Friday, August 01, 2008
Insult to injury posted by Richard Seymour
That's a mild way of describing the procedure in which IDF soldiers first kill a young boy in the West Bank, and then go shoot nine people at his funeral. You also have to love Ha'aretz's way of describing these events. The eleven-year-old boy died "during a confrontation with Israeli security forces on Tuesday in the West Bank village of Na'alin". The nine were shot and wounded while Israeli troops were "fighting stone-throwing protesters". Just caught in the crossfire, you see. Between an occupying army loaded for bear, and civilians with rocks. On top of this, there is actually a false controversy over whether the young boy who was murdered was involved in the 'riot' that the IDF were suppressing. The important point, that Israeli soldiers have no right to be in the West Bank, no right to be policing an illegal segregation wall, and no right to be murdering a fucking eleven-year-old boy, just seems to be lost in all this.
As indeed it always is. Recall the shooting up of civilian women outside a mosque in Gaza? The excuse that was immediately thought up by Israel's apologists was that these scheming women were protecting a Hamas operation and had been called to flock outside the mosque in order that the IDF, what with their 'purity of arms' and that, would be deterred. (You can imagine this pure Hollywood scene of sneering Hamas commandos chuckling to themselves in a dimly lit planning room: "These Zionists with their ethics and fair play - it is what makes them so feeble, ha ha ha ha ha...") The IDF, having seen through this cunning ruse, shot at the female upstarts. That the IDF had no right to be there in the first place, never mind any right to be shooting at civilian protesters, simply didn't come up.
This is a familiar tendency. In the classical colonial ideological framework, the range of discussion is restricted to the liberal-humanitarian critique of 'misconduct' that may only make the natives worse, and the conservative insistence on using any means necessary to crush a demonic insurgency. All but a fringe of unacceptable extremists accepts the prior colonial situation. Sometimes it may be said that worthy goals have been perverted along the way by designing individuals. Sometimes it may be argued that the colonial situation is rather unfortunate, for both sides, but is now a burden that must be accepted. But at no point is its murderousness and degeneracy seen as anything but an abberation from both the idealism and pragmatism of empire.