Counterpunch: The Insane Brutality of the State of Israel


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

July 17, 2006

"The Insane Brutality of the State of Israel"
Atrocities in the Promised Land

former CIA analyst

Words fail; ordinary terms are inadequate to describe the horrors Israel daily 
perpetrates, and has perpetrated for years, against the Palestinians. The 
tragedy of Gaza has been described a hundred times over, as have the tragedies 
of 1948, of Qibya, of Sabra and Shatila, of Jenin -- 60 years of atrocity 
perpetrated in the name of Judaism. But the horror generally falls on deaf ears 
in most of Israel, in the U.S. political arena, in the mainstream U.S. media. 
Those who are horrified -- and there are many -- cannot penetrate the shield of 
impassivity that protects the political and media elite in Israel, even more so 
in the U.S., and increasingly now in Canada and Europe, from seeing, from 

But it needs to be said now, loudly: those who devise and carry out Israeli 
policies have made Israel into a monster, and it has come time for all of us -- 
all Israelis, all Jews who allow Israel to speak for them, all Americans who do 
nothing to end U.S. support for Israel and its murderous policies -- to 
recognize that we stain ourselves morally by continuing to sit by while Israel 
carries out its atrocities against the Palestinians.

A nation that mandates the primacy of one ethnicity or religion over all others 
will eventually become psychologically dysfunctional. Narcissistically obsessed 
with its own image, it must strive to maintain its racial superiority at all 
costs and will inevitably come to view any resistance to this imagined 
superiority as an existential threat. Indeed, any other people automatically 
becomes an existential threat simply by virtue of its own existence. As it seeks
to protect itself against phantom threats, the racist state becomes increasingly
paranoid, its society closed and insular, intellectually limited. Setbacks 
enrage it; humiliations madden it. The state lashes out in a crazed effort, 
lacking any sense of proportion, to reassure itself of its strength.

The pattern played out in Nazi Germany as it sought to maintain a mythical Aryan
superiority. It is playing out now in Israel. ³This society no longer recognizes
any boundaries, geographical or moral,² wrote Israeli intellectual and 
anti-Zionist activist Michel Warschawski in his 2004 book Towards an Open Tomb: 
The Crisis of Israeli Society. Israel knows no limits and is lashing out as it 
finds that its attempt to beat the Palestinians into submission and swallow 
Palestine whole is being thwarted by a resilient, dignified Palestinian people 
who refuse to submit quietly and give up resisting Israel¹s arrogance.

We in the United States have become inured to tragedy inflicted by Israel, and 
we easily fall for the spin that automatically, by some trick of the 
imagination, converts

Israeli atrocities to examples of how Israel is victimized. But a military 
establishment that drops a 500-pound bomb on a residential apartment building in
the middle of the night and kills 14 sleeping civilians, as happened in Gaza 
four years ago, is not a military that operates by civilized rules.

A military establishment that drops a 500-pound bomb on a house in the middle of
the night and kills a man and his wife and seven of their children, as happened 
in Gaza four days ago, is not the military of a moral country.

A society that can brush off as unimportant an army officer¹s brutal murder of a
13-year-old girl on the claim that she threatened soldiers at a military post --
one of nearly 700 Palestinian children murdered by Israelis since the intifada 
began -- is not a society with a conscience.

A government that imprisons a 15-year-old girl -- one of several hundred 
children in Israeli detention -- for the crime of pushing and running away from 
a male soldier trying to do a body search as she entered a mosque is not a 
government with any moral bearings. (This story, not the kind that ever appears 
in the U.S. media, was reported in the London Sunday Times. The girl was shot 
three times as she ran away and was convicted to 18 months in prison after she 
came out of a coma.)

Critics of Israel note increasingly that Israel is self-destructing, nearing a 
catastrophe of its own making. Israeli journalist Gideon Levy talks of a society
in ³moral collapse.²

Michel Warschawski writes of an ³Israeli madness² and ³insane brutality,² a 
³putrefaction² of civilized society, that have set Israel on a suicidal course. 
He foresees the end of the Zionist enterprise; Israel is a ³gang of hoodlums,² 
he says, a state ³that makes a mockery of legality and of civil morality. A 
state run in contempt of justice loses the strength to survive.²

As Warschawski notes bitterly, Israel no longer knows any moral boundaries -- if
it ever did. Those who continue to support Israel, who make excuses for it as it
descends into corruption, have lost their moral compass.


Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and has worked on Middle 
East issues for 30 years. She is the author of Perceptions of Palestine and The 
Wound of Dispossession. She can be reached at •••@••.•••.



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