We felt it important to make a statement in support of the people subject to the world's second best known occupation. Unlike Ukraine, where the victims of occupation are backed by the Western powers, the occupiers of Palestinian territory are the beneficiaries of Western strategic armed benevolence.
Most of our small group had earlier in the year stood on the same bridge in opposition to the far right. The thought crossed my mind that some from that sordid camp might try to pollute our vigil with their presence. Not out of genuine sympathy for Palestinians but hatred of the Jews. It didn't happen. In an embracement of some variant of Christian Zionism, most of them seem to have set aside their penchant for the gas chamber, without abandoning it, to back Israel. Probably, they consider Israelis to be white Europeans who will put the olive skinned races in their place, much as they seek to do in their own mythical battle against the Great Replacement.
Instead of the local fascists, we were met with a steady blaring of horns as driver after driver sounded their support. From only two vehicles, for the entire ninety minutes we stood on the bridge, was there hostility. One approached dangerously close at speed almost brushing the crash barrier behind which we had assembled before veering away again. Charlottesville resonated in my mind. Tomorrow evening Sinn Fein is organising a similar event in the same location. A much bigger turn out than today's is likely.
When I arrived home and watched the news, it showed an I Stand With Israel event in Dublin. My wife said she sympathised with many of those there, that their grief was similar to that of the Palestinians. I agreed. Hamas perpetrated a war crime of Israeli dimension on civilians. Hamas has no right to seek mitigatory refuge in the words of Albert Camus that its action was as unavoidable as it was unjustifiable. The organisation's counter terrorism operation could easily have distinguished between non-combatants and military. It was avoidable. Hamas made it happen.
A sentiment expressed at that pro-Israel event which I very much did not agree with was the call from Alan Shatter for the Irish government to unconditionally back Israel as it plans to crush Gaza. I thought his words would have had a more authentic ring to them had he uttered them in German. As I write, a mass of Israeli state terrorists are assembling on the border with Gaza. The incessant drone of their tanks must sound to the besieged Palestinians incarcerated in the open air prison ominously like what Soviet citizens heard when Operation Barbarossa was gearing up to crescendo before moving across the border. The civilians trapped in the Strip have for a week been subject to a siege which looks frighteningly similar to what was inflicted on the citizens of Leningrad in September 1941. And they must sense deep within themselves that the Israeli equivalent of the Einzatsgruppen, child murder in mind, is part of the military build-up on its border.
Remarkable as it might seem for a Fine Gael leader, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has not given Israel carte blanche approval for the war crimes it is about to inflict. Unlike the despicable Tory duo, the one who leads the Conservative Party and the other who leads the Labour Party, Varadkar has not been an enthusiast for the jackboot plan to make real Netanyahu's Lebensraum map. Already he has hit out at Israel's Leningrad strategy:
To me, it amounts to collective punishment. Cutting off power, cutting off fuel supplies and water supplies, that's not the way a respectable democratic state should conduct itself.
That will certainly have left Alan Shattered.
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