Tuesday, August 5, 2014

re: Hamas "Human Shield" charge, Elie Wisel is still a lying, racist schmuck

Professional Holocaust huckster Elie Wisel is at it again. In a paid, full page advertisement in the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal, Wisel repeats the unauthenticated charge that Hamas uses civilians (here Wisel stresses children) as human shields.

The theme of this ad is biblical. It is headlined: "Jews rejected child sacrifice 3500 years ago. Now it's Hamas' turn."

The article pontificates in this vein with the predictable rhetoric, "culture of life vs culture of death," "civilization vs barbarism" and so on.

The in-your-face reality of massive, indiscriminate killing of Palestinian civilians by the IDF is so obvious that it takes a really BIG LIE to try and get around it.

Rolling out Mr. Holocaust is another attempt by Israel to evade the truth and escape the blame for their actions.

But wait, why should anyone actually give any credence to what Wisel has to say? His reputation is based on his experiences of the Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis and his famous book, "Night," which has sold millions and is used as a text around the world.

Wisel's fame is based on what happened in Europe 60 years ago. Has he been wise in applying his story to more current events? Perhaps not. What did he say about the US invasion of Iraq and the Bush/Cheney campaign of lies to get us to go to war over non-existent weapons of mass destruction?

Here's one example of Wisel ethical message:

Wisel, wrote a commentary in LA Times, March 11, 2003:

"Under normal circumstances, I might have joined those peace marchers who, here and abroad, staged public demonstrations against an invasion of Iraq. After all, I have seen enough of the brutality, the ugliness, of war to oppose it heart and soul. Isn't war forever cruel, the ultimate form of violence? It inevitably generates not only loss of innocence but endless sorrow and mourning. How could one not reject it as an option?

And yet, this time I support President Bush's policy of intervention to eradicate international terrorism, which, most civilized nations agree, is the greatest threat facing us today. Bush has placed the Iraqi war into that context; Saddam Hussein is the ruthless leader of a rogue state to be disarmed by whatever means is necessary if he does not comply fully with the United Nations' mandates to disarm. If we fail to do this, we expose ourselves to terrifying consequences."

But Wisel wasn't just a Johnny-come-lately to the Iraq war effort. Bob Woodward's book "Plan of Attack" describes a visit by Wisel to the White House at a time when Bush seemed unsure of what to do, to encourage him to invade Iraq in the name of morality and ethics.

When questioned at a 2009 public meeting in New York by journalist Max Blumenthal about the large number of civilian deaths in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, Wisel said that "he didn't know anything about that."

Wisel also distinguishes himself by running with the "Bomb Iran" neo-con wolfpack and he supports their efforts to sabotage the negotiations between the US and Iran over nuclear arms.

Wisel's article in the full page ad explains that when God first told Abraham to sacrifice his son and then released him from that order, God said that Abrahams's sons, Ishmael and Isaac, would go on to father great nations. "With these narratives, nonotheism and western civilization began" concludes Wisel. But, he goes on, the Jews ended child sacrifice, but Hamas still uses child sacrifice.

What if God has said to Abraham, "Yo Abe, you don't have to kill your own son, just go and sacrifice some other tribe's son. That'll do the trick: I'll be satisfied that you honor your Lord, and there will be one less Cannanite hanging around?"

I bet Abraham would have gone for that option. It certainly fits current IDF practice.

The heart of the matter is this:

Israel says Hamas uses civilians and children as human shields to protect what the IDF sees as military targets. For any such human shield to work for the defender (Hamas) the attacker (the IDF) has to have an absolute moral rule against killing innocents especially children. But Israel, (supposedly) knowing that there are civilians being used as shields goes ahead and kills them anyway. They don't care, or as expressed by an expanding part of Israeli Jewish society, they are glad to kill any Palestinian.

Is the need to hit these targets so essential, so life-or-death that they have to be hit even if children are killed? In the twisted minds of the Israeli government's supporters it is absolutely necessary to hit these allegedly vital military targets, so it's ok to kill the children too.

None of this makes any sense as a moral argument, of course. To get a better understanding it's important to realize that Israel has always practiced collective punishment. If a village or neighborhood "harbors" an enemy, then just bomb everyone. In it's two major invasions of Lebanon the IDF killed thousands of civilians who were nowhere near any anti-IDF fighters. Israel went out of its way to destroy roads, power plants, hospitals, schools, anything that a society needs to function. Why? To teach them a lesson. Don't ever defy us, or even have sympathy with anyone who defies us.

Recently, Netanyahu sent a message to Obama, "don't ever second guess us." ie. no criticism is allowed, and "I expect you (Obama) to support whatever we do in the future." And yet tax money is taken from our pockets to fund this moral leper. In Elie Wisel Netanyahu finds a fitting companion.

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