Posts Tagged ‘Israel’


We put up our 1,000th post about three weeks ago. Since then, we’ve been looking through everything we’ve posted, and have been putting up “best of” lists in our most popular categories.

This is the ninth of our first-1,000 “best of” lists. We’ve already posted the Science Fiction, HumorMusicInterviews, AtheismEconomics, Science/Skepticism, and Addictions lists, and will shortly be putting up our final “best of”: Religion.

Here, we’ve folded three categories (Anarchism, Libertarianism, and Politics) into this post because of the relative paucity of posts on Anarchism and Libertarianism. We hope you’ll enjoy at least some of these posts.

Anarchism

Libertarianism

Politics


McCARTHYISM, n. 1. The hurling of baseless, slanderous charges at political opponents, be they groups or individuals; 2. A common means of leveling such charges through the deliberate conflation of two unrelated things, such as anti-Semitism and criticism of the state of Israel, or racism and criticism of Islam or Muslims (who come in all colors).

How these distinct things are identical is never explained, though one suspects transubstantiation or a particularly perverse form of syllogistic reasoning. To wit:

Most Islamic believers are black or brown.
So, criticism of Islam (a religion) is an attack on black and brown people.
Therefore those who criticize Islam are racist.

Or

Most Israeli citizens are Jewish.
So, criticism of Israel (a political entity) is an attack on Jewish people.
Therefore those who criticize Israel are anti-Semitic..

One could just as well argue the following:

Most American child molesters are white.
So, criticism of child molesters is an attack on white people.
Therefore those who criticize child molesters are racists.

And there you have it. What passes for political discussion in the land of the free.

* * *

–from the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary, the best modern successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary

 

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover


A couple of days ago I received an e-mail from a pal  about his being slimed as an “anti-semite” because he protested the Israeli army’s mass murder of children in Gaza.

Here are two simple questions: The Israelis are semites. The Palestinians are semites. How can the murder of one by the other consist of anti-semitism? And how can pointing this out be anti-semitism?

The extreme-right, Israel-uber-alles apologists who control the U.S. media ignore these questions. We need to ask them.


What is a terrorist?

Despite authoritarian attempts to redefine the term, it’s not a saboteur (who engages in property destruction), and it’s not a citizen who engages in nonviolent civil disobedience. It’s someone or some entity who threatens or engages in violence to intimidate others into bending to his (yes, almost always “his”) dictates.

Let’s take a look at Ferguson, Missouri. Militarized police killing civilians. Shots to the back of the head. Cops in body armor pointing automatic weapons at civilians, and sometimes firing on them. This is terrorism.

Let’s look at Gaza. One Israeli child reportedly killed by Hamas’s glorified fireworks, 400 to 500 Palestinian children killed by Israeli bombs. Another thousand with life-altering injuries: paraplegia, quadraplegia, limbs blown off.  Families living in dread of the next bomb tearing their children apart. This is terrorism. (And, yes, Hamas’s use of crude rockets qualifies, too.)

Let’s look at Syria and Iraq. ISIS, murdering Christians who refuse to convert. Murdering journalists. This is terrorism.

What to do with terrorists? First, recognize what terrorism is. After we’ve recognized what it is, let’s talk about how to deal with it and those who perpetrate it.

Let’s stop pretending that anyone you dislike is a “terrorist.” Let’s reserve the term for those who kill people and threaten to kill people. Only then can we deal with the problem.

 

 


by Chaz Bufe, publisher See Sharp Press

(Note: The final Palestinian civilian death toll resulting from the 2014 Israeli bombardment of and incursion into Gaza, was 1,660, including 527 children, resulting a grisly end result of 527 Palestinian children murdered by the Israeli armed forces to one Israeli child murdered by Hamas.)

I’ve had it. I’ve had it with being silent in the face of murder.  I’ve had it with my tax dollars paying for murder.

I’ve had it with American politicians kissing the butt of the brutal Israeli extreme right, thanks to AIPAC, which will bury in negative ads any politico who stands up for basic human decency. I’ve had it with the intimidated/complicit corporate media (hello Phil Griffin and MSNBC), and I’ve had it with politicians whose first loyalty is to Greater Israel rather than the United States (hello Chuck Schumer).

You’ll find more diversity of opinion in Israel than in the United States. Only here will you find apologists for mass murder arguing, somehow, that the two-hundred-plus Palestinian children killed by the Israeli “self-defense” forces were complicit in their own murders. Only here will you find headlines trumpeting the deaths of single Israeli soldiers, while the scant details of the deaths of dozens of Palestinian civilians are buried in later paragraphs.

One has to go back to the immediate aftermath of 9/11 to find such nauseating apologetics for the killing of innocents–and, no, not “hello” Ward Churchill, but rather “go to hell”–you who called the 9/11 victims “little Eichmanns.”

That effectively dehumanized the 9/11 victims, just as the corporate media dehumanizes the hundreds of children who have been murdered in recent days in the world’s largest open-air concentration camp.

This time, the number of Palestinian deaths (mostly civilians) is “only” about 30 to 1. Last time, it was a hundred to one. The only comparable death toll that comes to mind is Lidice.

I hold no brief for Hamas. I hold no brief for Fatah. I despise them. Just as I despise the brutal, expansionist Israeli extreme right.

In the end–despite all the sickening blather about “self-defense” as bombs hit schools, homes, and hospitals–it’s pretty damn simple: STOP MURDERING CHILDREN.