous statements were based on ‘poor information’,
> and that ‘it was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants.’
> Then I heard the Pentagon say that white phosphorus was not an illegal
> weapon, because the US
> had never signed that provision of the Convention on Conventional Weapons."
> As Weinberger's commentary on the US-led war in Iraq emphasizes, Israel is
> not the only country recently to have used white phosphorus in violation of
> international humanitarian law -- signed or, as in this case, unconscionably
> unsigned.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Haaretz, Sunday October 4 2009
> It's all kosher for Kasher
> by Gideon Levy


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