Friday, July 28, 2006

You just gotta be even handed - not

Preparing for tonight's protest some of us have been out leafletting - trying build some momentum to those wishing to express their solidarity with the people of Lebanon and Gaza.

I got into some really interesting discussions today - there seems to be loads of people who've been to Lebanon around, maybe that's a Cambridge thing, but also had a few disagreements with people.

The key one seems to be the idea that we have to be even handed and comdemn "both sides" equally. It's something that leaves me pretty cold to be honest. Which side were the dead children on? Which side are the refugees on?

First of all, the whole idea of saying Hezbelloh are in some way equivalent to the Israeli armed forces just seems ludicrous, and both groups exist for entirely different reasons and behave in completely different ways.

But also I feel I'm being asked to concede the Israeli's have a point. They don't. Whatever grievances they have - targetting ambulances, creating widespread terror and over half a million refugees, firing missiles into suburban areas and UN buildings - there is no justification for any of this.

If the Israeli state want to live in peace they have to learn not to commit indiscriminate murder, at least Hezbollah have a legitimate reason for existing and I'm not prepared to make moral judgements against them at this current time, particularly when most of the anti-Hezbollah arguments I've heard in the last couple of weeks have been ignorant tosh - although I'm happy to concede there is a valid argument about the tactics they have deployed.

Israel's armed forces are certainly even handed - they kill anyone in their path, enemy combatant or no - but I think for those of us who oppose imperialism and oppose their wars we need to take sides, and any Lebanon or Gaza resident that wants to take up arms against Israeli terror is all right by me.


badmatthew said...

Okay, but can you say how you respond to arguments that say 1) Hezbollah missile attacks are indiscriminate attacks on civilians;
2) Hezbollah is reckless in firing missiles from sites of civilian inhabitation?

Jim Jay said...

I think number two is non argument personally. Israel is targetting the headquarters and buildings of Hezbollah which is a political party so where else would they be - out in the sticks? and they are targetting where hezbollah leaders live - likewise - how are they wrong to live with other people?

Number two I think is a question of more interest. But let me put it this way - the last round of attacks on Israel from H was in response to the attacks on Gaza by the IDF. From H's point of view (who are a resistance group NOT an army of the state) they are refusing to allow Israel to commit murder in Gaza without paying a price. I think there is a good argument to say this is not provocation but saying to the bully - if you kick me you will be kicked back.

Now, whether this is the *right* tactic is open to question - but I do think it is an understandable reaction rather than simply an act of barbarism.

Incidently there is no question of a hezbollah ceasefire right now because to do so would literally be to commit suicide - the one, only and central demand should be for Israel to withdraw from Gaza and Lebanon.

Jim Jay said...

Nice piece in the Guardian's Comment is Free by Karma Ekmekji