Israeli policy makes Israelis unpopular

Israeli policy makes Israelis unpopular. Visitors' fond memories of communal living on the Kibbutz are fading fast. Thanks to Israel's refusal to admit journalists to Gaza, every cruelty attributed to Israelis gains credibility.

Policy allows Israeli pilots to rain white phosphorous on civilians with a sense of impunity. Policy and its disdain for international law lets an officer feel that repeatedly shooting a 13 year old girl is justified.

By aggressively expanding its territory and knocking back progress elsewhere, Israel has rapidly drained its reservoir of global goodwill.

Those with vested interests are quick to squash any deviation from Israel's official narrative. But their unswerving devotion doesn't help. If smacks of fanaticism and paranoia.

Old Israeli generals often come across like white South Africans. This is no coincidence. During apartheid, Israel and South Africa traded all sorts of power-related resources, including it would seem, English conversation classes.

Years of practice have made the Israelis world leaders in defence, security, surveillance, espionage, and population control. Israel ranks amongst the top five defence exporters. Some 350 companies are dedicated to selling homeland security products.

With economic growth tied to fear and insecurity - what are the chances that Peace and Love will ever make it onto Israel's policy agenda?

So, Israel's reputation for disproportionate violence grows, along with its prison walls and check points. The US aid keeps flowing in. Like anabolic steroids, this pumps up Israel's military with technological advantage. Israel, therefore, threatens its neighbours, confident of its own invincibility.

On-lookers liken the resistance in Gaza to David against Israel's Goliath. But neither the biblical Ten Commandments nor the Sermon on the Mount have any bearing on Israel's policy. Israel's moral compass spins just as furiously as that of the US in Iraq or UK in Afghanistan.

Misguided policy risks pushing Israel into firing the opening offensive salvo of WWIII. The UK/US have already stock piled cruise missiles in Helmand. If these end up under the wings of Israeli fighter planes bound for Iran, the result is sure to be a catastrophe that Israelis will not easily live down.

Ends | 11 Mar 2009 | The Leg

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