It’s Amazing What Decades of Shit Can Do

My whole life, to a certain age, I believed “Israelis good, Palestinians bad.” That’s because that’s all I heard when I was growing up, either from my parents or from TV or from newspapers or from adults or from wherever. It was the meta-narrative: Israelis good, Palestinians bad. In 1967, when I was eleven, Israel’s smashing victory in the Six Day War was a wonder to behold and a cause for celebration. The plucky little guys had won, and won resoundingly. Take that, you stupid camel jockeys!

I knew of the Holocaust, of course, and was repulsed by it. Who wouldn’t be? I asked the standard question: How could something like that happen? How could an entire population stand by and watch as a megalomaniacal leadership ratcheted up the lunacy daily, until rights had been stripped, property stolen and myriads murdered?

I couldn’t fathom it. Until, that is, the Bush/Cheney junta systematically used 9/11 to shred what little remained of the Constitution and sent the U.S. crashing fool-speed ahead down the path of neo-fascism. Then, fathoming commenced. But I digress.

Or do I?

Through no fault of the U.S. media or my formal education, I came to learn about Israel and its “special relationship” with the U.S. In dribs and drabs, I learned about Zionism. Over time, I learned about neoconservatives. (Often redundant.) I learned about AIPAC and the (not so) great influence these all have had on American foreign and domestic policies. I learned that what Israel’s champions decided was best for Israel was often not best for Americans.

I learned this was just tough shit.

I learned about the Balfour Declaration, the Stern Gang, Irgun, the King David Hotel bombing, Deir Yassin, Nakba, the USS Liberty, Mossad, Sabra and Shatilla, “A Clean Break,” the bulldozing of olive groves and homes, white phosphorus, torture, collective punishment, humiliation, assault, murder, annexation, settlements, Rachel Corrie…

I learned that a favorite activity of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is to smear feces (theirs) all over, well, everything inside Palestinian buildings they’ve overrun. This is apparently great fun.

I’m not so hot on Israel anymore.

So what changed my view? Why, Israel, of course. Or rather, the actions of its government and military. It seems fairly clear: Israel takes the approximately four billion U.S. taxpayer dollars it’s given annually to subjugate an entire population, while its “leaders” provide evermore risible justifications (as well as a stiff-as-you-please collective middle finger) to anyone who dares question their chosen nation’s God-given right to imprison, brutalize and kill as many people as necessary so it can take their shit. (Maybe that’s why they leave so much in return.)

But perhaps I’m being unfair. After all, what other nation possessing 150 nuclear warheads and one of the best-equipped (we can safely leave out “well-trained”) armies on the planet wouldn’t feel threatened by a boatload of peace activists in international waters bringing food, medicine and clothing to an impoverished ghetto?

Poor Israel. Their troops were only defending themselves, you know. Against dangerous people (terrorist sympathizers!; cue theme to The Hate Boat) with clubs and sticks who, amazingly, took offense at being assaulted by armed troops dropping from helicopters in the middle of the night.

I know what you’re thinking: “Armed? But the Israelis were only carrying paint guns!” And how do we know this? Because Israel says so. Hear what one brave wounded IDF goon, sorry, soldier, tells ABC News:

“I was armed with a paint gun and had no other weapons. It was a civilian paintball gun that any 12-year-old can play with. We didn’t come for war, we just came to tell please stop, move the vessel back.”

I believe him. Don’t you? Because (repeat after me): Israelis good, Palestinians bad. And, being the good guys, Israelis would never lie.

Except constantly.

The Israelis were defending themselves? The activists provoked the attack? The good and well-meaning soldiers, with the highest reluctance of course, were forced to execute, I mean, shoot people because they’d incomprehensibly been set upon while slithering down ropes bearing children’s toys? (Which, shazam!, turned into lethal weapons, just like magic.) Hmm. Perhaps we should see what the law (yes, that pesky thing) says about Israel’s actions. (Not that that would matter much — or at all — to Israel.)

