October 12, 2009
In News The Israel-Palestine Conflict
By LARRY DERFNERVirtually all of Israel is now speaking in one voice against the Goldstone report, against any attempt to blame us over the war in Gaza. We’ve honed our message to a sharp point and, inspired by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s performance at the UN, we’re delivering it with just the right tone of outrage: How dare anyone deny us the right to self-defense! How dare anyone deny us the right to fight back against terrorism! Very nice. Puts everyone else on the defensive. The right to self-defense is up there with motherhood and apple pie – who’s going to come out against it, especially for us, for Israel, for the Jews, for the people of the Holocaust? The right to self-defense – perfect. But I’d like to ask: Do the Palestinians also have the right to self-defense? We probably wouldn’t admit it out loud, but in our heads we would say – again, in one voice – “No!” This is the Israeli notion of a fair deal: We’re entitled to do whatever the hell we want to the Palestinians because, by definition, whatever we do to them is self-defense. They, however, are not entitled to lift a finger against us because, by definition, whatever they do to us is terrorism. That’s the way it’s always been, that’s the way it was in Operation Cast Lead. AND THERE are no limits on our right to self-defense. There is no such thing as “disproportionate.” We can blockade Gaza, we can answer Kassams with F-16s and Apaches, we can take 100 eyes for an eye. We can deliberately destroy thousands of Gazan homes, the Gazan parliament, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior, courthouses, the only Gazan flour plant, the main poultry farm, a sewage treatment plant, water wells and God knows what else. Deliberately. After all, we’re acting in self-defense. By definition. And what right do the Palestinians have to defend themselves against this? None. Why? Because we’re better than them. Because we’re a democracy and they’re a bunch of Islamo-fascists. Because ours is a culture of life and theirs is a culture of death. Because they’re out to destroy us and all we are saying is give peace a chance. One look at the ruins of Gaza ought to make that plain enough. Here is our idea of the “laws of war”: When Israeli bulldozers rolled across the border into Gazan villages and flattened house after house so Hamas wouldn’t have them for cover after the IDF pulled out, that was self-defense. But if a Palestinian boy who’d lived in one of those houses threw a stone at one of the bulldozers, that was terrorism. The Goldstones of the world call this hypocrisy, a double standard. How dare they! Around here, we call it moral clarity.