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Leave World War II Out of Gaza

Posted on Jan 16, 2009
Gaza protest
AP photo / Roberto Pfeil

In a Jan. 3 protest in Düsseldorf, Germany, pro-Palestinian demonstrators compare Israel’s military operation in Gaza to the World War II Holocaust. 

By Robert Fisk

Editor’s note: This article was originally printed in The Independent.

Exaggeration always gets my goat. I started to hate it back in the 1970s when the Provisional IRA claimed that Long Kesh internment camp was “worse than Belsen”. It wasn’t as if there was anything nice about Long Kesh – or the Maze prison as it was later politely dubbed – but it simply wasn’t as bad as Belsen. And now we’re off again. Passing through Paris this week, I found pro-Palestinian demonstrators carrying signs which read “Gaza, it’s Guernica” and “Gaza-sur-Glane”.

Guernica, as we all know, was the Basque city razed by the Luftwaffe in 1937 and Oradour-sur-Glane the French village whose occupants were murdered by the SS in 1944. Israel’s savagery in Gaza has also been compared to a “genocide” and – of course – a “holocaust”. The French Union of Islamic Organisations called it “a genocide without precedent” – which does take the biscuit when even the Pope’s “minister for peace and justice” has compared Gaza to “a big concentration camp”.

Before I state the obvious, I only wish the French Union of Islamic Organisations would call the Armenian genocide a genocide – it doesn’t have the courage to do so, does it, because that would be offensive to the Turks and, well, the million and a half Armenians massacred in 1915 happened to be, er, Christians.

Mind you, that didn’t stop George Bush from dropping the word from his vocabulary lest he, too, should offend the Turkish generals whose airbases America needs for its continuing campaign in Iraq. And even Israel doesn’t use the word “genocide” about the Armenians lest it loses its only Muslim ally in the Middle East. Strange, isn’t it? When there’s a real genocide – of Armenians – we don’t like to use the word. But when there is no genocide, everyone wants to get in on the act.

Yes, I know what all these people are trying to do: make a direct connection between Israel and Hitler’s Germany. And in several radio interviews this past week, I’ve heard a good deal of condemnation about such comparisons. How do Holocaust survivors in Israel feel about being called Nazis? How can anyone compare the Israeli army to the Wehrmacht? Merely to make such a parallel is an act of anti-Semitism.

Having come under fire from the Israeli army on many occasions, I’m not sure that’s necessarily true. I’ve never understood why strafing the roads of northern France in 1940 was a war crime while strafing the roads of southern Lebanon is not a war crime. The massacre of up to 1,700 Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatila camps – perpetrated by Israel’s Lebanese Phalangist allies while Israeli soldiers watched and did nothing – falls pretty much into the Second World War bracket. Israel’s own estimate of the dead – a paltry 460 – was only nine fewer than the Nazi massacre at the Czech village of Lidice in 1942 when almost 300 women and children were also sent to Ravensbrück (a real concentration camp). Lidice was destroyed in revenge for the murder by Allied agents of Reinhard Heydrich. The Palestinians were slaughtered after Ariel Sharon told the world – untruthfully – that a Palestinian had murdered the Lebanese Phalangist leader Bashir Gemayel.

Indeed, it was the courageous Professor Yeshayahu Leibovitz of the Hebrew University (and editor of the Encyclopaedia Hebraica) who wrote that the Sabra and Chatila massacre “was done by us. The Phalangists are our mercenaries, exactly as the Ukrainians and the Croatians and the Slovakians were the mercenaries of Hitler, who organised them as soldiers to do the work for him. Even so have we organised the assassins of Lebanon in order to murder the Palestinians”. Remarks like these were greeted by Israel’s then minister of interior and religious affairs, Yosef Burg, with the imperishable words: “Christians killed Muslims – how are the Jews guilty?”

I have long raged against any comparisons with the Second World War – whether of the Arafat-is-Hitler variety once deployed by Menachem Begin or of the anti-war- demonstrators-are- 1930s-appeasers, most recently used by George Bush and Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara. And pro-Palestinian marchers should think twice before they start waffling about genocide when the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem once shook Hitler’s hand and said – in Berlin on 2 November 1943, to be precise – “The Germans know how to get rid of the Jews ... They have definitely solved the Jewish problem.” The Grand Mufti, it need hardly be added, was a Palestinian. He lies today in a shabby grave about two miles from my Beirut home.

No, the real reason why “Gaza-Genocide” is a dangerous parallel is because it is not true. Gaza’s one and a half million refugees are treated outrageously enough, but they are not being herded into gas chambers or forced on death marches. That the Israeli army is a rabble is not in question – though I was amused to read one of Newsweek’s regular correspondents calling it “splendid” last week – but that does not mean they are all war criminals. The issue, surely, is that war crimes do appear to have been committed in Gaza. Firing at UN schools is a criminal act. It breaks every International Red Cross protocol. There is no excuse for the killing of so many women and children.

I should add that I had a sneaking sympathy for the Syrian foreign minister who this week asked why a whole international tribunal has been set up in the Hague to investigate the murder of one man – Lebanese ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri – while no such tribunal is set up to investigate the deaths of more than 1,000 Palestinians.

I should add, however, that the Hague tribunal may well be pointing the finger at Syria and I would still like to see a tribunal set up into the Syrian massacre at Hama in 1982 when thousands of civilians were shot at the hands of Rifaat al-Assad’s special forces. The aforesaid Rifaat, I should add, today lives safely within the European Union. And how about a trial for the Israeli artillerymen who massacred 106 civilians – more than half of them children – at the UN base at Qana in 1996?

What this is really about is international law. It’s about accountability. It’s about justice – something the Palestinians have never received – and it’s about bringing criminals to trial. Arab war criminals, Israeli war criminals – the whole lot. And don’t say it cannot be done. Wasn’t that the message behind the Yugoslav tribunal? Didn’t some of the murderers get their just deserts? Just leave the Second World War out of it.


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By John R Bloxson Jr, January 23, 2009 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment
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I do not know where you are getting your Imformation but it is wrong Israel has not expelled one Arab from legitamate land rights in fact the Druse Muslim Arabs are a part of the Government of Israel,
as are the Arab Christians so Ethnic cleansing what a bunch of whoie.  The facts do not call for Ethnic cleansing or genocide the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank are still there on their land they are just poor because of the graft and coruption of the Arab/ so called Palestinian Authorities with their huge swiss bank accounts this includes What Arafat scimmed from the moneies sent to the Authorities for the benefit of the people but it did not get to them. Arafat’s widow is living quite well on it in Paris.There is no Aparthied , ethnic cleansing or genocide on the part of the Israeli’s sorry to disapoint all you rabid haters of Israeli’s. Now there is cultural cleansing going on in the West Bank and Gaza Strip but the people being removed are being removed by Hamas in Gaza and the Fatah Authority in the West Bank the Arab Christians in both places are being pushed out and not allowed any say in the governments of Humas and Fatah this is also a form of Aparthied which President Carter did not recognize in his book so please get it right for a change and stop listening to the Arab/ socalled Palestinian propaganda machine, and the propaganda of the left.
              John R. Bloxson Jr.

