Nonsense About Israel’s Democracy

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There has always been propaganda extolling Israel for being a democratic island in a sea of authoritarian regimes (although they also receive American aid). But a democracy can be as bloodthirsty or more and as callous with regard to human life or more than any other kind of nation-state, as the U.S. has shown in Iraq and Israel is showing in Gaza, again, and as it has been showing for a very long time. Two democracies have felt justified in inflicting wanton destruction totally out of proportion to its purported and trumped up justifications. Both have wielded power greatly superior to a weaker opponent militarily. Both have used that power in urban situations where civilians bear the brunt of the force inflicted. Both have created large numbers of refugees. Both have lashed out in fury and frustration at civilian targets when encountering resistance that was a surprise to them and used that resistance as an excuse. Both have endured their own casualties and killed at surprisingly high rates, given their superiority in numbers and firepower. Both have sizable numbers of their own people cheering from the sidelines. There is nothing whatever special about democracies in relation to classical liberal values. The values of each are actually in direct conflict.

Israel’s killing and injuring in Gaza suggests that Israel might better be compared to Boko Haram in Nigeria, and so may the U.S. as a result of its aggression on Iraq and its people. A high degree of killing, injuring and destroying without sufficient justification is the common element in all three cases. I quote

“Boko Haram (usually translated as ‘Western education is a sin’), is a militant Islamist organization based in northern Nigeria, influenced by the Wahhabi movement. Founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, the organization seeks to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria. The group was designated by the U.S. Department of State as a terrorist organisation in 2013.

“In the first half of 2014 Boko Haram killed more than 2000 civilians, in about 95 attacks; and, in the preceding three years, more than 3000. In May 2014, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan claimed that Boko Haram attacks have left at least 12,000 people dead and 8,000 crippled. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.”

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