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Wiping Another Country Off the Map: Israel Does It to Palestine
Posted on Aug 2, 2014
By Juan Cole
This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.
Back when the warmongers had hopes of ginning up a war between the United States and Iran during the Bush administration, one of their propaganda talking points was the Iran had “threatened to wipe Israel off the map.”
When we look at Gaza’s before and after pictures it becomes clear that the charge is more appropriate to Israel itself.
The late Christopher Hitchens, who went off the deep end at the end of his life, joining with the Neoconservatives in hoping for Iran to be so targeted, was furious with me for questioning this underpinning of the war effort.
Square, Site wide
The argument from Ahmadinejad’s use of the Khomeini quote was based on a bad translation. But it was also a logical fallacy, belonging, I think, to the family of “irrelevant appeals.” The Iranian leadership does not like Zionism or Jewish nationalism, and wishes it would fade away and collapse (“vanish from the page of time”). This rhetorical hatred, however, has nothing to do with military threats. Iran has no air force or navy to speak of and its military budget is in the same ballpark as Norway and Singapore. Equating hateful speech to an intent to launch aggressive warfare is silly.
Note that the current president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, elected last summer, doesn’t engage in over the top rhetoric and so there have been no attempts to demonize him and use him as a pretext for attacking Iran. Iran has the same regime, so the real difference in only that propaganda via ad hominems has become more difficult.
But after the last three weeks it is clear, in any case, who is in the business of actually wiping other countries off the map. The RT report below shows UN aerial photos showing entire neighborhoods in Gaza razed by the Israeli military. Over 5,000 building have been destroyed and over 26,000 have been damaged. This is a significant proportion of Gaza’s housing stock, and the Israelis want to make sure that the damage cannot be repaired. As the Gandolfo article makes clear, water sewage treatment plants aren’t working because the Israelis bombed the power station (this was deliberate; they knew exactly where it was). Babies have died in Gaza hospitals because their incubators ceased functioning.
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