'Truth spoken without moderation reverses itself'
This blog is a source for intellectual exploration. It includes a list of alternative resources and a source of free books. The placement of an article does not imply that I agree with it, merely that I found it thought-provoking. There are also poems and book reviews. Texts written by me are labelled. Readers are free to re-post anything they like.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Juan Cole - Are Israelis and Zionists really talking about a Final Solution of the Palestinian Problem?
The Times of Israel published and then removed from its site
an essay by Yochanan Gordon that openly called for genocide against the
Palestinians of Gaza. A cached
version is still on the internet as of this writing. (NB - No longer, it appears to have been removed). Gordon’s logic, if one wants to dignify it with that term,
is that Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel,
and therefore the only way to deal with them is to obliterate them entirely. He
used the words “obliterate entirely.”
Hamas is a party-militia of the religious right. It does say
it wants to see the Israeli government overthrown. Its leaders don’t, however,
speak of committing genocide against Israelis. They say they want to recover
their country, which was stolen from them by the Israelis in 1948. Colonial
regimes always produce resistance movements.
Moreover, half the population of Gaza
is children, who, how shall we put this, did not vote for Hamas in 2006. Even
many Palestinians who did vote for it did so for internal reasons– they were
protesting the corruption and authoritarianism of Fateh and the PLO. You can’t
assume that they voted for it because they wanted to see it destroy the Israeli
has worked out a truce with Hamas, Hamas has typically honored it. The truces
have usually been broken by Israel.
It isn’t true that it is impossible to deal with the organization. As recently
as last month, the party had agreed to join Fateh in a national unity
government, taking subordinate positions in a government that recognizes Israel.
Gordon has a backwards understanding of who is threatening
to whom. Gaza politicians just have
the opportunity to make some incendiary and boastful speeches. The Israeli
military is rather more effective, and has the people of Gaza
under siege, having just killed one in every thousand Palestinians in Gaza.
destroyed Gaza’s only airport in
2002, and put its harbor off limits for free imports, as well. From 2007 it has
prevented people in Gaza from
exporting most of what they make, or from importing enough rough materials. For
a while Israel
even limited the amount to food coming into the Strip, declaring the
Palestinians to be “on a diet.” This is a large concentration camp, and any
human being cooped up in it would try to find a way of fighting this
Not to mention that Hamas doesn’t have the ability to
Israel has a
massive military establishment and arsenal and several hundred nuclear weapons.
Hamas has a few machine guns. No Israelis were killed by Hamas rockets in 2013
or the opening months of 2014. It was only after Israeli Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu incorrectly blamed Hamas for the kidnapping of three Israeli
teenagers this summer, and began intensively bombing Gaza,
that Hamas began replying with its rockets. 99% of Hamas rockets land
harmlessly in the desert. Most of the rockets are tiny and little more than 8th
grade chemistry experiments. A few are larger, imported from Iran,
but there weren’t many of those and Hamas could not use them to do much real
damage. A proportionate response to the rockets wouldn’t involved killing 1500
The Israeli army has the right to defend Israel
from Hamas attacks, but not an absolute right. It must abide by the principle
of proportionality. It can’t commit war crimes or genocide. If in the US
a dangerous terrorist holed up in a mall, the government couldn’t scramble
F-18s and bomb the mall to smithereens, killing hundreds of shoppers. That is
what Israel did
Gordon’s premise, that Hamas wants to or can commit a
genocide against Jews, is wrong. His premise that all the residents of Gaza
are Hamas is wrong and wrong-headed. Gordon’s leading question is whether
genocide against the Palestinians of Gaza would be justified if it eliminated
(and he does mean eliminated) the threat to Israel.
That Gordon’s piece initially appeared at one of Israel’s
largest-circulation newspapers is extremely worrying. Democracies don’t advocate
murder or genocide. Did the editor not read it? Or did he read it and agree
with it? In any case, one thing is clear. Too many Israelis have
justifications in their minds for genocide. This includes alleging that
children are not innocent non-combatants. And the Genocide Convention makes
another thing clear: Advocating genocide is a crime for which one can be tried
at the Hague.
Christianity, Nazism and Anti-Semitism: The origins of the never-ending crisis in West Asia lie in the long history of Christian anti-Semitism. For centuries, the Catholic Church and its offshoots called for the punishment of Jews for their mythical role in the murder of Jesus Christ. The myth originated in Biblical gospels, and was perpetuated by Christianity's greatest intellects, including Saint Paul, Saint Aquinas, Martin Lutherand Calvin, not to mention the Papacy.. Read more:http://www.hardnewsmedia.com/2009/02/2566