Monday, December 29, 2008

The Six Day War *was* pretty cool

When I was a kid I was, as many teenage boys are, fascinated by the history of warfare. I read the books. I watched the films. I made the models. I played the games.

If I had devoted as much time and energy to something useful I'd probably be fluent in about five or six languages

Of all the campaigns and wars I studied, one conflict struck a particular chord in my impressionable, totally fucking naive teenage brain...




The story of the plucky state of Israel...

  • The three million against the two hundred million.
  • A handful of desperate refugees, armed with nothing but some rusty WW2 surplus, living with the constant threat of being wiped off the face of the Earth by the Communist-armed Arab hordes
  • A nation of citizen-soldiers who just wanted to grow oranges but who, in a stroke of righteous irony, reluctantly mastered the techniques of Nazi blitzkrieg to save themselves from ultimate annihilation

From an indoctrinated teenage war geek's point of view, the Six Day War was an impressive and inspirational feat of arms




Especially when you remember how those pesky Arabs were preparing to douse Israel with rockets armed with poison gas


now where have I heard that one before?


I totally bought it 100%. Hook, Line and Sinker. The whole myth

And why shouldn't I?

I didn't know any Muslims or Arabs and the Jews I knew seemed alright to me

And all the books, films and television I saw told the same story

But when I got a little older I started asking myself some questions the books, the films and the television didn't seem to cover...

  • What had the Arabs to do with the Jewish Holocaust?
  • What right did the Israelis have to Palestine in the first place?
  • Why was it that Jews, of all people, thought that recreating Lidice or Oradour-sur-Glane in Palestine was the way to go about solving anything?
  • Wasn't the expression 'Never Again?' supposed to apply to everyone?
and so on and so on

It also started to become clear, as I did some more grown-up study, that the Israelis weren't quite as outgunned as I was told they were, quite the opposite

And then I found out about stuff like the King David Hotel Bombing, the attack on the USS Liberty, the Lavon Affair, the Balfour Declaration and all the other staples of Anti-Zionist lore




Much of that anti-Zionist lore stands up to critical scrutiny a lot better than any of the Zionist bollocks I was fed as a kid

I still feel, years later, like a complete dick for believing so much propaganda

The news, after the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, that the executioners had been trained by Israelis was just the icing on the cake.

After all, the Israelis have had sixty years of solid experience of really getting to the heart of what it takes to prevent terrorism. Anyone who doesn't want London to have that carefree, at ease with itself, Tel Aviv vibe just has to be bonkers





Short of some kind of Apocalypse, the state of Israel is not going away (and yes there are some loonytunes Christian Zionist whackjobs who are banking on just that eventuality)

But, personally speaking, I don't want to see any Apocalypses or the annihilation of nations.

Some small, tiny little, tweaks to the way the Israeli state goes about doing things; such as losing the racist apartheid shit and not bombing the crap out of people as part of some deranged, futile exercise in collective punishment, would be just fucking peachy though




.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Had the books, at the time.
I took them into school.
Showed them to the class.
Taught them how to draw Spitfires etc.
Was really impressed at the tactics.

Thirty years later, got the reality.

Stef said...

Yup, I've still got a few of them myself

On the bright side, it's official...

No civilian casualties in Gaza!!

Pizza IDF said...

On behalf of the soldiers of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), we wish to thank the many, many people the world over who have sent Pizza, Burgers and a variety of other treats. A special thank you to those of you who recently sent Rosh haShana Honey packages to our soldiers wishing them a shana tova, a happy, successful and peaceful New Year. And now Hanukah is again at our doorstep...

not anonymous said...

It has been long my opinion that the "state" of Israel is but a satellite state of the US,,an outpost of US influence if you like in a very strategic part of the world(oil being on e reason) it seems however that the satellite has become stronger an more influential as the years have rolled by.A good metaphor would be a deadly parasite slowly devouring its host.

Thanks for linking to the video stef.

Burger IDF said...

