Not surprisingly, an Israeli court reportedly rejected a lawsuit filed by the parents of Rachel Corrie, the American killed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003. The court ruled, in effect Corrie herself brought on the “accident” that killed her despite eyewitnesses’ statements that the attack was deliberate.
The mere mention of this incident brings out an amazing amount of pro-Israel, anti-American sentiment. Instead of recognizing the courage of a woman who put her life on the line for what she believed in, folks try to characterize her as a terrorist, a terrorism supporter, a woman too stupid to get out of the way of an advancing bulldozer, or a woman too stupid to stay out of a “war zone.”
I get a kick out of the folks who complain Corrie wasn’t where she was “supposed” to be. When I hear that argument, I ask who does the “supposing.” Is a foreign country entitled to tell Americans where we are and are not allowed to be?
Did invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 entitle the Soviet Union to tell Americans where they were and were not allowed to be? A former classmate of mine, Bill Mc Laughlin, made news when he told the Soviet invaders he would obey Czech law, not Soviet “authority,” when he was in Czechoslovakia.
Bill did not pay for his choice with his life because the USSR was not an “ally” of the US. Corrie had no such protection. The Israeli government knows it will get away with killing Americans because its “ally” status protects it from the consequences of its actions.
In June, when I listed the 34 Americans killed in the attack of the USS Liberty, I got a response that the Liberty was not where it was “supposed” to be. Apparently, for that responder, the US is not a sovereign nation but one subject to the “authority” of a foreign government. I’ve seen instances of blaming the victim before, but not when the victim is the United States Navy.
I wonder if those who argue that Corrie and the Liberty were to blame for not being where the Israeli government “supposed” them to be ever consider whether Israeli terrorism victims are to blame for their deaths for not being where they are “supposed” to be.
Could you consider the lands illegally seized after the 1968 war “war zones?” If so, could you argue that Israeli settlers killed by terrorists deserved to die for being stupid enough to build their homes in a war zone? For some reason, I have yet to hear such an argument.
The phrase, “thinning the herd” comes to mind. That’s how one person characterized Corrie’s violent death. Those who see human relations, not matters of morality, but merely matters of survival of the fittest suggest that humans are significantly the same as lions stalking their prey. For such folks, there is no moral law, only the law of the jungle, eat or be eaten. In this mentality, Israel’s killing innocent Palestinians is no different from lions’ killing zebras.
But for some reason, the law of the jungle does not apply to terrorist actions. There’s no sense that if you bulldoze innocent people’s homes and take their lands from them, your actions will have consequences. Apparently, the moral law that does not apply to Israeli actions applies to terrorists. I hear that Palestinians deserve to die for being governed by Hamas. But I do not hear that Israelis deserve to die for being governed by its ruling coalition.
I have little doubt that my refusal to succumb to these blatant double standards will bring about the usual accusations from the usual suspects. I can only say to them: Bring it on. Go ahead and explain how opposing military aid to Semitic Israel makes me anti-Semitic, why opposing military aid to Semitic Syria does not make me anti-Semitic and why opposing military aid to Vatican City does not make me anti-Catholic. While you’re at it, maybe you can explain how criticizing government officials in a single country means hating all Jews but labeling Jews like Howard Zinn, Naomi Klein, Glenn Greenwald, Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein as “fringe leftists” does not mean hating all Jews.
I doubt any of the usual suspects will address the issues above. Again and again, I find folks who try to hijack this forum to change it from an intelligent discussion of issues to a discussion of their hostility towards anyone who dares challenge political ideologies they hold sacred. But I will try to make it a little tougher for them to do so.
Here's the issue in this essay: Who in the Middle Eastern conflict is or are responsible for what happens to them and why?
Anyone with the guts to answer that question?