Skip to main content

Israel kills Palestinians and Western liberals shrug - Their humanitarianism Is a sham

by Mehdi Hasan

If the concept of intervention is driven by universal human rights, why is it — from the people who identify themselves as liberal interventionists — why do we never hear a peep, a word, about intervening to protect the Palestinians?

That was the question I put to the French philosopher, author, and champion of liberal (or humanitarian) interventionism, Bernard-Henri Lévy, on my Al Jazeera English interview show “Head to Head” in 2013.

The usually silver-tongued Levy struggled to answer the question. The situation in Palestine is “not the same” as in Syria and “you have not all the good on one side and all the bad on the other side,” said Levy, who once remarked in reference to the Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF, that he had “never seen such a democratic army, which asks itself so many moral questions.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of my exchange with the man known as “BHL” this past weekend, as I watched horrific images of unarmed Palestinian protesters at the Gaza border being shot in the back by the “democratic army” of Israel. How many “moral questions” did those Israeli snipers ask themselves, I wondered, before they gunned down Gazan refugees for daring to demand a return to their homes inside the Green Line?

On Friday, the IDF shot an astonishing 773 people with live ammunition, killing 17 of them. Yet a spokesperson for the IDF bragged that Israeli troops “arrived prepared” and “everything was accurate. … We know where every bullet landed.” On Sunday, Israel’s hawkish defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, roundly rejected calls from the European Union and the United Nations for an independent inquiry into the violence and insisted that “our soldiers deserve a commendation.

To be clear, then: Israeli troops will continue to murder and maim Palestinians while the Israeli government guarantees that there will be no consequences for their actions.

So, where is the outcry from liberal interventionists across the West? Where is BHL, as Palestinians are being shot and wounded in the hundreds in 2018?

Where is the call from former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose 1999 speech in Chicago defending the concept of a “just war” and a “doctrine of the international community” became a key text for liberal interventionists, for a “no-fly” zone over Gaza? Why does a guest speaker at Ariel Sharon’s funeral have nothing to say about the increasing number of Palestinian funerals?

Where is the moral outrage from former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, the famously pro-intervention, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of a “A Problem From Hell,” which lamented U.S. inaction in Rwanda, over the sheer number of unarmed Palestinians shot, killed, and injured in recent days? How does she have time to retweet a picture of an elephant and a lion cub, but not to make a statement about the violence in Gaza?

Where is the demand from Canadian academic-turned-politician Michael Ignatieff, who was once one of the loudest voices in favor of the so-called responsibility to protect doctrine, for peacekeeping troops to be deployed to the Occupied Territories?

Where are the righteously angry op-eds from Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, or Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, or David Aaronovitch of The Times of London, demanding concrete action against the human rights abusers of the IDF?

And where is the appeal from former U.S. Secretary of State and arch-interventionist Madeleine Albright for economic and financial sanctions against the state of Israel? For an arms embargo? For travel bans on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Lieberman, and IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot?

Their silence is deafening — and telling. Palestinians, it seems, have been so dehumanized that they don’t deserve a humanitarian intervention; their blood is cheap, their plight is unimportant, and, perhaps above all else, their killers are our friends.

Should we really be surprised, though? After all, this isn’t the first time that members of the liberal intervention brigade have shamelessly ignored the tragic deaths of innocent Palestinians.

In March 2001, towards the start of the “Second Intifada,” and with the Palestinian civilian death toll mounting, the U.N. Security Council proposed a resolution that would have “set up an appropriate mechanism to protect Palestinian civilians, including through the establishment of a United Nations observer force” on the ground in the Occupied Territories. The United States, however, in the form of the George W. Bush administration, vetoed that resolution. What was the response from U.S. liberals? They stayed mum.

In the summer of 2014, the Israeli air force — for the the third time in six years — pounded the Gaza Strip, dropping bombs on schools, hospitals, and apartment buildings, and killing more than 1,500 Palestinian civilians — including 500 children — in the process. What was the position of then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who would later throw her support behind a “no-fly” zone over Syria)? “Hamas provoked another attack” while “Israel has a right to defend itself.” And what was the response from her fellow liberals? Most of them didn’t say a word.

Fast forward to 2018: This time round, 17 dead and 1,400 wounded. Videos going viral of Israeli soldiers — armed and funded by U.S. taxpayers — shooting fleeing Palestinians in their backs. Again, not a peep on Twitter, or elsewhere, from the leaders of the Democratic Party in Congress, such as Sen. Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. For liberal Democrats, #resistance is supposed to be against the Trump administration and the so-called alt-right, not against the longest military occupation in the world.

