Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Israel Plays God: Floods Gaza Strip

The Gaza Valley (Wadi Ghaza) used to host a river with lush banks from Hebron to the Mediterranean. For the past many years it has been transferred into a trickle of sewage after Israeli authorities built a dam and cut the water flow.

Yesterday, the Israelis decided to open the dam, causing the banks of the trickling river to flood the homes of Gaza residents.

The BBC, silencing the perpetrator, turned the incident into an act of nature.

"On Monday seven people were killed in the region when heavy rains caused the worst flash floods seen in a decade."

Human Rights Group Al-Mezan described it differently,

"For the second time in less than ten years the Israeli occupation forces have flooded Palestinian homes, fields and possessions of tens of families in the Gaza Strip."

No deaths means the English-speaking media is uninterested.

This is another case of the Gaza Strip's state of exception. One day Israel has use of water, so damn the Palestinians fields. Two days ago the Israelis had too much water, so damn the Palestinian homes.

A few words on the State of Exception..

Political Theorists Carl Schmitt’s conceptualization of the state of exception mirrors theologian Soren Kierkegaard’s formulation of the suspension of the ethical, whereby any ethical standardization is suspended during an incident of ‘divine intervention’ as that faced by Abraham’s intention of sacrificing his son. It is such logic of exception that Israel utilizes in the ongoing siege on Gaza- breaking all standards of international law- and in the flooding of a few homes in the Gaza valley.

The Palestinians are on the recipient end of this tableau of ethical suspension and in full approval of an on-looking international community, which applies its own “divine” exceptions when deemed fit.

Its fun to play god.