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Post Carnage in Gaza: What Can Be Done?
Created by John Eipper on 05/17/21 8:23 AM

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Carnage in Gaza: What Can Be Done? (Arturo Ezquerro, -UK, 05/17/21 8:23 am)

As a human being and mental health professional, I am shocked and deeply saddened by the ongoing massacre of civilians and children in Palestine. Is there anything that WAIS may do as a group to, at least, indicate that the slaughter of virtually defenceless people should have not occurred and that it should stop immediately?

From the safe distance of my London home, Gaza comes across as a sort of concentration camp, in which about two million people are being deprived of basic human rights, including lack of water, food, electricity and shelter--whilst most of the world is looking the other way. It is particularly disturbing that the White House (the only really effective power that could stop this) seems to be uninterested or, even worse, supporting it.

You can count on my signature for any collective WAIS condemnation we may agree upon. Please let me know.

JE comments:  War has flared up again between Israel and Hamas, and nobody saw this coming.  What is clear is that the civilians are paying the price, with some 3000 Hamas rockets fired at Israel and the IDF retaliating by turning Gaza into rubble.  Both sides are clearly guilty of war crimes.

Arturo, the prevailing view in the US is that Hamas knew exactly what would happen when it began the rocket barrage.  Are they in any way helping the Palestinian cause?  This doesn't excuse Israel, whose response has been disproportionate and ruthless--if unsurprising for Israel.

Short of a meaningless appeal for a cease-fire and dialogue, what can be done to end the slaughter?


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  • Stop the Attacks on Gaza: A Petition (Carmen Negrin, -France 05/18/21 3:41 AM)
    In response to Arturo Ezquerro's post on Israel's latest attacks on Gaza, there is a petition on Avaaz.

    I hope that at least it shows the US government that people are concerned about Palestinians. Hopefully soon rather than later, one will be able to criticize Israel's politics without being considered anti-Semitic.


    JE comments:  Here's the Avaaz website:


    https://secure.avaaz.org/page/en/


    Carmen Negrín's last point goes to the heart of the matter.  Those who criticize the Israeli state expose themselves to accusations of anti-Semitism.  Israel's decision makers and their supporters know this, which gives them carte blanche for horrific and disproportionate responses to Hamas's provocations.


    So the cycle of violence continues.  Next on the Palestine crisis, an impassioned response from Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich.

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  • Israel's Attacks on Gaza, and a Shameful and Shameless Comment (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, USA 05/18/21 4:00 AM)
    What a shameful drivel from the "esteemed" editor of WAIS. Shameful and shameless.

    JE wrote: "Clearly, there are war crimes being committed on both sides" [of the Israel-Hamas conflict].


    Dear God!


    Israel, thanks to American monstrosity, is one of the most powerful and immoral armies in the world. Aside from its hundreds of nuclear weapons, it is bombing Gazans with jets paid for by our taxes. Palestinians are fighting with stones and what Norm Finklestein correctly referred to as "bottle rockets." Israel is busy killing women and children, as is its habit. It has destroyed a building housing the media in Gaza so that its atrocities cannot be shown to the world.


    Gaza is under occupation. It is the biggest concentration camp ever in existence. I suggest that JE read up on international law instead of repeating the Western media, especially American Hasbara.


    US/Trump and the rest of the criminal gang had no right giving Jerusalem to Israel. Israel has no right evicting people from their homes which is what started all this. Biden, a self-declared Zionist, preaches about "leading the world with our values." Is he inciting or encouraging genocide, theft, occupation? Child killing?


    Arturo Ezquerro wrote, "Isn't there anything we can do," referring to WAIS.


    I guess you got your answer from JE's comments. You don't even need knowledge and information to understand what is going on. You simply need to have a heart and a conscience to condemn the brutality, but it is short supply.


    JE comments: How is targeting civilians with thousands of deadly, if crude "bottle rockets" not a war crime? Or a crime, pure and simple?  In a futile attempt to describe the latest violence in objective terms, I did describe Israel's response as disproportionate and ruthless.


    I envy those who see this conflict in Manichean terms.  Two parties who are not that naive are Hamas and the IDF.  Hamas, as the far weaker belligerent, knows that its most powerful weapon is public opinion, which can best be swayed by exposing Palestinian civilians to Israeli retaliation.


    Please, Soraya, don't take away my heart and conscience!