This moral blindness that so many liberals and progressives in the United States have for the Palestinians has never ceased to amaze — or disgust — me. As the Israeli writer and economist Abraham Gutman notes, “This blind spot is so pronounced that it created a whole new type of progressive, the PEP, ‘Progressive-Except-on-Palestine.’” The PEP, he continues, “is horrified by the appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, but willing to argue that there is nuance and perhaps support the government of Israel, with [Ayelet] Shaked as the Minister of Justice, who posted on Facebook an article calling Palestinian children ‘little snakes.’

Indeed. The PEP will loudly condemn the bigotry and nativism of the Republican Party in the United States, and the ongoing segregation and racism in the Deep South, while averting their gaze from the brazen racism of the Israeli government and the ongoing apartheid in the Occupied Territories.

The PEP rails against Trump and his hawkish minions while standing to applaud Netanyahu or smiling in photos with Lieberman — this despite the fact that the similarities between the Trump and Netanyahu administrations have been well–documented.

And the PEP who happens to be a proud supporter of liberal interventionism will back interventions almost everywhere except the Occupied Territories. Their heart bleeds for Syrians, Libyans, Afghans, Iraqis, Rwandans, Kosovars … but not for Palestinians.

This is not an exercise in whataboutism; it is about drawing attention to blatant double standards and moral hypocrisy. On Palestine, liberal interventionists who happen to be “progressive-except-on-Palestine” borrow from the Trump playbook when they cynically blame “both sides” for the violence. They claim that Palestinian deaths are the consequence of “clashes” and “confrontations.” Yet the reality is that one side is the occupier and the other is the occupied; one side has rockets and rifles and the other side has rocks and slingshots; one side is doing the killing and the other side is doing the dying.

There is no other conclusion: The ongoing and glaring refusal of liberal interventionists in the West to say even a word about the need to protect occupied Palestinians from state-sponsored violence is a reminder of just how morally bankrupt and cynically hypocritical the whole “liberal intervention” shtick is.

Source, links:



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Establishment's attempt to promote the hardcore neoliberal Kamala Harris up to the presidency through the back door

globinfo freexchange
Rumours spread around the mainstream quickly on July, 28, whenPolitico "accidentally[?] published a report that Biden picked Harris as his running mate. The outlet quickly deleted the report, and said it was published by mistake. "For a brief period yesterday afternoon, placeholder text was mistakenly published to the site," Brad Dayspring, Politico's vice president of marketing and communications, told The Hill."
Huh?

Politico labeled Sen. Kamala Harris as Biden's running mate... that he chose on August 1 (4 days from now).https://t.co/M3dhmIwZ7opic.twitter.com/99GDHzWPnL — Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) July 28, 2020
How did that happen? 
Was that indeed a big blunder by the establishment machine? Or, was a deliberate "leak" by the machine to test reactions?

The next day, Kamala Harris wrote a quite "presidential" tweet, reflecting perfectly her presidential ambitions. As she stated: "We can't have millions of…

Ο Κούλης επιβεβαιώνει πλήρως ότι θα εφαρμόσει νέο, σκληρό μνημόνιο!

globinfo freexchange
Όπως είχαμε αναφέρει ήδη από το 2016 και αμέσως μετά την εκλογή Μητσοτάκη στην ηγεσία της ΝΔ, το αποτέλεσμα των εσωτερικών εκλογών στη γαλάζια παράταξη έλυνε τα χέρια του άξονα Βρυξελλών-Βερολίνου. Οι γραφειοφασίστες των Βρυξελλών και το διευθυντήριο του Βερολίνου απέκτησαν μια πρώτης τάξεως εφεδρεία σε περίπτωση που τα πράγματα "στράβωναν" με την κυβέρνηση Τσίπρα.  
Έτσι, ο νέος [τότε] αρχηγός της ΝΔ, Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης, αποτελεί την καλύτερη λύση προκειμένου να εφαρμόσει πιστά τις πιο σκληρές νεοφιλελεύθερες πολιτικές προκειμένου να ολοκληρωθεί το πείραμα με κάθε λεπτομέρεια.
Ήρθε η ώρα να μας επαληθεύσει πλήρως ο ίδιος ο Μητσοτάκης. Όπως αναφέρει ρεπορτάζ του tvxs.gr:
Μνημόνια με τη μορφή κυβερνητικής πολιτικής είναι το οικονομικό σχέδιο του Κυριάκου Μητσοτάκη, όπως προκύπτει από τη συνέντευξή του στους Financial Times, με αφορμή τη σύνοδο κορυφής της ΕΕ στις 17-18 Ιουλίου. Ο πρωθυπουργός μάλιστα θεωρεί ότι η πανδημία μπορεί να αποτελέσει…

