Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Max Blumenthal: Vox Pop on the Streets of New York

Max Blumenthal, writing at Alternet is bemused as Pro-Israel demonstrators call Islam a death cult and almost in the same breath call for all the people of Gaza to be wiped out. Sheesh, they sure know how to party, those Middle East tribes. Most of them. As bad as each other. Why not watch the video above, with a group of friends, on silent first and each try to guess which vox popper said the "wipe out" thing. Over to Max:

No one I spoke to could seem to find any circumstance in which they would begin to question Israel’s war. No number of civilian deaths, no displays of extreme suffering -- nothing could deter their enthusiasm for attacking one of the most vulnerable populations in the world with the world’s most advanced weaponry. There are no limits, no matter what Israel does, no matter how it does it.

The rally made me think of a passage in “The Holocaust Is Over, We Must Rise From Its Ashes,” a powerful new book by former Israeli Knesset speaker and Jewish National Fund chairman Avraham Burg:

“If you are a bad person, a whining enemy or a strong-arm occupier, you are not my brother, even if you are circumcised, observe the Sabbath, and do mitzvahs. If your scarf covers every hair on your head for modesty, you give alms and do charity, but what is under your scarf is dedicated to the sanctity of Jewish land, taking precedence over the sanctity of human life, whosever life that is, then your are not my sister. You might be my enemy. A good Arab or a righteous gentile will be a brother or sister to me. A wicked man, even of Jewish descent, is my adversary, and I would stand on the other side of the barricade and fight him to the end.”

Self-defence is about "reasonable force". "Wipe them all out" is not "reasonable force. And "My Israel Right or Wrong" is surely not a respectable philosophical position?

Despite repeated viewing I'm finding it impossible to distinguish the response to the "What Do We Want?" question from the young Hasidic MC near the start of Max's video. Did the other guy mumble-shout haShoah? Or did he mumble-shout Moshiach? Hopefully it was the latter. Though apparently "big wars and shit" precede the second coming.

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