Thursday, January 15, 2009
Insufficiently deceased. posted by Richard Seymour
These are not just two more pieces of vital life-supporting infrastructure that Israel has continually gone out of its way to attack in this war. Nor is it only a large, luminous 'fuck off' sign to the world, after all the whining about the UNRWA school and the hospitals bombed and the ambulances shot at, and the Red Cross being blocked. Much more importantly, it is a message to the UN to pull out. Bear in mind that UN staff have already had to suspend operations because of the risk posed by the IDF. Other aid agencies such as the Red Cross have also had to suspend crucial activities after attacks by the IDF. Eventually, the UN might well be forced to withdraw its staff entirely if it can't guarantee their safety. At that point, the UN and its few millions and scant food and supplies, will no longer be available to the civilian population. This terrorised and starving population will soon be almost completely alone. They will only have the meagre social services and military defense structures of Hamas. They can't look to international law, because the ICC has declared that it has no jurisdiction over war crimes committed in Gaza - just in case anyone gets any ideas. There will be no journalists, because Israel prevents journalists from entering, and regularly attacks media buildings and personnel. No one will be able to report with the slightest semblance of accuracy on what is being done. That is what is happening here: that is what is being accomplished (and the culprits do look upon it as an accomplishment).
But, apparently, this is still not enough. "Even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins," said Walter Benjamin. "And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious". Yesterday, the Israelis decided to give this maxim proof, by blowing up a cemetery, and sending body parts flying into nearby houses. Some of these limbs and entrails were quite possibly the body parts of those who had recently been killed by Israeli attacks, because the graves have repeatedly been reopened to bury the hundreds of dead. This is one sense of the term 'overkill' that I had never before contemplated. As long as the shade of Palestine hangs over Israel, it seems, no matter how many die and no matter how humiliating their death, they will not be dead enough.