Delight our soldiers out in the field with a
Hamburger & Cola and your good wishes!

Share your feelings with them at this difficult time in a very tangible way.

Parabellum said...

re: USS Liberty.

Did you know that the USS Liberty was a "Victory Ship" (strangely not a "Liberty Ship") built in large numbers by the US Maritime Commission during WWII? Shoddily made (yet better than the Libertys), a modern (at that time) yet cheap design, the perfect expendable ship. Its loss would have been comparable to the loss of two or three DC-3s (C-47) at the same time...

Parabellum said...

It is all well and nice to demand that Israel's government stops waging a war against the Palestinians, but the problem lies much deeper (I'm afraid).

I recommend to watch the movie "Welcome to Hebron". While undoubtedly the movie is Pro-Palestine biased (and rightfully so), it shows one thing normally not shown: The unbelievable racist hate of the Israeli settlers. And while the settlers are a special group within (or outside?) of Israeli society, the problem runs deep. And unless a larger number of Israelis demand a change towards peace, I'm afraid not much is going to change...

Obviously part of the problem IS the government creating a "security" situation were the people demand help from the hawks, but it's the people who have to change their attitude. I guess a peaceful Israeli government wouldn't last long - it would be brought down by the people of Israel.

I have to study the end of the Apartheid regime in South Africa, maybe it will give me more insight...

Stef said...

Did you know that the USS Liberty was a "Victory Ship" (strangely not a "Liberty Ship") built in large numbers by the US Maritime Commission during WWII? Shoddily made (yet better than the Libertys)

... with all the structural integrity of a digestive biscuit

which begs the question why was it still afloat after two hours of sustained air and torpedo boat attack.

I'm reminded of RAF commander 'Sailor' Milan who told his pilots that a heavily damaged German bomber was better for the British war effort than a shot down bomber; because of the impact a plane full of dead and wounded crew would have on the Germans when it returned home

not anonymous said...

There are some pretty nasty fuckin comments on the youtube video.I just removed one.Not something I like to do.
What do you think stef,,should I disable comments on that one,,certainly seems to stir some nasty reactions in certain people.

not anonymous said...

Hamas are the Al Quaeda of Gaza.A great excuse to keep bombing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DywlVRGg-8k

Stef said...

There are some pretty nasty fuckin comments on the youtube video.I just removed one.Not something I like to do.
What do you think stef,,should I disable comments on that one,,certainly seems to stir some nasty reactions in certain people.


that video got a plug on the popular US What Really Happened portal, which means it's definitely going to show up on the Haribo radar

personally, I'm all for leaving comments up as a general rule but some of the Hate I've seen posted would test my principles pretty heavily

so, personally, I wouldn't disable comments, let fuckers damn themselves out of their own mouths and cull the unbearable stuff

Stef said...

...it's one of sacred principles of Conspiraloonery that if your opponent is trying to wind you up and force you to lose focus with offensive language your best response, and the surest way to wind him up, is to not lose it as you're supposed to and simply take the piss in response

Anonymous said...

Apparently its fine to bomb Gaza because Palestinians fire rockets into Israel.

Stef said...

"Sure we can flatten a few streets but it's not the same. Rocket attacks mean you can go balls-out crazy apeshit. I just love Hamas. They really get us."

Stef said...

It's interesting how behaviour our governments wouldn't permit to take place in a school yard is OK if grown ups flying F-16s are involved

'He started it' never cut it as an excuse when I was growing up; particularly if you were bigger than the kid you were caught battering.

Doubly so if you'd stolen something off him beforehand

gyg3s said...

"stuff like the King David Hotel Bombing"

My uncle Phil almost got killed there. He was a conscript soldier policing Palestine.

Stef said...

maybe the RAF should have bombed the shit out of the place in retaliation

that sort of thing does the trick, apparently

Stef said...

Original wording on the plaque at the KDH put up two years ago to commemorate the atrocity...

