Thomas Friedman justifies slaughter of Arab civilians by ‘crazy’ Israel

by Phillip Weiss from Mondoweiss

Thomas Friedman had a column in the New York Times yesterday justifying the Israeli slaughter of Arab civilians. Israel needs to go “crazy” in its confrontation with Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanon and Syria because, “This is not Scandinavia.”

Friedman’s entire column is told from the Israeli perspective. Here is the most credulous passage, passing along Israeli propaganda about “ugly” and “brutal” methods as the necessity when you don’t live in Scandinavia.

So what’s Israel’s strategy to keep its conflict with Hezbollah and Iran on a low flame? First and foremost, it’s been to reinforce to Hezbollah and Iran, through many channels, that they can’t out-crazy Israel. That is, if Hezbollah and Iran think they can place rocket launchers in densely populated Lebanese and Syrian villages and towns — and expect that Israel will not take them out if it requires large collateral civilian casualties — they are as wrong today as they were in 2006.

Israeli military planners are more convinced than ever that the key reason Hezbollah has avoided major conflict with Israel since the big Israel-Hezbollah war in Lebanon in 2006 is that Israel’s Air Force — without mercy or restraint — pounded Lebanese infrastructure, Hezbollah offices and military targets in the southern suburbs of Beirut — not to kill civilians but not to be deterred by them, either, if they were nested amid Hezbollah weapons or headquarters.

Yes, it was ugly and brutal, say Israeli planners, but it worked. This is not Scandinavia. “The reality here starts where your imagination ends,” said one Israeli officer. Sometimes only crazy can stop crazy. And Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, definitely got the message.

So Friedman claims that “pounding Lebanese infrastructure” without “mercy or constraint” is not intended to kill civilians. But it plainly is. Israeli leaders said just that in the Beirut 2006 context. Friedman never mentions the Dahiya doctrine developed by Israeli brass as a legitimate response to military threats: hitting civilian areas with overwhelming force. Used in Beirut and Gaza, it is understood to be a war crime.

The Israeli chief of staff who came up with the idea said explicitly that it was aimed at “harming the population” — the slaughter of civilians– so as to make Israel’s non-state opponents think twice about taking on Israel (yes, including with terrorist attacks)…

[read more here]

11 Responses

  1. Posting an article like this, albeit from an anti-zionist zionist, shows me that important distinctions still escape you, Scott.
    Undoubtedly the intent of the Israelis is not to harm the civilians (although they are all terrorists-to-be) but to teach them how to behave. The end result may be that some civilians are harmed but that’s just an inevitable side effect– the thing about breaking eggs to make scrambled eggs or something like that.
    When the IDF sprays Palestinian villages with “skunk water” (an ingenious Israeli byproduct), the intent is not to make the people sick but to convince them to vacate the premises earmarked for settlements.
    When the IDF used phosphorus bombs in Gaza the intent was certainly not to give fodder to pro-Palestinian propagandists who made videos of babies with flesh burned to the bone but to convince the Palestinians to stop resisting what they obstinately call “occupation.”
    When they spray obscenities on the walls of churches and monasteries and spit on the priests in the street the intent not to hurt Christians but to remind them that they are after all Arabs and do not belong there.
    We, Christians, must follow the call of John Hagee who assures us that the sooner all the non-Jews are out of Israel, the sooner the Rapture.

    • In this case, Phillip Weiss does some good work. I disagree with his approach at times and certainly on some points, but in this case, this article, he seems to stick to the point which is (IMO) that our “liberals” over here will do just about anything to justify and make excuses for any illegal and immoral violence committed by Zionist Israel.

      “Friedman is not alone these days. Our mass media are trying to justify these methods as fit and right, with the neverending Ronen Bergman show, which also rationalizes collateral slaughter. Zionism truly is in crisis, and as Johnson notes, the hasbara is thick.”

      All sarcasm aside, it is interesting that Freidman goes even further than his usual “the Arabs made them do it” in his sycophantic appeasement of Israeli aggression. Here he seems too say that Israel does look crazy and ruthless in their attacks on civilians but, again, since their enemy isn’t a civilized WHITE country in Scandinavia, it’s justified which too me sounds kind of reminiscent of the “shithole” comment, but who am I to judge.

      • Agree with you 99%. The one point of disagreement is only that care must be taken not to leave the impression that pro-zionost sycophancy is limited to “liberals.”
        When it comes to unconditional support of Israel, that Irish genius, Swift, had the right metaphor for a difference without distinction: our “liberals” and “conservatives” are the Low Heels and High Heels parties. The two aisles in the Congress are miraculously united into one sea as if Moses did a reverse trick and removed the dry land where he had parted the waters.

  2. John Agee makes a ton of money selling religion and books. Being a pastor has been an occupation in his family for generations… he is the fifth in line to be a rich pastor…. ‘rich’ is the key word. They were in it for the money.
    No where does God tell us to kill or steal. yet , he preaches murder is good when done by Israel…..
    he is a corporate zionist …..
    I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic or not….
    and Scott is not a zonist. “an anti-zionist zionist” quote from you. Maybe I misunderstood you…. ?

    • 1. The article was written by Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss, not by Scott. That’s who is an anti-zionist zionist.
      2. If you can’t tell if I am sarcastic it means my swiftian skill needs a lot more practice.

    • It pains me that you misspell John Hagee’s hallowed name.
      Millions of Americans, some poor, willingly give him money in an effort to disparage PT Barnum who vastly underestimated the number of them born every day.
      They are also paying for front seats to the Rapture. There will be no Doubting Thomas left in that crowd the day Hagee is miraculously hoisted with no mechanical device assistance.
      I am, however partial to Pat Robertson because he sells vitamins on his site, which are said to explain his longevity (bemoaned by his detractors).

      • “Millions of Americans, some poor, willingly give him money in an effort to disparage PT Barnum who vastly underestimated the number of them born every day.”

        extra points for the Barnum reference.

      • Sorry I caused you pain……. Hagee or Agee…. he is second only to Jerry Falwell (Sr.and Jr.)….. they practically own Virginia. and yes, one must pay for the ride to rapture.
        Your ‘J. Swift’ remarks only went astray in your last sentence…. it struck me as ‘too honest’……………. 🙂

    • yeah, he’s being sarcastic and Phillip Weiss is pretty much an anti-Zionist zionist.

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