In the context of reactions to the crime Israel committed when it killed in cold blood nine international peace activists, former Spanish prime minister, JosÃ© Maria Aznar, wrote in the London Times (June 17, 2010) an article under the headline "Support Israel: if it goes down, we all go down”. Reading the article, one wonders how a man like this led an important country like Spain between 1996 and 2004. He was part of the crime of killing a million Iraqi civilians when he instructed his country’s delegation at the Security Council to endorse Bush’s policies in launching the war on Iraq. He said at the time: “We cannot wait any longer”. He took part in the disgraceful and catastrophic invasion of Iraq until Zapatero’s government took office and withdrew Spanish forces from Iraq.
Reading Aznar’s article, one realizes that innocent civilians in this turbulent world suffer killing, displacement and poverty because they are ruled by people like Aznar, Sharon, Bush and Netanyahu who see the world from a perspective completely detached from reality, the necessities of co-existence, peace, security and stability. They are in the business of blood shedding and promoting fanaticism, racism, hatred and war.
Aznar writes that “in an ideal world, the soldiers would have been peacefully welcomed on to the ship”, forgetting that in an ideal world there would be no need for the ship in the first place. This brutal and shameful blockade imposed by the Israeli army on the civilians of Gaza should not be there had Western politicians, like Aznar, been committed to a minimum of moral values or principles of international law. What is astonishing in Aznar’s article is that he completely ignores the existence of the Palestinian people and their right to freedom. He simply observes that Israel “faced terrorism culminating in wave after wave of suicide attacks,” and that “the whole Middle East is full of terrorists” and that Israel is a “beacon of western values”.
Is Aznar telling us that the Gaza blockade, killing children, building the racist wall, demolishing houses and committing massacres against civilians constitute the “Western values” that Israel defends? We, in the Middle East have seen nothing else from Israel. Every time there was a war in the Middle East, Israel was the aggressor; so, what kind of a ‘lighthouse’ is that which overlooks a sea of blood, oppression and persecution?
The only important thing for Mr. Aznar is that the region is important for the West’s energy security, because of the West’s dependence on Middle East oil. The Muslim and Christian population of the region do not exist at all in Aznar’s mind. For, as he says, although it is in this region, “Israel is a fundamental part of the West. The West is what it is thanks to its Judeo-Christian roots”. Mr. Aznar once again forgets that the roots of Christianity and Judaism are in the Middle East, and that Christianity spread to other parts of the world from Damascus thanks to Saint Paul. Christians were persecuted in pagan Europe, while the Syrian Empress, Julia Dumna used to protect Christians against persecution in Rome.
What is worrying in Aznar’s article is the racism and hatred one detects in every line. When he says that there is historical hostility between Jews and Christians, on the one hand, and Muslims on the other, he makes a flagrant historical error. How can he explain the desire of Israel’s extremist government to make itself a purely Jewish state and to expel Palestinian Christians who used to constitute a significant part of Palestine before the creation of Israel? Now, the number of Christians has shrunk to a few thousands as a result of Israel’ policy of deliberate displacement.
Racism finds another expression inside Israel itself when Ashkenazi Jews refuse to deal with Sephardic Jews. When Israel and its friends promote racism against Arabs and Muslims, they cannot control it inside Israeli society itself. Aznar should read what Ehud Barak, who signed the order to attack the flotilla and got unexpected results, Barak said: “There is no way to rehabilitate ties with the administration without presenting an assertive political program that will address the core issues of a final settlement with the Palestinians” (Haartez, June 16, 2010).
If Barak himself realizes the dangers of his crimes on Israel and the United States, and recognizes the importance of moving politically after the total international rejection of the blockade on Gaza, how can Aznar still defend Israel and be at odds with its friends who started to show concern about the policies of its extremist government which is destructive to Israel itself and harmful to the credibility of the United States in the world? Barak himself said: “If the United States’ standing in the world is undermined further, Israel is the one that will suffer” (Haartez, June 16, 2010).
Aznar could have done well to read part of the memoirs of Moshe Yatom, a prominent Israeli psychiatrist who successfully cured the most extreme forms of mental illness throughout a distinguished career. He committed suicide a few days ago leaving a note saying that Netanyahu, who was his patient for the past ten years, “sucked the life right out of me.” Yatom adds: “I can’t take it anymore. Robbery is redemption, apartheid is freedom, peace activists are terrorists, murder is self-defense, piracy is legality, Palestinians are Jordanians, annexation is liberation, there’s no end to his contradictions. Freud promised rationality would reign in the instinctual passions, but he never met Bibi Netanyahu. This guy would say Gandhi invented brass knuckles”.
Dr. Yatom was apparently stunned at what he called the “waterfall of lies” gushing from his most illustrious patient. Michael K. Smith writes that Yatom had a fully rounded personality and was able to cure hundreds of patients who had schizophrenia before he started working on Netanyahu. But Yatom grew increasingly depressed at his complete lack of progress in getting the Prime Minister to acknowledge reality, and he eventually suffered a series of strokes when attempting to grasp Netanyahu’s thinking, which he characterized in one diary entry as “a black hole of self-contradictions”. “The alibi is always the same with him,” complained another diary entry. “The Jews are on the verge of annihilation at the hands of the racist goyim and the only way to save the day is to carry out one final massacre”.
With people like Aznar, Netanyahu, Bush and many other tyrants obsessed with blood shedding, there is no wonder that there is so much suffering in the world as a result of war, killing, blockade and displacement.