According to Jewish Peace News, Linda Brayer is “a human rights lawyer who specializes in the laws of war and international law in representing Palestinians and who lives in Haifa.” She writes:

The attack took place in international waters against ships flying under national flags of countries with which Israel is not at war, namely Turkey, Greece and the United States.…

Since no state of war existed at the time, the attack on these vessels constitutes an act of war against those governments under whose flags the vessels were sailing.…

Because this attack was carried out in international waters, the status of the relationship between Hamas, or any other Palestinian body, and the state of Israel is of no relevance whatsoever. Likewise, neither the blockade of Gaza nor Israel’s claims and legal interpretations regarding it has any bearing on its acts of aggression in international waters.…

It is irrelevant what Israeli ministers, generals, admirals, or soldiers thought or intended. The test is in what they did. What they did was engage in acts of war using weapons of war in international waters against vessels that are protected not only in peacetime but also in times of war. Israel has therefore committed both crimes against the peace and crimes against humanity.…

Every single act carried out by the Israeli military forces in international waters on May 31, 2010, are unqualifiedly and absolutely violations of international law.

Too bad Brayer’s so wishy-washy. But I think, with effort, we can infer her meaning:

Israel fucked up. Big-time.

To Israel, I say: the world is on to you. Even kept-in-the-dark and brainwashed Americans are beginning to see you for what you are: A cowardly, soulless bully who’s so busy crying “Anti-Semitism!” (no, sorry, dears; it’s simply pro-justice) that not an atom of reason can slip into your tone-deaf collective consciousness. Here’s my fantasy: The U.S. snaps the purse shut on you and unequivocally condemns your unconscionable, homicidal actions. I realize Sarah Plain has a better shot at saying something comprehensible before this occurs, but it’s a nice dream.

‘Cause here’s the deal: Enough is enough. Enough lies, enough excuses, enough murder, enough destruction, enough occupation, enough apartheid, enough brutality, enough faux victimhood, enough state terror, enough of the U.S. kissing Israel’s ass…

That’s right. Enough shit.

P.S. Long-time reporter Helen Thomas has resigned over her recent videotaped comments (part of which were “Tell [Israel] to get the hell out of Palestine”), remarks that the Obama administration was lightning-fast to condemn as “offensive and reprehensible.”

A White House condemnation of Israel’s murder of nine peace activists is yet to be detected.

Mark Drolette writes in Sacramento, California. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Mark, or visit Mark's website.

20 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. hayate said on June 9th, 2010 at 9:46am #

    This is a great rant. This is the sort of editorial all the media should be expressing, rather than trying to help israel get away with their war crimes.

  2. t4too said on June 9th, 2010 at 10:17am #

    would be interested to read more details of the process of how Mr Drollette was able to progress from his early pro-Israel views to his present very insightful analysis.

    where in Sacramento (!) of all places did he encounter the sources that provided him with the education he has now acquired? Were there any books or writers that for him were especially helpful? Did he accidentally meet some Palestinian Americans who clued him in? What were the key elements in his political transformation?

    The reason I’m asking is not just my own curiosity. We need to find ways to help other now pro-Israel/AIPAC minded persons to overcome their indoctrination. Maybe if others could become acquainted with what Mr D. experienced, in some detail?

  3. Deadbeat said on June 9th, 2010 at 12:56pm #

    Good article but I didn’t understand this sentence …

    Through no fault of the U.S. media or my formal education, I came to learn about Israel and its “special relationship” with the U.S.

    The media framed the issue and create the propaganda that then finds its way into the educational system. Thus there needs to be a deep look at the media and who influences and controls the media — ALL media especially “alternative” media. Alternative media was very good in keeping information from activists and steered activists away from Zionism’s increasing influence of U.S. foreign policy.

    Clearly Israel is the face of Zionism and should Israel somehow “wither away” Zionism will not if not challenged. This issue cannot and must not stop only with Israel. Israel is looking so awful today that the liberal Zionist tactics are fraying. This is why the most important challenge must be done in the U.S. to stop Zionism.

  4. Rehmat said on June 9th, 2010 at 2:31pm #

    Mark Drolette – you’re not the only victim of Israeli Hasbara (propaganda). According to the Protocols whosoever controls the media and money – controls the world. The Jewish elites have control on both of them. That’s the reason only a small minority of Americans know the truth about the Middle East other than Israel.