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By Tony Wicher, January 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

re cyrena, January 17 at 5:20 pm


Actually, what Israel is guilty of is ethnic cleansing, not genocide. That is, Israel’s objective is (and always has been) not to exterminate the Palestinian people but to expel them from their lands. Ethnic cleansing is not quite as bad as genocide, but it is the next worst violation of human rights.

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By John R Bloxson Jr, January 23, 2009 at 7:59 am Link to this comment
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Dear Marta,
Do you not realize that 40,000,000 Muslims were freed from tyrants Sadam, and the Taliban which is burning schools and throwing acid in little girls faces. We need less of this misimformation that you and your colleagues are putting out and the Horror of war is not a nice picture and when it is a group of Hamas terrorist thugs hidding behind the skirts of the inocent there will be children hurt and women but to blame all this hatred on the Bush government is to forget the genocides in Somalia, Serbia, and Rwunda, and Berundi, Chad and Ethiopia, and Combodia’s Killing Fields.  The truth is these hatreds haunt all mankind since the bannishment from the perfect Garden of Eden and I know some of you don’t believe in God but you have faith in Evolution which has no beginning or end and doesn’t answer the very question it was supose to the origin of life where did it all begin or how did something come out of nothingness.  If you say that Christianity and Islam and other religions brought about the blood shed I will tell you straight Man has brought about the blood shed problems, some claiming to be Gods representatives (but were actually worshipping rawl power as their god of choice.)  The Bloodiest single century in the History of the world was the twentieth century, and it was fueled by Darwinian Evolution not Religion unless you believe Darwinian Evolution is a Religion that is. So please stop pointing fingers at someone else and look at the three pointing back at you, the truth is we all of us Me included are the cause of the moral downturns and the spread of hatred world wide until you put your own house in order stop blamming other for the mess this world’s in we none of use meet the mark we have all fallen short so again I include myself in being part of the problem
we have all inherited the eschewed belief systems of secularism, post modernity, and selfissness this can be seen when you observe clossly a group of 3yr olds playing sooner are later one will take the toy another child was playing with and say it’s mine and thus will end the playing together for a while.  We are all like this we have all gone off the path of right thought and deed to grab the other childs toy and be selfish, and you show this when you blame all the problems on one people or one person no single man has the type of power you seem to think he has.
                John R. Bloxson Jr.

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By John R Bloxson Jr, January 22, 2009 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment
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Dear Marta,
Peace for Israel has never been about driving the Arabs off the land what Arabs that left in 1948 did so under threat by the Mufti of Jerusalem from Damascus Syria. His 50,000 mercenaries of the Jihad Moquades, and the propaganda machines of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Suadi Arabia, and Jordan.  The Jihad Moquades were specialist at assinating the Moderate Arab’s and the Nations that came against the tiny nation of Israel said get off until we have driven the Jews into the sea and masacred the Jews of the Old City and New City of Jerusalem the war was just hours old when a pair of Egyptian Spitfires dove on the docks of Tel Avev machinegunning women and children killing 147 so If you don’t understand the facts and listen to the leftist propaganda only you only get a warped point of veiw and if you believe any thing from the Bible you know that when Adam rebelled wanting to be his on God he warped our point of view.  From that day forward infact all that is happening in the world today is because of that warped mind set.  This is what allowed civilized people to commit genocide while the world looked on and I don’t understand today why so many of you are jummping on Israel who is not shipping Arabs of the Gaza Strip to Gas Chambers infact what precentage off the Arabs of Gaza were killed or wounded 1500 out of 1,500,000 or 15/15,000 in otherwards .0015% so I wood hardly call that Genocide and I would hardly call that wanting to drive the Arabs into the sea.  Israel has been the only side to give in any of the Peace initatives Arafat had been offered 96% of what He demanded , and Israel was not the ones who organized 6 months in advance the first and second intafadas it was Arafat.  He did not want a two state solution and neither does Hamas , Hezzbulloh, or the Al-Aqusas Martyrs Brigade
they want in the long run NO Israel so please in the future atleast get your facts straight.

                John R. Bloxson Jr.

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By marta, January 21, 2009 at 2:27 am Link to this comment
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Peace to Israel is to drive all Palestinians off their own homeland, as they intended from the beginning, first with the help of the British, and French, and then the United States. Pity the ones of the Holocaust, but not the Jews since, who have done the same to the Palestinians, as Hitler did to them. I believe Bush was the force, and push behind the Massacre. Because of Israel’s Nazi tactics , should face war crimes, and Bush, for the wars he deliberately created. They both have the same hatred against Arabs, as Hitler had for the Jews.The Bush Regime is the one who spread the hate and discrimination against Muslins, that was not there before he took office, in which his father really started years before. I still question who was really behind 9/11 to blame Arabs?

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By Marc, January 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
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I think Peter Ustinov said but anyway it is true:
The terrorism is the war of poor and the war is the terrorism of the wealthy.”
Israel is a terrorist state.

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By RdV, January 20, 2009 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

Wonder how many Palestinians have to be slaughtered before it can be included as crimes against humanity? Especially since it is being underwritten by us and orchestrated by the victims of the Holocaust—an honor they reserve as sacred entitlement:

Keep in mind that fisk suggested that without the presence of Western journalists—the palestinians might use the opportunity to inflate their suffering..
Is it any wonder the Afghanis saw fit to beat his pompous ass.

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By Joe, January 20, 2009 at 3:34 am Link to this comment
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I don’t see the logic in leaving World War II out of the discussion.

