Another outtake from the book. I wrote the following during an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip called Operation Days of Penitence in the fall of 2004, born of my deep frustration and disillusionment at the time. It was roughly ten percent as horrifying as Israel’s 2008 attack called Operation Cast Lead. “Only” about 140 were killed (mostly civilians) instead of 1,400 people killed (mostly civilians).

Both were disproportionate and ineffective retaliations for Palestinian resistance, which itself is a retaliation for Israel’s occupation, theft, siege, and brutality. And round and round we go.

U.S. Agrees to Sponsor Israel’s Latest Offensive to Remove Palestinians’ Most Readily-Available Weapons Source

New York Times
Sunday, 9 October 2004

TEL AVIV – Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has announced a plan to remove what he sees as a proven threat to the health and security of the Israeli people.

“I bring you greetings from Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people for the past 3000 years, and of the State of Israel for the past 56 years and forever,” Sharon said on Israeli national television.

“Let me make one thing clear: the Israeli people will not negotiate with terrorists. We shoot them in their homes and schools, bomb them in their cars, vandalize their places of work, isolate them in ghettos, restrict their movement, comandeer their land and water sources, and destroy their homes and ministries.

“And still,” he added solemnly, “any child can simply walk to the street, pick up a stone, and become a terrorist.

“So,” he concluded, “the rocks must go.

“It will be a major operation, as Judea and Samaria are liberally littered with stones. And every home we destroy only creates more jagged, throwable objects. But they have been using these weapons against us for too long.

“We can’t possibly have a partner for peace as long as these weapons are simply lying around for any 14-year-old to hurl at our tanks and Hummers. We believe stone removal is the only viable option for a true and lasting peace in this region.”

Donald Rumsfeld said in a press conference in Arlington, Virginia, “I agree with Mr. Sharon. We must act decisively, and we must act now. Their methods are getting more sophisticated. Their aim isgetting better. Their range is getting longer.

“The next sign of a smoking gun,” Rumsfeld added, in a statement that stunned and terrified lovers of peace and freedom all over the world, “might very well be a broken window in New York City.”

“We must end the threat to the Israeli people emanating from Judea, Samaria, and the strip of land where Jonah allegedly washed up after being eaten by the whale, now home to more than a thousand Israeli families,” said UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

“And a million or two other people,” he added diplomatically.

On Saturday Colin Powell said gravely, “We know the stones are there. We’ve seen the mountains and caves where the stones literally fall out of cracks in the earth. And we have credible intelligence that they may be smuggling these stones into Syria and Iran.

“That is,” he remarked with his usual air of pensive constipation, “if Syria and Iran don’t already have stones of their own.”

The Pentagon urged Israel to engage in a comprehensive unilateral invasion of the Arab strongholds using tanks, Apache helicopters, and F-16 fighter jets in order to impose complete military occupation upon the territories currently occupied by the Arab terrorists before they can develop more sophisticated sling technologies which could affect innocent Israeli civilians at a range of up to thirty feet.

Pentagon officials were reported “extremely pleased” to find out that Israel not only had already done so, but also has built walls and checkpoints that make life almost entirely unlivable for many of the Arabs, who call themselves ‘Palestinians’ and occupy the land restored to Israel in 1967.

“We think we about have this terrorism problem licked,” confided a top Pentagon official on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t qualified to speak about anything.

“You know those refugee camps they have all over the place? We think this is where most of the terrorists come from. Which is extremely convenient, you see, because these people are packed in like sardines and almost completely helpless.

“It’s like shootin’ fish in a barrel,” he chuckled.

“They can throw stones for a day, a month, until death. They can throw and throw until they get tennis elbow. We will ward off this threat and it will be as if it never happened,” said Tzahi Hanegbi, Israeli minister for internal security.

“God made stones for building walls and sniper towers, not for throwing,” he added knowingly, brandishing a chain and winking.

“We will kill them even in their outhouses,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin, but it was later discovered that he had misunderstood the question and, unlike everyone else, was still talking about Chechnya.

When asked for a statement, U.S. President George W. Bush shouted, “The people of Ireland must be made safe for freedom, democracy, and sover’nty,” from the back of an all-terrain sport utility golf cart on his expansive ranch in Crawford, Texas.

“The time for diplomacy has passed,” he added later over Pabst Blue Ribbons and Colombia’s finest blow. “The Pomeranians must be punished. These nukular rocks will be found, make no mistake. And when they are, we’ll bring freedom and peace to the Palefornians, and democracy, and liberty.

“And if that means killing thousands of their men, women, and children, then so be it. After all, that’s what American stands for: being tough and secure.”

* * *

Here’s another mini-satire I wrote in the summer of 2006 after Israel assaulted Lebanon in another disporportionate and ineffective campaign of brutality that killed about as many innocents as Operation Cast Lead and hammered an entire country’s infrastructure — bridges, roads, schools, homes, factories, the airport, a fuel depot (which cause a horrific oil spill in the Mediterranean), and on and on.

To summarize the point: Imagine if Northern Irish militants raided London and killed four British soldiers and captured two, and in response Britain bombed Irish civilian areas and infrastructure from north to south including villages and suburbs, roads, bridges, ports, Shannon airport, dairy farms, cell phone towers, homes, apartment buildings, and fleeing vehicles. Imagine if they flattened several suburbs in Dublin that were sympathetic to Sinn Fein. Imagine if, in the course of the attacks, Britain killed 1,200 Irish people, most of them civilians, one-third of them children.

This is essentially what Israel did to Lebanon. I posted some pictures of the aftermath here. (The Onion did a brilliant satire called “Israel Bombs Anti-Semitism Out of Lebanon.”)

The following story is actually true. I did say this stuff to my friend who narrowly survived the assault, in jest of course.

Is there Really Such Thing as an “Illegitimate Target”?

Pamela Olson
July 27, 2006

A Lebanese friend who lives in California was on vacation in Lebanon visiting his family when the Israeli offensive began. He had to take a dangerous taxi ride out through eastern Lebanon, which was actively being bombed by Israel, to Syria and then Jordan, and from there he flew back to the States. He called me soon after he got back to California.

I was immensely relieved to hear from him. We chatted a while in quiet, shocked tones about how unbelievable everything was.

He said, “I know Israel was attacked, but I don’t understand why they hit, like, the gas stations and cell phone towers, and all of the roads.”

I said, “Well, militants might use cell phones, and they might need gas for their cars. So it makes sense that you have to take them out. And militants might use roads and bridges. So you have to destroy them. And militants might eat grain to give them strength to fight. So you have to destroy the grain silos. And militants might need ambulances after they get injured. So you have to hit them, too. In fact, militants might be in any car. So all vehicles are fair game. And militants might be in houses. So you can bomb any house you want. And militants might sit under trees. So the trees have to go. And militants might need to wash their clothes. You can’t allow aid and comfort to the enemy, so you have to hit any washing machines you find behind enemy lines. And UN observers, who even knows what they’re really doing there, or if they have Hezbollah friends? I say take them out. And little old ladies might make mint lemonade for the militants, when otherwise the militants might be too thirsty to fight. So they are legitimate targets, too.

“In fact, if you even suggest there is such thing as an illegitimate target, and that Israel is hitting them, you might be trying to discourage Israel, or you might even sympathize with Hezbollah.

“You know what, man, I gotta go. I don’t want to be talking to a legitimate target. Who knows… that might make me a legitimate target, too.”