Thursday, March 06, 2008

Rage and occupation

In a comment on the new cipher-President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, David Remnick quotes Mikhail Delyagin saying that Putin (unlike Medvedev) "understands that rage is a big part of the Russian nature and aptly manages this knowledge."

No two countries are alike, of course, and Russia is unique (although framing political dissent as a pathology is not unique to the Russian-Soviet mindset). But deeply embedded historical rage is quite common. The example taking most media space in the West at present may be Israeli-US actions in Gaza (see Milne), and its consequences (see NGO report). A long view such as that of the historian Ilan Pappe may be helpful. In The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006), he asked:
The window of opportunity will not stay open forever. Israel may still be doomed to remain a country full of anger, its actions and behaviour dictated by religious fanaticism, the features of its people distorted by a quest for retribution. How long can we go on asking, let alone expecting, our Palestinian brothers and sisters to keep faith with us, and not to succumb totally to the despair and sorrow into which their lives were transformed the year Israel erected its Fortress over their destroyed villages and towns?
Yesterday Pappe wrote:
The 21st century Jewish state is about to complete the construction of two mega prisons, the largest of their kind in human history.

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