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    • In Israeli-Palestinian Crisis, Extremists on Both Sides Distort Information (Henry Levin, USA 05/20/21 3:26 AM)
      I am very upset about the Israeli air response in Gaza and the "collateral" damage and deaths. The US has a moral responsibility to put pressure on the Israelis and Hamas to establish a ceasefire and initiate a negotiation process that addresses not only the immediate issues, but a long-term approach encompassing collaborative solutions on grievances and other issues (e.g. water).

      But the interjection of one WAIS report that the thousands of rockets sent to attack cities (largely defended by the "Iron Dome") are just "bottle rockets" is such a deliberate distortion of the Hamas attacks that it is Trump-like propaganda, unworthy of inclusion in a WAIS exchange. Discussion and exchange should be held to to honest information (horrendous as it may be) by WAIS participants and others who favor moving forward to terminate these hostilities.


      It is not a surprise that the extremists on both sides distort information, but WAISers should be held to a much higher standard than terming explosive military rockets as fireworks for entertainment of noise and light, hardly analogous to military rockets with explosives that can fly hundreds of miles to culminate in explosions among civilian targets. Yes, they are countered in many cases by the Iron Dome, but their purpose is to destroy and kill, not create a harmless fireworks display.


      I also hope that Netanyahu's support erodes dramatically in the upcoming election, and he is not replaced by equally repugnant leaders. The US needs to reduce its financial support for Israel and limit it to promising paths of reconstruction in Gaza and challenging West Bank settlements and illegal expulsions of Palestinians, as well as requiring collaborative efforts to resolve disputes and establish political and infrastructural collaboration.


      JE comments:  In a call yesterday to Netanyahu, Biden said he "expects" a de-escalation of the attacks on Gaza.  Not exactly "demands," but a tad stronger than "requests."  The two warring parties don't seem interested in making peace, however.  Netanyahu affirms Israel's right to "self-defense," while Hamas among other acts has attacked shipments of humanitarian aid from Jordan.


      Who can walk us through the Byzantine workings of Netanyahu's coalition?  In realistic terms, how endangered is his job?


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  • What Are the Causes of the Current Gaza Crisis? (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela 05/18/21 4:29 AM)
    Apart from feeling sadness about the deaths of innocent people in the endless conflict between Israel and Palestine, and before condemning the alleged disproportional military reaction by the Israeli government, it is perhaps necessary to consider some important causes of the current escalation of hostilities.

    It is true that the expansionist territorial policy of Israel since its modern foundation and the displacement and marginalization of Arabs and Palestinians have caused resentment, hatred, the violent reaction of this population and constant harassment from the radical groups Al-Fatah, Hamas, Al-Qaeda, jihadists and nationalists. But it is also true that due to the way they act, these groups must be classified as terrorists.


    I have also read that the real cause of this situation must be the mismanagement of the situation in the Middle East, specifically the decadent British imperialism during and after World War II. In short, better informed and studious people have analyzed this situation and I cannot add much more.


    Of course, I understand that the first reaction that one feels is sympathy for the weaker adversary, but apart from this first emotional reaction, it is necessary to understand what is happening.


    I do not seek to justify Israel's attacks on the Palestinians, but rather to understand them within the current and historical context. We must then ask ourselves if a state can be condemned for defending itself against attacks on its population, by terrorist groups that unscrupulously hide among its own innocent population? Should we have to question the scale of their military responses? What is considered disproportionate? This may be the case with regard to the deployment of military resources, and above all with the obvious consequence of the number of victims. However, although I am not an expert on military affairs, I suppose that you must act forcefully to end a conflict as quickly as possible if you want to reduce the number of victims. At least that has been the political justification that has been used historically to avoid long-term conflicts.


    Furthermore, I imagine that it will be very difficult or impossible to identify those responsible for the aggression hidden among the civilian population. To avoid these innocent victims, possibly a hidden purpose of terrorist groups to arouse the sympathy of the international community, the only possible reaction should be precisely not to act, to tolerate the attacks and provocations, something that I suppose Israel cannot afford to do, leaving its own population defenseless.


    I believe, although with certain doubts and skepticism, that Israel could avoid these conflicts if it ceased its expansionist policies and made greater concessions to the Palestinians, but that topic is something for another discussion.


    JE comments:  A truism of asymmetric warfare:  the civilian population suffers the most.  It was the case in partisan WWII, in Vietnam, and certainly in Israel-Palestine.


    Regarding the cause(s) of the present flare-up, might Netanyahu have sought a distraction from his own political troubles?  There's nothing like a war to focus the mind.


