Friday, February 19, 2010

The myth of remaining decent

There they were showing me their big rusty keys along with pictures and maps of their villages and no need here for Norman Finkelstein, who only requires a modicum of effort to dismiss what is after all the absurd claim of a land without people. Joan Peter's hoax, 'From Time Immemorial', has long since been discredited. Finklestein the "forensic Historian" is, however, required to tackle Benny Morris's' thesis that although there was an ethnic cleansing of Palestine it was not planned and came about because of the war in 1948. Morris's thesis is based on no little evidence but that "no little" is mainly official sources. Moreover, not only are his arguments shown to be contradictory, but his conclusions show that, whatever his merits as a Historian, he is either no Sherlock Holmes or, worse, he is morally corrupt. He is, in fact, morally corrupt as anyone who views ethnic cleansing as a necessary evil inevitably is.

However, it is when I turn to reading the Zionist bullshit, and "bullshit" is the appropriate term here, that the land was settled and not conquered that an unpleasant sensation spreads along my abdomen, that my stomach becomes queasy, my mouth dry and that feelings of disgust make me want to vomit. It is not that the myths of "wilderness", of "self-defence", of "purity of arms" are not sufficiently demolished by Finkelstein, they are! However, we are left aghast not only at the chutzpah, but also, and more importantly, at the extent of that "immoral morality" that has IDF soldiers feeling "lousy" after a killing spree in Gaza. As if feeling "lousy" is sufficient to exonorate them and just as the "rusty keys" mentioned above rendered Dr Finkelstein's dismantling of Peters superflous, so too did any further reading of Finkelstein here as my own mind immediately accessed Himmler's speech at Posen in October 1943, drew parallels and reached its own conclusions.

Yes, to remain "decent" after killing thousands of innocents requires not only a criminal myopia, it also leads us to praise zyklon B, as a "more efficient" and "more moral" alternative to the mad sadists who roamed the streets of Nanjing in 1937 or to those who ran Security Prison 21 at the Chao Ponhea Yat High School in Pnom Pen and to the myth of purity of arms we might, indeed, add another myth; the myth of remaining decent and being decent is what distinguishes "us" from the barbarians, while facilitating us exonorating ourselves of crimes against humanity and the dead babies, children with smashed or no limbs, orphans who have been deprived of their parents, incarcerated innocents, can at least seek solace in the knowledge that "we" are decent.

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