Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What exactly are we supposed to do?

The UN has just launched an appeal for aid for Lebanon. Whopdee-fucking-do. What exactly is the point in spending loads of the west's money (because frankly aid doesn't come from anywhere else) on Lebanon whilst Israel is still happily blowing seven shades of shit out of it?
 
The whole situation over there is a fucking disgrace. And what's more of a disgrace is that our government is quite happy to just sit by and do nothing. And as for the UN - 'ohh, let's have an appeal, let's pretend we're doing something, let's pretend we're actually useful and not just a bunch of pointless, shit-headed bureaucrats who don't even have the power to put together a resolution, let alone enforce one'.
 
But what are we supposed to do? Join an anti-war march populated by radical left wingers and political islamists? Fuck that. I hold Israel responsible for most of the current violence, but even I'm not naive enough to think maybe Hezbollah can't share some blame here.
 
So what's a slightly left of centre, liberal supposed to do? Bitch about it on a blog I suppose.
 
What's needed is a force to go in between Israel and Hezbollah, and investment in stabilising the Lebanese government. Unfortunately the only country who would be brazen enough to do that is America, and that would obviously do more harm than good. Yes, sorry America, but no one likes you, no one wants to play with you, now take your expensive toys and fuck off out of the playground.
 
So what are the other options? The UN grows a pair and intervenes? Looking at it's track record in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sudan and just about every other place there's been a major conflict in the last 20 years, not fucking likely.
 
Any Arab countries intervening would just inflame Israel. Any countries so openly friendly to Israel would inflame the Arab world. I suppose there is someone we could send in to sort it out.
 
But seriously, Israel keeps saying 'We just want to live in peace'. Well prove it then. Gandhi didn't preach peace by stabbing his opponents in the neck. Or blowing up their ambulances and homes.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your viewpoint on the cause of the current violence shows your ignorance to the history in the region and what is going on politically in the region.

On both sides, no innocent people should loose their lives, to armies or militants.

Your comparison to Ghandi is laughable as well.

But at least we agree on the fact that the UN is spineless and useless.

bagelmouse said...

Ah, someone who has the courage of their convictions to remain anonymous...

Please - if anyone feels so strongly about an issue that you have to argue, actually ARGUE! If Will is showing his ignorance, give him the background, don't just call him ignorant and laughable and wander off... that's not argument, that's belittlement.

Will said...

Also I didn't even say what I thought the cause was. Numbnuts.

Adie said...

Will, by cause I was refering to the fact that you blame Israel for the current violence.

I will post my view when I have a moment. Their is a big time difference here and like earlier I am not at home.

Will said...

Where do you get that from?

"I hold Israel responsible for most of the current violence, but even I'm not naive enough to think maybe Hezbollah can't share some blame here."

Maybe from here if you stopped reading mid sentence....

bagelmouse said...

Well, I admit that I'm not up on every single border skirmish in the last few years, but a grounding in the history of Israel, Zionism and the Old Testament should do me in general, right?

There are so many other, more humane ways that Israel could defend itself against Hizbollah, rather than, I don't know, shelling the country's airport. Mossad is probably the best secret service in the world - where the hell are they? Send in assassination squads if what they want to do is destroy Hizbollah! What it looks like is Israel wanting to do is punish Lebanon as a whole, and who gave them the right to interfere with the civilian population of a sovereign nation? If the Iraq invasion/occupation by the Allies was wrong, so is this. Yes, Hizbollah have been asshats in the highest degree, but when the IRA was bombing the crap out of London I didn't see the RAF shelling Belfast, even though sections of the Northern Irish community kept electing Sinn Fein. It's their democratic right to elect whoever they want to, and governments have to deal with that with democratic due process. It's what makes us civilised - the ability to not react in the face of extreme provocation. It's called taking the moral high ground. The view of most people I've spoken to is that when it comes down to who started what (and there've been kidnappings/imprisonments from all sides, let's not pretend there hasn't been) the general consensus is that Israel has gone way over the top, and that if they'd exercised a little restraint and maturity, a lot of lives could have been saved and Lebanon's infrastructure wouldn't be fucked to the verge of sending the country back into civil war. Cos that'll really make Israel safer. Oh yeah.

bagelmouse said...

Incidentally, if it's not clear :-) I'm so angry because I expect more of Israel. Random stupid extremist groups, yeah whatever - but Israel's better than this, it shouldn't be resorting to violence. I hold Israel to the same high moral standard I hold all Western democracies to; its geography (which, let's face it, everyone already knew about when it was re-created) shouldn't exempt it from that. All the incursions, all the shootings of children and peacekeepers in Gaza - it's like watching someone you've always respected beating a puppy to death. This is a degredation of everything I've always admired about Judaism.

Will said...

Yeah, what she said.

But this isn't Judaism in any case. It's radical nationalism and fundamentalist Judaism. There is no moderate voice left in Israel. It is to Judaism what Saudi Arabia or the Taliban era Afghanistan are to Islam.

kate said...

zionism isn't judaism, and judaism isn't zionism. do remember that.

bagelmouse said...

But, Israel is a Jewish state (despite vast swathes of it being secular) and as such it represents Judaism to the wider world. Modern Zionism has - I think - been corrupted away from its secular roots by the modern frum elements in Israel, so in a fucked up way the two are now combined more than ever.

And we could get onto whether Judaism and Jewishness is purely a religion or a culture (which is how I tend to think of it) or a race, but I can't be arsed right now ;-)

kate said...

israel is a zionist state, and zionisim is a particular school of thought within judaism. lots of jews disagree with not just israel's actions but its existence.

bagelmouse said...

Israel is a Jewish state in the same sense as the UK is a Christian one and Saudi Arabia is a Muslim one; ie, the culture and poltics and society are influenced by the various elements of Jewish religion and culture and politics and society. How various Jews around the world feel about Israel and its current fuckwittery doesn't change the fact that it does exist! And that it is, quite frankly, letting the side down.

If we want to go down the route of all the various factions of any religion (or even political movement) and focus on semantics rather than the bigger picture then we risk ending up in Judean People's Front/People's Front of Judea territory... Zionism does not represent all Jews and all branches of Judaism, but right now it is the public face of Jewishness (as opposed to of Judaism the religion). Well, Israel and Woody Allen. And he's not helping matters much at the moment either.

The point being! The way I feel about Israel, is that it SHOULD be so much more, it SHOULD encompass all the wonderful things about Judaism and Jewishness and it should stop kicking that puppy before I fall out with it completely.

Will said...

It is the public face of Judaism unless you live in North London...

But yes, Israel is a Jewish state - you can't by definition have a Zionist state, it doesn't make sense.

But I wouldn't say it's the same as the UK being a Christian one. Yes a lot of UK laws and customs are derived from the Christian faith, but as far as I know there aren't any laws here based on your particular religious belief. A better comparison would have been South Africa during aparteid.

bagelmouse said...

Well, I know the Guardian ran a big piece a few months ago comparing Israel to South Africa, but... our marriage laws are based on Christian tradition, and the way our society and politics has turned out has historically been shaped by Christianity. Now now, obviously :-) but our attitudes and morals and identity (inasmuch as the UK could be said to have an identity!) are basically Christian. Thankfully less so with every passing generation!