    For example, Bill HR2278 would provide Israel lobby groups an excuse to label certain Middle Eastern satellite channels and providers, especially those which sympathize with Islamic Resistance groups in Occupied Palestine (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) and Lebanon (Hizb’Allah) – as “Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT)”. The HR 2278 is almost a carbon copy of an earlier bill HR1069 (2008) which was passed to target Hamas for its Al-Aqsa TV program Tomorrow\’s Pioneers. The children program was labeled as “anti-Semite” for teaching children how the European Jews had stolen their land, by the Middle East Media Research Institute, an Israel Hasbara outlet based in Washington DC. Currently, the Al-Aqsa TV reaches American audience via the French-based Eutelstat.

    However, the main target of the new bill HR2278 seems mainly to target Hizb’Allah’s Al-Manar TV channel. Al-Manar has become the second-most viewed TV in the Middle East after Al-Jazeera. It’s carried out by SA-based Arab League-owned Arabstat and Egypt-based Nilestat. Hizb’Allah is a Lebanese Islamist political party, an military Resistant group, country’s largest humanitarian organization and currently member of Lebanon’s Unity Government. Hizb’Allah is designated as “terrorist organization” by Israel, the US and Canada.

    Bush administration put Al-Manar TV on post 9/11 terrorist list on December 17, 2004 on orders of then Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak. The allegations being ‘anti-Semitism’ for airing a Syrian produced 29 episodes, The Diaspora, which documented the history of Zionism at the end of 19th century upto the creation of the Zionist entity on May 15, 1948. One example of claimed “Diaspora” anti-Semitism was the challenged statement of an alleged Zionist leader talking to Adolf Eichmann and telling the SS official, “Mr. Eichmann, believe me that if we Zionists were not Jewish, we would have been Nazis. You Nazis consider the Aryan race to belong to the perfect people and the German people as the most perfect. We also consider ourselves a perfect people, and Zionists, the most perfect ones.” According to the US based Anti-Defamation League, this statement is not accurate but rather was based on the 1982 comment of Ariel Sharon in which he was reported to have said to Menachem Begin, while arguing in favor of invading Lebanon, “The Nazis of course were correct Prime Minister, they just chose the wrong people to persecute”, implying that killing of the Roma gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled, French and Russian prisoners, and Polish citizens was acceptable as was the likely 20,000 deaths estimated to occur during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon.

  5. t42 said on June 9th, 2010 at 3:31pm #

    Very interesting, Rehmat, but I think you’d be wiser to omit mention of the “Protocols”, which may come eerily close to reflecting our contemporary reality, but have been proven to be based on a work of fiction by a French author. The cabal described was much the same in the original work but made no reference to Jews or Judaism. If you google Protocols I think you’ll be able to check out the sources.

    Otherwise I find your thinking very agreeable.

  6. hayate said on June 9th, 2010 at 9:17pm #

    “Good article but I didn’t understand this sentence …

    -Through no fault of the U.S. media or my formal education, I came to learn about Israel and its “special relationship” with the U.S.-”

    He means he wasn’t enlightened because of what he read in the mainstream media or by what he learned in school. He had to do it on his own. pretty much the experience of most people in the usa who decide to look a little deeper.

  7. hayate said on June 9th, 2010 at 9:18pm #

    t4too said on June 9th, 2010 at 10:17am

    t42 said on June 9th, 2010 at 3:31pm

  8. Don Hawkins said on June 10th, 2010 at 3:51am #

    In one of the more raucous Larry King debates in a while, Jesse Ventura and Oliver Stone engaged in a spirited argument with Republican Rep. Connie Mack about Stone’s Hugo Chavez documentary South of the Border, which paints the Venezuelan president in a favorable light.

    “I went and saw Oliver Stone’s film this weekend and I think this film should be mandatory viewing for every high school senior in the United States of America. That’s how strong I feel about it,” Ventura said. “The key to this film is not Hugo Chavez, but the lying and manipulation of the mainstream media and how they flagrantly lie to us.”

    An incredulous Mack calls Ventura’s claim “shameful,” leading the two to trade barbs of escalating intensity (one gets the sense that if Mack was in the studio and not via satetille, he and Ventura would be up spitting in each other’s faces). King, at a loss, eventually turns to Stone, who argues calmly that when it comes to Chavez, America has it all wrong: “America is the one on the other side of history here.”

