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Moroccan, Tunisian bloggers on the Gaza bombings: ‘Innocents pay the price’

Continuing the coverage of reactions to Israel's bombing of Gaza, translations of what bloggers in Morrocco and Tunisia have written about the recent violence.

From Tanger, Morocco, baraka reminds us that American bombs are being dropped on Gaza from American planes. He criticizes Europe and the United States for their support of Israel, but finds the feeble response of some Arab governments even more deplorable:

…c'est le silence embarrassé des régimes arabes « modérés » qui apparaît dans le triste éclat de son indignité. Pendant que des enfants arabes meurent, des mosquées sont détruites et des hôpitaux ciblés, l'on assiste à un curieux spectacle. Celui du régime qui se veut le gardien des lieux saints et celui qui prétend incarner l'arabité se livrant à des contorsions lamentables. Les atermoiements égyptiens quant à l'ouverture du passage de Rafah resteront dans l'histoire comme un moment difficile à surpasser en matière de couardise.

…it's the embarrassed silence of “moderate” Arabe regimes which [gives these sad events] their aura of indignity. While Arab children are dying, mosques are destroyed, hospitals are targeted, we witness a curious spectacle. The regime which considers itself guardian of the holy places [i.e., Saudia Arabia], which claims to embody Arabness, indulges in pitiful contortions. The Egyptians’ hesitation to open the Rafah border crossing will remain a moment in history difficult to surpass in its cowardice.

From Tunisia, Hou-Hou Blog writes that Israel's propaganda machine and the unflinching support of its Western allies have created a situation where Israel will never be held accountable for any of its actions.

Les stratèges en relations publiques, i.e. propagande militaro-diplomatique, israéliens reprennent le même refrain que celui qu'ils ont martelé lors de la dernière guerre du Liban : ce n'est pas notre faute, nous on est gentils et on veut la paix, c'est eux les méchants qui nous lancent de roquettes et menacent notre sécurité. Et bla bla bla, on connait très bien la chanson. Et ça fonctionne assez bien, du moins en occident où le message est allègrement repris par les gouvernements occidentaux, et notamment canadien.

La rhétorique israélienne est efficace, surtout pour un pays qui a les moyens militaires et le support des décideurs de ce Monde pour faire ce qu'il veut sans rendre de comptes à quiconque…

The Israeli public relations strategists, i.e., the military-diplomatic propaganda, continue their old refrain, the one they pounded during the last Lebanese war: this is not our fault, we are nice and we want peace, it's they who are evil, the ones who launch rockets and threaten our security. And bla bla bla, we know that song well. And it works rather well, at least in the West where the message is gleefully taken up by Western governments, notably Canada.

Israel's rhetoric is effective, especially for a country which has the military means and the support of the decision-makers in this world to do whatever they want without being held accountable to anyone.

..Or, il suffit d'être un peu rationnel pour faire la part des choses. Simplement, enfermez des centaines de milliers de personnes en état de siège permanent, dans une petite bande de terre encerclée de toutes parts, coupez l'eau, la nourriture, les médicaments, le pétrole, et le financement, et laissez mijoter quelques mois…

…one only need to be a little rational to see what's happening. Just take a few hundred thousand people and lock them in permanent state of siege, in a little strip surrounded from all sides, cut off water, food, medicine, oil, and money, and let them simmer for a few months…

Au début était le Blog echoes a similar sentiment:

Quelle fierté peut-on tirer alors du fait de bombarder à l'aide de chars, hélicoptères et autres avions de chasse une population civile entassée dans la plus grande prison au monde à ciel ouvert?

What pride can one draw from bombing, with the help of tanks, helicopters and other planes, a civilian population packed in the world's largest open air prison?

Kiffe Grave [Fr] notes that since 1967, United States has used its UN Security Council veto 39 times to prevent the passage of resolutions condemning Israel.

Not that Hamas is innocent in this, Hou-Hou writes.  There's blame enough for both sides, and as always, it's ordinary people who are made to suffer:

Il ne faut pas être naïf non plus. Les hommes du Hamas ne sont pas nés de la dernière pluie, le timing de l'arrêt “unilatéral” de la trêve coïncidant avec la campagne électorale en Israël, n'est certainement pas innocent. Politiquement, le Hamas n'avait pas le choix, il fallait qu'il provoque Israël, il fallait que ça bouge même si ça impliquait d'énormes sacrifices. De toute façon ils n'ont plus rien à perdre, à part leurs vies, et les vies des palestiniens on sait très bien ce que ça vaut. Encore une fois ce sont les innocents, les gens ordinaires qui payent cher le prix des guerres du pouvoir et des idéologies. La paix est morte et enterrée depuis longtemps.

We shouldn't be naive either. Hamas wasn't born yesterday. The timing of the “unilateral” ceasefire, cooinciding with the elections in Israel, is certainly not innocent. Politically, Hamas had no choice, they had to provoke Israel, it had to happen even if that implicated enormous sacrifices. At any rate, they have nothing to lose, except for their lives, and the lives of Palestinians (we know very well how much they are worth). Once again, it's the innocents, the ordinary people who pay the high price for the wars of those in power, for their ideologies. Peace has been dead and buried for a long time.

Matoo responds in a comment:

Ce qui m'effraie dans cette “histoire” c'est qu'au bout de 60 ans de conflits, avec des meurtres, des attentats, des martyrs, des bonnes volontés et des pacifistes des deux côtés, on ne sait vraiment plus à quel saint se vouer. C'est comme si les “méchants” et les “gentils” étaient des deux côtés de la frontière, et qu'il est impossible de voir une issue favorable.

What strikes me about this “affaire” is that after 60 years of conflict, with murders, attacks, martyrs, volunteers and pacifists on both sides, it's not clear which side to put faith in. It's as though the “evil-doers” and the “good guys” are on both sides of the border, and that it's impossible to see any good outcome.

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