What's All This Then?

commentary on the passing parade

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Monday, July 31, 2006

It’s on days like this when I envy blggers who have a single theme to their blogs. They don’t have to sort out the multitude of images and claims and counter claims and threats and accusations swirling about my head as I sit down in front of my computer and try to make sense of a world gone mad. That of course is an impossible task, so I’ll just record a couple of thoughts on a few of said images, claims etc.

The Israeli/Hezbollah war is foremost in most people’s minds - and of course the tragedy in Qana. Who could not be horrified at the unintended carnage caused by an Israeli air attack on suspected Hezbollah targets in that village?

I won’t try to present an analysis of how it happened or who is right and who is wrong and where the ultimate responsibility lies for the death of so many civilians. That’s an exercise in futility. Nothing that anyone says will detract one iota from the horror of this tragedy. But I will try to make one or two observations about the opposing sides that I think are revealing.

I am in touch with people in Israel. The reaction is the same there as it is here. There is no joy over the death of innocent Lebanese civilians, only horror. Unlike the alleged Hezbollah/Lebanese response to the incident that started this whole mess - the ambush and slaughter of eight Israeli soldiers and the kidnapping of two that survived - there is no dancing in the streets of Israel. No one is handing out candy to passing motorists and pedestrians. There is no celebration. And Israel is expressing official sorrow and regret and is conducting an investigation.

One image really moved me over the week-end. It was that of a sad faced, 83 year old Shimon Peres appearing on CNN and asking why. "Why did they (Hezbollah) do this?" " What do they want" he asked? It wasn’t an act. It was the puzzled voice of a tired old man who has spent a lifetime trying to find a way for his nation to live at peace with the rest of the world - and sees nothing but madness, decade after decade.

Yes, Israel’s response to Hezbollah’s act of war is resulting in the death of civilians - but that is not the purpose of its military actions. Conversely, it is the only purpose of the Hezbollah and Hamas attacks. To kill people. Randomly. Who doesn’t matter - as long as they are Israeli Jews. There is no expression of regret over any Israeli civilian death - except when they are Israeli Arabs. Then their killers tell their families that while they’re sorry for the deaths - not to worry - dying in war made them martyrs - and they’re having a whale of a time up there in paradise.

Neither side is totally blameless - but there are differences that tell a great deal about them. The Israelis have a culture of life. They have, in the past, exchanged hundreds of convicted felons for the bodies of a handful of fallen Israeli soldiers. They have great reverence for life and great respect for the bodies of their deceased, but they don’t believe that there is some eternal reward waiting for them if they die in the process of killing their enemies. If an Arab equivalent of 9/11 were to occur, you would not find Israelis celebrating in the streets. While the Israelis may be resolute - and indeed may be wrong in some of their military actions - they experience no joy in killing those who attack them.

No doubt as this war continues, there will be more tragedies - more civilians killed in Lebanon and in Israel and none of it will augur well for any future relations between the two countries - or even between Israel and Hezbollah - if any kind of relationship between those two was even remotely possible. There would perhaps be if Hezbollah could ever genuinely expressed sorrow at the death of innocent Israeli civilians. Or as Golda Meier once said - when the Arabs learn to love their children more than they hate the Jews, there will be peace.

Changing the subject - although it’s not too much of a change of subject to comment on my old friend Mel Gibson. He’s off doing his "thing" again - his thing being to spread the word about the Jews. They start all the wars you know - including their favorite war - World War ll. That’s the one where they dreamed up this whole scenario about a "holocaust" where the Germans slaughtered millions of them in gas chambers. It was their way of distracting the world’s attention for what they were really doing - which of course was taking over the world. And they would have done it without anyone noticing if it wasn’t for the likes of Mahathir Mohamad and Northwestern University’s Arthur Butz.

Mr. Gibson says that he was totally out of control when he was arrested for speeding and that’s why he said things that he absolutely doesn’t believe.. He’d had a little too much to drink you see. That’s when you have delusions about Jews he would have us believe - instead of not being sober enough to hide your true beliefs, taught to you by your holocaust denying father.

I don’t think anyone is going to buy this garbage from Gibson any more. He is what he is. He’s got lots of company and he should spend his time where he’d be the most comfortable - with those who believe as he believes. He’d be welcomed in Iran. He’d be a hero there. He and Butz. They could make joint appearances and given enough time, he could pull in as much money as he made from the Passion of the Christ.

Supposedly, ABC has a deal cooking with Gibson for him to produce a mini series on the Holocaust. ABC is owned by the Disney Corporation and in Walt’s day, hiring Gibson for such a project would have been a perfectly appropriate arrangement. Like hiring Bull Connor to produce a documentary on the life and times of Martin Luther King. But the original Mickey Mouse anti-Semite is long gone. ABC has been a little shaky since they lost Peter Jennings, but we have to hope that they’re not nutty enough to go through with a cockamamie deal like this.

The Connecticut Democratic primary takes place eight days from now and it looks like Joe Lieberman could be unseated by Ned Lamont. Lieberman has said that he will run as an independent if he loses the primary - figuring that by the time the general election rolls around, enough Connecticut voters will have come to the realization that the Democratic Senate seat is - as he fully understands - the Lieberman seat - and is so by divine right .

On the other hand, if God is busy that day, or has forgotten on which of his children he bestowed that particular honor, Mr. Lieberman could end up being the Ralph Nader of the 2006 mid terms and present the country with the gift of a new Republican senator , the hitherto "no name" Alan Schlesinger. Assuming that some less than gentlemanly bookie doesn’t decide to resort to the old fashioned way of collecting gambling debts sometime between now and November 7!!

With all the horrible news coming out of the Middle East, I guess we should be grateful for a little comic relief - even if it is about a really serious matter!!