I. As the civilian death toll in Gaza mushroomed Sunday, the son of long comatose Ariel Sharon invoked mushroom clouds, in a stark metaphor of eliminationism toward the people of Gaza:
The son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has called on Israel to escalate its current military assault and “flatten all of Gaza”.
In an inflammatory op-ed article for The Jerusalem Post, Gilad Sharon dismisses any concern over the deaths of innocent Palestinian civilians as a result.
“The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas,” he writes.
“We need to flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.”
Palestinian activists routinely claim to be suffering a “shoah” at the hands of Israel, but the Jewish state normally denies any moral equivalence between the suffering of Palestinians today and European jewry under the Nazis.
Matan Vilnai, deputy defence minister, broke that taboo when he used the term “shoah” during interview on Army Radio.
“The more qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves,” he said.
His use of the term reflects the febrile atmosphere in Israel where public opinion demands the government does something decisive to stop the daily barrage of rockets fired from Gaza over the border into Israel.
The Telegraph article was incorrect in its claim of “a daily barrage of rockets fired from Gaza.” That is certainly the case now, but there have been many extremely long lulls and cessations in the most often innocuous and ineffectual rocket launchings or barrages. Indeed, the Israelis have killed more Palestinian kids this week than Palestinian rockets have claimed over all the years among all Israelis, let alone innocent children.
Minister Vilnai wasn’t the only government spokesperson to vilify human life itself this weekend in public comments. Interior Minister Eli Yishai earnestly advocated genocidal war crimes against Gazans:
7:55 P.M. Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Israel’s operation in Gaza: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for forty years.”
Phil Weiss and Alison Deger, in Israel covering the war for the American blog, Mondoweiss, observed aspects of this despicable racism in a post early Saturday:
And shockingly, several Jewish Israelis I spoke to called for genocide in Gaza. “Kill them all,” said Chen, 23, in Ashkelon.
Several people offered genocidal statements unprompted. What is the solution to Gaza? “Long term? I don’t think you should write it down,” Debbie, an Australian who had emigrated to a town near Gaza, said. “Push delete on Gaza,” said a 22-year-old man standing on a hill in Sederot overlooking Gaza.
“Gaza need to disappear,” said Chen, 23, a clerical worker in a doctor’s office in Ashkelon. “Disappear?” “Yes, kill them all. Of course. One time, and that’s it.” She dusted her hands together. “Nobody’s good there.” Her coworker, Miri, 52, nodded agreement.
When confronted yesterday by RT TV’s Bill Todd on the intentional targeting of two press HQs in Gaza, and on the high number of deaths the IDF is inflicting on Palestinian women and children, IDF spokesperson Avital Leibovitch was non-plussed, not even able to recognize her own deeply embedded racism: [cont’d.]
“There is no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on from outside its borders,” Obama said Sunday in his first public comments on the fighting. “We are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend its borders.”
Uh, I guess that doesn’t pertain to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and other places to where people in padded rooms in Las Vegas or some other stateside U.S. base send “missiles raining down on [sic] from outside its borders.”
Reactions to Obama’s racist comment from the anti-war left are understandably harsh. Here’s The Agonist:
Umm, did you forget about your own drones raining missiles on people across the globe, Mr. President? Or the bombs sent from outside it’s own borders currently raining down on Gaza? In any case – whether the rockets or Israeli airstrikes came first this time around is a bit of chicken-and-egg question, although the favorite for instigator is actually Israel. Let’s not forget too the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza – a military blockade of a civilian population being a textbook act of war.
The fact remains, you don’t support one side’s war crimes even if you think the other side started war crimes first. That’s not how it’s meant to work.
And let’s have some sense of perspective here – at current rates it’d take Hamas over 4 million years to do to Israel what Israel could do to Gaza in a week. Since this new round of conflict erupted last Wednesday, three Israelis have been killed, but 65 Palestinians are dead, most of them civilians. Jonathan Cook relates the tale of a recent “fair an balanced, both sides do it” segment that went very off script.
Here’s Paul Mutter at Mondoweiss:
[I]n all such instances, past, present and future, I think we can expect the US to offer the same sort of green lighting the White House has delivered this day. Obama was still in transition in 2008 when Cast Lead took place, and “only” received intelligence briefings and Israeli missives on Cast Lead. This week, he has made his views clearer still.
I observed in the comments at Mutter’s piece:
As neo-liberal as Obama is, I can’t imagine he has forgotten all the slights, minor or major, delivered to him and his administration by Natanyahu over the past years. They began with the highly embarrassing treatment of VP Biden when Biden visited Israel in March 2009, and Netanyahu’s administration announced a huge expansion of settlements right before their scheduled meeting, and went on constantly, right down to Netanyahu’s appearance in pro-Romney campaign ads last month. Obama has been kicked in the nuts by Netanyahu so many times and so hard over the past three years, I’m surprised his voice hasn’t gone up an octave. Can’t imagine this sits well with the president. At all.
Obama is going to be very busy, though, setting up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, selling out so-called entitlements, pushing to get the US to surpass Saudi energy production on his watch, and – if he can garner the support – find a way to scam marketization of carbon taxes and carbon sequestration programs into the next big Wall Street bubble. To do this, he will need help from a lot of ardent Zionists in powerful places.
While Obama is sticking up for this sickening campaign, he probably views it as a distraction from more important deal-making afoot as he prepares to duplicate or even outdo the kinds of policies put in place by his Democratic Party predecessor between 1997 and 2000.
Photo of four dead Palestinian siblings, killed by the IDF on November 18,2012, by Noor Tagouri via twitter.