Neocons Fume Over US Boat to
Sunday 17 July 2011
Demonstrators on the American boat, "The Audacity of Hope" at a port near
My co-passengers and I of the U.S. Boat to
Poor Alan, he seems upset at our audacity not only to hope for humane treatment of the 1.6 million Gazans, who currently live under a cruel blockade, but to force the issue. To stop our boat before it could leave Greek waters,
This time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government did not even have to kill people to add to
In recognition of our modest accomplishments, we
Anyone know what a knave is? Does it have something to do with what Damon Runyon used to call “the Harvards,” among whom Dershowitz has long toiled as a law professor?
Dershowitz also lashes out at the American Jews onboard, including 86-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, with the shopworn epithet for Jews who dare to criticize
I suppose if I had criticized some of the ugly extremism in
But the bottom line is this
What we boaters appear to have accomplished is to provoke the mighty diplomats of
Greek authorities, already tied up in knots over their national financial crisis, had their arms twisted to thwart a group of humanitarians and peace activists – including poet Alice Walker, retired Army Col. Ann Wright and Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin – from sailing a boat to
By putting the issue of
But caution. The injured-animal syndrome among the Likudniks poses distinct dangers for the people of the Middle East — the more so, as we watch President Barack Obama continue to let Netanyahu walk all over him.
In my view, there is more danger, in present circumstances, that the extreme right in
It certainly appears that the Likudniks, the
Beyond expanding settlements on Palestinian lands and resisting serious peace talks, Netanyahu’s government has taken to segregating not only Arabs from Jews but secular Jews from ultra-Orthodox Jews.
Plus, over the past two years, Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition has lost its co-opted ally Hosni Mubarak in
And, as for “delegitimizing”
The likely “legitimization” of a Palestinian state by the U.N. in September is being seen in some Israeli right-wing quarters as the last straw.
But Netanyahu’s thuggish regime still can count on influential apologists like Dershowitz to excuse whatever it does. Dershowitz and other neocon voices pipe up whenever
As part of that propaganda, we are now hearing, again and again, bizarre accounts about how wonderful life is for the Gazans. In his pro-blockade diatribe, Dershowitz depicted a fun-and-sun existence for these Palestinians, who are, in reality, trapped in what amounts to a squalid open-air prison.
Besides cutting the Gazans off from the world, Israel has strangled their economy by tightly restricting construction material needed to rebuild homes, businesses and schools damaged in Israel’s 2008-09 invasion, which killed an estimated 1,400 Palestinians, compared to 13 Israeli deaths.
However, to gloss over the ugly reality, Dershowitz selectively cites a recent New York Times article, which noted that construction material smuggled in from
Here’s Dershowitz’s slanted version
Yet, the few positives were only part of what the Times’
“Hospitals have canceled elective surgery for lack of supplies. Electricity remains maddeningly irregular. The much-publicized opening of the Egyptian border has fizzled, so people remain trapped here. The number of residents living on less than $1.60 a day has tripled in four years. Three-quarters of the population rely on food aid.”
The Israeli human rights group Gisha, which has campaigned against the closure of
Gisha noted that “The continued ban on export, construction materials, and travel between
“At least 83% of
“Even during the winter agricultural season, when
In other words, the situation for Gazans remains horribly bleak, although perhaps slightly less bleak now that Egypt is looking the other way on the smuggling of concrete, steel beams and other construction material.
Under international pressure – brought about partly by earlier challenges to the four-year-old sea blockade –
But Dershowitz’s slanted argument is offensive for other reasons. Arguing that some people in the Middle East might be worse off than the Gazans is reminiscent of the claims by white South Africans that “their” blacks were better off than some blacks living in poorer parts of
Or the neocon musings in the United States some years back that slavery wasn’t so bad because Africans who were captured by European slavers and forcibly shipped to the New World had a chance for a better life – more so than Africans who weren’t lucky enough to be put in chains, crowded into foul slave ships (where many died), sold to plantation owners in a strange land, and then be subjected to whippings, rapes, endless humiliations and lynching. Yes, the “upside” of slavery.
To tout a couple of “luxury hotels” being built in Gaza, some children at the beach and the possibility that some other Arabs might be more miserable than the Gazans – as an excuse for the entrapment and collective punishment of 1.6 million people – is the same kind of rationalizing on behalf of injustice.
As for Dershowitz’s insults toward me and the other passengers on our Boat to
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publication arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs