Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Armies of Occupation

How do you know when you've become the thing you hate the most? The Guardian:

Of all the revelations that have rocked the Israeli army over the past week, perhaps none disturbed the public so much as the video footage of soldiers forcing a Palestinian man to play his violin.
The incident was not as shocking as the recording of an Israeli officer pumping the body of a 13-year-old girl full of bullets and then saying he would have shot her even if she had been three years old.

Nor was it as nauseating as the pictures in an Israeli newspaper of ultra-orthodox soldiers mocking Palestinian corpses by impaling a man's head on a pole and sticking a cigarette in his mouth.

But the matter of the violin touched on something deeper about the way Israelis see themselves, and their conflict with the Palestinians.

The violinist, Wissam Tayem, was on his way to a music lesson near Nablus when he said an Israeli officer ordered him to "play something sad" while soldiers made fun of him. After several minutes, he was told he could pass.

[. . .]

Is this the sterotypical picture you have of Nazis, making a little Jewish man play for their amusement? Yes, there have been atrocities committed on both sides, bit the Israelis have forgotten what it was to be Jewish in Europe sixty years ago. Maybe, instead of making the pilgrimmage to the Wall, they should go back to the camps every year and remember the reasons they say 'never forget'. Israel has become the Germany of the Holy Land. Watch this, ladies and gentlemen, and know that someday this will happen at the hands of American troops in Iraq. It can't help but happen because those are the symptoms of Occupation.

Link via TBogg.

Update: 15:40:

From Steve Gillard.

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