It’s so easy to be an Israeli; your tender conscience is pure as the driven snow: Everything is Hamas’ fault. The rockets are the fault of Hamas; that can be taken for granted. Hamas started the war, for no reason; that, too, “goes without saying.” Hamas is a vicious terrorist organization, beasts in human form, born to kill, fundamentalists—and apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
Some 400,000 Palestinians have been displaced. More than 1,200 have been killed, about 80 percent of them civilians, half of these women and children. Around 50 families have been obliterated, their homes bombed with them inside. It has reached the dimensions of a real massacre. But Israelis’ hands are clean and their consciences are quiet—so quiet you could cry. It’s Hamas’ fault.
We’ll leave the root causes of this cursed repression and denial to the psychologists. Since the days when Israel accused the Palestinians of killing their own children by means of the Israel Defense Forces, we haven’t seen such denial. After incubating for years, the disease is now a raging epidemic whose carriers are now symptomatic. The national conscience hasn’t moved a muscle in response to this atrocity, and there are forces working to keep it that way.
But even through the malignant cloud of denial, even understanding how easy it is to blame everything on Hamas — Israel has never had such a convenient enemy, which can be framed for all its sins—we must ask whether everything really is the fault of Hamas. Is Israel genuinely completely innocent? In the face of bleeding, ruined Gaza, the work of Israeli hands, such denial is incomprehensible.
Hamas is a vicious terror organization? How has it been more vicious than the IDF in this war? In that it doesn’t “knock on the roof” 80 seconds before bombing a home? That it aims its rockets at civilian populations, just as the IDF does, but less effectively? That it wants to destroy Israel? How many Israelis want to destroy Gaza? Meanwhile, everyone knows who is destroying whom.
Israel’s sanctimoniousness reaches a peak in its concern for Gaza’s residents: Look at how Hamas oppresses them, cry the Israeli democrats, so solicitous of Palestinian rights. Hamas is tyrannical, but its tyranny is nothing compared to that of Israel, which has subjected the Gaza Strip to a seven-year siege and a 47-year occupation.
What has destroyed Gaza’s society and economy is above all the siege, and thanks to those who seek its welfare, who imposed it. Thanks also to those who are worried about its lack of democracy, who are shocked by the corruption, who denounce its leaders for staying in luxury hotels or hiding in bunkers, who are troubled by the enormous sums used for tunnels and rockets instead of playgrounds and after-school activities. Truly, thanks.
What about Israel? Do its leaders live in tents? Aren’t enormous sums spent on superfluous submarines and secret explosives, instead of on health, education and welfare? Hamas is fundamentalist? Israel is on the way. Hamas oppresses women? That’s bad, but Israel has that too, at least in one large community.
Why did Gazans elect Hamas, instead of a moderate leadership? Because the moderates have been trying for years to achieve something, anything, and all they have received is humiliation and Israeli rejectionism. Has Israel given the Palestinians a reason to choose the Palestine Liberation Organization’s route of diplomacy over Hamas’ violent resistance? Has the PLO brought them an inch closer to statehood or freedom?
Hamas at least won the release of 1,000 prisoners and also preserved a measure of self-respect, even at the terrible price that the desperate Gazans are now willing to pay. What has Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas brought his people? Nothing. A photo op with Barack Obama.
I’m no fan of Hamas, quite the contrary. But Israel’s attempt to put all the blame on Hamas is outrageous. The international community will soon judge this war’s atrocities. Hamas may be reprimanded, deservedly, but Israel will be condemned and ostracized far more. And then Israelis will say, ‘It’s Hamas’ fault. And the world will laugh.
First published in Haaretz, Israel. Courtesy: Znet
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Why is Outlook censoring all news of the Meerut gangrape and forced conversion of a Hindu girl?
I am not a supporter of politics associated with Palestinians or Israelis. It is a well known fact that the West has created a monster in the Middle East and for decades it has been out of control. It is ridiculous when innocent people on both sides are killed on a daily basis and the rest of the world watches on. Both sides will need to adhere to - "Live and let live".