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  • Who Is to Blame for the Carnage in Gaza? (Tor Guimaraes, USA 05/18/21 7:18 AM)
    Echoing the post by Arturo Ezquerro (May 17th), I find it disgusting that people shrug their shoulders about all the atrocities going on in Palestine.

    Most Western people under the influence of our manipulating media think the Palestinians are to blame, because they started launching rockets against the peaceful Israeli people who just want to take over their holy land. Even worse, some of my Christian Fundamentalist friends think slaughtering Palestinians should be supported because it is God's will for the next coming of Christ.


    As a great admirer of Jewish culture and all the great things many Jews have done for mankind, I find it incredible that after the Holocaust by the Nazis, the Israelis elected a neo-Nazi known liar and corrupted leader. John Eipper commented: "War has flared up again between Israel and Hamas, and nobody saw this coming." I think it was obvious that Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the Abraham Accord was a green light for Netanyahu to steal more land from Palestinians, push them around a little more, demolish their homes and build more settlements. That is why Hamas blow themselves up and are now launching rockets, and the IDF retaliates by destroying anything and anyone willing to fight, including innocent children.


    Who should we blame? First blame the neo-Nazis stealing other people's homes, then the Western countries like us and UK for selling and giving military aid to them. This double standard has been going on for a long time and now it will get worse. Israel does not listen to UN resolutions because Western nations protect them. Only after the Western nations are forced to behave according to international law, this disgrace against the Palestinian people will stop.


    JE comments: Calling Netanyahu a neo-Nazi is a distraction and counterproductive, but I hope we can focus on Tor Guimaraes's other argument: that Bibi sparked the latest flare-up with a new round of evictions and settlements. Let's say it plainly:  he had to be aware of the tempest he was unleashing.

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    • Netanyahu's Corruption and the Gaza Crisis (Leo Goldberger, USA 05/19/21 4:02 AM)
      Dear Tor (if I may be informal),

      While I agree with John E that calling Bibi Netanyahu a neo-Nazi is counterproductive, I fully support your characterization of him as liar and a financial crook, likely headed for jail should he lose the election. As you all must know by now, it is not unheard of for the Israeli justice system to send a former president and a former prime minister off to prison.


      I am familiar with Israeli politics and have visited many times (via a cousin of mine who served in the Knesset with Bibi for some years, as well as my own dear parents who lived in Jerusalem in their retirement--and are buried there). Over the years, despite the incredibly impressive background, my cousin has consistently characterized Bibi as a very insecure person who tended to follow the directions of his domineering father--and later also his last of three wives. It should be recalled that it was Bibi's deceased older brother (who like in the Kennedy clan) was supposed to become a potential prime minister of Israel, while Bibi was off to study architecture and later economics and management at MIT. Certainly a very bright, ambitious--but seemingly a rudderless--man, yet...he ended up in long and most colorful and varied stints in Israel's conservative Likud party wing, with the support of the Orthodox Jews (not that he was one of them, though one of his daughters seems to live in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Israel).


      As part of his exceedingly varied background, he at one time had befriended such a legendary cult figure as the Chassidic Rabbi Menachem Schnerson, as well as the real estate mogul Fred Trump--yes, the father of Donald, if you can believe it!


      With the criminal charges, including corruption, bribery, fraud and breach of trust, awaiting him should he lose the next election, it is no wonder he has cast caution aside before the inevitable world outcry against the tragic destruction going on in a trapped Gaza and an internal conflict raging in Israeli quarters. He doubtless has no moral backbone and, like Trump, is also a seasoned liar to his blind followers. Who knows what will happen. Will he, too, question the validity of his forthcoming (hopeful) loss of the prime ministership? I am awaiting word from my cousin's prediction.


      In the meantime, let's hope for a quick cessation of the present, horrendous bombings and killings, destroying so many innocent lives...on both political sides!


      As a lucky survivor of the Holocaust, I can only ask: "Did mankind not learn any lessons from the slaughter of millions of us Jews--and the millions of other others also caught in Hitler's racist net?


      JE comments:  Bibi's father Benzion Netanyahu was a noted historian of Jewish Spain, and died relatively recently at the age of 102.  I never suspected he was domineering, but Leo Goldberger's professional characterization comes as no surprise, considering the personality of his son.


      Given his tenuous political situation, is Netanyahu (fils) "going for broke" with the latest attacks on Gaza?  He is likely only gaining popularity among Israel's hardest hardliners.