Powerful signs that Biden will have a tough time to control progressives and their growing influence inside the Democratic party

globinfo freexchange
We wrote recently that, even if Biden wins easily in November, things will never be the same inside his party. It seems that the progressive wave is getting stronger, especially after some big victories of progressive candidates in the recent Democratic Primary. The most impressive of them, is AOC's new victory against a Wall Street puppet. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez achieved an astonishing victory through an unreal percentage (72.6%).
Therefore, Bernie's political revolution is far from over. The progressive army is growing stronger and Biden will have a tough time to deal with the Leftist pressure inside the Democratic party. Maintaining the neoliberal agenda won't be a walk in the park on a sunny day.

We already have strong indications towards that case. As Joe Garofoli reported recently for the San Francisco Chronicle [emphasis added]:
California progressives are not letting up on Joe Biden after he released a clean-energy plan last week that is…

Νέες αποκαλύψεις-σοκ: οι τραπεζίτες άρχισαν να "ροκανίζουν" τα δισεκατομμύρια του "μαξιλαριού"!

globinfo freexchange
Σε μια νέα, απίστευτη καταγγελία προχώρησε ο Γιάνης Βαρουφάκης, στις 13/7 στο τοπικό κανάλι της Κέρκυρας Start TV.  Όπως ανέφερε:
                         Η Eurobank ίδρυσε μια εταιρία "σφραγίδα" - τώρα, αυτή τη βδομάδα -  στην οποία περνάει κόκκινα δάνειά της. [...] Την εισάγουν στο χρηματιστήριο - τώρα, οσονούπω - και τις μετοχές θα τις δώσουν ως μέρισμα στους μετόχους της Eurobank. Θα μου πείτε: τι αξία θα έχει αυτή η μετοχή; Ναι, αλλά εδώ έρχονται τα 12 δισεκατομμύρια, τις εγγυήσεις που θα δώσουν τα παιδιά σας και τα εγγόνια σας, γιατί εκείνοι θα επωμιστούν αυτά τα 12 δισ. από τον ESM, για να έχουν κέρδη οι μέτοχοι της Eurobank που δημιούργησαν μια εταιρία "σφραγίδα"! Αυτά τα πράγματα ούτε οι εγκληματίες της Lehman Brothers δεν τα κάνανε, το 2007!

Όπως είχαμε γράψει ήδη από τον Απρίλιο,  τον Δεκέμβριο του 2019, η κυβέρνηση Μητσοτάκη πέρασε ένα σχέδιο νόμου με την κωδική ονομασία "Ηρακλής", με στόχο να μειώσει το άνοιγμα των τραπεζ…

Trump tells Florida crowd “something will happen in Venezuela” soon

“Something will happen with Venezuela. That’s all I can tell you,” Trump said, before not-so-cryptically  adding that Washington would be “very much involved.”
by Alan Macleod
On a trip to COVID-19 riddled Florida this weekend, President Donald Trump not-so-cryptically revealed that he had something big planned for Venezuela during a meeting with leaders of the U.S. military’s Southern Command. “Something will happen with Venezuela. That’s all I can tell you,” he said, before adding that Washington would be “very much involved” in what he was referencing.
On Trump’s orders, Southern Command moved large numbers of forces to the region, ostensibly to conduct a counter-narcotics operation against Venezuela, which the U.S. has described as a “narco state,” with the DEA offering a $15 million bounty for President Maduro’s head. This, despite the fact the U.S. government’s own reports on drug smuggling barely even mention Venezuela and official summaries show that U.S.-allies Colombia and Ec…

Ο ρόλος της Τουρκίας και του Ερντογάν στην κούρσα των Δυτικών αποικιοκρατών για τον ορυκτό πλούτο της Λιβύης