Ordinary peace-loving Palestinians will need to disconnect from Hamas, the neighbouring countries in the Middle East need to disarm Hamas and the rest of the world should put pressure on Israel to negotiate, agree and settle for peace with Palestinians directly. Otherwise this mad mayhem on both sides is bound to continue for ages !
Why Arundhati ROy has not come out with an article supporting Hamas-Gandhians with Rockets.
"don't waste your time responding to bigots like lallu, their logic is predictably twisted enough. bombing small kids are fine as long as these kids are muslims because muslim fundamentalists in other (mostly) failed states kill, convert, kidnap and kick-out non-muslims." chachabhatija
This is called projection. For people like you, atrocities committed by Muslims are fine as long as the victims are non-Muslims - you will come up with endless excuses like "failed states" , or my own favourite, "global warming" (this is how the Guardian explained away the Boko Haram - apparently global warming causes you to enslave little girls)! But if non-Muslims take action against Muslims for terrorist acts like launching rockets into cities, it is a war crime.
And if Muslim atrocities result from "failed states", India must be a failed state. - remember the Kashmiri Pandits? The Kashmiri pandits were ethnically cleansed by Muslims there without a squeak of protest from the same liberal lions like you who are incensed over events in Mongolia or in your case, Budapest.
Here is another example of where this moronic attitude of yours, which is common among the "intelligentsia" of our country, has gotten us to. Remember the tidal wave of outrage when a Shiv Sena fellow put a roti in the mouth of a Muslim guy during Ramzan? The Indian Express gave it headlines on its front page, the Hindu had editorials, and it was reported as far away as the UK in the Guardian. Here is some news about a kidnapping and forced conversion in India of a girl from a "certain community". See any media outrage?
"..Tension gripped Meerut district's Kharkhauda and Atrada areas here as members of a particular communities attacked and pelted stones at the houses of members of another community last night, over the alleged gangrape and religious conversion of a 20-year-old woman here.
Police and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel have been deployed in the area to bring the situation under control.
According to Superintendent of Police (rural) Captain M S Begh, the 20-year-old woman's father had lodged a complaint last night in Kharkhauda police station against Village Pradhan Nawab Khan, cleric Sallaullah, his wife and daughter Nishant for abduction and rape.
The complainant alleged that Nawab along with five others abducted his daughter on July 23 and took her to a Madrassa where they raped and illegally confined her. They also forcefully made her sign some papers related to religious conversion..."
I guess now that chachaji has declared India to be a failed state, we can expect more incidents like this while chachaji flatulates in Budapest.
@thrivikram, don't waste your time responding to bigots like lallu, their logic is predictably twisted enough. bombing small kids are fine as long as these kids are muslims because muslim fundamentalists in other (mostly) failed states kill, convert, kidnap and kick-out non-muslims. huh! let's look at another random example, the biggest war-crime and aggression yet in the 21st century, iraq. iraq, an islamic country has been utterly destroyed by the biggest rogue-state of them all, us of a (who didn't give visa to namo), of the "god bless america" fame (they have appropriated all the god's blessing and that's why people in other places get bombed/droned/gassed etc). anyway, iraq was ruled by a monster (who happened to have a lot of christians in his baath party) but it was at least a functioning country. and it is now reduced to being a hell-hole (with criminal marauders like isis gaining power in the chaos, muslims again you see). and before that it was vietnam, cambodia, korea, laos, guatemala, el Salvador, chile, phillipines etc. etc. i guess, according to lallu logic it would be just christians on rampage (although many of the victims were christians themselves). hmm, doesn't sound logical, does it? or is it sound logic? confused? no, just have some prejudice and all the world's problems will be explained to you in a flash!! bhaiya, thoda ganja aur bhang ka sevan karo aur fir comments padho. aaaanly then this will make sense. kyon bhai chachaaaaaa, arrey han bhatijaaa. i think i have posted a fine piece of crap in response to the truck-load of crap that i had read recently (my fault). now my ganja is taking effect. jai bholenath. bigots of the world unite, kill and be happy. (apologies to those who don't understand hindi)
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