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      • An Encounter with Benzion Netanyahu (Angel Vinas, Belgium 05/20/21 3:55 AM)
        I met Bibi Netanyahu's father in NYC at a dinner with Spanish diplomats. It was organized by a Spanish CUNY professor, Ángel Alcalá. I went with my wife. Much to my regret Benzion and I started discussing historical subjects, in particular the Inquisition's role in the Middle Ages. Not my cup of tea. With due regard to the other guests I tried as much as I could to place the conversation on current affairs. I think I wrote something about it in my memoirs about my years of service with the European Union.

        Certainly I wouldn't call Bibi's father a Nazi or neo-Nazi. This is when applied to Jews utterly contradictory. However, his father was to my mind a racist and saw the Inquisition in purely racist terms. I measure my words.


        Later on it was suggested to me that after the posting to the UN I should go as an EU ambassador to Tel Aviv. Our neighbors at 72nd Street in the East Side, who were Jews of German and Czech origins, were flabbergasted, They advised me in the strongest terms not to accept. I did not, but for other reasons. Incidentally, it was one of the best decisions I made in my life, although I see this now in retrospect.


        This said, I have always defended the State of Israel but not its current policies.


        JE comments:  Ángel, if I may pry, what is your appraisal of Netanyahu père as a historian, in particular his massive (1300-page) Origins of the Inquisition in 15th-Century Spain?  The senior Netanyahu gave a talk at Wayne State U during my time there (1990s).  I somehow missed it.  I need to get out more...

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        • Benzion Netanyahu as Historian (Angel Vinas, Belgium 05/21/21 3:49 AM)
          John E asked for my appraisal of Benzion Netanyahu as a historian of the Spanish Middle Ages.

          I don't remember very much except that I found Benzion to be highly racist. However, I am not an expert on the era he studied. In my view, the Inquisition had a religious aim, to convert Jews into good Christians. Many did and nothing happened to them. Others didn't and they were thrown out of the kingdom.


          In this respect other motivations undoubtedly played a role, for instance greed, pure and animal greed.


          The elder Netanyahu was even more racist on his comment on the Arabs, but I didn't want to put it that way.


          JE comments:  We all believe we understand what Zionism is, but how "racist" is it in its theoretical underpinnings?  If we had to prioritize politics, religion and race as the pillars of Zionist thought, what would the hierarchy be?  This is doubtlessly a controversial question.

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      • Irish Support for the Palestinians (Tor Guimaraes, USA 05/20/21 4:50 AM)
        My gratitude to my friend Leo Goldberger (May 19th) for his great post about Netanyahu.

        I believe it is very productive for the whole world to say what they think and feel about public figures. The target person may finally see the light (not likely), or at least change course a little.


        Everyone keeps talking about Palestine as if it is just a military pissing match between Hamas and the IDF. That is the media BS view of what is going on. The whole drama is about colonial settlements. I did some homework on the subject, and besides the Likud Party, Oliver Cromwell's reputation went into the mud as well.


        I noticed that Irish people tend to be strongly for the Palestinians. The reason is that Cromwell invaded Ireland and did to the natives what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians: dehumanization, misappropriation of their productive lands and other resources, destruction of their towns, placing them in hell holes, and then declaring them terrorists when they fight back. Does that sound familiar?


        You have to give it to the British. They are great creators of forever intractable situations: Northern Ireland, Pakistan/India, Palestine, etc.


        JE comments: Our authority on all things Irish, Patrick Mears, could comment on the prevailing view in the Republic about the latest Israel-Palestine conflict.  The historical parallels, including the notion of a "two-state solution," are impossible to overlook.

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        • Irish Solidarity with the Palestinians (Patrick Mears, -Germany 05/21/21 3:18 AM)
          My thanks to John E for the "referral" of the complex question that Tor Guimaraes presents to us WAISers. My initial reaction is that there are some important similarities between the partition of Ireland in 1920 and its aftermath and the partition of Palestine in 1948. There are also important differences. The following are some initial thoughts. There are also some written sources that I have just ordered via the Internet, one of which looks particularly interesting--a book titled God's Peoples: Covenant and Land in South Africa, Israel and Ulster authored by Donald Akenson and published by Cornell University Press in 1992. Akenson possesses impressive academic bona fides and I hope that his volume is helpful to our analysis of this difficult puzzle.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Akenson


          As Tor points out, Great Britain became the sovereign in Ireland primarily through military conquest, although the British made military and political alliances along the way that extended their rule in the absence of continual armed conflict. By 1603, the Irish and their Spanish allies had lost the critical Battle of Kinsale to the British forces and the "Flight of the Earls" to the Continent had begun. At that point, Britain held suzerainty over the island and proceeded to consolidate its power and diminish that held by the Gaels. Although the Roman Catholic population had been "on the ground" since the days of St. Patrick, the Protestant population of Ireland began to increase in number and consolidate its property and power in Ireland after the Anglo-Norman conquests, which began in the Irish Pale surrounding and including Dublin and expanded outward thereafter. I suppose that both the Arabic and Jewish peoples could make similar claims with respect to their historical presence in Palestine, except that the Diaspora interrupted the growth and influence of the Jewish community in Palestine, at least until the 19th century when Jewish settlers, primarily from Europe, began their emigration to these lands then ruled by the Ottoman Empire.