After all the country Israel was formed as a direct result of world war II.  Seems very relevant

As for direct comparison’s…suffering is suffering to the individual; it doesn’t matter what context it was in or how many other people suffered along with you.  Its all equally bad.  The people who argue over who has suffered worse are normally the people who have not actually suffered themselves, and are exploiting those, even on their own side, who have

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By John R Bloxson Jr, January 19, 2009 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment
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Where did you get your facts they sound alot like something I read in Pravda about thirty years ago. I would very much like to know where you have recieved your imformation and at the same time I agree the American Indians were treated badly. But they also particapated in some of the bloodiest massacres Wyoming Valley, Fort Loudon, and others but this those in noway justify some of what the American Government did nor the civilians did in some cases.
I am not saying that Israel has clean hands but for the last 80 years the Jewish Sabras were attacked by the Muftis Terrorist Army called the Jihad Marquades
and the British hung Jews for arming themselves to fight off these 50,000 of Mufti’s terrorist than after the two years of war brought against them by five Arab Armies and the Jihadist they have been attacked in the leftist press and by the propaganda
ministries of Hamas Hezbulloh, the P.L.O. until it decided it had had enough but the lie that Hamas has agreed to recognize Israel is just that a lie plan and simple.  I also want you to answer me When was their a palestinian Kingdom?  and How long did it last? plus when was the name Palestinian placed on the Arabs of Palestine? when did the Arabs other than the Druze begin to live in the land claimed as Palestine and did you know that before 1800 500,000
Jews called sabras lived there?
            John R. Bloxson Jr.
PS the Indians in North America had something the Arabs of Palestine didn’t they were recognized Nations. The Arabs living in Palestine never were recognized as nations in Palestine not even the turks did it. But I still say a two state salution could work but to many Arab neighbors don’t recognize Israels right exist on the land it was promised in the covenat and The Jewish people have blessed this world with music, art, medical advancments, and other Technical inovations.
Why is it while Israeli children both Arab and Jewish learn science, and engineering while the Arab Children on the west bank and in Gaza learn about bomb making, dis-asymballing waepon fast and making molotofe cocktails and who is incharge of the schools in the West Bank and the Gaza strip Israel no the Palestinian Authorities in the West Bank, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and where did all the internation money go that was supose to finance the schools and build a University system billions were poured in since 1970 but 96% never reached the destinations it ended up in Swiss Banks Private accounts of Hamas members, and members of the Palestinian Athority. So pleas answer the above questions so I may check out your sources thank you.

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By Ed Harges, January 19, 2009 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Correction: not ” “M & S”. It’s “M & W”, of course.

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By Ed Harges, January 19, 2009 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

re: By troublesum, January 19 at 12:24 pm:

M & S show that the Israel lobby was the key to the Iraq war. It doesn’t mean the lobby was the only factor.

There are a lot of things Bush wanted to do that he didn’t get to do, like privatizing social security. If the Israel lobby had passionately wanted that, you can be damned sure he’d have been able to do it.

It is the Israel lobby that accounts for the total failure of the Democrats to stand up against Bush when he wants to do some violent thing that Israel wants. Part of Karl Rove’s “permanent Republican majority” strategy was to outflank the Democrats by going to the right on Israel, presumably dividing the Jewish vote, with the most fervent Zionists going Republican. It mostly didn’t work. Why? Because the “leading” Democrats went to the right with the GOP, and now we have a Congress - both parties - more nearly unanimous than ever in its praise of Israeli violence and demonization of Iran and the Palestinians.

M & S show that the entire architecture of US foreign policy in the Middle East, especially the long-standing, non-negotiable, mortal hostility towards Iran and Iraq, is something concocted and enforced by Israel lobby strategists who are “bipartisan” in that they really don’t care whether Republicans or Democrats rule America, as long as America does what Israel demands of it. The lobby plays the Dems against the GOP, and then the GOP against the Dems, and thus our Mideast policy moves ever to the right, as the two parties fight for Israel’s affections.

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By troublesum, January 19, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges,
Do you really think it took the Israel lobby to get Bush to invade Iraq?  People in the administration said his mind was made up to invade even before he won the election.

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By Tony Wicher, January 19, 2009 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

“Leave the Second World War out of it” - I don’t think so. So then we should leave the Holocaust out of it, as if the formation of Israel and the behavior of its current administration had nothing to do with it, even though the only thing you hear coming out of them to justify their existence and their behavior is their “never again” slogan? Just how blind is it possible to be?

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By Ed Harges, January 19, 2009 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

troublesum writes:

“My point was not to minimise what has happened in Gaza, but that the assault on Gaza is inconceivable with out the US invasion of Iraq and the seige of Gaza is comparable to the seige of Iraq during the Clinton years.”

But Clinton’s siege of Iraq and Bush’s war against Iraq are inconceivable without pressure from the Israel lobby that has long compelled our government to pursue a mortally hostile foreign policy against countries that Israel doesn’t like.

Mearsheimer and Walt show very effectively that the Israel lobby was the key political element behind these things.

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By Quinty, January 19, 2009 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

No, genocide is too strong a word. Agreed, and I have never used it.

But how about “ethnic cleansing?”

The land grabs, the bulldozers, the settlements, the indiscriminate massacre of Palestinians who, the Israelis claim, harbor “terrorists?” (This reasoning would be the same as if claiming it is acceptable to blast an entire apartment building apart because a drug dealer lives on one its floors. The fact that the building’s inhabitants form a foreign “ethnic” class of their own not being any part of it, of course.)

Yes, I think “ethnic cleansing” would be an acceptable and true term.

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By John R Bloxson Jr, January 19, 2009 at 10:07 am Link to this comment
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Sir please inform me of where you get your delussions from,
The Nation of Israel just hours after rebirth was attacked by 5 Arab armies many trained by the British and some even lead by British. So this rag tag thrown togethe IDF many just youth where untrained yet they deffeated five Arab Armies, (and a 50,000 man terrorist Jihad Moquades of the Mufti of Jerusalem who raped murdered and killed indiscrimanately cuttin off ears even of babies and young children.) And to take insult at the professionalism of the Nazi Murder Machine you admire is sad they deserve no glory for what they did, they deserve scorn for fallowing the Evil that rulled them. I am truly sorry that you seem to think the Jewish army is undisciplined and this again is a strong delussion they could not defeat the Arab Armies with out some unorthadox training and they have become one of the best trained Armies in the world according to Jane’s so agian I am not sure I understand where you are comming from short of some sort of anti-semitic beliefs which agian if you are that will be something you will in the end have to take up with the Creator and if you don’t believe in a creator well than I guess you have nothing to lose but if you are wrong you lose everthing so it will all come down to that in the end Does God exist? Has He chosen the Jews as His covenant Peolpe? and Is Jesus The Christ who He said He was? I am Jewish by birth but believe in Messiah and He has come once and He will come again.  If you don’t OK that is your right if you want to believe Delissions thats your right under our constitution and if you live in Israel the same right would apply but the dellussions about whether Israel has a right to exist or not comes under the Life, Liberty, and Happiness of the declaration but you do not have the right to call for the death of all Jews, nor do I have the right to muzzle the American Nazi’s which I do believe are evil and the same goes for any Muslim calling for the muderer of every Jew in the world. I do not call for the death of every Arab living in Palestine.  We disagree and that may be it but don’t close your mind seek and you will find the truth that is what I ask do not close you mind.
                John R. Blolxson Jr.
P.S. Thank you for serving we can disagree about Israel but agian thank You for serving this country.

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By troublesum, January 19, 2009 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

My point was not to minimise what has happened in Gaza, but that the assault on Gaza is inconceivable with out the US invasion of Iraq and the seige of Gaza is comparable to the seige of Iraq during the Clinton years.  Under the seige of Iraq no medical supplies were allowed into Iraq even after widespread outbreaks of cholera occured especially amoung children.  Hows’s that for terrorism?

