04 Agustus 2006


Indonesian Bloggers Condemn Israel

I got two posting drafts in my flashdisk. Each of them was based on a premise, and then I started with a little of this and that, several occurrences with a thin red line lead to the premise. In both drafts I slip something related to latest Israel-Lebanon conflict, but I’m not satisfied with either of them. Finally I realize that if I’m really angry about this whole Israel thing, I should express it in a posting that really is about it.

And what is this whole Israel thing? Conflict between Israeli and Palestinian—and with Arab countries in general—has been on and off my mind for a long time. Yes, I occasionally follow the news about the conflict, I read Joe Sacco’s Palestine, I think I posted something when Ahmad Yasin was brutally killed. But most of the times it doesn’t even cross my mind. I don’t remember Palestinian children in my prayer. I can’t say my whole heart is with them.

Living in a muslim-majority country, I’m used to anti-Israel side of story. So I looked for some references to get a different view (except for those forums where the pro-Israel comments make my stomach aches). I got lost in the midst of incidents and names and years and numbers. I finally turn to a simple fact.
Israel has NO RIGHT to kill all those civilians.
Not even if Hizbullah does make them as human shield. Not even as a trade to two Israeli soldiers Hizbullah has captured. Not even as a revenge to Hizbullah attack (oh well, I’m being unfair here, but how many children had Hizbullah missiles killed? it won’t stop, will it?).

And I hate to say this, despite Aa Gym’s lecture that we must begin with ourselves, US plays a key role in this conflict. Israel is stubborn and arrogant (and cruel, if I may add) by itself, but what US doing (or not doing, in some case) has a great effect.

1. US has vetoed all UN Security Council resolutions against Israel.
2. US has provided large financial aid to Israel, roughly one fifth of US total foreign aid. The economic assistance boosted Israel economy, now one of wealthy industrial state. The military assistance helps Israel to become the strongest military power in Middle East. And of course, Security Council resolution to put Israel’s nuclear arsenal on the IAEA’s agenda was vetoed by US.
3. US policy to attack Iraq and targeting Iran and Syria. Surprise surprise, they (and Lebanon, of course) are considered as threats to Israel’s security. Threats to the only country in Middle East who owns nuclear weapon!

I got lost again. I don’t what to do. Israel won’t listen to UN, European Union, let alone Organization of the Islamic Conference. They probably won’t even listen to US (assuming US changes its policy). Meanwhile Bush and his right wing politicians and Jewish Lobby seem to continue their pro-Israel policy. I don’t know who exactly the master is in this US-Israel relationship.

Boycott Israel products seem to be a likely choice. I, being Frederick Forsyth’s fan, believe that conspiracy theory at some level contains the truth. The question is, how much will it affect? How my decision not to drink 300 rupiahs NescafĂ© will bring Israel economy down? Despite slogans like think globally, act locally and begin with ourselves, I don’t think much can be done. Some of the listed products actually have doubtful connection with Israel or Zionism, or at least what we do doesn’t seem to be benefit for Israel directly. I mean, I use second-hand laptop with intel processor, I’m actually give loss to Israel because I don’t benefit them by buying new laptop with new intel processor.

However, some of those suspected as Israel products actually must be avoided both for Israel-related and other reasons (environment, human right, capitalism, hehe). It’s worth to try, actually, although I do hope Starbucks is not in the list because I have date with Boss there as soon as we finish our project ;P

Still lost. Any other idea?

[1] The Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer.
[2] Wikipedia articles: Israel, Zionism, Palestine, Arab-Israeli Conflict
[3] Boycott Israel Campaign

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