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Archive for July 27th, 2006

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Written by yishaym

July 27, 2006 at 1:07 pm

Posted in Israel, Lebanon, war

when did it start?

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Asks Timothy Garton Ash in today’s Guardian.

When and where did this war begin? Shortly after 9am local time on Wednesday July 12, when Hizbullah militants seized Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev? Friday June 9, when Israeli shells killed at least seven Palestinian civilians on a beach in the Gaza strip? January this year, when Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections? 1982, when Israel invaded Lebanon? 1979, with the Islamic revolution in Iran? 1948, with the creation of the state of Israel? Or how about Russia in the spring of 1881?

Mr. Ash implores on Europians to acknowledge their responsibility for the state of affairs in the middle east. Not that I disagree, but I see a danger here.

In the ’30s and ’40s the British blocked Jewish immigration to Israel, often sending refugees back into the hands of the Nazis. I suspect that in part this was motivated by their feelings of guilt towards the Arab nations they has colonialised.

In the ’50s and ’60s Europeans blindly backed Israel, hautned by their feelings of guilt for not preventing the Holocoust.

Nowadays we see a backlash: realizing that this unconditional support encouraged Israel to displace half a million Palestinians and marginalized 3 million, Europe is now obsessed with guilt feelings towards the Palestinians, which foster a radical anti-Israeli attitude.

Please, put aside the guilt politics. See us for what we are. Defer judgment, and study the complexities.

On a more philosophical note –

Guilt is a fundamental Christian sentiment.  The main players in the mid east are Muslim and Jewish. If you want to begin understanding the underlying forces, forget guilt. Think honor, fear, and (mis)trust.
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Written by yishaym

July 27, 2006 at 11:49 am