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Their celebration is Palestine’s catastrophe

June 1, 2010

On Twitter I posted this link to a video of Israelis celebrating the attack on the Gaza flotilla in front of the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv. On a day when the whole world is mourning for the dead and injured on board the humanitarian aid ships, the public that voted in Barak, Livni, Lieberman and Netanyahu maintains a state of ecstasy one usually finds at a sports event.

Israelis have celebrated Palestinian massacres before, notably in this 11 January 2009 video of New York presented by Max Blumenthal and Alternet. The historic anniversary of the 1948 Nakbah is celebrated as an independence day by Israelis who welcome it cheerfully every year (with ‘Israeli’ falafel and hummus to boot).

Here is Hillary Rodham Clinton delivering a celebratory message in 2010: ‘Congratulations Israel on 62 years of independence! You know, in 1948, it took President Truman only 11 minutes to recognize your new nation. And ever since, the United States has stood with you in solidarity.’

There is something especially twisted and sick in gloating over other people’s misery. I have always disliked facile comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany but one can understand why people make them: the Nazis were famous for the ordinary glee with which they carried out extraordinary violence.

To those asking about the Israeli celebrations, I’ve asked an Israeli friend to translate. I quote with his permission:

‘They are singing “Am Yisrael Hai [the people of Israel is alive, in current translation]” and something else with “ZAHAL [IDF]” and “ole ole!”

‘The banner reads: “That’s how you take care of enemies, and thanks to IDF”, something about “our fighters are heroes” I think. Some other sign that has Turkish on it I think [ismail babazin?].’

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