Thursday, January 29, 2009

Weird shit! 

There have been some interesting breaches in what John at TR calls "the reality obstruction field" covering Israel/Palestine.

First, there was the report on 60 Minutes about the intentionally brutal and larcenous effects of the "settlement" regime in the West Bank. This report, which I didn't see, was said by the terminally cynical and always angry Asad Abu'Khalil (the Angry Arab) to be the "most courageous" piece of U.S. journalism he had ever seen on the occupation. It in fact had a dramatic effect on my mom, who has always been relentlessly "pro-Israel." John provides the video of the 60 Minutes report.

Second, today at Davos there was an "incident" between the Turkish PM Erdogan and the Liebermanesque Israeli president, Shimon Peres. There was a panel involving these two dudes, along with Ban-Ki Moon and the Arab league secretary Amr Moussa. The NY Times report says that for much of the session there was "lively discussion" of Gaza. But this in itself would not have been newsworthy, because a "discussion" involving Moon and Moussa would never have broken the public anger/truth taboo that surrounds Gaza. These men, like Abu Mazen and Mubarak, etc., are part of the basic status quo and are heavily invested in the maintenance of appearances (especially at a place like Davos).

But apparently Erdogan -- and note that Turkey, not an Arab country, has been a real ally of Israel for a long time -- would have none of it:

Mr. Erdogan apparently became incensed after the moderator curtailed his response to remarks by Mr. Peres on the recent Israeli military campaign. The panel was running late, and Mr. Peres was to have had the last word, participants said.

Panel discussions at Davos are restricted to one hour, but Mr. Erdogan insisted on responding to Mr. Peres. Red-faced, and with one hand grasping the arm of the moderator, the columnist David Ignatius of The Washington Post, Mr. Erdogan turned to the Israeli president.

“Mr. Peres, you are older than me,” he said. “Your voice comes out in a very high tone. And the high tone of your voice has to do with a guilty conscience. My voice, however, will not come out in the same tone.”

Resisting efforts by Mr. Ignatius to end the session, Mr. Erdogan continued, saying to Mr. Peres, “When it comes to killing, you know well how to kill.”

Eventually, the prime minister gathered up his papers and departed, saying, “And so Davos is over for me from now on.”

Mr. Peres pointed at the departing Mr. Erdogan and said Turkey would have reacted the same way had rockets been falling on Istanbul, participants said.

Mr. Peres called Mr. Erdogan five minutes later to apologize for any misunderstanding, saying that his words had not been directed at the prime minister personally, the semiofficial Anatolian News Agency reported.

In a news conference immediately after the panel discussion, Mr. Erdogan said he was particularly upset with Mr. Ignatius, who he said had failed to direct a balanced and impartial panel.

By all accounts, the discussion of the Gaza offensive was lively, with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations and Amr Moussa, the Arab League’s secretary general, joining Mr. Peres and Mr. Erdogan. Participants said Mr. Peres was mostly alone in defending Israel’s role in Gaza, and for that reason he was given the final 25 minutes to speak. Earlier, Mr. Erdogan spoke for 12 minutes about the Palestinians’ sufferings.

Although Mr. Erdogan has strongly criticized Israel’s Gaza offensive, his country and Israel have long enjoyed close diplomatic relations. With its strong relations with the militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza, Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party has played a growing role mediating among Israel, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians.

Fuck that shitbag Ignatius!

Anyway -- perhaps this sort of thing indicates that a "tipping point" (sorry) has been reached and that there might be a chance for some sort of resolution of the horror in Israel/Palestine -- a resolution that would, of course, be terribly unfair to the Palestinians, but might be tolerable for them, at least insofar as it would alleviate some of the suffering that they have been undergoing for so long?

On the other hand, this may all be irrelevant, as the shitty stimulus plan being shoved through Congress right now is not likely to stave off the total conflagration and incineration of the global economy and international system.



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