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 19, 2009 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

Israeli Assault Injures 1.5 Million

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By troublesum, January 18, 2009 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

By some estimates 1.5 million Iraqis - the equivalent of the total population of Gaza - have died during the Bush/Clinton/Bush never ending war on Iraq.  Where is the outrage?  White phosphorus was used on the civilian population of Fallujah.  Where was the outrage?  Whatever Israel has done in Gaza has been done ten thousand times over by US forces in Iraq, but the pentagon has been much more successful than the IDF in keeping reporters and photographers out of the war zone.  The anti-war movement came to an end in the US on March 19, 2003 and was replaced by a slogan, “Support our Troops.”  And we certainly do.

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By US vet, January 18, 2009 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment
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Armenia and Turkey have nothing to do with the subject at hand. As for supposed negative comparisons of the Israeli army with the German forces, yes, it is insulting: insulting to the highly trained and disciplined German Army. The genocide against the people of occupied Palestine by undisciplined Jewish nationalists has gone on for 60 years. The Israelis appear to have no Uniform Code of Military Conduct, as there would long ago have been mass trials for moral cowardice. If the aggressors here were faced with an equally armed German or Palestinian Army and Air Force, the Israelis would be swept aside in a matter of days.›

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By paul bass, January 18, 2009 at 9:38 am Link to this comment
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2 quick points
1) i am not to pleased with you falling in to the “women and children” instead of civilians,the implication being all males are fair game.

2) the simple reality is that “proportionality” applies to rhetoric as well and to use the largest conflict in world history to describe a minor(if not brutal) land dispute between a small colonial nation and displaced indigenous peoples, is a tremendous disservice to the Palestinian people.
because of coarse if israel was nazi germany no one would in there right mind call for aid and diplomacy rather the remaining palistian lands should be turned it to an even worse prison camp as walls go up on both sides of them and shell fly over and tank just role threw on way to other battles

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By J. Mezure Carter, January 17, 2009 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment
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We are constantly making comparisons in our attempt to rationalize the insanity we call war.  The over riding question should be how we perceive the world as a place of good and bad people that should either be praised or denigrated.  My question to Mr. Fisk is why waste his time arguing about signs that people display when marching for a cause.  What difference do those signs make?  Why seek to silence their only voice, since they are unable to have access to any large public forum, let alone have the abilities to express themselves in any other way?  Are these frustrated, impotent individuals, anti-Semitic?  I thought Semitic people were Arabs as well Hebrews.  And when we talk about concentration camps and the death of six million Jews, I thought the camps actually enslaved more than twelve million people and if I’m not mistaken more than fifty million people died during World War II.  So let us not lament comparisons, for murder is murder no matter who does it or their reasons for doing it.

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By Terry Scott, January 17, 2009 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

Pretty bizarre stuff Mr. Fisk - I think you are looking for new material because your recent stuff has been riddled with exasperation. TS (

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By Terry Scott, January 17, 2009 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

Pretty bizarre stuff Mr. Fisk - I think you are looking for new material because your recent stuff has been riddled with exasperation. TS (

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By cyrena, January 17, 2009 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

AJ numbers says..

•  “We are not ushering the palastinians to gas chambers or executing by mass.”

WRONG! That’s exactly what you’re doing…MASS EXECUTION!! This mass execution has been going on for 60 years, and millions of Palestinians have died as a result. The Nazi perpetrated Genocide used ovens, and Stalin locked his victims up in gulags and forced them to work until they died (by the masses) from neglect. There are lots of ‘methods’ used to exterminate populations or parts of populations. The end result is the same, and it’s a Crime against International Law. It has been since Hitler pulled it on the Jews, and was intended to prevent this from ever happening AGAIN…to ANY innocent population.

This shows your sickness AJ, and proves that ignorance is still the most violent element of society..

•  “The only people that don’t want this to happen are the leftist fundamentalists that care about all civilians even if they support evil terrorism.”

Never mind whatever it is that you’re claiming people ‘don’t want to happen’, since the surrounding text here makes no more sense than this does. It’s the part about…

“leftish fundamentalist that – CARE ABOUT ALL CIVILIANS.”

that caused the chilling of my blood there momentarily.

For the record AJ1000, it’s not “Leftist Fundamentalists” that CARE ABOUT ALL CIVILIANS, but rather what the International Laws of the land dictate. So yeah, we DO –CARE ABOUT ALL CIVILIANS- which is the mandate of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and it’s why Humanitarian Law has been adopted with very clear and unambiguous language about the protections that much be afforded civilians in time of war or peace.

Now that might be a ‘fundamentalist’ view in your opinion, but that ‘view’ is the foundation of the Law.

And you are one sick SOB by the way..on TOP of the ignorance.

I thought we’d gotten rid of you, (PH noticed that most of your posts on another thread had been deleted). But…you’re back, just like all of the other trolls before you. (The numbers in your handle are a dead give away). I swear you guys have more lives than cats.

Also for the record, Hamas has agreed to “RECOGNIZE ISRAEL” dozens of times, so you all need to drop that tired old shit. We’re sick of it, and we know the truth.

Hamas has long ago recognized Israel’s ‘right to exist’ and in writing. MULTIPLE TIMES!! And that’s despite the fact that Israel STILL won’t commit to a Constitution that actually DEFINES the BOARDERS of the space they want to EXIST IN!!!

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By cyrena, January 17, 2009 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

OK Fisk, I’ll certainly give you that the Armenian Genocide should be called what it was/is..A Genocide. And the SAME thing applies to the Nazi extermination of Jews in Germany, just as it applies to the extermination of the Native American Indigenous population, just as it applies to the on-going extermination of the Palestinians. It’s ALL Genocide!!

That makes the parallels/comparisons between Hitler’s Holcaust and the current Palestinian Holocaust perfectly legitimate, at least in terms of International Law.

The Genocide Convention doesn’t distinguish between ‘methods’ of execution/extermination, (marching to ovens as opposed to being starved, imprisoned/tortured, or killed off by small pox) or even WHY the genocide is taking place. (to create a perfect Aryan society or to expand a similar set-up via land grabs). There is more focus (in the scholarship at least) these days on the ‘why’ (the motivation of the perpetrators) but the Convention itself doesn’t address that. 

So yeah, it IS all about International Law, and it would be beneficial to actually read the Convention, so you can call all of these Genocides what they are. Genocides.

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,
New York, 9 December 1948

                The Convention, a major pillar in the evolving framework of international humanitarian rules, declares genocide a crime under international law. It condemns genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, and provides a definition of this crime. Moreover, the prescribed punishment is not subject to the limitations of time and place.
          Key Provisions
                The Convention defines genocide as any of a number of acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
                The Convention also declares that there shall be no immunity. Persons committing this crime shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals…”
Read the full text below. 