          I do not yet have a sense of how "the Irish" perceive the "latest Israel-Palestine conflict," but will begin polling my contacts in Dublin and elsewhere to see if I can obtain some good feedback on John's question. I suspect that those Irish who consider themselves militant Republicans, in the sense that they believe that the Brits should leave Northern Ireland now without conditions and not wait for a border poll to be taken under the authority of the Belfast Agreement of 1998, would generally identify with the Palestinian side. These Republicans likely see a parallel between the piecemeal takeover of Ireland by the British from the 12th to the 17th centuries and the steady expansion of Israel's territory and influence in the region, at least since the Six-Day War in 1967.


          With respect to the remainder of the Irish population on the island, I have a sense that they may not have a firm position one way or the other on what would be the best and most equitable solution of the "two-state" issue in Palestine. I wonder as I write this as to whether the apparent dampening of desire in the Irish Republic for a United Ireland might have a knock-on effect concerning the current Irish perception of the recent eruption of military conflict in Palestine.


          A few additional comments for now. The Irish mainstream media, e.g., the Irish Times, are focusing not much on historical analyses right now but are preoccupied with getting the ceasefire in place and operational, which is no surprise, that being the immediate concern. There were large public rallies in Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Galway on May 15th in "solidarity" with the Palestinians and more are planned throughout Ireland on Saturday, May 22nd. These upcoming actions are being coordinated by an organization formed in 2001 and named the "Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign." Here is a recent internet post announcing these upcoming events from the IPSC. https://www.ipsc.ie .


          The Irish press is presently carrying a fair bunch of articles sympathetic to the Palestinians physical plight and against the violence. See, for example, https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/gaza-the-militarised-and-ethnically-motivated-persecution-of-a-people-1.4568617 . The not-so-subtle undercurrent of these posts and activities was likely crafted to appeal to the historical memory of the Irish concerning ethnic and religious discrimination by a "foreign occupier."


          Pax et lux and ar aghaidh, Pat


          JE comments:   Pat, you never disappoint us with your scholarly diligence!  Many thanks.  One followup question on the "mood" in Ireland--how is public support (in the Republic) waning for union with Ulster?  I presume Brexit has much to do with it, but I'm curious to learn more.


          In the meantime, there is an encouraging development: Hamas and Israel have agreed on a ceasefire effective today.

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    • Netanyahu as Neo-Nazi? (Rodolfo Neirotti, USA 05/19/21 6:44 AM)
      I agree with the view and sincerity of Tor Guimarães (May 18th) . I do not know if Netanyahu is or was a neo-Nazi. It would be interesting to document this information somehow.

      JE comments:  WAIS doesn't usually publish "attaboys," but a) I'm happy to hear from our friend in Boston, Rodolfo Neirotti, and b) we should probably address the hot-button issue of Israeli policy towards Gaza/Hamas and "neo-Nazism."  There's nothing to "document," really, and feathers will be ruffled.  But it's impossible not to see some similarities between the Palestinians' current plight and that of the Jewish people under Nazi domination.  The differences are also obvious.  In my view, the more apt parallels are with Apartheid South Africa.


      I fear we've unleashed a whirlwind here...


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      • Netanyahu as Neo-Nazi? He is Not Alone (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, USA 05/20/21 4:21 AM)
        It would be wrong to think that Netanyahu alone is a neo-Nazi. The guilt is not his alone. He is simply emboldened by it. When killers walk around saying "Today we are all Nazis," and the world watches, Biden approves more arms to the assassins, then not for a moment should we imagine Netanyhau should bear the guilt alone.

        At the moment though, it seems there is no end to America's love affair with occupation and genocide. Birds of the same feather and all that.


