Wednesday, January 28, 2009

'There's too much guilt to take on'

Globe and Mail: Israelis are arguing over whether they should pity or blame a Palestinian doctor for the Israeli tank shells that hit his Gaza apartment and killed his three daughters and a niece. 'I prefer to believe the Israeli army, that a sniper shot from his house,' one Israeli posted on an Israeli news website. 'Is there such a thing as an Arab who is not Hamas?' asked another...

The Israeli campaign in Gaza raged for 22 days and claimed the lives of more than 1,300 Palestinians, hundreds of them children... Despite the high number of civilian casualties, few Israelis protested. Many expressed indifference or claimed it was 'unavoidable.' An overwhelming 94 per cent supported the war...

One of the most discussed reactions came from Levana Stern, whose three sons were soldiers in Gaza. She pushed past the reporters interviewing the doctor a day after the shelling, and yelled: 'Who knows what weapons you had in your house... If there hadn't been fire coming from the house they wouldn't have fired on it.' She lashed at the reporters, calling them 'crazy' for listening to his 'propaganda.' The doctor dropped his head in his hands and cried: 'They don't want to know the truth. They don't want to know the truth.'

Larry Defner, an American-Israeli columnist at the Jerusalem Post, said that the truth is too painful for Israelis to accept, so some just refuse to believe that innocent civilians were killed. 'The worse it gets, the harder you have to defend it,' he said. 'There's too much to admit, there's too much guilt to take on.'

Globe and Mail: When the leader of Israel's religious-Zionist Meimad Party recently addressed a meeting of 800 high-school students in a Tel Aviv suburb, his words on the virtue of Israeli democracy for all its citizens were drowned out by by student chants of 'Death to the Arabs.'
Image: Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish; source here.