του system failure
Κλιμακώνεται επικίνδυνα η ένταση στην Ανατολική Μεσόγειο, λόγω κυρίως της επεκτατικής πολιτικής της Τουρκίας και της ενεργού ανάμιξής της στο Λιβυκό χάος.
Αλλά παρόλο που η κατάσταση παραμένει πράγματι χαοτική στη Λιβύη, λόγω κυρίως των επεμβάσεων των αποικιοκρατών της Δύσης, οι οποίοι πρώτοι άνοιξαν τον ασκό του Αιόλου (και από αυτούς πρώτοι οι Γάλλοι), φαίνεται ότι το γεωπολιτικό τοπίο αρχίζει, σιγά-σιγά, να ξεκαθαρίζει. 
Όπως είχαμε αποκαλύψει ήδη από το 2016, μια επιστολή από το αρχείο της ηλεκτρονικής αλληλογραφίας της Χίλαρι Κλίντον, που δημοσίευσαν τα WikiLeaks, αποδείκνυε ότι είχε ξεκινήσει μια σκληρή κούρσα ανταγωνισμού μεταξύ των Δυτικών αποικιοκρατικών δυνάμεων πάνω από την Λιβύη. 
Όπως είχαμε αναφέρει, ο τίτλος και οι λεπτομέρειες των πληροφοριών που περιέχονται στην επιστολή, προδίδουν μια έντονη δυσαρέσκεια από πλευράς Αμερικανών για το γεγονός ότι οι Γαλλικές εταιρίες έκοψαν πρώτες το νήμα στην κούρσα για το Λιβυκό πτώμα.
Υπενθυμίζεται ότι, στη συγκεκ…

How a US and Qatari regime change deception produced ‘Caesar’ sanctions driving Syria towards famine

Like the mysterious figure it is named for, the Caesar sanctions bill is the product of an elaborate deception by shadowy US- and Gulf-backed operatives. Instead of protecting Syrian civilians, the unilateral measures are driving them towards hunger and death.
by Max Blumenthal
Part 7 - 46% of the Caesar file reveals mass killings – by a brutal armed opposition
Though the full contents of the supposed Caesar file has never been made public, Human Rights Watch (HRW) was able to view the documents in full in 2015. In a lengthy report hyping the photos and attempting to reinforce the push for regime change, HRW inadvertently demolished Washington’s narrative.

In a virtual footnote in its lengthy report on the Caesar file, HRW acknowledged that nearly half of the entire file – some 24,568 photos – depicted the bodies of government soldiers who had been killed by the armed opposition, “including [by] incidents of terrorism, fires, explosions and car bombs).

As Rick Sterling noted, “nearly …

Firm linked to HHS’ Robert Kadlec poised to become exclusive manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines

A pharmaceutical firm with a dark history and questionable ties to serving ASPR Robert Kadlec is poised to become the exclusive manufacturer of the COVID-19 vaccines now being funded through Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.
by Raul Diego 
Part 3 - The Money Trail
As usual, following the money usually takes us to the center of the real action. In the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, Emergent’s “go-to” status is borne out by this tried and true method, and when we survey the agreements already in place with the companies most likely to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. The value of Johnson & Johnson’s contract with Emergent Biosolutions, for instance, matches up almost exactly with the $456 million grant it received from the Trump administration; Emergent’s five-year manufacturing agreement with the American multinational is worth approximately $480 million.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate, which also received considerable funding from Operation Warp Speed, likewise reached an $8…

After Trump deploys secret police in Portland, 'imagine what happens if he gets four more years'

"They want to see what they can get away with before launching into other parts of the country."
by Jake Johnson
Video footage and first-hand accounts of unidentified federal law enforcement officials snatching up Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland, Oregon and throwing them into unmarked vehicles drew nationwide attention and outrage Friday, with members of Congress, human rights groups, and journalists accusing the Trump administration of deploying "secret police" to crush dissent.
"Unmarked federal agents in combat gear are pulling protesters off the street and jailing them without charge," tweeted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). "That is what a police state is all about. Now is the time to defend our Constitution. Now is the time to come together and defeat Trump's authoritarian policies."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called the conduct of federal law enforcement "outrageous" and said the Trump administration "should …

The east-bound wind causes a storm in the West: Iran-China sign long-term trade agreement

by Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
A few months after the publication of his remarkable book, Adam Smith in Beijing, I had an illuminating conversation with Giovanni Arrighi about the significance of China in world history. The late sociologist was interested in knowing more about the subject of my scholarship–modern Iran and the Iranian revolution. When he saw my puzzled face, he told me that he believes that all this apprehension in the west about Iran, is actually rooted in apprehension about China. 
Arrighi thought that if there were any “mainstream” of world history, it ought to be located in the story of China, the only civilization that has shaped the world as a hegemon over many millennia with the exception of the last 250 years. The rise of the West, according to him is an aberration and China will define the future of the world history. 
For China to play that role, it needs sources of energy to feed its expanding economy and a firm foothold in the world trade network. And there is …