Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Victimhood as a "False Excuse" and Gaza

In reaction to feminism some men say that they are "victims" of women in a way which disturbs me greatly. Obviously I would not question the realities of individual men who have been hurt badly by individual women such as through domestic violence, emotional abuse or similar. At the same time I see no Systemic Oppression of Men by Women.

I also have trouble with some of the victimhood claimed related to 9/11. Obviously for those who lost loved ones on 9/11, they have certainly had serious losses that no one should deny. At the same time making this tragic event into the "Monster Atrocity" to the U.S. - as a whole - seems absurd to me. Certainly we in the U.S. may well have been shook up by what happened and emotionally affected but its direct impact upon us has not been as great as our emotional reaction to it.

Per U.S. crime statistics - roughly 17,000 people are murdered in the U.S. each year (http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm) . Yes 3000 people killed at once was tragic. The numbers killed in Iraq alone far surpass these numbers. 700+ Gazans out of a population of 1.5 million people have been killed in recent days.

Israel - certainly has victims of violence from Hamas and others. Certainly there is a feeling within Israel of impending danger from the rockets and similar. At the same time one should consider How Many - have been killed and wounded. This, of course, does not take away from the tragedies of death for those who die often needlessly.

The numbers of Israelis who have died or been injured not in military operations - but in violence from Palestinians - has been reasonably small. The numbers killed particularly appear small in comparison with the corresponding numbers of Palestinian deaths.

Israeli children - and their parents are scared of being killed by Palestinians. Palestinian children in the West Bank die in far, far, far higher numbers. An example of this is: 123 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,050 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000. (http://www.ifamericansknew.org/) .

Such a ratio to me says that the Palestinians have a significantly higher problem from death than the Israelis do.

There is no doubt that Israelis fear that Palestinians will kill them! This should not take away from the facts that far, far more Israelis can live "normal lives" than Palestinians can within their home countries. Israelis fear being attacked in general. Palestinians often have basic fears of safety in various ways that would be totally unbelievable to most Israelis. Israelis in general do not face situations where they need to get through checkpoints to get emergency medical care.

I have great difficulty in seeing Israel - as a "victim" of the Palestinians. I heard recently on Air America a host talking of the hostile countries who wished to see all Israelis killed. I could hear his opinions, but wonder - who these hostile nations are? Iran I could understand perhaps. Jordan and Egypt hardly seem threatening to Israel. Syria may be "scary" in ways, but is it really a threat to Israel?

Israel is a military super-power in terms of its military capabilities. The Holocaust resulted in millions of victims. Fears of another holocaust are real, but are not necessarily "rational".

Israel has victims. Israel is Not a Victim.

One can only hope that Israelis will start to see how much of their "victimhood" is not real and how what dangers there are may be largely stopped with serious moves for peace. Similarly I can hope that in the U.S. we will stop seeing ourselves so much as the victims of others - who clearly aren't our "oppressors".

Thanks!

3 comments:

Mary Cuevas said...

hi geo,
what is frightening is the arab world is watching and they are not happy with this incursion. rightfully so.

dialogue and diplomacy, not bombs.
peace,
mary

geojvp@yahoo.com said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
geo said...

Unfortunately I don't think that the Arab World matters - to either Israel or the U.S.

When one sees the world so much in Black and White - Good/Evil - and others similar dichotomies, one misses the nuances as well as missing how the Long Run can be hurt by supposed needs - such as overcoming the shame for how the 2006 incursion in Lebanon went.

Thanks!