Tuesday, February 9, 2010

After hurricane Goldstone, Israel is planning to go on the charm offense

Israel pooh poohed the UN commissioned Goldstone Report on its preemptive war in Gaza, pompously called 'Operation Cast Lead'. It had the gaggle of trained lapdogs in the US Congress and even in the White House, to denounce it as 'biased', and unworthy of consideration. Jerusalem turned down the opportunity to cooperate with the eminent South African and Jewish jurist, Richard Goldstone, as he patiently gathered evidence for his report to the United Nations.
In fact, ruling circles in Israel dismissed Goldstone as a 'self hating Jew', even though the judge is a supporter of Israel.
Israel misjudged the breath and depth of the global effect which the Goldstone Report would have. In brief, it was a time bomb ready to explode, and it did in Israel's face. It seriously damaged the 60 years old crafted and manicured image of the 'Jewish' state, with 20 per cent Arab citizenry, and a state which had two national languages--Hebrew and Arabic.
'Operation Cast Lead' badly tarnished Israel's international glow, wot, with the price civilian Gazans payed with loss of life and limb and the high numbered of injured; they saw the Strip's infrastructure--schools, hospitals, roads, factories, farm land, destroyed before their very eyes. Furthermore, after 22 days of fighting, the continued Israeli blockade lets enough food in...something like 15 per cent of daily nutritional intake, to enter the ringed Gaza Strip, something which David Pelham documented in the 'London Review of Books'. Vindictive hardly describes the animus that Israel has towards a Hamas governed Gaza Strip.
And then Israel's use of white phosphorous and collective punishment against a civilian population against the puny rocket attacks against southern Israeli settlements, pales in comparison to the Bantustan Israel has forced Gaza to become.
Speaking of Bantustan more broadly, the ongoing illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian west bank, under 43 years of Israeli colonial occupation, have so eaten away Palestinian territory that what's left is unconnected 'islands' of Palestinians, and hardly land which one can say would make a viable Palestine which more likely than not--short of a miracle or US pressure--will never perhaps see the day. In all, Israel has embaced apartheid as a way of ruling the Palestian population. And this belief that Israel has inherited the mantle of the racist South African government, and all the baggage that goes with that, suddenly has awakened Israel to the crisis of their own making, which the Goldstone report was the straw that broke Jerusalem's camel's back.
To wash its reputation with rose water, Israel is plotting a huge charm offensive, to tart itself up as a sainted, but wrong virgin. A media blitz which it is hoped will significantly tilt world opinion in Israel's favour. The road map remains to be more finely drawn, before being put into execution. This makes one pause to ask, how could the Israeli propaganda machine which has more or less well oiled, yea these 60 years break down? What happened to the 'Shalom' campaign to beef up sagging tourism, wot, with smiling Israelis welcoming one and all, Jew and non Jew, to the land of 'milk and honey'? Potemkin like images masking the brutual suppression of Palestinians, the theft of their land, and the double standards of the 'uebermenchen' Israelis lording it over the 'untermenschen' the Palestinians.
That, too, failed. So it's back to the drawing board to rewrite history or the scenes of the misery and humiliation and the brutality of more than 40 years occupation on the tv screen, the computer, or the cell phone.
No matter how Israel tries, it will fail. The UN Goldstone report has torn the veil of the 'holy of holies', exposing Jerusalem's warts and festering sores. No matter, too, how diligently Israel strives, it will never fully dominate. It has to finally own up to a two state solution, making amends to the Palestinians for 42 years now of harsh colonial rule.
The Israeli government, right wing or centrist or even 'socialist', strive to fulfill the dream of the earliest settlers: a state from the sea to the Jourdan river. Were that to happen, it would spell the death of Zionism, in the same way South Africa's apartheid crash under the weight of its own ideology.

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