Saturday, January 3, 2009

Israel in Gaza: Irrationality - Wallace Shawn

The Nation, December 29, 2008 - It is not rational to believe that the Palestinians in the occupied territories will be terrorized by force and violence, by cruelty, by starvation or by slaughter into a docile acceptance of the Israeli occupation. There is no evidence that that could possibly happen and mountains of evidence to the contrary....

Actions based on irrational premises inevitably fail in their purposes--they fail, and if the premises don't change, then the actions are inevitably repeated, in forms which are more and more grotesque. It is unbearable to think that the new American administration would begin with more American dollars being poured into what is unjustifiable. It is also unbearable to think that among the first words we would hear from our new, clearly rational president would be preposterous sentences trying to persuade us that Israeli policies which seem to be appalling are actually quite normal and acceptable. Certainly nothing our new president could do would be of greater value to the world--and greater value to the Jews--than to abruptly end the sickeningly patronizing habit of supporting an irrationality which was born in tragedy and will end in more tragedy.

Wallace Shawn is the author of The Designated Mourner and Four Plays (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).

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