Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Nazi Analogy (Again)

It's like an especially pernicious virus, but this time it is manifesting itself in a body that makes me disappointed as much as angry. I do not even need to link to any specific article -- go to any reputable source with a correpondent in Gaza right now and you'll see what I mean: settlers accusing their own government of being "Nazis" or acting like the "Gestapo" because of a removal policy carried out by the Likud government. If anyone ought to know better, it is Israel's far right. The analogy is repulsive, utterly invalid, and shows just how pernicious this ultimate evocation of evil is.

One of the most distressing aspects of all of this is that the removals of settlers is really the only way Israel can in the long term defend itself from another vacuous and wrongheaded analogy -- the apartheid myth. But if settlers and folks like Banjamin Netanyahu insist on remaining in areas where Jews are demographically overwhelmed, and if they plan to do so without giving Palestinians within their midst some access to the vote and full citizenship, they are guaranteeing one of two outcomes, and maybe both: Continued terrorist attacks (which provides the only justification for not giving full citizenship rights to the Palestinian masses) or a permanent Chaim Crow society that will completely undercut Israel's otherwise rock solid claims of moral superiority in the region. The irony, of course, is thet if the Palestinians truly disavowed violence and cracked down on terrorism, they would force Israel and the world to look at the territories and make withdrawal from as many settlements as possible and the drawing of new borders the only logical outcome.

Oh -- I'm also growing ever more annoyed with invocations of God's will as the supposed last word on political affairs. The Israeli right insists that the land is theirs because the Bible says as much, as if their Bible is the only or last word out there. My guess is that the Koran says something rather different. Unless we are going to have some sort of Allah v. Yahweh cage match anytime soon, this is simply not an acceptable justification for what are inherently political questions.


Lee said...

Nice new blog Derek. While I see your point regarding these settlers using the Nazi analogy, it's crucial to remember that these accounts mainly refer to people speaking in anger during the midst of being evicted. I doubt you will find representatives for these settlers using the Nazi analogy in more formal channels such as articles and interviews.

There is little doubt that these settlers and their "infiltrator" friends are easily the most extreme religious/nationalist elements of Israeli society. Hence I am not surprised to hear them using extremist language, and I suspect they believe they have a unique right to use their "N" word in anger.

Overall this evacuation impresses me as an example of Israel correcting its own mistakes, in a way that only a democracy can do.

Meanwhile, I'm heading into the last couple of weeks before fatherhood, so wish me luck :)

Cram said...

Go the following website and click on “slideshow” (click on “multiple photos” for faster navigation) and you will see the difference between how Israelis protest and how Palestinians celebrate. I won’t ruin it for you, but one group contains children holding guns, masked men waving missile launchers, and fires symbolizing destruction, while the worst the other side does is put a photograph of Arial Sharon on a donkey as an insult. Can you guess which side is doing what?


dcat said...

Lee -- you'd better damned well toss me an email. I was unsure if you were alive, never mind (shudder) bringing new life into this world. Same email, derekcatsam at hotmail.com
Congrats, big fella.