Now if that doesn’t seem to be clear enough, simply because of the confused interpretation of the definitions of Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing, then this well intended scholar’s article is an example of WHY this is confusing…

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By cyrena, January 17, 2009 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2

Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing
Karyn Becker

“Genocide: The deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.

Ethnic Cleansing: The elimination of an unwanted group from a society, as by genocide or forced migration.

Any discussion of genocide or ethnic cleansing would seem to be straightforward, both in the subject matter itself and in the myriad examples one could bring to mind. As these topics are studied in greater depth, however, the discussion invariably becomes far more complicated. Defined as “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group,” genocide tends to evoke thoughts of the Holocaust of World War Two—the most egregious and infamous example of the mass killing of people based on their ethnic or religious background. For many people, that is the full extent of what genocide means. Today, however, the word genocide draws upon an even more complex body of history and scholarship, focusing on the motivation of the perpetrators. By narrow definition, genocide can only occur when there is a deliberate attempt to completely destroy all members of a particular group. As such, there are few clearly identifiable examples of genocide.”


The ERROR appears with her ‘narrow definition’ and she’s wrong, because the definition in the Genocide Convention specifically says THIS:

•  “..any of a number of acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group…”

The critical words here are…IN WHOLE OR PART. Becker is claiming ‘genocide’ can only occur when the deliberate attempt is to completely destroy ALL members of the group, and that’s NOT what the Genocide Treaty says. The language of the Treaty couldn’t be any more explicit…”In WHOLE or PART”. It is this very incorrect interpretation of the Genocide Convention, (despite the clarity of the language) that has ‘created’ the confusion.

So read the Treaty Fisk. This isn’t another ‘exaggeration’ (I don’t like those either). It is what it is, based on the language of the law, and that’s Genocide.

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By radson, January 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Where are we going ,to what end is this hypocrisy leading us to .Romira and JD 1009 take a valium for a moment and calm down.Robert Fisk is a journalist that has been covering the Middle-East
tradgedy for the better part of his life and has expressed himself in such exacting manners that i believe his frustration is beginning to overwhelm him. Who could maintain such controlled observations
for this lenght of time and not be disappointed with the outcome.As i understand JD 1009 you are a staunch defender of Zionism regardless of the historical facts and you believe in the like’s of Ben G,
Menachin B and the one’s who escaped the so-called Soviet devil STALIN. But instead of learning from the Polish Shoah you have chosen to ignore it and at the same time denounce a country that
has shown an unadaltered attempt to save as many as the ones you love.Menachen Begin was saved from the Soviet Gulag by the Polish Govt in exile ,which was based in London at the time and
escaped along with General Anders,Menachen B decided to remain in the Levant along with a good number of hypocrites in order to promote a vast array of ignoble affairs
which we are all witnessing as we speak.If the AK (Armiya Krajova) doesn’t mean anything to you than perhaps Zegota does and maybe the likes of Jakob Bermann,but im not sure—ask your grandmother
she may help you.Romira i don’t know how long it took you to write what you did but i am inspired by your effort and your vast knowledge of Israeli injustices ,it is worthy of contemplation and i wish to end with a
quote by Professor Norman Davies “under pressure from the ruthless ,the spineless combined with the clueless to achieve the worthless”

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By doglover, January 17, 2009 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gazans are literally trapped in a relatively small area, their food, fuel, work, water, livelihood and travel is completely controlled by the Israelis.  The Israelis are bombing, shelling and using tanks against the people in Gaza. Israel has armament far far superior than anything Hamas has available.  Exactly why is this not genocide?

The reason Fisk’s essay is dangerous is stated by one of his readers:

“There are more then one million people in gaza whats 1,000 to create peace.” [sic]

You are essentially making a proportionality argument.  One can always rationalize killing if one uses that pseudo-intellectual argument. The incursion in Gaza is a massacre, Mr. Fisk, and your essay is disgusting.

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

By Romira, January 17 at 2:17 pm #

To JD1009

It is alway fascinating for me to listen to the essence of eveil invariably determining that their victims are terrorists when the fight back against the evil and murder that they themselves have brought to bear on others.

It is in this light that I will answer AJ1009 with a series of documented travesties brought to the Palestinians.

Thank you for this impressive cataloging of Israel terrorism. Your posts are indeed a great service for cause of truth!

I am really impressed by your knowledge, so keep up the good work!

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By brewerstroupe, January 17, 2009 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

Eric Margolis: Who and what is Hamas?

Hamas is more of a threat to corrupt Arab regimes than to Israel.
Eric Margolis is a journalist born in New York City and holding degrees from Georgetown the University of Geneva, and New York University. During the Vietnam War he served as a US Army infantryman

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By Steven, January 17, 2009 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fisk wastes his ink and his voice trying to give a lesson on exaggeration when he should be giving us a lesson on excuses.  There is no point in comparing WWII to anything but WWI.  However, how long will the world give Israel an excuse to act so evil because of the Holocaust.  When does this free pass expire?  Just because some terrible evil happened upon you, does not give you the right to inflict harm on someone else.  Israel is nothing more than a vigilante.  As AJ1009 so poetically displays his ignorance of history, Israel has used this world empathy from 1948 until now to commit unspeakable acts of terrorism against the Palestinians.  Many of which have been well documented by Israeli’s themselves.  I believe we will look back upon this Gazan invasion as a turning point in world opinion, it has done more harm than good for Israel and move us closer to the expiration of that free pass.

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By TAO Walker, January 17, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther has here illustrated the vital distinction to be made between “rational” and SENTIENT….or even just plain “sane.”  Any kind of behavior at all, no matter how idiotic or attrocious, can be and has been and is even now being “rationalized” by its practioner/perpetrators.  Those who pride their selfs on being “rational,” and insist it is this characteristic which “separates man from the beasts,” must more-and-more stridently deny the increasingly dominant “down-side” of their mental drug-of-choice.

Sentience, on-the-other-hand, is of course inherent in all living things, so won’t serve to bolster the make-believe case for “superiority” put constantly forth by the incurably homo-centric.  That no truly unbiased testimony in-support-of such a childish conceit has ever been produced, that it’s an entirely self-generated and self-serving hodge-podge of bluster and blather, is a plain fact never allowed introduction into “the court of public opinion.” 

It’s no doubt true that “selling” some slap-happy Humans on the obviously insane notion of “domestication” in-the-first-place would’ve been pretty nearly impossible without first CONvincing them of their own “unique and special place” in Nature’s (and of course “nature’s God’s”) scheme-of-things.  It had also the added “value” of keeping them from seeing that it was their own selfs that were being captured and tamed FIRST.

