…of courage and cowardice in the us – gaza? oh, that…

…in the face of atrocities, acquiescence, silence for some is anathema, complicity; for others, the path to acceptance and reward…

How does this story start? Well, we have an academic who states, I’m joining Norm Finkelstein tomorrow to commit civil disobedience in protest of Israel’s war on Gaza. Unlike some Western politicians who state and assume that any mere statement of principle is, ipso facto, its fruition, the academic does join the protest. And how do we know? On crooked timber where Corey Robin blogs, we read, Corey arrested. That point of ‘enough is enough’ can be gleaned in this earlier post, The Higher Sociopathy, where we have,

The Gaza war, you see, is not a war over tunnels. It’s not even a war in defense of Israel. It’s a war about…war, a war in defense of just war. Once upon a time, crackpots thought they were fighting a war to end all wars. That was its justice. Now they’re fighting a war in order to make just war possible. That is its justice.

The theory of just war is supposed to impose limits upon the launching and fighting of wars. It’s a condition of, a constraint upon, war. But here it becomes the end—both the aim and the justification—of war. Because that is the aim of Israel’s war, “civilians cannot be used” to make such a war “impossible.” They must instead be used to make it possible.

Clearly, Prof Robin is unworried about deeper moral issues such as jeopardising any votes or any contribution to  any Presidential ‘Library’ or any contributions to corporate party campaign coffers.

The patriotic performance of principled politicians? Well, just over a week ago, we had, Gaza crisis: Palestinian death toll climbs past 500 as hospital is hit. From that news report, we would get,

Speaking to the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, by telephone early on Monday, Obama expressed his concern over the deaths on both sides, the White House said in a statement.

In their second call in three days, Obama “reaffirmed Israel‘s right to defend itself” and called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

David Cameron also spoke to Netanyahu, reiterating “the UK‘s strong support for Israel‘s right to take proportionate action to defend itself from” Gaza rockets, while expressing condolences over the Israeli deaths and concern over the “mounting civilian casualties in Gaza“.

Cameron agreed with Netanyahu that the way out of the “spiral of violence” was through the Egyptian ceasefire initiative, a spokesman for the British PM said.

[bold added for emphasis]

Dealing with Cameron, public school lad, we note that he failed to point out that that ‘initiative’ was concocted by Blair, the Egyptian dictatorship and Israel – with no Hamas input. Enough with that. On the pronouncement of the Nobel Peace Prize (2009) President, we fast forward to current reality, Gaza: at least 19 killed and 90 injured as another UN school is hit. And what is the score, clearly, no 7-1?

The last two nights have seen the most fierce bombardment in this Gaza offensive, with inense air strikes, tank shelling and bombardment from Israeli gunboats. In 23 days more than 1,240 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed. On the Israeli side 53 soldiers and three civilians have been killed.

[bold added for emphasis]

To ensure that all systems are in place, we also have, Susan Rice launches staunch defence of Israel despite ‘alarming’ Gaza death toll. In the news report with that telling photo, we have this nugget,

In a staunch defence of Israel’s response to rockets fired from the Palestinian territory controlled by Hamas, Rice was particularly critical of the United Nations human rights council, which recently voted for an inquiry into the possible war crimes violations committed by Israel.


Rice’s comments – the first official US statement about the conflict since Netanyahu’s pledged Israel would press ahead with its offensive – were made at a hastily convened “solidarity” meeting convened by Jewish groups in Washington.

Senior Republican and Democratic political figures gave speeches at the meeting defending Israel’s right to defend itself, condemning the activities of Hamas and discounting criticism of its military action as disproportionate or misguided.

[bold added for emphasis]

With regard to that vote, 29 of the 47 members were in favour with the only nay vote from the US. Abstentions included Western allies along with Macedonia voted complicit by ECHR in US rendition and torture activities and Romania under ECHR investigation for similar behaviour – Poland had recently been convicted.

The UN? The UN? No, one expects nothing from the UN whose officials ‘criticise’ culpable Western countries within tacitly understood limits but suspected countries with vehemence since most eventually do go on to very lucrative careers within similar institutions in the very Western countries.

Still alive in the US, that remarkable thing called ‘principled stand’ in actuality, in reality, not in rhetoric. Yet remarkable in its infrequency and insufficiency of expression in such highly principled Western countries, that community of ‘civilised nations’.