Overblog Suivre ce blog
Editer l'article Administration Créer mon blog
13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 02:19

The one piece of 'whataboutery' that Israel-bashers have no answer to, Brendan O' Neill (The Telegraph) "On Ukraine, there have been no marches, no lists of names of those killed, no tweeted photos of dead children or maimed civilians. Why not, protesters?"

   ''No one likes whataboutery, I know. Whataboutery – a term that originated to describe the fractious, fingerpointing style of politics in Northern Ireland – is when an individual tries to dodge questions about some bad thing that happened by saying, "Well, what about all the other bad stuff that is happening?" There has been a lot of whataboutery in relation to the Israel-Gaza conflict and what some people see as the Left's disproportionate obsession with it. It goes like this: "Okay, leftists, you are right: there is suffering in Gaza. But what about Assad's destruction of vast swathes of Syria, or Isis's assaults on the Yazidi people, or the various conflicts that have enveloped parts of Africa in recent years? Do you not care about those crises? Why aren't you protesting about them?"
    Leftists who have for the past month spent massive amounts of their time protesting about Gaza and nothing else have a pretty solid answer to this whataboutery. They point out that Israel is supported by our governments, both politically and militarily, and therefore radicals in the West have both a duty to protest about Israel's actions and also the possibility of doing something about them through putting pressure on our leaders to withdraw their support. We have no control over Isis, they argue, or Assad, so what would be the point of protesting? What would protesters chant? "We really don't like ISIS"? It would hardly be the most productive use of protesters' time.

As it happens, they have a point. It does make more sense to protest about things that our own governments are complicit in, or are facilitating in some way, than it does to take to the streets every time something terrible happens in some corner of the globe. But I still have a question for them. It is whataboutery, yes, but a legitimate piece of whataboutery I believe. Here goes: what about Ukraine?

    Things have become extremely grim in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks, and our governments are complicit in the grimness. The government of Kiev, backed by Washington, London and most EU nations, has for three months been ruthlessly shelling and firing missiles into built-up areas of eastern Ukraine. It has stepped up its campaign in recent weeks, in the wake of the shooting down of a passenger jet by the Eastern rebels. The impact of Kiev's assault has been dire. Around 1,500 people have been killed. This includes elderly people and children. In the space of two months, more than 100,000 refugees have fled eastern Ukraine for other parts of the country, while more than 150,000 have fled into Russia. That is a quarter of a million wartime refugees, here in Europe. Not even hospitals in eastern Ukraine are safe: the women of a maternity hospital in Donetsk have had to go underground to give birth in safety. "I can't believe we have got to this point: giving birth in a cellar", said one woman.

    It is a desperate and tragic situation – and one which our governments here in the West helped to make possible. Our governments support the new government of Kiev that is doing the shelling. The Obama administration has sent military equipment and military advisers to Kiev.Canada is also providing military aid. Nato has sent $4.5m worth of military equipment to the Kiev military. David Cameron wants to go further: he has called on Nato to deploy its weapons in Eastern Europe in order to protect nations like Ukraine from Russia and its allied groups.

    So then, what about Ukraine? Why the silence from radical protesters who claim to oppose terrible wars that impact on civilians and which our governments facilitate or inflame? Never mind Isis or Assad – it's true that little could be achieved by protesting against them. But why not protest about Kiev's assaults on Eastern Ukraine and call on our governments to stop supporting, advising and providing equipment to Kiev? Ukraine is a thorn in the side of anti-war leftists because it completely explodes their claim that there is nothing odd, nothing prejudiced, about their myopic focus on Israel. If these protesters truly were consistent in their loathing of war, especially wars contributed to by our governments, then they would have marched and tweeted and shouted about Ukraine as much as they have done about Israel. But they haven't. There's something different about Israel, something which gets leftists' blood pumping in a way that no other war or state or crisis on Earth does. Anti-Israel campaigners can't be surprised by all the speculation about their true motives when they have singularly failed to explain why the militarism of the Jewish State makes them weep and wail more than the militarism of any other state, including other states supported by our governments.

    On Ukraine, there have been no marches, no lists of names of those killed, no tweeted photos of dead children or maimed civilians. Why not, protesters? Shall I help you get started? One of the hundreds of civilians killed in Eastern Ukraine was a former cook. One was a car mechanic. One was a cleaner who had popped out to buy beef to make her son some meatball soup when she was killed. Feeling angry yet? No? Well then, you must explain, as a matter of urgency, why not.''


UNHRC "Goldstone II" chair refers to Zionists as "our enemies" (Elder of Ziyon) - "The UN announced that the chair of the new UNHRC commission to damn Israel - essentially, Goldstone II - is William Schabas".


The Real "Siege" of the Gaza Strip, Khaled Abu Toameh (Gatestone Institute) - "Egypt has not only turned Gaza into an "open-air prison." It has prevented the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip before and during the war. Last year, more than 100 Muslim scholars signed a petition accusing Egypt and Arab countries of participating in the siege of Gaza by keeping Egypt's Rafah border crossing with Gaza closed and preventing medical and humanitarian aid. Egypt does not want anyone to talk about its blockade of Gaza. At the cease-fire discussions taking place in Cairo, the Palestinians have been asked not to talk about the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. The Egyptians want the world to blame only Israel for the "siege" on the Gaza Strip, and turn it into an Israeli, and not an Egyptian, problem. While Egypt continues to impose strict restrictions, hundreds of trucks of food and basic supplies — and ambulances and medical staff from Israel — are being transported into Gaza through border crossings with Israel".


Partager cet article

Repost 0
Published by Occam - dans Août 2014
commenter cet article



  • : La Boucle d'Occam
  • La Boucle d'Occam
  • : Chaque jour, une Boucle reprend l'actualité de France et du Moyen-Orient autour des thèmes d'Israël et de l'antisémitisme.
  • Contact