Well, we see where falling for that old scam has gotten the “civilized” peoples today….at one another’s throats and about to go together down-the-tubes.  It’s ALL ONE WAR, Sisters and Brothers, being waged these past ten millennia and to-the-death against our Mother Earth and all Her Native Children….and that includes all of you.  You can end it by simply refusing to “fight” anymore.

Otherwise, it will be THE END of yourownselfs.  That “final solution,” that inevitable conclusion is right now staring you all in the face.  Those who suggest here that the “blood-lust” has at-last run amok completely beyond the control of ideological and institutional and even electro-mechanical CONstraints have it exactly right.


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By jcr, January 17, 2009 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t get any accounts of Guernica that agree. But if we think about deaths, Gaza is worse than Guernica. How is Gaza NOT a large concentration camp?

Fisk says that to even compare the IDF to the Wehrmacht is “anti-Semitism.” So Chomsky and Finkelstein are antisemitic? The comparison MIGHT be immoderate, but to call the statement “an act of anti-Semitism” is ridiculous. Are you sure racism and not righteous anger is behind the comparison? When Israelis compare everything to the Third Reich and everyone to Hitler, what kind of racism does that betray?

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By AJ1009, January 17, 2009 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Fisk is right.  Leave WWII out of it.  We are not ushering the palastinians to gas chambers or executing by mass.  There are more then one million people in gaza whats 1,000 to create peace.  America did it to japan in WWII and they signed a treaty with us.  nothing has happened since.  Israel has to show there strength to accomplish peace.  All Hamas has to do to stop this is say “OK we will except Israel as a state to live in peace.”  and the fighting will stop.  Hamas is evil, evil needs to be iradicatied.  Oh, and if all these countries are condemning Israel, why don’t they go to Israel and do something????? i’ll tell you why, because the rest of world wants israel to do this, hamas is evil and a terrorist oganizaion, nobody is taking action to stop it, all there doing is writing letters.  And we all know what words are, there just words without action they mean nothing.  The only people that don’t want this to happen are the leftist fundamentalists that care about all civilians even if they support evil terrorism.  which means the leftist community all over the world is in support of terrorism, because hamas is a terrorist organization.  if you ask me all gazans are guilty for voting in this government.  Israel is doing the worlds dirty work because nobody will take in the palastinians, including there own religious brothers in surrounding countries, even egypt closed there borders, its not all Israel’s fault, they closed there borders too and i commend them for that.  so don’t blame just israel.  nobody wants them, there evil, if the world wants Israel to stop, take action.  Otherwise start looking with smiles, because they are doing what all of us are so afraid to admit.

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By Folktruther, January 17, 2009 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Louise raises a vital point about the irrationality of power systems, leading to mass murder.

Chris Harman in A PEOPLE’S HISOTRY OF THE WORLD argues that the Jewish genocide was irrational from an economic and militry perspective, given that many Jews has specialist skills that they could be forced to use to help the Nazi war effort. 

But in the last years of WW2 most of the Jews were killed to bolster the Nazi power structure, who knew they were losing the war.  At least they were successful in killing their enemies.

This bloodlust appears to be increasingly motivating the Israeli power system.  Adi Ophir, an Israeli philosopher of Jewish studies, maintains that there s a bloodlust in the Israeli Jewish population which is new, fomented by all the major Israeli parties.  The Israeli targeting of UN facilities and personel is also new, as is the deliberate starvation of a whole population.

This bloodlust, used to promote the morale of a power struture, appears to be increasing in both the Israeli and American Zionists, and may well lead to massacres of the Palestinian population, like those of the refugee camps in Beirut. THE NEW REPUBLIC, a Zionist Progressive magazine, featured the Zionist Halevi, beginning his piece praising the Zionist invasion, “This is the best of Israel.”  Decryng the peace initiatives with Syria and others.

This pathological bloodlust is RATIONAL from the point of view of oppressive power.  And a considerable fraction of the Zionist power system appears to be drifting toward massacre, as the Nazis did.

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By Louise, January 17, 2009 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

I think we see a common malady in “free” nations just now. A kind of schizophrenia that forces sane men to move quickly from one side to the other, and back again.

Stuff happens so quickly these days, sane men can easily lose footing if they try to stay on a rational course. Confusion and discourse often lead to switching to an irrational course. Ultimately the course becomes muddled and lost and leaves us all looking like paranoid schizophrenics.

Fisk is correct, to the degree he points out we have no shortage of Genocides in our recent history. But he misses one example that way down deep, we all fear but are afraid to speak.

When Hitler decided to target the Jews as responsible for all of Germany’s woes, I doubt he thought much about the unintended consequences. Namely that his decision would lead to a World War, that would lead to his, and Germany’s destruction.

Israel has pushed and pushed, and continues to push, Palestine and Gaza. No matter what we call it. No matter what they say to justify it. Israel has been consumed, and is now driven beyond rational thought. The mob mentality has set in. And no-one controls the mob. And that particular mob has access to enough nuclear weapons to level the Middle East.

We recognize sane people will not use a nuclear bomb in their own back yard. But unfortunately there are nuclear bombs in backyards outside of Israel. At what point in time will Israel’s blind aggression push someone somewhere to say, enough, lets just stop them? Besides, what do we see in this current conflict that could be defined as sane?

This danger is highlighted by the united States and Israel’s expressed disdain for the United Nations. The one single hope we have for maintaining some sort of sanity in a completely insane world!

So no matter what Fisk says, there is a stark parellel between World War II and Israel’s determination to occupy Gaza. An outraged world could lead to the explosion of a World War III.

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By Ed Harges, January 17, 2009 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

re: By thebeerdoctor, January 17 at 10:12 am:

Yes, I second your thanks to Birch for this link. I cannot imagine this man’s being given such a hearing in the US media. Amazing.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 17, 2009 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

re: Birch

Thank you for the parliament link. Sir Gerald Kaufmann lays out the real problems, but you can be sure that this Jewish viewpoint will be totally ignored by U.S. news. Nevertheless, the emperor has no clothes.

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By troublesum, January 17, 2009 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

The important point is that all nations who go to war must be held accountable to the standards of international law.  The US and Israel must not be allowed to be exempt.  Let’s not be satisfied with hurling insults at the Israelis or with making comparisons to past atrocities.  Only what stands up in an international court of law is what matters now.  Hating Israel gets us nowhere.  Focus on the facts of the case against them.  Fisk’s advice is good: leave Hiltler out of it.  We don’t need him.

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 17, 2009 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Sorry for the typo, but the word “peace” should be “piece”!

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By Thomas Mc, January 17, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

It is because of attitudes like these, that Israel is free to act exactly as Nazi Germany did. The author is aiding and abetting Israel’s crimes.

Perhaps he should get off his high horse, and read what happened in the Warsaw Ghetto and Uprising!

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 17, 2009 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Sorry Mr. Fisk! We cannot leave World War II out of Palestine, simply because one the perpetuated crimes resulting from WW II was the crime of planting Israel artificially in the heart of the Arab world as a colonialist entity.

