Yitzhak Laor: The people demand some blood

By Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz – 12 March 2012

Yitzhak Laor

Yitzhak Laor

Whoever decided to kill the secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees didn’t do so to prevent a terror attack. The attack was foiled, thanks to the targeted killing, because the army lies only during its internal power struggles; and when its comes to anything related to war, it returns to the motherly embrace of public opinion: Its intentions are pure. That’s its job during war, which only it can declare – and in wartime, after all, we fall in love with the army and with ourselves.

But the excuse of the terror attack is another indication that there is no opposition – neither at home and nor to the west. There is no one from whom we should hide the fact that every “targeted killing” brings rockets, and only thereafter comes “wiping out terrorism.” The thuggish stance of the army in relation to the rules of the game – we assassinate, you launch rockets, and we bomb and kill – is Israeli logic: We’re allowed to because we’re strong. There’s no need for a moral masquerade.

This was the escalation dynamic that was covered up during the second intifada with the help of every media outlet, without exception. Then, after every targeted killing, we were flooded with huge pictures of the target, and “suddenly,” at Google speed, we were introduced to all kinds of enemies who only the Shin Bet security service had known about just the day before – from Hussein Abayat, the first assassination target in Bethlehem, through the elimination of Raad Carmi in Tul Karm, whose killing so inflamed Palestinian passions that they responded with a wild massacre at the Park Hotel, until the recapture of the West Bank in Operation Defensive Shield.

This – the elimination of terror, and the elimination of Palestinian independence en route – was the initiative of the General Staff. The escalation enabled the destruction of all the political structures in the territories (since of course they were always surrounded by paramilitary organizations ), until we achieved the ultimate: Gaza in the hands of they with whom we cannot conduct negotiations, and the West Bank in the hands of they with whom we don’t have to conduct negotiations. The occupation assures its own eternal existence.

This hooligan-like logic turns into part of a totally uninhibited language. We are allowed to assassinate, but you aren’t allowed to respond: For the little, if any, of our blood spilled, you will pay with many liters of blood. This is a colonial logic, in which the West has permission to do what it pleases, while the natives do not. This, incidentally, is the logic in the campaign against Iran: You don’t have permission to acquire nuclear facilities, only we do.

With regard to the Palestinians, the issue also touches on our behavior and the fact that we are an impoverished society. “You can starve, while we battle for our standard of living. We are a democracy for the Jews. You aren’t really human beings.”

Why then are we surprised that the leader of “The People Demand Social Justice,” Daphni Leef, is flying to England to deny that Israel is an apartheid state? Why are we surprised that the mayors of our southern cities are demanding more blood instead of social justice? Soon the policeman in the F-16 will be declared the big winner. The palace will burn some more hut-dwellers.

It’s clear why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a by-product of the colonization – and not its cause – and the result of logic that goes, “We’re allowed, because we are who we are, and you are forbidden because you’re inferior.” Who can demand social justice from such logic?

The bombing of the Gaza Strip in response to the Grads and mortars that came in response to the assassination is an episode with many Palestinian funerals and the addictive feeling of subservience. But whoever decided on the assassination knew he was cancelling the south’s topping off a long Purim. Those in the south had apparently celebrated enough. What exactly they would go through after the assassination didn’t really interest anyone.

This “I don’t care what happens to them” attitude doesn’t stop at the Green Line nor at the Mizrahi Jews’ enclaves in the south. This is the kind of firmness that will be needed to bomb Iran. It’s called rulers’ apathy, or a society that has no opposition.


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