Thursday, August 18, 2005

Settlers Holed Up in Synagogue Are Removed

Anyone else see a resemblance to Iraqis holing up in mosques in Fallujah and daring the US to come in and get them?

Yes, I know; the settlers aren't shooting, and the Iraqis were. Nor am I about to support the US actions in Fallujah.

All I'm doing is pointing out a (to me) ironic similarity between the two at the level of media manipulation -- especially between two groups that are at least theoretically enemies.

Pretty funny, in a sad kinda way.

I find it also funny, in a funny kind of way, that the majority of settlers went without a peep from Gaza, especially in the northern part of the Israeli zone, and that the IDF, which had planned for six weeks, is possibly going to be done this weekend.

So, how real is this settler unsettledness? Or is this yet another in a string of Boorstin's "psuedoevents"?

Of course, as politicians of all stripes have always known, perception usually accounts for most of reality -- to the unthinking -- and can thus create actual real events.

That, ironically again, is what terrorism is -- it's the most virulent and violent form of attempting to use images to affect reality.

Don't get me wrong: the towers did fall. For real. We were there; we know. But the goal, I think, was to get the US to (over)react in ways hoped for by the perpetrators. This was obvious to me (and many, many others) at the time, but...well, we all know what's happened since then.

Btw, a buncha bombs went off in Bangladesh yesterday: Are there endless loops of Bangladeshis who have actually been physically injured, crying and in pain playing here? Or in Israel? This is a real question: I haven't been watching any TV news recently. If anyone has, is the density, length, and breadth of coverage of this attack anywhere near that of the settler pullout?

I doubt it; correct me if I'm wrong. I suspect two brown deaths and 100+ brown injuries don't matter nearly as much, despite the fact that Bangladesh is at least nominally a parliamentary Islamic democracy...what we're supposedly fighting for in Iraq and the Middle East.

I'm having an irony overdose!

3 Thoughts:

Blogger pawlr said...

Add to this that a great deal of the people getting dragged out apparently aren't even settlers/colonists, but young activists who snuck over the border to try and make a political point, by taxing their country's resources as much as possible. I saw the video from inside on the news this morning and saw these "settlers" grabbing yalmulkes off the heads of the police and administrator-type people, and throwing them. Not sure how this is supposed to make them more sympathetic to their countrymen's eyes.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 5:40:00 PM  
Blogger A.T. said...

Fair question re Bangladesh. We don't tend to show much interest in Asia or Africa unless US strategic interests are at stake. Human nature I guess.

Re Gaza vs Fallujah, I *guess* there's ironic similarity if you focus on the fact that folks had to be removed from places of worship ... but that's overly simplistic it seems given the lack of similarities beyond that. Not that you played it up, but it just doesn't seem similar enough to be worth mentioning.

These settlers are being removed from their homes. Whether or not you agree with the auspices under which they originally obtained their homes, they are still their homes. Most of the fighters in Fallujah who holed up in mosques were foreigners - either mercenaries or "true-believer" types - on foreign soil, looking for combat. And the settlers are civilians while the fighters in Fallujah were mostly professional soldiers and irregular militia. Very, very different.

So I think that's why you see the very different responses by these two different groups ... because they are SO different and uncomparable.

And I guess it just seems to me that Israel/Sharon/IDF have been given far too little credit for the sacrificial and painful effort they are undergoing in order to - hopefully - create a peace. Sure, there's some strategy in the sacrifice, but I doubt that their returns will prove commensurate with their high price of payment. That's just not what history shows in the Arab-Israeli history.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 5:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Allen! You're supposed to be on vacation from blogging! :)

Good to see you back...and yeah, this is a stretch and not at all meant too, I don't know, "strictly" I guess might be the word.

However, those settlers who are making a huge deal of this (most aren't, actually) are ideological/fundamentalist wackos -- and, as Paul said, imports to the situation, which they're using for their own purposes.

As for what Sharon is doing, it's self-interested; I feel badly for those settlers who aren't ideologues who have been used as pawns, but I feel a lot worse for the average Palestinian in Gaza who never had a Mediterranean beachfront house to live in for any length of time. Not all of those 1.4 million (or whatever) Gazans are terrorists, of course, or even sympathetic to terrorists. Some are, no doubt.

Meanwhile, settlement building and wall-building continues apace in the West Bank, reportedly.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 7:35:00 PM  

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