Children as human shields…. in Oslo

January 13, 2009

A few days ago in Oslo, there was a violent anti-Israel demonstration during whichprotesters emulated one of Hamas’ most effective tactics: the use of children as human shields.  Crying and struggling, dressed for the occasion in blood-daubed clothing, the children were thrust forward to protect the protesters from the police.

What morbid pathology is at work here?  We’re used to seeing children dressed as suicide bombers in demonstrations of this kind, but here they are actually being used as weapons.

Gaza comes to Norway.



  1. If you were capable of seeing opponents of Israel’s aggression as anything other than targets or weapons then you would understand a little of what is going on on the human level.

  2. It’s always “Israel’s agression” with you, mate. Never, “Hamas’ aggression”. Why is that?

    Perhaps if you applied a little balance you also “would understand a little of what is going on on the human level.”

  3. Balance? Two words for you, mate: cognitive dissonance. Try balancing in your head more than a half century of extermination and expulsion, theft and imprisonment, the whole Israeli-Zionist kit and caboodle.

    And what do you expect? That Arabs will act like the muselmen that Bruno Bettelheim wrote of?

    Rob says: I’ve let this one in, because it’s an argument of sorts. But Tad Pole, you have to conduct yourself civilly.

  4. I have to say that the civility standard so often referred to in political discussion and endorsed in quasi-religious terms by some has multiple absurdist resonances.

    Civility is not the highest form of conscious being or rationality. There is an intelligence of emotions and their expression. Civility so-called is often typically a cover for brutal, domineering, self-serving behaviour and a mark of quite damaged and damaging individuals and institutions.

    History provides many noteworthy examples of this truth.

  5. That’s right, Tad Pole, because the bad stuff only ever happens in one direction, doesn’t it?

    I’m not denying the Palestinians have suffered and are still suffering. I never have. I speak Arabic, have lived in the Middle East and all of my MANY friends there are Palestinian Arabs. I’ll be back there in a few months and will undoubtedly spend a lot of time discussing this with my friends. This isn’t something that merely happens on the other side of the world for me – unlike many an armchair blog pundit hiding their secret hereditary distaste for Jews behind a veneer of Left-wing derring-do on behalf of a backward death cult that oppresses women, free-speech and intellectual discourse.

    I’m just asking for balance. I’m asking you and your ilk to acknowledge that Hamas have provoked Israel beyond the pale in this matter and aren’t interested in serious negotiation or peaceful solutions. Seeing what the Israelis have put up with from Gaza since handing it back, and then crying foul of the IDF… that’s cognitive dissonance.

    It goes BOTH ways. Life is never as simple as people like you want it to be.

  6. AC, you are completely wrong to state that I or others “of my ilk” believe that “bad stuff only happens in one direction”. There is a much more rounded view which we hold of politics and people which nevertheless in this instance unhesitatingly attributes blame primarily to Israel, for obvious well-known, indisputable historic reasons. We are never going to change our minds on this.

    And this, among other factors, is why Israel is losing the PR war and will increasingly do so as its futile battle continues. A large part of the world understands what is going on in Gaza in broad terms, and simplistic military hype, spin and partisan war propaganda no longer washes, especially in the age of the www.

  7. AC, what is the “backward death cult that oppresses women, free-speech and intellectual discourse”?

    And as for hereditary distaste. Why do you assume I am not Jewish?

  8. “And as for hereditary distaste. Why do you assume I am not Jewish?”

    Tad Pole, AC’s comment was not directed at you.

    AC said: “….unlike many an armchair blog pundit hiding their secret hereditary distaste for Jews behind a veneer of Left-wing derring-do….”

    It’s a comment I am coming more and more to agree with, incidentally.

  9. actually, even some perceptive Jewish commenters have said that the whole doomed Israeli state project incorporates a profound death wish.

  10. Depends what you define as ‘perceptive’.

  11. well, you gotta have the language for starters.

  12. I do find it fascinating though that Bruno Bettelheim in ‘The Informed Heart’ and other writings on and from the Nazi camps referred so frequently and in such a disparaging way to “muselmen” as epitomising the most abject, hopeless, passive prisoners doomed to die first. He commented repeatedly on the common use of this term as being an unwarranted but contemporaneous construction of stereotypical Muslims seen through the eyes of cosmopolitan mid-20th century German Jews.

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