A person who knows the history of the area like you Mr. Fist, should not entitle a peace in the stupid way you did!

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By John R Bloxson Jr, January 17, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Fisk,
How can one leave WWII out of what is happening in the Middle East?  You can’t Hamas wants to finish what Hitler started Hezzbollah wants to finish what Hitler started The Al Aqusa Martyrs Brigade want to finish what Hitler started so you are mistaken in your basic primise to begin with.  WWII is a direct
part of the Hate filled Hamas Terrorist they have trained under Hitlers plans to sieze the children and brainwash them so the parents than have to come along and continue this Hate indocternation When Israeli and Arab children in Israel are studying science Arab children of the Gaza Strip and West bank are learning to field strip an AK-47, and how to put up and tear down a morter quickly, or use a Rocket Launcher 3rd grade Arab Children watch television shows that glorify Shahada and Jihad about killing the dirty Jew and his handler the Great Satan the U.S.A. so I say you can forget the past dooming us to make the same mistakes again, but we Jews say never again will we go peacably to our deaths, NEVER AGAIN!!!  Ever heard of the Hitler Youth well the Arab Youth are being indoctrinated the same way so no you can not leave WWII out of what is happening in the Middle East because what is happening is directly tied to Hitler’s final Salution.
          John R. Bloxson Jr

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By geronimo, January 17, 2009 at 7:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Zionist state has been on a genocidal mission since the United Nations voted it into existence sixty years ago.  Right away the Zionists carried out ethnic cleansing with the elimination of over 300 Palestinian villages & towns.  Then there was the matter of cultural genocide with prohibitions placed on displays of the Palestinian flag.  Do you remember Prime Minister Golda Meir insisting that there was no such thing as Palestine.  Which brings us to the seige of Gaza and the slaughter of eleven hundred Palestinians by the U.S. backed Zionist armed forces.  What do all these actions add up to?  Genocide*, that’s what.

*Internet dictionary’s definition of genocide: The systematic killing of all the people from a national, ethnic or religious group or AN ATTEMPT TO DO THIS.

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By Birch, January 17, 2009 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Must watch video
SIR Gerald Kaufman, yesterday (Thu 15 Jan 2009) compared the actions of Israeli troops in Gaza to the Nazis who forced his family to flee Poland. Kaufman, a member of the Jewish Labour movement linked to Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s ruling party, also called for an arms embargo against Israel.

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By Jim Yell, January 17, 2009 at 7:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To begin with Germany in WWII was not defending itself and its own country. Germany was taking a cue from the Assyrians of ancient history and were killing people to increase their wealth.

No I am not saying that Israel is innocent of un-necessary violence, but they have been given validity by the moslems who have only used calls for cease fire to give themselves a pause to regroup from their endless idea of pushing the jews into the sea.

You can not shoot over your fence into your neighbors yard and then complain because your neighbor returns fire. You can not let strangers fire over your fence and then complain that you are innocents.

Hamas has deliberatly and un-necessarily exposed the population of Gaza to attack. They have proved themselves bloody minded and untouched by the death they bring to everyone.

As to Gaza probably the only hope for them is to incorporate themselves into a larger country that can provide protection and have the resources to control the chaos created by inflexiable idealogues and religious gangsters. Of course, I would have to think that Egypt, the only country positoned to provide this, has problems of its own and would have to be crazy to take on the responsibilty of such an unpleasant group.

I believe it might help if the palestinians take resonsibilty for keeping gangsters from giving Israel validation to use force than maybe a mutually benifcial relationship between Gaza and Israel could develope.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 17, 2009 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

PSmith’s point about Fisk not being on the internet is well taken. No matter how much admired, Fisk’s insights are only a small portion of the information available. Technological breakthroughs such as Livestation, are starting to show what other muffled news sources edit out. Facts about AIPAC donations to our elected officials, reveal their Zionist lobby talking points to be ridiculous.
It is one thing to be lied to. It is quite another to know you are being lied to.

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By Purple Girl, January 17, 2009 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

If calling the excessive force being used by Israel stops the massacre of a thousand more Palestinians, then lets call it what it may easily become.
If our lofty rhetoric makes Israeli’s consider their actions and stop this ‘shooting fish in a barrel’ offensive..So much the Better.
There were many in Germany who knew, or at least suspected what was haappening but never dared call it genocide.And how many Jews were killed for their silence, their ‘diplomacy’ of words?
If calling them ‘Nazi’s’ gets the Israelis to stop bombing the hell out of Gaza, then so be it!
I never want to be from a generation who looks back and regrets not condemning such atrocities.
Will Millions have to be killed before you dare ‘insult’ the israeli gov’t? What body count do you need to assure that we adhere to ‘Never Again’??

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By Inherit The Wind, January 17, 2009 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

It’s funny (not LOL, but sad) that Truthdig concentrates TOTALLY on Gaza and the Palestinians, but never, EVER pays any attention to far worse situations. 

In today’s NYT, Bob Herbert is making an impassioned plea for the world to do something because, as he puts it, Zimbabwe is dying.  The situation in Gaza is dire, no doubt, but in Harare the hospitals have to close during the cholera epidemic because there’s no running water, electricity or functioning sewers, so all the toilets are backed up—the worst possible thing in a cholera epidemic.  It’s getter worse each day yet this madman not only makes it worse, he makes helping the people impossible.

But there are 3 to 5 threads on Gaza and none for a month or so on Zimbabwe.

Have we had any thread about the central African conflict that has killed as many as 5 MILLION people?  Folks, that’s a TRUE Holocaust—and it’s all between war lords who want to control conflict diamonds and other gems and resources.  It’s an extension of the Rwanda genocide that killed nearly a million.

Even Darfur has vanished.

Instead, the plight of the Gazans is seen as the worst thing in the world.  It’s bad, but there are far worse.  And the crazy thing is, all the Gazans have to do is stop firing missiles at Israel and disarm Hamas.  Then, Poof!, it’s all over and the borders can open again.

How about a cold hard dose of reality checking, Truthdiggers?

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By rsmatesic, January 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment

A false analogy, Mr. Fisk?

As to the effects achieved, they are only distant cousins and you are, I suppose, correct.

But as for the willingness to dehumanize and obliterate one’s victims while terrorizing the rest; casting oneself as the Real Victim, while unleashing the most sophisticated weaponry ever devised on a defenseless population; assuming such license because, after all, God said they have the right to do it; they are identical twins.

Please tell us how forced starvation and the confiscation of medicine, water, electricity, sanitation, et al., doesn’t evidence murderous intent against an entire civilization?  That the only thing that’s keeping a narcissistic, Jewish Supremacist state from having no further conflict with its enfeebled and dispossessed racial inferiors is the right sort of negotiating partner?  That Olmert and Barak and Livni and Peres and Netanyahu are only daydreaming when they peer into the nuclear abyss just to see if the Iranians at the other end blink back?

