Monday, November 19, 2012

Causation and Consequence in the Palestinian- Israeli conflict

Last night on ABC's Lateline uncritical anchor Emma Alberici “interviewed’ an embedded Palestinian journalist in Gaza whose dubious interpretations included some inaccurate and exaggerated statistics  re both the number of Palestinian casualties, and the number of  supposed civilians amongst these. These made up figures were supplied for  both Operation Cast Lead and the current attempts to halt Palestinian missiles. This was followed by a long “interview” with an Arab academic at the American University, Rami Khourie, who was not challenged even once, but simply given a platform to spout fiction after fiction without being called out on any of these. For example that the Arab world has essentially accepted Israel’s right to exist, and has ceased to attack, demonize, delegitimize, and discriminate against Israel at every opportunity and in every international forum.

When questioned as to why Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan had labelled Israel’s actions “terrorism” Khourie insightfully explained it was because “Erdogan is not afraid of upsetting Israel.” The interview compliantly nodded and then allowed Khourie to continue. Perhaps a more informed or critical interviewer might have examined Turkey’s bid for leadership in the Islamic world, and the way any Islamic leader can and does use anti-Israel rhetoric to garner popular support; the more extreme the rhetoric, the greater the knee-jerk support. A more critical interviewer might have examined how governments throughout the region have used – and continue to use – popular anger and identification with the Palestinian cause to distract from the more immediate challenges they face.

Khourie’s basic thesis: the instability, corruption, low productivity, lack off freedoms, factionalism, economic mismanagement, authoritarianism, and general decay in much of the Sunni Arab world is no one’s fault but Israel’s, and the growth of various forms of Islamic supremacism – from Salafists to Al Kayda to the Moslem Brotherhood – is all Israel’s fault. It is this very abdication of responsibility and culture of blaming the other which continues to perpetuate systemic dysfunction in many of the societies Khourie claims are now democracies. During the interview it seemed to me the meta text unwittingly slipped out. The profound sense of inferiority felt by many (men?) in the Arab world re the West, the resentment this engenders, and the psychological need to eradicate “reminders” of this perceived inferiority, such as Israel.

His thesis (his threat?) that Israeli intransigence has created radical fundamentalism and that Israel had better deal with its current opponents before worse ones come along can easily be reversed. It is the implacable belligerence and hostility of the surrounding countries and populations which has created, and continues to create, an increasingly radicalized and right leaning Israel. It is not easy to persuade Israelis that further territorial concessions and a Palestinian State will provide stability when ceded territory becomes one giant launching pad for missiles and mortars.

I hope that at the least, Lateline will allow equal and opposite views to be aired – for example an interview with celebrated Israeli historian Benny Morris, or with journalist David Landau (formerly Haaretz editor),  and give them as much freedom and latitude to provide alternative views of causality and consequence in this long running conflict.

Israeli victims of Palestinian torture ...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Art of War Al Pi Ashton

Catherine Ashton, Vice-president and high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, made the following statement on Friday 16th November. "The rocket attacks by Hamas and other factions in Gaza, which began this current crisis, are totally unacceptable for any government and must stop,” Ashton said.“Israel has the right to protect its population from these kind of attacks. I urge Israel to ensure that its response is proportionate,” she said.

This comment can be explained in two ways. It may mean: "When you are attacked, do not try to overwhelm your opponent, rather leave them in a condition where they can attack you again the next day" 

or it might be advising the Israeli's to treat the Palestinians in Gaza in a way similar to the way Palestinians have treated Israelis, perhaps even copy the Palestinians exactly, to make sure everything is fair and in proportion. If the latter, she seems to be suggesting that Israel should indiscriminatel shoot 12 000 rockets into civilian centres of Gaza (which is basically the whole of Gaza), and pack these rockets with nails and bolts so they can maim and kill as much as possible. In addition Israel should send suicide bombers into Gaza to blow up buses packed with Palestinians, places where Palestinians are celebrating religious holidays, pizza parlours (or the Gazan equivalent) and coffee houses, bus stops, and so forth.

Which do you think she meant? 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Have A Good Day - Sutra 3

What does "have a good day" mean?
it means "go away you've paid"
it means "I will dismiss you before you can dismiss me"
it means "leave me alone I will not show you anything that might make me vulnerable"
it means "I am not available for any kind of interaction"
it means " you may still have something I can benefit from in the future"
it means "I'm in the groove, at least this way I can live with the numbness"
it means "I don't wish to know you or myself and I hope I never have to meet either of us"


Commentary: there is a direct link between the fear that halts process and offers up stunted incomplete versions of relationship, and the simultaneous or subsequent ways in which people attempt to unstick themselves and get their needs for authenticity, integration, autonomy, bliss and oblivion met. Every synthetic "have a good day" multiplied across hundreds of commodified relationships creates the kind of despair and numbness which ends in drunken MVA's, incessant use of pornography, uncontrollable gambling, workaholism, obesity, and all the other addictions and afflictions of affluence.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A List of Meaningless Statistics

Use these as needed in advertorials, direct marketing etc

Most people only use 10% of their brain
90% of the world's wealth is controlled by 10% of its population
Kills 99% of all germs (if they do they are wiping out the beneficial bacteria upon which we depend)