After Pres.-elect Obama announced his ‘carrot/stick’ policy in regards to Iran, I noted:
… two concerns of Mr. Obama are “[Iran’s] funding of terrorist organizations [and] their threats against Israel are contrary to everything we believe in.“
What Mr. Obama fails to mention is that:
- By the literal definition of terrorism, Israel is a US funded State that finances and participates in terrorism when Israel uses “violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.”
- By the doctrinal definition of terrorism where an act is one of terror only when “they” do it to “us,” the US cannot make the case for Iran to halt funding of terrorist organizations if the US is funding Iran’s “them.”
- If Iran’s threats against Israel are against “everything we believe in,” so are Israel’s repeated threats against Iran, as well as Israel’s continued oppression of the Palestinian people in Gaza, their blockade of the press to cover the region, and delaying the release of 230 Palestinian prisoners (in accordance with the agreement between Israel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas).
From this angle, Iran’s nuclear compliance displays extraordinary restraint in a nuclear world. (Dare I say it!)
Given the recent sympathy for Israel’s attacks on Gaza, it’s impossible to not revisit this as the UN calls for violence to halt and an official calls the situation, “disastrous.”
Britain and US support for Israel’s attacks on Gaza is sold to the public as an attack on a terror group, Hamas, as public protests around the world from Yemen to Chicago rise up. Without sympathizing with the policies of Hamas and their violent tactics, were the tables turned and Israel were launching rockets on Gaza while Israelis are oppressed and the Palestinians in violation of international law regarding borders, which would be the ‘terror group’ in the media?
The question remains: why is Israel held to a different standard and why is this double standard accepted in life-death conditions? Why are people of a community attacked as if their State is an aggressor? Hamas is the influential party of the Palestinians in Gaza, but Fatah is still the ruling party of the nation and is condemning Hamas for not extending their truce with Israel.
I’m not grasping at straws of moral relativism here. This is the US legal definition of terrorism:
Section 2331. Definitions
As used in this chapter -
(1) the term “international terrorism” means activities that -
(A) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that
are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of
any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed
within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended -
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by
intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass
destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
Israel’s human rights violations and Hamas’ rocket attacks fit this definition. Considering that Israel is a State in the UN breaking international law, those afflicted would be justified to defend themselves, but attacking civilians also fits this definition, whether it’s Hamas rockets or Israeli air strikes.
On LBC TV (Lebanon), Prof. Noam Chomsky explores this double standard of classifying terrorism back in 2006 from our “Noam Chomsky on Palestine-Israel” playlist (10:38):
For more on the Palestine-Israel conflict, Lebanon, Hamas, Hizbollah, and the Middle East, Robert Fisk’s lecture “War, Geopolitics, History: Conflict in the Middle East” is highly recommended.