Better yet, tell the Gazans. They’re sure to take great comfort in the knowledge that their sons/daughters,/wives/husbands/grandmothers/grandfathers, who have died quick and not so quick deaths—and will continue to do so—died for a righteous cause: not, mind you, to make the whole world safe for Jews. Just the part that lies under (all of) their feet.

In closing, and in fairness, I should point out that I generally admire the fine work that you do—and have for years—work which, ironically, inspired in no small part this response.  I’m not kidding.

But quibbling with the rhetoric of those who, amidst the carnage, are trying to end it is hardly a good use of anyone’s energies right now.  The analogy holds in enough respects to provide the mental space in which to reconsider one’s own prejudices, as well as one’s neighbor’s.  Please let it be.

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By Shift, January 16, 2009 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

Fisk: “No, the real reason why “Gaza-Genocide” is a dangerous parallel is because it is not true. Gaza’s one and a half million refugees are treated outrageously enough, but they are not being herded into gas chambers or forced on death marches. “

The words of Fisk are purposfully false. Here is the truth.  Read and understand.


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By eileen fleming, January 16, 2009 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

In the past three years, Israel, the US, Europe and Japan all imposed an inhumane siege of Gaza while conducting a campaign of targeted assassinations and attacks throughout the cease-fire that left over 1,700 Palestinians dead.

This current war on Gaza is merely a more deadly round of this cycle of violence. Hamas firings on Israel were mostly-if not exclusively-responses to Israeli actions that were not reported in the press- or else accepted without question as legitimate unilateral action; such as assassinating leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations, often with a high toll in civilian casualties.

If only there had been a genuine political process which offered the Palestinians hope for self-determination, the rocket firings could have been avoided altogether.

Among the slaughtered who were not Hamas are the graduating class of traffic cops in the first aerial attack on Gaza, the Professors and students who attended the “Hamas” Islamic University, the family members of Hamas military figures, people who voted for Hamas, children and mothers.

Attacking a grassroots political-religious-social movement engaged in military resistance to the forty-one years of occupation in crowded urban settings makes it impossible for an invading army to distinguish between civilians and fighters.

In regards to the ceasefire, Israel and Hamas agreed to a truce through Egypt by which Israel would allow the opening of the Gazan border crossings (at least partially) in return for a end to rocket fire on Israel.

Hamas largely, though not entirely, kept its part of the bargain.

Israel almost never did.

Killings of Palestinians from the air continued, and on our USA American election day, Israel attacked the tunnels. The tunnels exist to export and import, for Israel has maintained complete control of air, water and land borders even after the ‘disengagement’ in 2005.

“In May there were 149 rocket attacks. In June before the ceasefire started on the 18th, there were 84. In the rest of June, three. Throughout July, August, September and October, there were just fifteen attacks and Israel agrees that none of these rockets were fired by Hamas.”

Hamas was democratically elected and as the elected government, all the infrastructure, from traffic cops to schools to military installations, “belong” to Hamas.

It is clear that Israeli attacks have gone beyond “the infrastructure of terror.”

Occupation is defined in international law as exercising effective control of a foreign territory.

The Road Map initiative uses the term “occupation” explicitly and does not accept Israel’s claim that the occupation of Gaza really ended with “disengagement” in 2005.

Israel had control Gaza since 1967. Gazans have not been allowed to open their sea or air ports. In early 2006, less than six months after “disengagement,” Gaza was sanctioned and hermetically isolated by Israel and the international community as punishment for voting for Hamas!

John Dugard, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, wrote that this was the first time in history the oppressed was sanctioned and the Occupying Power freed of any responsibility. Economic development, not to mention a political process which might have prevented the violence on both sides, was actively prevented by both Israel and its international supporters, which share responsibility for the present tragedy in Gaza.

Israel has special responsibility towards the people of Gaza, for these “civilians” are, for the most part, refugees and their descendants driven from their homes by Israel in 1948.

American taxpayers provide $7-10 million a day that goes directly to continue the Israeli occupation of Palestine, making all of US culpable in the misery that is Gaza.

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By sab, January 16, 2009 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Merely to make such a parallel is an act of anti-Semitism.” 

What a classic ADL line… I am sure Fisk do not work for ADL but I think he is wrong to say that making parallels when they exist is “anti-semitic”.

I think most decent people understand the difference between the Nazis and Israelis but when the Israeli millitary behaves in a Nazi like fashion then it’s appropriate to make such a comparison.

If Israelis don’t like to be called “Nazis” then there’s a simple way to fix that.. STOP BEHAVING LIKE ONE.

Just to illustrate the thought process behind Israeli policy (and actions) towards Palestinians, let me quote few of the Influential Israeli leaders here:

Moshe Dayan. The Respected Israeli Military Leader once advised Palestinians: “we have no solution, you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave..”

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, ‘New Statesman, June 25,1982’:

”[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs.”

Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, head of the Kever Yossev Yeshiva (school of Talmud) in Nablus stated:

“The blood of the Jewish people is loved by the Lord; it is therefore redder and their life is preferable.”

Yitzhak Rabin once said : “We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters.”

I think that’s quite a Nazi like thinking (not to mention Israeli actions in Gaza right now).

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By radson, January 16, 2009 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

Sir Robert Fisk you have mentioned many times the importance of understanding history in order to comprehend what is occurring presently in the world.Your eloquently written behemoth of a

book “The Great War for Civilisation” does just that in it’s continual reference to days gone past ,which does entail many relevant correlations which are applicable today.There exist many comparisons

today that many folks are using that have very limiited merit with regard to what transpired during WW2 and the present situation in Gaza.But nevertheless the fact remains that very little is being

learned in a humanitarian sense as compared to the theoritical reasons why the tyrants failed and how they could have been more successful.There exist very few instances where a peaceful solution

was chosen as opposed to the violent methods with success.Some commenters have referred to Ghandi in their letters as a positive source of inspiration for their quest for peaceful ways of negotiating

through the morasse that has been plagueing all aspirations towards a reasonable settlement,not only in the Middle East but elsewhere also.Violence did not end with the termination of hostilities in the year

1945 it only adopted a different mask with similar goals, for some nations it is aggrandisement for others it is money,rarely in the history of this planet is it due to mere extermination.As AJP Taylor has stated

-and this is a paraphrase “all wars are caused by money” and i believe that he is right on the money with that one.

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By Michael Gillespie, January 16, 2009 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Do basic research on the April 26, 1937 air attacks on Guernica for yourself if you like.  The modern estimates, which are now widely accepted, suggest that 250-300 were killed in Guernica.  Over 1,000 are now dead in Gaza.

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By JOHNDICKERSON, January 16, 2009 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

...that WWIII would most likely be caused by the use of an inappropriate analogy.

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