Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

The emasculation of the IOF

From Gideon Levy’s piece in Ha’aretz entitled Listen to Maj. Gen. Stern (6 November, 2006)

A bloodbath is taking place in Beit Hanun, the Israel Defense Forces runs rampant and kills at least 37 people in four days – and Israeli public opinion yawns with indifference.

The contempt for human life starts with the lives of Arabs and ends with the lives of Jews.

What a long way we have come since the talk, as hypocritical as it may have been, about “the purity of arms.” This concept has been totally deleted from the lexicon. What a long way we have come since the time when we took pride in the fact that, unlike the Arabs, we tried not to kill innocent civilians. And now we have arrived at the shocking reality of the second Lebanon war. For example, the number of people Israel killed is not only almost 10 times higher than the number of people Hezbollah killed, but the number of soldiers Hezbollah killed is three times higher than the number of Israeli civilians they killed, while the number of Lebanese civilians killed by Israel is about three times the number of Hezbollah fighters. So whose arms are purer? A journalist from The Guardian who is currently in Israel was shocked to hear that these figures have not been the subject of public discussion here.


© Khalil Bendib, All rights reserved. Included here with the kind permission of the cartoonist

Gideon Levy continues:

The daily killing in Gaza receives scant mention. Futile operations aimed at restoring the IDF’s lost honor do not arouse any debate about their aim, morality or chances of succeeding. No one wonders about the extent of Qassam damage versus the extent of the killing and destruction – including the bombing of the power station – in Gaza, where a million and a half people are encaged, impoverished and hungry.

These futile operations will not stop the Qassams, which are aimed at giving us and the rest of the world a painful reminder of the imprisoned and boycotted Gaza residents’ distress, which no one would notice if it were not for the Qassams. The way to fight the Qassams is to stop the boycott, sit down at the negotiating table and reach an accord. Otherwise, we will continue to slide and become immune to their loss of life, and soon to our loss of life as well.

See also: Israeli forces kill medical volunteers and block access to hospitals in Gaza Report, PRCS, 5 November 2006 over at e.i.

***Ira Chernus over at Common Dreams has written a good piece: Another Hamas Peace Plan Ignored

***The Independent features an article by Eric Silver: Grossman expresses his despair at Israel’s ‘hollow’ leadership

2 comments on “The emasculation of the IOF

  1. Curtis
    7 November, 2006

    I was pondering the title of this post and I thought to myself, “Ann has made a bad typo.” But, you see, I hadn’t had enough coffee just yet. That’s when I realized the brilliance.

    The thought of “pure arms” is really quite unsettling. Another surprise from Ha’aretz. Thanks!

  2. peoplesgeography
    7 November, 2006

    Thanks, that puts the “oh”! into IOF nicely – its the convention in many political circles to recognise that an occupation exists rather than accepting the misnomer Israeli Defence Force (or Defense, in American spelling).
    I agree, the concept ‘purity of arms’ is unsettling (along, perhaps, with the lampooning cartoon, but I thought it fit the piece well and I really think highly of Bendib’s work.) Those cheeky cartoonists …

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"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

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