Saturday, 9 June 2018


Razan al-Najjar, shot by the IDF on 1 June 2018

If you are strong and resolute and won't give in to terrorists that sounds just fine and dandy.  But what are the real issues behind this kind of self aggrandising bravado.  The terrorists kidnap your child and demand £100 or they will kill the child.  I'd pay if I believed it would save the child.  I'd probably pay anyway - just in case.  That might not resolve the general problem with ruthless leverage but the alternative seems to be to refuse to pay on principle.

Philosophically there is a lot that could be said about this but nature is a peculiar creature and it is full of treachery, deception, and leverage.  One issue to consider is the balance of life and what drives people to employ such dreadful tactics in the first place.  None of us are individuals as if we can somehow be an ideal 'human' in a vacuum.

The tragic convoluted and self contradictory rhetoric that surrounds many of the world's problematic conflicts are not so difficult to unravel if one steps back from the immediate emotional 'reaction' and thinks about them.  There are no easy solutions but there are ways to maintain a fairly clear perspective.

Razan al-Najjar was shot by the IDF.  The fact that she was a young female medic makes it all the more 'emotive'.  Ideally, if you want to utilise human sentiment, then getting babies shot or maimed is good for that.  In the case of the hypothetical kidnappers mentioned above I could refuse to pay and when they murdered my child I could get a lot of kudos and sympathy.  I could go one stage better than that and shoot my own child with a sniper rifle and claim they have no leverage now.  So where is this rational dissection taking us?

Netanyahu claims Hamas are deliberately creating "telegenically dead Palestinians" for sympathy on the world stage.  It's worse than that because the fourth Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, is famously quoted as saying "We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children." and clearly the government still feel that way.  This perverted representation is not new to the Israeli government, it occurs all too often when justifying brutal oppression.  Joseph Goebbels, that lovely insightful PR man for the Nazi Party in Germany, the Reich Minister of Propaganda, used the same grotesquely contorted rational in his 1941 essay 'Das Reich' when he said "They knew the good-natured German Michael in us, always ready to shed sentimental tears for the injustice done to them. One suddenly has the impression that the Berlin Jewish population consists only of little babies whose childish helplessness might move us, or else fragile old ladies. The Jews send out the pitiable. They may confuse some harmless souls for a while, but not us. We know exactly what the situation is."

All of this taps deeply into the nihilistic nature of fear in the human psyche.  The fear of death is not resolved and so there is an incredible desperation to deny the fear rather than understand or accept it.  There becomes a perverted compulsion to prove one is somehow above fear, to demonstrate one's immunity to it.  It drives some people pathologically to demonstrate to the world, and really to themselves, that they can beat fear by killing others and not caring.  They begin to despise what they see as weakness in others.  And, when it becomes extreme, they justify to themselves that they are the victims of other people's attempts to make them 'feel'.  They have become precisely inhuman.

It would be like walking into someone else's house with a gun and telling them to leave because you want to live there.  Under threat of being shot they go into the garden and put a tent up.  Having settled in to their house you object to their littering the garden with their tents and their noisy children so you tell them to leave under threat of death.  They have nowhere to go so you shoot their children and blame them for forcing you to do it.  Oh no - it's not 'like' that  - it is exactly that.  The only difference being that Israel is doing it on a massive scale and the Western Powers turn a blind eye whilst sending in ammunition and more military hardware.

It is sick and perverted in the extreme for Israel to blame the Palestinians for forcing Israel to kill them because they happen to be alive.  National or religious labels aside, and dealing with this as a human issue, the Israeli government are killing their own children because they are afraid of their own vulnerability.  It is akin to shooting your own child so that no one can gain leverage over you.

I am reminded of the Greek mythological God Cronus who, on learning from his parents Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overthrown by his own children, ate them all as soon as they were born to prevent the prophecy.



  1. Razan al-Najjar is not the angel of mercy that Hamas propaganda attempts to portray. Aside from the fact that she serves as a medic she was Hamas enlisted activist, and exploited the fact that she disguised as medic to operate terror action against IDF in the front line.
    At the event she was shot she join Hamas border clashes with the IDF. She threw a smoke grenade with her face partially covered by a mask, one might say in a childish manner. But who plays childish games in the first raw battlefield line? She also admitted at same event that she is operating as a 'human shield' for the Hamas un-uniformed terrorists that trying to get some achievement in breaching the border fence and attacking IDF and Israel citizens near the border.

    Acting as a terrorist while wearing a medical staff uniform is a crime against humanity!

    1. Apart from the lack of intellectual rigour there is something quite disproportionate in your comment Abe Bird. The most sophisticated army in the world does not have to shoot medics in their own country - whether they throw smoke bombs or not - unless, of course, Israel is afraid of the Palestinians per se.

    2. Unfortunately, your saying is careless and self-righteous. I do not know of any democratic state that would allow terrorist organizations to attack it along its border and beyond, without firing live ammunition at attackers in the border. This is not a struggle in which the rules of the game are clear, but rather in a situation in which the terrorist organizations stack by various decisive tactics with the sole purpose of breaking through the fence and killing as many enemies as possible across the border and beyond and making at most economic damage they can to their enemies. In the course of the events, there were not only smoke grenades, but planting of explosive charges along the fence, laying Bangalore, snipers, throwing grenades, terrorists wearing civilians' clothes cut the fence and got in. There were between 5-8 friction points along a distance of about 50 kilometers, each with few thousands of people, and these areas were covered with Hamas black smoke of burning tires that made it difficult for the Israeli snipers to see well, and in this chaos the 'lady' acted as one of the rioters and not as a medic. Either by intent or by mistake, the entire accusation rests with the aggressor and its violation of the law, and not on the defensive side.