    Take a look at the show from last night and what a show it was. On the other side of history here now there’s an interesting concept. Last night Oliver Stone said Hillary Clinton right now is in the South trying to divide these Countries the Empire and all that I guess. He also said Obama policy has changed little from Bush, oops. What’s the word oh that’s right OIL. I have to admit it was wonderful to see this on TV but the argument’s made last night are academic unless the thinking on the climate bill can change and change in a big way. Cap and trade is a joke on the human race it will not work there is an answer and as we see the answer is much to hard to face for the little God’s. You know I think we are making some headway the witting on DV does help and if we are going to try the time is now. The spill in the Gulf put’s it right out front on complex illusion of knowledge better known as bullshit. Going through the motions all just for show. Watch the video and this Rep. Connie Mack person and tell me he doesn’t have the antichrist look so to speak. Yes boring this will not be and now maybe watch Fox New’s this morning and get the fair and balanced approach on the old prison for the mind. Oh this Connie Mack person said don’t go see the movie South of the Border so now the little God’s are telling us what movies to watch how about kiss my you know what. It’s amazing what decades of shit can do.

  9. Don Hawkins said on June 10th, 2010 at 4:21am #

    How much does it cost I’ll buy it. The Gulf the talk is about money BP will pay sorry there is no amount of money that can fix that little problem. Again the Greenhouse effect no amount of money that can fix that a new way of thinking can and granted we have waited to long and tuff day’s ahead. If we are going to try we just might want to get started and yes adapting will be part of that and adapting Fox New’s style a prison for the mind so to speak wrong number.

  10. Don Hawkins said on June 10th, 2010 at 5:04am #

    When Dutch sculptor Ap Verheggen put statues of dogsleds on an iceberg drifting down the Davis Strait, he thought it would be a good way to make a point about climate change.

    He was right. Maybe a little too right.

    Instead of a long, slow drift to Newfoundland that would normally take several years, Verheggen’s iceberg has collapsed after just a couple of months. His stylized dogsleds are now sitting under 500 metres of water off the coast of Greenland.

    “Everybody, even the Inuit, they thought a mountain, an iceberg that size, would survive for maybe two, three, four years,” says Verheggen from The Hague in the Netherlands. “It overruled all our expectations.”

    The message was that Nature is in control — not humans — and the world better start thinking about adapting to climate change.

    “The temperatures in the water are so warm that the icebergs explode,” Verheggen said. “When you are lying in your bed, the whole night you hear icebergs that are exploding.”

    “The impact that’s happening now is way more than we could believe. The Canadian Press

    How much does it cost I’ll buy it probably the wrong way to look at it.

  11. bozh said on June 10th, 2010 at 7:43am #

    Don, talk ab denials,
    That the ‘elite’ denies that they have much devalued biota, people, and nature and much overvalued self; it being root of all evil.
    And now armed with wmd and enormous greed-lust for power are nuttier than ever.
    Ins hort, armed and verrrry dangerous! Don’t worry, this will end s’when-how!

  12. bozh said on June 10th, 2010 at 7:55am #

    My patio door grinds like a grinder everytime i open it. So? Well, i need oil to oil it, so it wld slide musicly dwn my leaning patio. But i also need oil to grease my rusting ax and saw.
    Please, don’t tell me tu use used butter and other oils to oil my tools and patio door; that looks so awful.
    Nafta looks so good and it doesn’t smell like fried butter! tnx

  13. hayate said on June 10th, 2010 at 6:56pm #

    Don Hawkins said on June 10th, 2010 at 3:51am

    Thanks for posting that about Stone’s new film. I had not even heard of it. And cheers to Stone and Ventura. Also, connie mack is a guy? What’s up with the female name? I thought only israelis named their boys with female names. 😀

  14. Mark E. Smith said on June 10th, 2010 at 11:41pm #

    As for how those paintball guns magically turned into real weapons, check out my blog:

    That Israel would risk the life of even one of its precious soldiers by sending him aboard a ship they suspected was carrying terrorists with ties to Al Quedah, armed only with a paintball gun, defies belief.

