Thursday, July 06, 2006
nightmare in gaza
this page has before said that what has become of the state of israel is an example of the horror of the west in decline -- a well-intentioned but ill-considered managerial "solution" now gone terrifyingly wrong, begetting a thousand more intractible problems. the new government of kadima, here hoped to hold much promise toward breaking the spell of fear and vengefulness in israel, has only just begun but has already demonstrated its inability to grasp a valid solution to what ails the state, having invaded gaza and arrested the legitimately-elected government of the palestinians, indulging in open punitive warfare upon common palestinian civilians in response to a raid in which one israeli soldier was captured. clearly, the state has come to place a value on one israeli solider -- or rather, on the unassailability of the symbols and implements of their dictatorial authority over life and death in palestine -- greater than the value of the entire palestinian people.
what has become of western political ideals? they seem nowhere in evidence now in palestine and israel, which is demonstrating just how great a danger frightened democracies present to a moral and lawful world -- a danger far greater than that presented by any brigand organization of terrorists.
but these words gain the force of meaning and the evilness -- yes, evilness -- of what the israeli state now is in its struggle to dominate the palestinians as a means of assuaging its own paranoia can only really become apparent by watching the fruits of their labors in gaza. this 10-year-old is the only survivor of her family, whom you see laying about, dead and dying, having been shelled by israeli gunboats as they tried to have a family outing at the beach.
that this unspeakable footage has not seen western televisions -- nor even the event effectively reported in mainstream american media, even as the israeli military attempts to whitewash it out of existence -- says everything about the total amorality of american complicity in it, with american government seeing only imperial interest in a western beachhead in its misguided war against terrorism and de facto the islamic society it equates with a threat.
i say again, there is within israel a beleaguered left, with decent and moral people who have not been driven mad with fear and bloodlust. and a great many people of jewish descent within the state if israel and around the world understand how catastrophically wrong these evils are (quite possibly including the father of this unfortunate soldier). but their existence does not make the israel of 2006 any less of a horrible thing in and of itself. a place where the government and military have made routine this sort of unconscionable abdictation of responsibility to mankind with widespread popular support can not be far from responding to the eventuality of a jewish minority in israel with apartheid or worse, for it clearly has no moral compass anywhere near power.
indeed, i say nothing here that is not true of the united states and many other nations as well. does not the united states now murderously occupy iraq? have not every european state power engaged in exactly this sort of horror?
the moral penury of israel and america -- so vividly on display now in the middle east, which has become a sort of grand theater in which the collapse of western moral life is being played out in scenes like these -- are but symptoms of a western civilization that is completely bankrupt and whose dissolution should be eagerly anticipated by most of the world, including a great many within the walls.
the best days of the west are gone, and it has become in many very important ways shameful to be a westerner.
those are the thoughts that occupied this writer as he sat under a suburban fireworks display this last tuesday, ostensibly celebrating the dead virtue of this corrupted nation of hubris -- considering that, had i been by accident of birth born outside the walls, the cacophany of fireworks might well have been something far more sinister in the vain pursuit of western imperial glory.