Wednesday, January 7, 2009

fuck alan dershowitz

okay last post about the news. i found that aljazeera in english is probably one of the better news stations i've ever watched they seem to have pretty balanced coverage with less biased interpretations.

over the last few days the news has been a constant presence in homes, shops, restaurants, etc. arabic and english. but it's been interesting to watch events unfold and watch as the first account gets distorted. there was coverage of the 3 israeli soldiers who died in "friendly fire" a news reporter standing with israeli troops on the border of gaza near where it happened had just talked to them and found out that the 3 israeli soldiers had taken shelter from heavy fighting in a building that the army targeted. she then went on to mantion it's implications of the israeli army not having proper knowledge of their targets and good ground communication with troops in battle. at the end of her report the flash at the bottom of the screen said "3 israeli troops killed in errant tank fire" i wonder which story made it to international press.

then i saw a debate between a female palestinian rights activist and alan dershowitz. he kept condemning hamas saying the children dying are their faults citing international law regarding hostage takers being at fault when police kill a hostage. as if international law has ever been followed here. and he kept getting really dramatic about everything saying what would you do if bombs were being dropped in your schoolyards, and israel has a right to defend itself against those who don't think it should exist, i kept thinking - "which side is he talking about", it's fucked up that you can defend the actions of one by stating something applicable to both. the woman replied calmly that it was impossible to have a real conversation if he kept being dramatic and that this was not a hollywood movie. she pointed out that one of the reasons for the actions of hamas has been in response to the year and a half blockade of gaza since it was democratically elected and that israel does not respect the rights of palestinians or recognize them as a state. he replied with the falsity - of course israel recognizes palestine. are you kidding me? i've seen again and again with the coverage of this was in the west that they really do believe that if you say something enough, the truth has no bearing. and the way in which he addressed any of her questions was by invalidating them. i wish i could find the video, if i do i'll post it.

i wish i could do this justice it was laughably inaccurate on his part but gave tremendous insight into how anyone who supports what is going actually believes. disgusting.

looking at the history (or the brief history that i know) hamas was democratically elected - yes extreme but still democratically elected by a people living under tremendous pressure from an occupying force. then israel blocked its borders because it didn't like the government chosen by those people, supported internationally because they are a known "terrorist" organization. not letting in food - it rotted waiting days to be let in, medical supplies, fuel, etc. hamas has had one continuos demand since this began - end the blockade. it declared a 6 month cease fire in which nothing changed and when it was lifted it continued lauching rockets into the parts of israel it could reach. horrendous as any violence is, what happens when the needs of a people are continuosly not met or addressed, they start acting out. hamas is very stubborn and has violent extreme ways of dealing with these issues which is unexcusable but that still does not justify any of the actions israel has taken that has ended up hurting the people and continuing the cycle of violence and created more support for any "leadership" which is trying to change the situation. and when violence is what you are treated with it seems to be the way in which you respond. from what i've heard many palestinians in the west bank do not support hamas, they are stubborn and not serving the needs of the people. but once again we need to look at the causes that have let such a government take power.

and in response to that look at the right wing extreme government elected by the israeli people, just because they aren't labeled "terrorists" doesn't mean there actions aren't just as reprehensible. they killed 100+ people yesterday, bombed a UN school. watching the news you see blood spattered streets, the still functionaing hospitals can't take care of everyone. the bloodbath continues and the UN security council is talking about it in the lounge over coffee and cigarettes. wtf?

i can't talk about this anymore. i've thrown up twice today since arriving back in israel. seeing the soldiers who i know play a game with...whenever i see someone that i think they might mess with i go up and ask inane questions until they pass. maybe they wouldn't have harassed them anyway...who knows after what i've seen. and then seeing a tank in transport next to the bus i was in. i've luckily never seen one up close until now. unlike my friend yosef who had his leg blown off by one in front of al rowwad center in 2001, but at least he really enjoys playing wheelchair basketball. i bet he liked being able to run and jump too.

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