The narrative of equals is a sham. Only in the realms of superb fantasy can a child killer be measured in the same breath as the child he killed writes Charles B. Anthony
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal."
As the age old saying goes: “they would say that, wouldn’t they?” Would these so called journalists attribute the same senseless neutrality to Nazi occupied Poland? I understand that conditions were harsh for Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, but they did not exactly help themselves popping out of terror tunnels armed with bayonets, did they? Black South Africans weren’t all angels either, I mean; the Apartheid regime had a right to exist, until, of course, it didn’t. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream but even you must admit, he was a bit of a nightmare, just ask any grand wizard. As for rape, I know it’s not right, but some of these women are just asking for it, right?
They say this is not a football match and you shouldn’t pick teams. Yes, this is certainly not a football match, precisely the main reason why you shouldn’t make such stupid analogies. Life versus death is not quite West Bromwich Albion V Torquay or even Bayern Munich V Dagenham and Redbridge. But maybe: If Bayern Munich flattened Dagenham Heathway, occupied Fords factory, put three checkpoints down the A406 to Rainham whilst shelling most of the underfunded schools blaming it all on Dudley Moore’s comedy legacy, then maybe, just maybe, you could invoke your stupid analogy.
They say statistics and numbers do not tell the whole story. But then they invoke numbers to do precisely that. They tell us about the thousands of rockets, but would not dare reveal the fact that Israel has killed more people in three days of bombing than all rockets have killed in thirteen years. They tell us the exact number of Israel’s dead whilst omitting the wholly disproportionate number of Palestinians killed. According to human rights organisation B’Teslem, since January 2005, 96 per cent of all deaths have been Palestinian; 23 Palestinians for every 1 Israeli. That statistic, thanks to the current slaughter, will be even more pronounced now.
They say both parties need to come together. Palestinians need to renounce violence. They need to try the diplomatic route. “What’s wrong with talking?” they ask. What do they think Palestinians have been doing for the last ten years? Throwing rockets? Are they all just spear-chuckers to you? Only in a world awash with disinformation and racism can recent history be so inaccurately rewritten. For the record, Palestinians, including Hamas, have exhausted diplomatic routes. Look where this has got them. Israel is committing these war crimes precisely because of Palestinian reunification, pursuing self-determination via official UN channels.
These callous calls for neutrality come from quarters that wish to equalise the blatantly unequal. They wish to do so, because they want to give credence to the myth that Israel has a right to act like this. They desperately need cover for social media’s daily feed of live gore; the headless children, legless fathers and rubble covered mothers. They want you do buy the lie that one of the largest armies in the world is defending itself against a near-defenceless civilian population. They want you to acknowledge that an Israeli life is worth at least twenty-three times more than that of a Palestinian. They want you to uphold their notion that an innocent child bombed sleeping in a UN shelter is equal to that of an occupying soldier armed to the teeth, slain in the line of duty. That if it were not for the pesky Hamas, there would be peace and tranquillity in the Middle East. Forgetting to tell you that Hamas is only twenty-six years old, meaning there is forty years of equally poor excuses.
The other day I witnessed John ‘why-the-long-face’ Kerry break The Guinness Book of Records record for how many times you can say "Israel's right" in less than four minutes It was quite something. Linguistically, Kerry belittled Palestinians lives to the point of universal worthlessness. With each sly pause, you could see Kerry’s eyes sweeping the dead under his star spangled banner. Selecting each word carefully, tilting the balance of victimhood in Israel's favour. If you had been living in Plato’s cave for the last eighteen days, you would have been forgiven for thinking that it was Gaza that had just levelled 40 per cent of Israel.
The narrative of equals is a sham; peace parading as sheep, bleating cute promises, but in reality, it is nothing more than a blood soaked wolf eating freedom’s entrails from within. You can keep your iron-fisted velvet gloves; your Obamas, your Clintons, your Milibands, your Hollandes, your Israeli liberals and your perpetual peace process; all process and no peace, hundreds of settlements but never any settlement. I would rather hear unabashed cheerleading. At least you know where you stand.
Israel lied to go to war, 'Hamas kidnapped the teens', no they didn’t. Then it was about Hamas rockets, but Israel broke the ceasefire, carrying out raids in the West Bank under false pretences, killing ten and arresting 566 Palestinians. The rockets were in retaliation, contrary to official narrative, Palestinians are defending themselves, not the other way around. 75 per cent of the 1,400 Palestinians killed so far by Israel are civilians, half women and children. Israel has killed more children than Hamas fighters - over three hundred to be exact. Israel has used prohibited ammunitions in civilian areas. Israel has bombed hospitals, mosques, schools, UN schools and refugee shelters, Gaza’s only power plant, disability centres, houses - countless houses, parks, beaches, shopping centres, cafes. Hamas has killed fifty-three soldiers, three civilians and zero children; that equates to a civilian casualty rate of 5 per cent. Currently, both Hamas and Israel say they are not targeting civilians. So, please tell me, who are the terrorists again?
Children are being slaughtered thanks to the fig leaf of imperial self-interest. Only in the realms of superb fantasy can a child killer be measured in the same breath as the child he killed. The colonised and the coloniser are not equals, never have been and never will. Israelis need to wake up to their leaders’ lies. They need to be boycotted and shamed into understanding the full scale of what is going on, and why. Even after all the carnage, a recent poll showed 87 per cent of Jewish Israelis support the slaughter and want it to continue. A figure backed up by a poll that puts support for Netanyahu at 82 per cent. This horror will not stop while Israelis are cocooned in their mythic fairy-tale. They do not need any more false-alibis. By denying inequality you widen the gap between two people even further. Reinforcing power with delusion commits to a future of much of the same, only worse.
So whilst you perch on the concrete fence, topped with barbed wire guarded by machinegun turreted watchtowers, deliberating the illusion of balance, its business as usual in the world of occupation.
Charles B. Anthony is a political and cultural commentator.