Israel: The Neighbourhood Bully

gazaIn the worst outbreak of violence on the Israel – Gaza border since 2012, Israeli authorities have mobilized 40,000 reservists to stop the launching of rockets against their population. It all began on June 12th when 3 Israeli youth were kidnapped by Hamas and their bodies were found two weeks later. This was followed by the firing of hundreds of rockets at Israel from Gaza by Hamas.

I take exception to the term “rockets” that are being used by Hamas to bomb civilians. The term has gullibly been accepted by the international media. Let’s call it what it is. The term “rocket” is a sanitized version of what they really are: BOMBS! Bombs are being launched again Israeli citizens for the sole purpose of killing and destruction – nothing less.

To defend its citizens, the Israeli government’s only option has been to strike back to stop the indiscriminate bombing of its citizens, and the penetration of the Israeli border from Gaza by murderous hit squads using the countless tunnels that have been built by Hamas. This has now escalated to a ground offensive of Gaza by Israel for the purpose of rooting out their weapons of destruction and tunnels.

At times like this, I think about the song written by Bob Dylan in 1983, during Israel’s 30th anniversary called “Neighborhood Bully”. The song is a testament to Israel’s ongoing struggle for survival and the fact that it always stands alone as it has to defend itself.

These are the lyrics to the song:

Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
His enemies say he’s on their land
They got him outnumbered about a million to one
He got no place to escape to, no place to run
He’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive
He’s criticized and condemned for being alive
He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin
He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in
He’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
He’s wandered the earth an exiled man
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn
He’s always on trial for just being born
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him
’Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac
He’s the neighborhood bully

He got no allies to really speak of
What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love
He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
He’s the neighborhood bully

Every empire that’s enslaved him is gone
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon
He’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand
In bed with nobody, under no one’s command
He’s the neighborhood bully

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract he signed was worth what it was written on
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health
He’s the neighborhood bully

What’s anybody indebted to him for?
Nothin’, they say. He just likes to cause war
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
He’s the neighborhood bully

What has he done to wear so many scars?
Does he change the course of rivers? Does he pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill
Running out the clock, time standing still
Neighborhood bully

You can hear the song in its entirety with the lyrics by clicking on the following link:–30th-Anniversary