    And as for the Hasbara video of peace activists beating Israeli soldiers with pipes, I just saw another interesting theory. It seems that some of the activists are still missing and unaccounted for. While it is very unlikely that peace activists would engage in violence, it is very likely that Mossad agents had infiltrated most pro-Palestine activist groups and were aboard the ship posing as peace activists. The videos of the wounded Israeli soldiers didn’t seem to show the sort of severe wounds that would result from a vicious beating with metal pipes. The scene may have been preplanned and staged specifically to attempt to justify the murders.

  15. hayate said on June 10th, 2010 at 11:43pm #

    Israeli Navy Attacks Gaza Freedom Flotilla

    “Despite the Israeli government’s thorough efforts to confiscate all footage taken during the attack, Iara Lee was able to retain some of her video recordings. Below is 15 minutes of raw footage from the moments leading up to and during the Israeli commandos’ assault on the Mavi Marmara.”

    This isn’t an israeli hasbara edit and sfx job.

  16. hayate said on June 10th, 2010 at 11:46pm #

    See also this description:

    June 7, 2010 Reflections by a Former US Marine on the Mavi Marmara On Cowardice and Violence


    He gives a first hand description of the israelis captured in their intial assault. These are the one shown in the film above.

  17. Don Hawkins said on June 11th, 2010 at 4:56am #

    Sent this to CNBC this morning


    You all seem in a funny mood this morning wait you watched Glenn Beck
    yesterday and the coming revolution. Yes he was very busy on that blackboard
    that line and on one side way over to the right he called them anarchists Van
    Jones and about three or four more names then on the left the government
    you know Obama and Harry and Nancy and he said each side is using the other
    side to get power. Absolutely fascinating his answer one of them is trust
    in God so I went to the inspirational channel after the show and this one
    man told me to send in a thousand dollar seed interesting way to put it.
    After Beck said all this stuff at the bottom of the screen it read Glenn Beck
    Tours dot com and after he said be right back a commercial for gold from G.
    Gordon Liddy as he held up gold the shinny stuff. Maybe Glenn will be on
    Fox and Friends this morning and tell us what else to think. Sometimes I
    wonder where Beck fit’s in in the big picture? I don’t know all so confusing
    although I did read once this man who talked of a prison for the mind but
    was hard to understand at least for me those abstract ideas. I know I’ll
    write an old coffee shop help’s me think no maybe wait about four months will
    probably have more to think about. Hay I hear BP will not let people take
    pictures of the spill or the wild life can they do that? I see the BP people
    on TV and they seem like kind gentle soul’s and after all they are beyond
    petroleum the red’s the yellow’s the blues beautiful colors. You know to be
    truthfully honest I find the whole thing nut’s I know probably just me.
    Anyway as you sit in the studio today as the Gulf is turned in the dead sea
    just a few thoughts. Oh and probably calm down the rhetoric the blame game
    does little good because the people in England are the same as in China they
    love America. Although they must not watch the Glenn Beck Show and the
    coming revolution part. You have to admit the whole damn thing is absolutely
    fascinating and sad very sad indeed.


  18. mary said on June 11th, 2010 at 5:04am #

    Hayate – Having acquired a nice new stash of passports from the flotilla passengers (so useful if Shin Bet/Mossad want to carry out any more assassinations as in Dubai) they now have the gall to use a stolen credit card.

    Journos credit card used after confiscated by IDF.

    PS I like the way that a few shots from catapults sent the helicopter away. Shades of David and Goliath there.

    The unusual name of the film maker is Iara as you copied. Some are calling her Lara. She is a Brazilian of Korean descent. Brilliant woman and brave too. As Craig Murray (he’s been getting strange phone calls and noises outside in the night – I wonder who that could be?) says –

    ‘This video shows plainly a bloodstained ship before any commandos boarded, and that the passengers were not terrorists preparing for a fight.’

  19. bozh said on June 11th, 2010 at 6:01am #

    DB, hayate, more ab the socalled holocaust,
    It seems u thought that i was disagreeing with rehmat’s and gilad’s conclusions ab ‘holocaust’ becoming a religion.
    As i have said before, i have not even mentioned ‘holocaust’, let alone disputed the conclusions; or, rather, the fact that ‘jews’- at least partly- justify own crimes because of what happened to them ’36-45 era in europe.

