Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Narwani Seeks to Justify Murder of Settlers (Part 2)

Okay we're back! If you haven't read the first part of my fisking of this latest article by Sharmine Narwani please do so now and then come back. Or you can stay right here because things are just getting interesting. Here is where she tries to convince us that settlers, no matter who they are or where they are, should be legitimate targets for violence:
"But are settlers really "civilians" as intended by the protective language of the Fourth Geneva Convention? This is debatable on at least one score, as the language dealing with "protected persons" is often prefaced with "civilian persons who take no part in hostilities...""
Yeah, that sounds pretty clear to me! But she continues with her latest Jew-baiting term (emphasis mine):
""The Hilltop Youth consist of hundreds of young settler boys and girls who have become protectors of the illegal outposts pitched on Palestinian-owned land throughout the West Bank. Traumatized by Israel's desettlement of Gaza, they have vowed to resist a similar fate, and heeding only the "law of God" and the religious-nationalist action calls from the likes of Judeo-fascist high-priestesses Daniella Weiss and Nadia Mattar, these kids have unleashed the newest waves of settler vigilantism: "Price-Tagging."
First of all, let's take a quick look at Daniella Weiss. You can skim the Independent's article about her, but there is nothing there that deserves an inflammatory title like "Judeo-fascist." Yes, Ms. Weiss considers the WB to be part of Israel and wouldn't mind if the Palestinians were to be forced out. She is also against killing. Put it this way: If that is "fascist," then so is almost 80% of the Palestinians who believe that "from the river to the sea" belongs to them.

As for the price-tagging issue, Narwani falls into the same trap that she rails against so often when it is pro-Israel posters using it. Sure, hundreds of these young settlers might do this, but they are still a dramatic minority of the settler population as a whole. A very valid comparison might be made between ordinary Palestinians and Palestinian terrorists. Narwani covered that though:
"While some argue that it is only a few hundred Jewish settlers/youths responsible for the violence against Palestinians, these assailants are heavily protected by the larger settler community, and rarely condemned by settler organizations."
Yep. Sure sounds like Hamas and Gaza doesn't it? Or the PLO and the West Bank? But of course Narwani can't be bothered to deal with any of that, she needs to demonize a whole population! There isn't time for little things like facts!

She spends the middle portion of the article describing settler violence, which as I said before I am not going to defend. The truth, however, remains true, that most of the settlers do not participate in violence in any form. So let's skip down to her conclusion:
"Take one step back and a picture emerges of an Israel intent on incorporating the West Bank and East Jerusalem into Israel "proper," with settlers conveniently positioned in the frontline of these efforts. The Jewish state cannot today openly instigate large-scale land confiscations and depopulation of the West Bank as some of its right-wing politicians have advocated. But little by little, by invoking "security threats" resulting from Palestinian retaliation against settler attacks, Israel has made massive gains over the two decades since peace talks were launched."
Wait, what? I know I have been summarizing the article but go and look at it again. Up until this point Narwani has been talking exclusively about settler violence, not the expansion of settlements themselves. She of course has no evidence to explain what she means by "massive gains."

The truth is that the nature of the settlements has not changed. As we all know, the 80% of the settlers who live near the Green Line will remain part of Israel, and the rest will be dismantled. Even Sharon was willing to dismantle settlements. As it stands Narwani is simply trying to distort reality to fit her thesis: That the settlers are the vanguard of an invasion instead of people looking for cheap housing. She then reaches her chilling conclusions (emphasis mine):
"The question now is whether these "human shields" merit the protection afforded innocent civilians under international law. I say no....Whatever they are, Israel's settlers are most certainly not 'civilian persons who take no part in hostilities.' There is nothing 'innocent' about these people or the state that hides behind them, dangling their most crazy citizens as live bait to further a warped religious-nationalist agenda."
First off, does Ms. Narwani even know what a human shield is? It is "the deliberate placement of civilians in or around combat targets to deter an enemy from attacking those targets." That is not what is going on with the settlers by any means. The Palestinians don't need to go through the settlers to get to the IDF by any measure.

Second, of course they are entitled to the protection by her own definition as demonstrated in the last post. She is guilty of the same generalization that the Palsbarists rail against Zionists for making: Just because a minority (even a large one) of settlers are violent does not make them all legitimate targets for violence. If Ms. Narwani expects us to believe that five unarmed Jews driving through the West Bank aren't civilians, then does that also mean that five unarmed Palestinians driving through the West Bank are also not civilians? After all, quite a few Palestinians participate in violence against Israel, do they not? Does that give the IDF license to kill them all?

Now are the settlers "innocent?" That's another discussion. The unborn baby killed by Narwani's buddies in Hamas certainly was. As for Narwani's characterization of the settlers as "crazy" and ideological, that isn't completely fair. Elder of Ziyon has recently posted a series about the settlers, here is the first example. I post that not to defend the settlers, but to defend the truth. There isn't a lot of that where this issue is concerned.

Let's conclude with Narwani's hilarious attempt at lawfare:
"If the Palestinians in occupied territories present a security threat so compelling that it required the building of the notorious multi-billion dollar Separation Wall - then Israel has no business moving its men, women and children right into the danger zones. You can't have it both ways. Jewish extremists settle in the West Bank and East Jerusalem at their own risk, and should be subject to local laws and punishments alike."
This is hilarious because she is trying to blame two distinct groups for the same action. On the one hand, it is Israel who is "moving" its people into the WB for their own sinister machinations. But then on the other hand, it is these "extremists" who move in "at their own risk?" So which is it, Ms. Narwani? Are the settlers choosing to move, and thus taking their lives into their own hands? Or is  the Israeli government moving them, and thus breaking international law and carrying out ethnic cleansing? Be careful: If you choose the first option then you absolve Israel's government of responsibility, but if you choose the second than the settlers are just as much as the innocent victims here as anyone else. It sounds more like it is you who cannot have it both ways, Ms. Narwani.

The true ugliness of this article lies in what is not said: Whatever they have done, or not done, the settlers are still human beings. And because they are human beings they still have human rights and are entitled to all the protections thereupon. Because Ms. Narwani seeks to deny those rights to the settlers under (quite frankly) flimsy pretenses, it is clear that she is of the opinion that they are less than human. And because they are less than human than it is more than okay to kill them. Does this sound familiar?

Ms. Narwani and her cheerleaders (of which there are quite a few) set a very dangerous precedent here. When you start to try and justify the murder of your enemies it will not take long until you justify the murder of your own people. If it is okay to kill the settlers because you think they committed a crime then where does it end, Ms. Narwani? Where does it end? Should we ask your friends in Hamas? I'm sure they have a very clear picture in mind.

1 comment:

  1. The Palestinians have NO peace camp. And they conduct their relations with violence whether in settling disputes amongst themselves or in unprovoked attacks on the Jews. This is the very essence of their society. War is as natural to them as the love of life is to the Jews. This is not going to change in the future. Sharmine Narwani's attempts to justify and legitimize it shows how far the Palestinians are from having a society that respects the lives and the rights of others. Seeking the destruction of Israel is removed from the existence of a society that seeks peace and a two state solution. Not that I am expecting Narwani to confront the work ahead of the Palestinians. But it is not Israel's obligation to enable the psychopathology currently engulfing them.


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