Sunday, August 13, 2006

doves, hawks and owls

Doves of Prey

B. Michael

Ynet News

One hundred dead Israelis - undoubtedly a horrendous figure – and a flock of local and noisy doves have turned into a flock of angry battle doves.

Almost overnight, the calls for peace and moderation have been abandoned, replaced by loud and angry preaching calling for the pounding, crippling and destruction of the enemy.

One hundred dead, hundreds of thousands of displaced persons, dozens of shelled homes – and the doves have become falcons.

What about them?
It's interesting, because the Palestinians have been suffering similar measures of death and destruction almost every month. And they, as they have been told over and over again, should learn from all this death and suffering and turn into doves. They are being told to abandon their anger and hatred, and instead nurture love of mankind and pacifism.

And even though I am being used as a human shield, many leaders and sacred weapons are hiding behind me, and I am paying the taxes for the curse of the settlements and the evil of the occupation, I insist: my blood is no different from the blood of Lebanese citizens, and cannot be shed. And hopefully, all those who dare harm us, will find themselves paying the cost. Either before a local adjudicator or an international one, whatever comes first.

And the Lebanese? They too have had a fair share of death and destruction, several times greater than the suffering Israel has had to endure. And they too are being asked to reach the ultimate conclusion from the horror they have endured, namely that the time has come to turn into doves. They have even been told repeatedly that we shall not cease to strike at them, until they make an about-face, until they become doves, until they love us.

Strange. The Palestinian and Lebanese people are being asked to surmise that it is worthwhile becoming a dove after experiencing death and suffering. However, Israeli doves allow themselves to surmise the complete opposite from death and suffering: that they ought to become birds of prey.

Strange, but perhaps this conduct can be attributed to the difference in mentality, and may just be another sign of the dove's soft flesh and feeble spine.

The lesson of the death
Owls on the other hand, as well as all other intelligent creatures, learn from all the above (and from the lessons learned in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ireland, Spain, Algeria and Palestine etc.) that bombs and tanks are not necessarily the best teachers of politeness, courtesy and love of mankind. Death and suffering only brings more death and suffering. Relentless brutality only brings more relentless brutality.

Aggressive recklessness only brings more aggressive recklessness. That's how it is here, that's how it is there and that's how it is everywhere.

Israel's belligerent doves should pause to ponder one small question: if they – the famous peace lovers – have become doves of prey after the death of 100 Israelis, then what do they suppose is going through the minds of those doves and hawks alike who have suffered 1,000 deaths, hundreds of thousands of displaced persons, and scores of villages almost wiped off the face of the earth.

But how dare I compare? We are the chosen people, and they are just Arabs.

Food for thought
Who are those people fighting us in Lebanon? Who are those determined youngsters, the fanatics impassioned by their faith and hatred?

They are eighteen-year-olds, twenty-year-olds, and twenty-five-year-olds or perhaps even thirty-year-olds. They were born in the last century, towards the end of the 70's and the end of the 80's. They are the sons of the previous war. They are the offspring of occupied Lebanon in 1982, children of the trampled south during the first war in Lebanon, frightened children of humiliated parents who grew into bitter men, full of burning hatred.

We also tried knocking some sense into their parents by bombing them. Their families were also driven out of their homes, hoping they would wander to the capital and pressure the government to disarm the militia of the time (Palestinian). Their villages were also pounded, flattened and cleansed.

The generation that grew out of that era is the same generation fighting us now. And twenty years from now - if we allow the Olmerts, the Peretzes, the Halutzes and the Ramons to continue ruling us – we shall find ourselves fighting the generation that is growing up now.

A somewhat hollow argument

We say they "hide among civilians," that they "use them as human shields, those lowly cowards." We say, "Those who allow them to do so should pay the price."

This is a somewhat hollow argument coming from the mouths of officers and leaders whose headquarters are located in the heart of Tel Aviv. And not far from there in the midst of a prestigious neighborhood, there's a type of military airport. And in a handsome building in the capital, in the heart of the city, there's a large military base, where cannons are reportedly, often positioned so close to the settlements that schoolchildren wander over there during their breaks.

But these arguments sound all the more hollow coming from a country that invented the "settlement undertaking." An undertaking whose sole purpose was to send civilians, including women and children, to perform a military assignment par excellence: gaining control over territory, the expulsion of the residents and annexation of the spoils to the mother country. A classical assignment by a conquering power.

This is all being carried out under a contrite and sanctimonious civilian pretext. I would, therefore, like to make myself heard loud and clear: No one asked for my permission before building the Kiriya (Tel Aviv military headquarters), I didn't give my consent for building the Schneller Camp, and as far as I am concerned, let all the settlements be abandoned as of now.