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Netanyahu’s ‘Telegenically Dead’ Comment Is Grotesque but Not Original

Netanyahu’s ‘Telegenically Dead’ Comment Is Grotesque but Not Original

Featured photo - Netanyahu’s ‘Telegenically Dead’ Comment Is Grotesque but Not Original



GAZA, PALESTINE - 2014/07/20:
Palestinian medics carry the
body of a child killed in
Shijaiyah east of Gaza City,
after Israel expanded its ground
offensive on the Gaza Strip
(Photo by Ibrahim Khader/Pacific
Press/LightRocket via Getty
Images)

They
want to pile up as many civilian dead as
they can. They use telegenically
dead Palestinians for their cause.

They want the more dead, the better.
The
Jews gradually are having to depend more and
more on themselves, and have recently found
a new trick. They knew the good-natured
German Michael in us, always ready to shed
sentimental tears for the injustice done to
them. One suddenly has the
impression that the Berlin Jewish population
consists only of little babies whose
childish helplessness might move us, or else
fragile old ladies. The Jews send out the
pitiable.
They may confuse some
harmless souls for a while, but not us. We
know exactly what the situation is.
Rather
than lard up the point with numerous defensive
caveats about what is and is not being said here
(which, in any event, never impede willful
media distorters
in their tactics), I’ll
simply note three brief points:
(1) To
compare aspects of A and B is not to posit that
A and B are identical (e.g., to observe that
Bermuda and Bosnia are both countries beginning
with the letter “B” is not to depict them as the
same, just as observing that both the U.S. in
2003 and Germany in 1938 launched aggressive
wars

in direct violation of what were to become the
Nuremberg Principles
is not to equate the
two countries).
(2) In
general, the

universality of war rhetoric
 is a vital
fact, necessary to evaluate the merit of
contemporary claims used to justify militarism
(claims that a war amounts to mere “humanitarian
intervention”, for instance, have been

invoked over and over
to justify

even the most blatant aggression
).
Similarly, the notion that one is barred from
ever citing certain historical examples in order
to draw lessons for contemporary conflicts is

as dangerous as it is anti-intellectual
.
(3)
Anglo-American law has long recognized that
gross recklessness

is a form of intent
(“Fraudulent intent is
shown if a representation is made with reckless
indifference to its truth or falsity”). That’s
why reckless behavior even if unaccompanied by a
desire to kill people – e.g.,

randomly shooting a gun into a crowd of people
 –
has long been viewed as sufficient to establish
criminal intent.
One can
say many things about a military operation that
results in

more than 75 percent of the dead being civilians
,
many of them children, aimed at a population
trapped in

a tiny area with no escape
. The claim that
there is no intent to kill civilians but rather
an intent to protect them is most assuredly not
among them. Even stalwart Israel supporter
Thomas Friedman

has previously acknowledged
that Israeli
assaults on Lebanon, and possibly in Gaza, are
intended ”to
inflict substantial property damage and
collateral casualties” because “the only
long-term source of deterrence was to exact
enough pain on the civilians”
 (which,
to the extent it exists, is the classic
definition of “terrorism”). The
most generous claim one can make about what
Israel is now doing in Gaza is that it is driven
by complete recklessness toward

the civilian population it is massacring
, a
form of intent under centuries of well-settled
western law.
* * * * *
American
journalism is frequently criticized with great
justification, but there are a number of
American journalists in Gaza, along with
non-western ones, in order to tell the world
about what is happening there. That reporting is
incredibly brave and difficult, and

those who are doing it
merit
the
highest respect
. Their work, along with the
prevalence of social media and internet
technology that allows
Gazans
themselves
 to
document
what is happening
, has changed the way
Israeli aggression is seen and understood this
time around.

Credit to

Jonathan Schwarz
, now working with Matt
Taibbi’s

forthcoming First Look Media digital publication
,
for finding the 1941 article cited here.

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