      One test for checking justice is to examine the worldview of both sides, and the fact is that if the Palestinians had abandoned the war, they would have continued to live, and if Israel had abandoned the war, there would have been no Israel. The fundamental problem of the conflict is that the Palestinian Arabs are opposing to the very existence of a state of the Palestinian Jews. Therefore, even Abu Abbas, PA and PLO repeatedly declare that they do not intend to recognize the right of the Jews to an independent state on any border and demand that their no-recognized Israel accept their demand be "a democracy for all its citizens / nations," while their state of Palestine will be Judenrein. The Palestinian Arabs, with the assistance of the United Nations / UNRWA, preserve the "right of return" of some 5.5 million Palestinian 2nd-3rd-4th and 5th that gained their title as "refugees" by inheritance. The Arab aim is to destroy Israel by dual aggressiveness - from within [Israel current Arab citizens and millions of joining "refugies"] and from outside [various Islamic terror groups backed by Arab state].

      The terror attacks along the Israeli border with Gaza are part of the political-terrorist game of the Palestinians, led by Hamas. Israel has no choice but to show determination and stubbornness, and not to give Hamas achievements, even at the cost of Gazan casualties. The absurdity is that Israel wants as few Arab casualties dead as possible; Hamas wants as much as possible dead of Arabs and Jews. Why? In order to motivate Western elements and mobilize them to further pressure on Israel that will serve Hamas. Therefore, Hamas must be condemned for sacrificing the lives of its young people in order to achieve a demagogic political victory. The more governments and organizations in the West stand alongside Hamas, the more Hamas will escalate its violence and the more people will be killed from the Gaza side too.

    3. Bullies always have reasons for what they do Dan. I have heard many arguments for why Israel behaves the way it does but as a transient observer it is clear to me that Israel, along with the US and the UK, are simply out for their own benefit regardless of the cost to anyone else. Netanyahu appears to be a paranoid megalomaniac. He is not a new phenomenon - there have been many throughout history. His words on 29 August 2018 give a good indication of his attitude: "In the Middle East, and in many parts of the world, there is a simple truth: There is no place for the weak. The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong." Sadly I suspect he believes what he says but it is self-contradictory, self-destructive, and highly dysfunctional.

    4. Toxic Drums, It's not a matter of sophisticated army or not, but challenging small terror attacks against Israelis along the border. As I use to say, the Arabs are lucky that their foe is Israel/Jews. If Israel was a Christian or Islamic state, there was no longer the "Palestinian problem", not because Arabs would have accepting her, but because Israel would have destroy the Arabs existing between the River to the Sea.

      You unconsciously admit the lack of coherence in your argument. In your opinion, much founded-less, Israel is afraid of the Palestinians, so if she is afraid then it is true that she did her job against Hamas brutal activity along the border. But you admitted that Israel is strong though I can not understand your point - why strong states should ignore terror actions against them? [relating to my post below]. I guess you can't understand the complexity of the conflict, so you solve your answers with refuted and rather strange remarks.

    5. Btw, Toxic Drums, what is your personal background? Where are you from [India/Kashmir?]. Thanks.

    6. Unfortunately I am from planet Earth and am a human being at the moment Abe.

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  3. You just repeat my claims: I've said that Arabs promote their political-religion interests by terror. That means that they are Bullies. They always blame others for their actions because they have no reasonable reasons for what they do.
    Equating Israel to US and Briain puts you in the right point of misguided and un objective observer. While US, uk, France, Russia and almost all Arab states sent their troops to fight with others in far placed around the world, Israel never did it. Israel only defending her territories and borders, some time by inevitably conquering the terriritry of her enemy beyond the border.

    Acting for the benefit of your own interests is not a crime but basic of human behave. The great question is how you promote your interests, Israel do it by the possitive meaning of the term - but improving her economy, industry, education, research and developements projects, inventions etc.Looking at the Muslim states we see nothing of the above. I guess you even didn't ask yourself why. More than that, Israel doesn't gain any economic benefit from the "West Bank occupation", the opposite is in fact the case, The Arabs benefit more, yet they fight Israel not because of 1967 debatable occupation, but because the very reason of Israel existence at first place since 1948. You deliberately ignore the fact that even to "most moderate" Palestinian, the architect of Munich 1972 massacre, don't want and can't accept the existence of Israel as the state of the Jewish people. He demands the "right of return" of 5.5 million Arabs from all around Israel into Israel and by that making her democratically, sort of say, the "state of all in nationalities", which practically means an Islamic state. Do you really think that Israel can and should accept his offer/demand?

    I guess you're not a psyciatric so I will ignore your political demagogiv slurs on Natanyahu and I will answer you that Netanyahu is rational and stable leader that know his path very well. His words on "teher is no place for the weak" is hard true that had been proved time and again through history. Democratic states must be strong to defend their values, right and existence. Weak states crashing whether by internal or external powers. Just don't escape the "Middle East truth" practicing since 2011.

    There is no any contradictory, self-destructive, and dysfunctional in his claim but the contrary. He warns, rebukes and the hopes that the world will mobilize to self-defense against the forces of evil. The democratic world should stop think as the weak and the guilty and not ignore the dangers, not only of the destructive criminal entities but also the damage they will inflict on the democratic countries.