January 7, 2009

Yet More Strange New Respect

Yes, Israelis deserve security. Twenty Israelis dead in 10 years around Gaza is a grim figure indeed. But 600 Palestinians dead in just over a week, thousands over the years since 1948 – when the Israeli massacre at Deir Yassin helped to kick-start the flight of Palestinians from that part of Palestine that was to become Israel – is on a quite different scale. This recalls not a normal Middle East bloodletting but an atrocity on the level of the Balkan wars of the 1990s. And of course, when an Arab bestirs himself with unrestrained fury and takes out his incendiary, blind anger on the West, we will say it has nothing to do with us. Why do they hate us, we will ask? But let us not say we do not know the answer.
Who said this? Robert Fisk, of all people.

I've adopted the net neologism "to Fisk," as here.

I've begun to read the man, a British reporter who lives in Lebanon and knows that country well. He's compassionate, passionate, and if he has a bias, it's against atrocity. He has few illusions about any of the players.

But then, even at my advanced age, this Gaza misadventure has opened my eyes, and is rapidly destroying whatever residual respect and affection I had for Israel.

Read, as the saying goes, the whole thing.

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