Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Victim Blaming as Art Form, Sport

In the latest round of slaughter and murder in the Middle East -- now stretching in a big arc from the Gaza Strip in the south to the streets of Damascus in the north to the besieged cities of Iraq in the east -- the active participants love to blame the victims of the slaughter for their own demise.

The victims, for the most part, are only trying to stay out of the way of the drones and bombs and missiles and bullets, but unfortunately in the modern practice of "warfighting" there's no place to go. Every place in the "battle space" is a potential or actual target and there are no shelters for the victims.

Blaming them for their demise doesn't even work as a rationalization. It's simply a formula.

The Israelis, of course, have perfected the formula.

Here is an example of nearly perfect hasbara:


It's simple. Just stop attacking Israel with rockets and missiles, aimed arbitrarily (but hopefully with the intent of hitting civilians, preferably children), give up the objective of destroying Israel, and concede that Israel has a right to exist, and all this can be resolved.
Hamas uses civilian sites to launch it's deadly cargo. When Israel notifies civilians their buildings may be attacked, Hamas insists the residents remain and be martyred. Is no one bothered by Hamas' willingness to sacrifice its own people to further its reprehensible policy of annihilation, or are all of you indignant (to put it mildly) critics really in favor of denying Israel's right to exist as a sovereign country.
And don't get into the "Jewish" state nonsense. Name me one Arab country which isn't de facto, if not de jure, a Moslem theocracy. Also, you might ask why the considerable Christian Palestinian population has practically disappeared from the West bank and Gaza.
They didn't leave voluntarily. It's my understanding many of them went to Israel, where they joined a very large Moslem minority, few if any of whom are leaving Israel for the outside Arab world.
No other country would tolerate this kind of aggression from a neighbor without retaliation.
To my knowledge there were no Jewish populations in Europe attacking the Nazis with hand guns, no less rockets, nor did any Jews declare the intent to destroy any European entity.
The Jews of Europe posed no threat to any state or other political, or societal entity.
Comparing the Holocaust to the present situation in the middle east is nothing more than a subterfuge for anti-semitism. Expecting the Jews to behave differently than any other similarly situated country in a world where outright slaughters are going on (for example Syria and Iraq) with far less justification and a lot less regard for human life says it all.
As far as Israel's so called control of Gaza, again why should Israel concede its sovereignty to a terrorist organization dedicated to its destruction. Israel doesn't occupy Gaza. This latest round started with rocket and missile attacks from guess what - Gaza. The chances are just as good that if Israel withdrew totally from the West Bank and those Palestinians were granted statehood without a comprehensive peace agreement, Israel would be subject to attack not only from the north and south but also the east. There is nowhere in Israel that is out of range of ordinance Hamas now possesses (and is eagerly using). So from a purely defensive perspective, Israel has no choice but to react.
If Hamas gave a damn for its own people, it would cease its aggression, concentrate on improving the standard of living of its people by negotiating in good faith with both Israel and Egypt. Remember Gaza has a border with Egypt, but for some reason all the vitriol is aim,ed at Israel. Wonder why.
The reason Israel imposes embargoes on Gaza is to prevent even worse incursions over it's borders.
The author apparently ran out of time to finish the thought. But it would be a surprise to few if this hasbara was followed by a revisionist history of the region, going back at least to 1948, if not to 1948 BCE.

The formula mixes fact and fiction with repetition and victim blaming, always with the intention to leave Israel and Israelis utterly blameless, heroic and justified. All the responsibility for the deplorable state of conflict is on the shoulders of Hamas and the Palestinians. The people of Gaza deserve what they get -- because they are who they are and they do what they do.

Thence comes the dehumanizing of the foe. They are animals, savage, barbaric, subhuman, inhuman, vermin. Oh, it never fails. Just as in times past the excuse for killing the women and children of the savage foe has been that "nits breed lice." Ergo, kill them all. God will know His own.

Thus even babes in arms are held responsible for the horrors unleashed against them in classic victim-blaming fashion.

The Israelis are behaving barbarically towards their captive Gazan foe, on the theory that "nits breed lice" and killing a sufficiency of the Gazan women and children -- a sufficiency that varies arbitrarily -- will teach the Garzan warriors a lesson: to yield and surrender is their only option, and even then, it will not be enough to end the slaughter, for they and they alone are responsible for the slaughter, and as they hold human life to be of no particular value -- as opposed to the high value that those who kill them hold it -- they will pay forever with their own lives and those of the people they purport to love.

I've  remarked on the tendency of elites and those in power to cast responsibility downwards. According to their own lights, the elites and the oligarchy they serve are not responsible for anything bad that happens. Only the lower orders have responsibility for such evil. They and their various "Hitlers" -- whether in the West Bank and Gaza or lurking under the beds of the high and mighty -- are the responsible parties; the elites and oligarchs who stand with one another to denounce them never are.

Victim blaming is a constant, an art form and a sport.

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