        Here is a report on the Nazis in Occupied Palestine:


        "Today we are Nazis," says member of Israeli Jewish extremist group | The Electronic Intifada


        https://electronicintifada.net/content/today-we-are-nazis-says-member-israeli-jewish-extremist-group/33081


        JE comments:  This neo-Nazi discussion is a distraction, generating too much heat and not enough light.  A fringe extremist's Internet posting does not characterize Israeli views any more than US opinion is represented by the Proud Boys and their ilk.


        What is more alarming in the lengthy article above is the claim that Israeli authorities often turn a blind eye to mob violence from Israel's far right.  Is this a common occurrence, or an isolated incident or two?

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      • What Does It Mean to be a Neo-Nazi? (Tor Guimaraes, USA 05/24/21 1:41 PM)
        My friend Rodolfo Neirotti commented positively about my May 18th post:  "I do not know if Netanyahu is or was a neo-Nazi. It would be interesting to document this information somehow."

        Others have written on this Forum that calling the Prime Minister a neo-Nazi is not constructive. When I call him this, it is indeed totally unproductive, because he does not even know I exist and few people pay attention. But, perhaps if the label is true to his behavior, more people should realize it.


        When I call someone or a nation neo-Nazi, what I mean is their behavior is similar or Nazi-like. It doesn't mean I think they are members of the National Socialist Party. What are the characteristics I associate with the Nazis? To qualify as a neo-Nazi you must have several of these:


        1. Strong nationalist focus to the detriment of mankind;


        2. Regularly show disrespect for science and other people's rights to advance your own opinions;


        3. Obvious willingness to lie shamelessly to anyone about serious issues whenever necessary to accomplish your goals or narrative;


        4. Obvious willingness to commit atrocities against anyone, including innocents, resisting your aggression or obstructing your path to accomplish your goals .


        There might be a few more telltale signs of Nazi behavior, but these four will do for now. I call Netanhayu a neo-Nazi because I certainly continue to see all of these in his behavior over the years. Perhaps if more people acknowledge his criminal behavior, Israel as a nation can reflect the true greatness of the Jewish people in the eyes of mankind.


        JE comments:  An interesting list; we could certainly add more bullet points (militarism above all, as well as racism as a national "project").  And what about the "socialism"?  This aspect of Nazism tends to be overlooked by most. 


        Regarding your second point, Tor, I never saw the (original) Nazis as disdainful of science.  Rather, they harnessed science for its most perverse ends.

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  • With Its Attacks on Gaza, Israel is Practicing State Terrorism (Yusuf Kanli, Turkey 05/19/21 3:25 AM)
    "The attacks must be stopped," United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was quoted as saying. Is it possible not to be horrified by Israel's attack on Gaza? "We are working on a ceasefire," Guterres reportedly said, adding his candid confession that he was "utterly dismayed" by the developments.

    He was indeed reflecting our mood.


    Despite the right of every state to protect itself and its people, indiscriminate and even premeditated "revenge" attacks on civilian targets cannot be considered reasonable and explainable under any circumstance.


    What's called state terrorism is exactly the way Israel behaves. Reports from Gaza show that nearly 200 people are dead, many of them children and women. Every human being is sacred. For every life lost, one's heart is in pain. And if the murdered person is a child, the pain grows and becomes a fire. Hearts have become a place of fire these days with Israel's brutal, outrageous genocide-inducing massacres on Palestinians.


    However, I don't think anyone expected this much. A five-story building, housing as well the offices of international media outlets, was leveled to the ground by an Israeli airstrike. Guterres' statement that he was "appalled" and "deeply disturbed" by the development was conveyed to the international public by a global diplomat of his caliber. Indeed, we all share his remarks.


    Accepting Israel's right to protect itself and its people does not in any way to give it the right to commit massacres as it pleases. It is Israel's right to respond to Hamas' attacks. However, with indiscriminate attacks on civilians bordering on mass massacre, the thesis "I defend my country and my citizens" brings itself to the same level as Hamas. This writer fully subscribes to that assertion that these are terrorist acts.


    Indeed, with attacks aimed at "destroying" Hamas cells but indiscriminately targeting civilians and even journalists, Israel relegates itself into a level far worse than Hamas. With such indiscriminate attacks demonstrated by the high death toll, Israel is also a terrorist state, attacking civilian targets. Israel should be ashamed.


    JE comments:  The Gaza crisis will keep us busy today on WAIS.  Yusuf, thank you for your thoughts.  As a journalist and authority on Middle East diplomacy, can you keep us apprised of the high-level efforts for a ceasefire?  Two wealthy Gulf States (UAE, Bahrain) recognized Israel just last year.  What are they doing?

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