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Their cynicism

Editorial par Jean-Emmanuel Ducoin

Translated Friday 6 February 2009, by Kristina Wischenkamper

Contrary to what a mediacratic editorial in the Express might think, it does sometimes come to pass that, despite the vicissitudes of the world and the hateful diseases that don’t spare our children, we do think beyond horror and the legitimate emotions it engenders. It is even one of our functions amongst the shadows, to question the future in the trenches of the chaotic present. And precisely: certain crucial moments of history throw us at the feet of immense responsibility. Assuming that responsibility or not assuming it are not the same thing. Our common destiny depends on the decision. Because corpses always lie heavy on the living. And so, how can one allow oneself to write, as Christophe Barbier has done, that Israel has embarked upon “ a just war, just a war”. Just a war? We tremble with fear. Because we read on, from the same pen that: “ Even a sleeping civilian is an enemy […] Israel is right to lead this war and does so also for our peace of mind”. One sees the attempts at “official” discourse everywhere in journalistic spheres. “The war against Gaza was inevitable in order to weaken Hamas”, we hear on the airwaves. Let us remind ourselves once again that Hamas exists only because of the will and intransigence of Israel, who pushed for the emergence of this force against the PLO and Fatah. Let us, then, allow Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Ex-Secretary-General of the UN, to respond: “This offensive is a gift offered by the Israelis to the fundamentalists. This will strengthen the extremists across the Arab world and even in Israel”. There you have Israel’s real “war aim”.

Horror always brings with it an intellectual process akin to pessimism. Yesterday, the Israeli leadership deemed that the Gaza offensive might have entered its “final phase”. You have read correctly: “Final Phase”. If the use and choice of words proves shocking, we can easily imagine their real meaning for the soldiers capable of odious war crimes. Bombing hospitals, UN buildings. Killing children. Rapid shelling of urban zones, densely populated, deprived, terrorised, starving. Is it a question of an escalation of fire to accelerate the massive-scale destruction before an eventual cease-fire. And if possible before the inauguration of Barack Obama, so as not to “trouble” the installation of the new tenant of the White House? Pure cynicism …

If one dared, one would say that the only good news these last days comes to us from our special envoy on the ground, Pierre Barbancey, who succeeded in getting into Gaza. Effectively the IDF were imposing a war “behind closed doors”, doors that eventually had to be broken down, and a control over the images that, in these times, is as absurd as it is illusory, whilst the Palestinians, under bombardment, have the courage to film, to take photos, to give witness, risking their lives. Our special envoy, therefore, will discover the butchery and he will tell us about it. Butchery: the expression annoys the “friends” of Israel. But we are not enemies of Israel, quite the contrary! With us the main movements of solidarity with the Palestinians are keeping a steady and careful watch.

One of the keys to the current turmoil is recognising that the harm done will leave traces so pernicious that it will require men of absolute dignity to overcome them – no, to forget them. Israel has committed an historic mistake: it has for the moment killed a part of hope in the minds of many. For even after combat ceases, what will remain of martyred Gaza? How can one rebuild on ruins and corpses with the future at half-mast? How can we give back to those who have already tried the means to walk the path of lasting peace towards two safe States? How can we eradicate the hatred rekindled in the hearts of people? How can we prevent the most radical – who, from all sides, will emerge, alas, strengthened by this warring madness – from being from now on the only ones making themselves heard? Indeed, there are only losers in this tragedy. A war remains a war. Only horror triumphs.

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