    I even go a bit further than ?all or most observers in my evaluation of the ‘holocaust’: i reject the very label as a fiction or yet another ‘jewish’ invention!

    Such a label wld be much more apt for what happened to some SU citizens. It seems, SU had lost ab 2o mn people; while doing s’mthing very beneficial for entire world, while most ‘jews’ sat tight or were misled by their ‘elite’ and the allies.

    Allies and ‘jewish elite’ had not called [as far as i know] on ‘jews’ to resist militarily nazi expansionism.
    For hungarian ‘jews’, there was tito’s yugoslavia to go to and join partisan forces. Most wld have survived.
    Yugoslav ‘jews’ cld have even escaped to the regions and countries controled by
    Italian fascist did not hand out ‘jews’ to germans. Italians have controled all the cities in the littoral croatia; much of greece, monte negro, and albania.
    Parts of these regions were also controled by partizani.
    Having seen ’41-sept ’43 italian soldiers in my home town on adriatic coast, i can testify that most of them were friendly.
    I didn’t think they’d hurt a fly. They, too, were controled by black shirts. So there were places to escape to.

    After capitulation of italy sept ’43, germans ocupied my home twn and greece, albania, monte negro, and hercegovina.
    Germans, too, were gentle to us. I do not think they ventured out of town’, so the countryside was free partizan territory.

    Curioso is that some of staunchest fascist-nazi ideologists of croatia were ‘jews!
    Pavelich, the ustashski leader, was married to Frank’s daughter, who was a ‘jew’.
    Ljubo and Eugen Kvaternik, also ‘jewish’ as frank, where paveliches ideological fathers and Slavko Kvaternik was paveliches second in command.

    I do not know anything ab serb ‘jews’ and their role in that war. Some ‘jews’ have joined partizani. Among them was moshe pijade; probably the sixth most important partizan leader.

    Curioso is that the croatian communist leader, was a ‘jew’, andrija hebrang; later executed by tito, another croat, for being nationalistic. tnx

  20. mary said on June 11th, 2010 at 7:27am #

    Robert Halfon, newly elected Conservative MP and previously Political Director for the Conservative Friends of Israel, joins these members of the same nasty CFoI to say this in the Daily Telegraph today. It is another attack on Hamas commencing with their pretence of caring about the flotilla dead and wounded. Notice that they say there were ‘rights’ on the attack. Hypocrites.

    Gaza peace prospects

    SIR – The loss of life incurred during the Israeli raid on the flotilla bound for Gaza is deeply tragic. But whatever the rights and wrongs of the Israeli operation, there are much more important issues at play in the Middle East.

    We must not forget what Hamas, which controls Gaza, stands for: it is intent on violence, smuggles arms, colludes with other rogue states, and thumbs its nose at the international community.

    To achieve long-term security in the region, Hamas must accept the Quartet Principles – to renounce violence, accept the existence of Israel, and abide by previous agreements.

    Israel, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and the West have a shared interest in preventing Hamas from being strengthened, ensuring that a moderate national unity government is established in Gaza and the West Bank, and supporting ordinary Palestinians to secure a two-state solution.

    The international community must be very careful not to do anything that emboldens Hamas to pursue its course of aggression and rejection. To hand such a propaganda coup to Hamas would pave the way for future conflict. Hamas needs to know that the British Government will not reward its terror tactics, and that getting it to abide by the Quartet Principles will form the core of our policy.

    James Clappison MP (Con)
    David Amess MP (Con)
    James Arbuthnot MP (Con)
    Bob Blackman MP (Con)
    David Burrowes MP (Con)
    Douglas Carswell MP (Con)
    Mike Freer MP (Con)
    Robert Halfon MP (Con)
    Gareth Johnson MP (Con)
    Stephen Metcalfe MP (Con)
    Matthew Offord MP (Con)
    London SW1

    The link sounds strange -it is the subject of the first letter in the column. Urban foxes have been entering dwellings and one attacked sleeping twin babies recently.