The attack stunned the world because of its blatant and absurd disregard for anything resembling international law, human rights, and diplomatic norms. Its glaring outrageousness stunned, but didn’t surprise, me. It cannot be viewed in isolation. It is another upshot of a dogma long fermenting on Israel’s political landscape.
It is a doctrine that lives for itself and off others. It survives by tapping into the subliminal and cognisant levels. It implants into public consciousness a set of tenets that see Israeli’s very existence as eternally under threat, to be defended through any means (preferably through use of force to show the enemy who’s boss). It is best served through the adoption of an “us against the world” mentality. By its very nature, hardline ideology is self-serving and self-perpetuating. Its primary goal is to survive – and that precludes everything. If to exist it must redefine what is acceptable, redraw the lines of international law, and re-imagine what weapons are appropriate – so be it. Assigning themselves authority and immunity, Israel’s leaders feel licensed to do whatever they like and not expect an international outcry.
But this hardened path is fraught with dangers for all of us. These radical policies debar Palestinian value and, by extension, human value. Harsh measures then become more palatable. Inflicting violence upon an innocent majority to punish the guilty few now seems necessary. Every day the blockade continues is another day our humanity remains under siege.
[tweetmeme] Queen Rania of Jordan said this in a piece in the British paper The Independent today. Jordan and Israel have been allies since normalizing relations in 1994 and the Jordanian government has largely kept quiet in the sea of criticism of Israel in recent years – lest it upset its ally (and the US who started provided aid to Jordan after 1994). It has kept itself sidelined over the last week despite protests from Jordanians around the country. The Queen’s statements are clear and well said (worth reading the whole thing). But one must ask, why was this the Queen and not King Abdullah? From the Black Iris:
Suffice to say the piece is fairly strong-worded coming out of Jordan and addressing a predominantly western audience. It’s rare to see that kind of commentary emanating from the state and one might wonder why King Abdullah didn’t write it himself, or, in other words, why Queen Rania was given this role to play even though foreign policy isn’t exactly her domain (but pretty much everything else is). Moreover, there is a spark of confusion to consider, as I am personally unable to tell whether Queen Rania is speaking for herself or for the Jordanian state? Such confusion is absent when it is the actual leader of the country who is making a statement the concerns foreign affairs; the line becomes gray when it is the Queen.
My thought? This allows Jordan to express its disgust over Israeli actions in a semi-official way. To Israel, they can say, “It was just the Queen, not the government.” To the Palestinians, they can say, “It was the Queen! How much more official do you want?” Official or unofficial, it sends a pretty clear message from Amman.
Photo from Traveler Within