"The Hotel housed the Mandate Secretariat as well as the Army Headquarters. On July 1946 (sic) Irgun fighters at the order of the Hebrew Resistance Movement planted explosives in the basement. Warning phone calls had been made urging the hotel’s occupants to leave immediately. For reasons known only to the British the hotel was not evacuated and after 25 minutes the bombs exploded, and to the Irgun’s regret and dismay 91 persons were killed."

It's worth remembering, of course, that the Irgun freedom fighters who carried out the bombing disguised themselves as Arabs

Anonymous said...

A very interesting little book which delves into the history of the creation of modern day Israel via Zionism is The Six-Pointed Star: Its Origin and Usage

Its mainly a theological book (written by a theology researcher) whose departure point looks into why the pagan hexagram has been adopted by mainstream Jewish culture as an icon as opposed to the seven candled menorah, but later on gets into the contention between Theodor Herzl and Rothschild about the direction of the zionist movement, and the movement's eventual adoption of the 'red shield' hexagram.
A must for any conspiraloon.

Stef said...

For the sake of balance, and I've already blogged about it in the past, it's worth remembering that the Moon and Pentagram symbol used by some modern, nominally Islamic, nation states is also just a teensy weensy bit Occult and Pagan and not at all halal

The old hammer and sickle Soviet flag also incorporated star and moon symbolism

And, in general, pentagrams and hexagrams are two a penny on flags and money - the new British £20 note, with a Rothschild Shield perched on the roof of the Bank of England, being a personal favourite

Stef said...

of course, anyone who admits to noticing any of this is obviously a complete loon dingbat

whereas, the fruity, mentalist fucks who weave magical symbols into the emblems of finance and state are totally on the level

Stef said...

The Law of Fives

...and sixes

not anonymous said...

Blog from Gaza

not anonymous said...

I like whatreallyhappened.Good site.It was the one that conspiralooned me.
I´m thinking about becoming a member.It has a big readership I do believe.

Parabellum said...

... with all the structural integrity of a digestive biscuit

which begs the question why was it still afloat after two hours of sustained air and torpedo boat attack.


Strains the mind a bit, don't it?

Parabellum said...

Well that is the difference. Irgun had regret and dismay. That is the true mark of civilization! And keeping your hands clean while you drop bombs from 10.000 feet or bulldozer your way through some Palestine village or refugee center.

As long as the Palestines refuse to participate in a fair fight and buy some American-made fighter jets, we will have to look down on them. And what is it with these self-made rockets, shot roughly aimed? Don't they know that civilization means targeted-killings? Not just scaring people with the slight chance of death?

(It makes me sick that people can keep a straight face while reporting from Palestine)

Sophia said...

Stef,

My husband, a Belgian born in 1954, tells me the same story.

Stef said...

@P

actually, I think you'll find that the corporate media, especially the BBC, are deeply anti-Semitic terrorist-lovers

I know this because I read this blog here

hmmmm, chutzpahlicious

Parabellum said...

Good that the IDF sets the record straight:
http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/12/israels-info-wa.html

Stef said...

The Jerusalem Post quotes Maj. Avital Leibovich, the head of the Israeli Defense Forces' foreign press branch on the digital media campaign. "The blogosphere and new media are another war zone," she says. "We have to be relevant there."

Relevant, yes. Truthful, no.

Parabellum said...

That's what I read on the IDF-channel:
Israeli Air Force ... has targeted innocent civilians in a campaign of terror.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTBAr7tq4rc&feature=channel

Parabellum said...

And even the Israeli navy gets its moment of honor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2kLdFW8EMc&feature=channel

And look how proud they are! And rightly so, did you see the menacing Palestine cruiser they have destroyed there? And the audacity of the Hamas to have buildings! Buildings, the most dangerous attack weapon of the world! Some people say that Adolf Hitler himself was using buildings.

Stef said...

I haven't been able to find any cluster bomb footage on the IDF Infotainment Channel

I guess that must mean they don't use them

Stef said...

