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Friday, July 21, 2006

Lebanon and Rhetoric

I was sent a petition concerning the death of Lebanese civilians today and the link is on the side bar. Here is the blurb from the site:

Please go to http://julywar.epetition.net and sign the Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition and forward this invitation to your friends.

Lebanese civilians have been under the constant attack of the state of Israel for several days. The State of Israel, in disregard to international law and the Geneva Convention, is launching a maritime and air siege targeting the entire population of the country. Innocent civilians are being collectively punished in Lebanon by the state of Israel in deliberate acts of terrorism as described in Article 33 of the Geneva Convention.


I should also add the following comments from Amnesty International:

Amnesty International is calling on the UN Security Council to urgently adopt measures to protect civilians caught up in the deepening Israel-Lebanon conflict.

Amnesty International condemns the continued attacks on civilians by both Israel and Hizbullah. Such attacks are a blatant breach of international humanitarian law and amount to war crimes.

And this:

Israeli forces have carried out large-scale destruction of civilian infrastructure throughout Lebanon, deliberately targeting and destroying dozens of bridges, roads, powers stations, the international airport and ports, grain silos and other facilities. Tens of thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes, notably in South Lebanon and in the suburbs of the capital, Beirut.

Hizbullah has also shown disregard for civilian lives by deliberately firing hundreds of katyusha and other rockets into towns and villages in Northern Israel, killing several Israeli civilians and injuring many more, and causing substantial damage to homes and other civilian properties.

These comments seem to reflect the opinions of many people I know. For what it is worth I put these comments up because in the blogging and general media world there is the logically ridiculous (but idelogically convenient) argument repeatedly put forward that concern for Lebanese civilians is confused with support for Hizbullah (or even Syria and/or Iran) and no concern for Israeli civilians.

No doubt some of you have seen comments on other blogs and biblioblogs, some of them just downright disgraceful and completely lacking in humanity, and usually supported by opinion and completely lacking concrete examples. This is not to mention numerous factual inaccuracies and the all-too-familiar Orwellian twisting of language to rid any aggressors of blame. There is plenty of material which refutes some of the lies (e.g. Robert Fisk's recent articles in the Independent).

But some of the mistakes go beyond the present crisis. In the comments section of one of Joe Cathey's discussions of this issue, Joe's response says:

If you are angry because the U.S. sides with Israel then that is just too bad. There isn’t another regime in the Middle East that is our ally. What do you expect? Do you want us to cozy up to Syria, Iran, or Saudi Arabia? Each of these countries would just as soon fly jets into our buildings rather than help us in the Middle East. Is it any wonder why we are friendly to the Israelis?

Saudi? Has the US never engaged in a bit of cozying up with them!!?!! The connections between Saudi and the US are hardly some big secret. I've probably said this a million times on this site now but the US has backed countless unpleasant regimes and hasn't been too fussed if they are states from the Middle East. On past action I would not be surprised what state the US (and UK) would be prepared to back.


Blogger Jim said...

Well done. And thanks for the link to the petition.

July 21, 2006

Blogger Danny Zacharias said...

Did I make any mistakes in any comments or blog posting? i would like to be corrected if I was, genuinely.


July 21, 2006

Blogger James Crossley said...

No problem Jim.

Danny, I certainly wasn't talking about you. As it happens I think there is an important role for evangelicals in this. It seems to me that more and more of an evangelical bent are speaking out against Christian Zionism etc. in the US. Ultimately, Israel's interests will be infinitely better served without these right wing Christians. It's difficult to think of a group of Christians with more potential to influence.

July 21, 2006

Blogger Michael F. Bird said...

Thanks for the pro-evangelical plug. Many of us want a safe-Israel but are unwilling to support the disproportionate use of force that is being brought against the Lebanese populace.

July 21, 2006

Blogger steph said...

Yes, good on you James, and thanks for the petition. It's surprising how dense some Joblog comments are in their over hasty defence of Israel's violence - but then again it's not that surprising.

July 22, 2006


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