Liars as Friends

The Way of Empire

Not that you lied to me but that I no longer believe you has shaken me.

– Friedrich Nietzsche1

“This morning we reminded the Israeli ambassador how much we deplore the consequences of this raid for the head of our consulate and his family,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said.

Immediately a pretext was added: “While we recognize Israel’s need to ensure its security, …”

Why is it that the security of the perpetrator of violence is emphasized but the victim of the violence’s security is not mentioned? Why is the violence deplored when one’s own group members die at the hands of violence but so little is said when out-group victims die? Many would call this racism.

Gaza is under a siege that is illegal and immoral. It is immoral because of the principle which holds that any actions against an enemy must be targeted solely against that enemy such that civilians are not put at risk. The Israeli actions target indiscriminately — not separating combatants from non-combatants.

As for Israeli violence against Palestinians, any and all violence from the Israelis is unjustifiable and immoral — even on the pretext of Palestinians having fired rockets into Israel.

Why? Because Israel was established through the dispossession of an indigenous people, the Palestinians, whose land was occupied. Only if dispossession and occupation are deemed acceptable actions can the responses of Israeli be justified. Hence, since the Palestinians were dispossessed, and since their land was occupied, then Palestinian actions against the siege, dispossession, and occupation are justifiable. The principle is that the dispossessed and occupied have the inalienable right to resist such dispossession and occupation. If the dispossessed/occupied/oppressed do not have the right to resist, then what is to stop dispossession, occupation, and oppression?

Lies Do Not Shake Friendships in Empire

As French president Nicolas Sarkozy made known in Cannes recently, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “a liar” and a person he “cannot stand.” Sarkozy subsequently wrote to Netanyahu to affirm his friendship, despite their “differing views on the Middle East.”

Their differences are mild in comparison to their similarities. Israel and France are allies. What does this mean for the Palestinians? It does not matter because the Palestinians are people in the way of Eretz Israel.

Empire is not built on moral principles — and lies, even between imperialist allies, are just part of Empire’s endgame.

  1. Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 183. []

Kim Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice. He can be reached at: kim@dissidentvoice.org. Read other articles by Kim.