All this low-grade propaganda is relevant to the point I was trying to make in my original post

There was a time, particularly pre Internet, when this kind of bullshit was good enough to fool enough people

Now it's not

Anonymous said...

THE Israeli military has launched its own channel on video-sharing website YouTube, posting footage of air strikes and other attacks on Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

A spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said it created the channel - youtube.com/user/idfnadesk - this week to "help us bring our message to the world".

The channel currently has more than 2000 subscribers and hosts 10 videos, some of which have been viewed more than 20,000 times.

The black-and-white videos include aerial footage of Israeli Air Force attacks on what are described as rocket launching sites, weapons storage facilities, a Hamas government complex and smuggling tunnels.

One video shows what is described as a Hamas patrol boat being destroyed by a rocket fired from an Israeli naval vessel.

The IDF said that some of the videos it had posted to the channel had been removed by YouTube.

"We are saddened that YouTube has taken down some of our exclusive footage showing the IDF's operational success in operation Cast Lead against Hamas extremists in the Gaza Strip," it said.

"As the state of Israel again faces those who would see it destroyed, it is imperative that we in the IDF show the world the inhumanity directed against us and our efforts to stop it," it said.

There was no immediate response from YouTube about whether videos had been removed and, if so, the explanation for the move.

Anonymous said...

Israel fight back

http://www.giyus.org/

Anonymous said...

meanwhile,,back at home.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/dec/31/privacy-civil-liberties
The private sector will be asked to manage and run a communications database that will keep track of everyone's calls, emails, texts and internet use under a key option contained in a consultation paper to be published next month by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary.

A cabinet decision to put the management of the multibillion pound database of all UK communications traffic into private hands would be accompanied by tougher legal safeguards to guarantee against leaks and accidental data losses.

But in his strongest criticism yet of the superdatabase, Sir Ken Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, who has firsthand experience of working with intelligence and law enforcement agencies, told the Guardian such assurances would prove worthless in the long run and warned it would prove a "hellhouse" of personal private information.

Anonymous said...

meanwhile,,back at home.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/dec/31/privacy-civil-liberties
The private sector will be asked to manage and run a communications database that will keep track of everyone's calls, emails, texts and internet use under a key option contained in a consultation paper to be published next month by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary.

A cabinet decision to put the management of the multibillion pound database of all UK communications traffic into private hands would be accompanied by tougher legal safeguards to guarantee against leaks and accidental data losses.

But in his strongest criticism yet of the superdatabase, Sir Ken Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, who has firsthand experience of working with intelligence and law enforcement agencies, told the Guardian such assurances would prove worthless in the long run and warned it would prove a "hellhouse" of personal private information.

not anonymous said...

the comments on the youtube video have become too crazy.Lots of deranged minds out there.youtube will not let comments be posted there.I´ve tried to post but they don´t appear.Censored on my own video!

Suspect Paki said...

Hey Stef, check out my three latest posts if you get time.

Parabellum said...

Suspicion: bombed truck carried oxygen tanks and not grad rockets

On 29 December '08 the Israeli army bombed a truck in Gaza City, claiming it carried Grad rockets, designated for attacks on Israel. Drone footage of the bombing was shown by the Israeli army.

B’Tselem received the testimony of Ahmad Sanur, the owner of the truck bombed. Sanur claims the truck was carrying oxygen canisters used for welding, not Grad rockets. B'Tselem field worker took photos of oxygen canisters left on the site of the bombing.

According to Sanur’s testimony, he and members of his family were trying to salvage material from a metal workshop he owns, which was next door to a bombed house, in order to prevent looting. He denies any connection to militants, or military activity, and is willing to talk to any journalist, or investigator.

Photo from Army footage of the loading of the truck and photo of the oxygen canisters left next to the truck taken by B'Tselem fieldworker.
Photo from Army footage of the loading of the truck and photo of the oxygen canisters left next to the truck taken by B'Tselem fieldworker.

8 people were killed in the bombing, including his son. Two were severely wounded (names may have different spelling):