Tongue in cheek, Palestinians might agree that a tree never hits an automobile except in self-defense. The hundreds of Palestinians who have overwhelmingly hit Israeli bullets have subsequently compelled Israel to hire a New York Public Relations firm to clean up its mage.
Despite Washington’s equivocal language in bestowing unconditional support for Israeli policies (irrespective of consequence), Israelis are hard-pressed to counter unadulterated images of armored Israeli soldiers, subjugating mostly Palestinian children and other civilians. Furthermore, despite Dick Cheney’s justification of Israel’s assassination policy, it is becoming increasingly difficult to convincingly explain Israel’s “targeted killing” throughout a cease-fire agreement.
Speaking of extra-judicial killing, Israel continues to ignore its own terror groups, not to be confused with the Israeli Defense Forces, whose victims included at least two infants. Israeli settlers killed one of those infants, a 3 month-old baby, with two other car passengers and then, according to eyewitness testimony, fled into an Israeli checkpoint only last month! Well, since dozens of other Palestinian non-combatant children have been literally buried in the numbing statistics with hundreds of other Palestinians and at least 13 Israeli Arabs killed since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising, what’s a government to do? Start assassinating elements of its army?
Actually, it’s nothing a high-caliber PR firm can’t fix!
Paint assault rifles purple or yellow, recommended Howard J. Rubenstein Associates, the New York PR firm hired by Israel. Stylish rifles, however, will not soften the effects that rubber-coated steel bullets have on Palestinian or Israeli Arab demonstrators! Brightly colored assault rifles and tidy battlefields are of course focused at assuaging the world’s, primarily American, idle conscience, whereby Palestinians are continuously blamed for their victimization.
Outlandish as they may seem, the PR firm’s recommendations fit well with the vicious propaganda demonizing Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular. Actually, such recommendations are consistent with Israel’s spin in defining assassination as “active self-defense”.
Palestinians, otherwise, might already have forged ideological alliances in the world (strong enough to oppose a brutal, albeit Israeli, occupation) as had been witnessed in Iraq and in the Balkan States. Palestinians, for example, are even allied with American feminists, ideologically, that is, in the assertion, “self-determination and self-defense go hand in hand.”
That’s the crux eluding many Israelis and other Zionists. In their quest for self-determination, the majority of Palestinians are pursuing a noble cause: self-defense in the face of Israeli occupation. It is a quest for individual and collective independence, which has affected every Palestinian in the world. Olive groves uprooted, populations imprisoned, and homes demolished are but a few currently well-publicized Israeli abuses of Palestinian Human Rights.
That the Palestinian struggle has been tarnished by senseless acts of violence targeting Israeli civilians, however, doesn’t preclude Palestine of legitimately asserting its claim nor absolve Israel of terrorizing Palestinians. Self-serving arguments that focus on Palestinian terror to deny the Palestinians their rightful dues quite simply ignore the Israeli government’s consistent effort to impose a military solution to the conflict.
And there will not be a military solution. Ask Mr. Cheney.
Short of painting all their pistols, rifles, tanks, attack helicopters, and fighter jets pink, of hiring mop up crews to tidy the streets after every battle, and, in the process of eliminating any Palestinian aspiration for independence, of installing an active PR team in every country, Israeli strong-arm tactics will merely prolong the conflict and not end it. Notwithstanding the effort of respectable New York PR firms, until Israelis accept some hard facts about their responsibilities in this old conflict, they doom themselves to continue witnessing Palestinian children hit Israeli bullets in their undying self-defense against a brutal Israeli occupation.
However, in the words of Georg Béchner (1813é1837), a German dramatist, a revolutionary who formed The Society for Human Rights, “murder begins where self-defense ends.”
(Author of upcoming novel, “Israel, By Any Other Name”, Ghassan Ghraizi was Born in Beirut, Lebanon, and has lived and earned his education internationally. A US military veteran, he’s experienced both war and peace. A CPA working for corporate America, his friends and family time is divided between individuals who are as varied as the countries he’d adopted.)