Fatal tear gas

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2011-01-07

(A certain Stan stated that the gas in Gas (poem, must join to read) that killed Jawaher Abu Rahma was merely tear gas, not Nazi poison gas, to which Annette replied:)

There have been credible reports about the use of different types of gas used by the IDF against demonstrators, ones that cause more damage upon exploding than others -- this is possibly why the effect was so serious against the woman here. But there are other press reports lately about severe injuries suffered by some demonstrators on the receiving end of tear gas canisters fired directly at individuals in demonstrations -- one American woman losing an eye, another, a Palestinian who suffered brain damage. And the reports about how Israel treats peaceful political demonstrations, with harsh repression and mass arrest are legion. The Israeli press -- mostly Ha'Aretz has news about it, plus some of their columnists write commentary about it. And some of the British press too, the Guardian and the Independent. Maybe Stan willfully shields himself from recognizing these reports.

The demonstrator organizers always announce -- make a point -- that they are unarmed and peaceful -- and that they rightfully demonstrate against the on-going enclosures and the barrier constructions which -- by any moral standards, illegally -- brutally confiscate and annex their land, their fields, their orchards, their egress, and the economic basis of their lives. (The settlers who are literally robbing these lands, with the help of the IDF, and who see nothing wrong with this cruel confiscation policy for their own benefit -- because their justifications are messianic -- also see nothing wrong with shooting farmers who try to harvest the fig trees on their own land. There are countless reports of such settler atrocities -- usually the settlers act with impunity because they can always claim the Palestinian farmer probably was a terrorist.)

But Stan is blind if he doesn't recognize that this Israeli government land-confiscation policy, ongoing and intensifying, is brutalizing to the Israeli society itself, and is morally so repugnant that there are also growing numbers of Israeli voices who are crying out against it. So now the (right wing) government is cracking down with more repression, passing laws that criminalize real internal dissent, and is turning itself into a soon quasi-totalitarian and militarist racist state. (Brutalization of society is a slippery slope. The Nazi analogy may come "too quickly" but it's not propaganda.)