Thursday, January 01, 2009
By and large, it has to be said, some of the liberal responses have been immensely, if predictably, disheartening. The Labour Friend of Israel in question, for example, relies on the falsehood that Hamas broke the ceasefire (it did not), and that Hamas is in rebellion against the elected government (Hamas is the elected government, and has always sought national unity, despite the coup-plotting of the Fatah faction). David Grossman, supposedly on the left of the Israeli spectrum (and supported by Norman Geras), calls for the attacks to be ceased now that Hamas has been given a punishment beating, meaning that he approves of the blood-letting to date. The asshole also manages to sound magnanimous about it. Robert Dreyfuss, a usually very critical voice at The Nation, nonetheless posits a spurious equivalence between the forces involved, and seems mainly angered about the two sides having made life difficult for Obama (this is similar to The Nation's first reaction to Mumbai, which involved a meditation on how it affected Obama's prospects once in office). The Huffington Post, from what I have seen of it, seems to be largely supporting the venture.
Still, the uneasiness among some of Israel's supporters seems to be in stark contrast to the strident support for aggression in Lebanon back in 2006. This is encouraging. The scale, swiftness and militancy of protests probably had an effect here. Were it not for the immediate expressions of outrage, including the brilliant blockades outside the Israeli embassy in London, I suspect that many of the critics would have held their tongues, or moderated their position. That is one more reason, at least, to make this Saturday's protest in London as huge as possible.