Saturday, July 01, 2006

Israeli math

From an article by R.J. Rummel (there are footnotes in the original):

“In some occupied areas in which the Nazis had to contend with well organized and active guerrilla units, they applied a simple rule: they would massacre one hundred nearby civilians for every German soldier killed; fifty for every one wounded. Often this was a minimum that might be doubled or tripled. They thus killed vast numbers of innocent peasants and townsfolk, possibly as many as 8,000 in Kraguyevats, 1,755 in Kraljevo, and overall 80,000 in Jajinci, to name just in a few places in Yugoslavia alone. Most executions were small in number, but day by day they added up. From an official German war diary: 16 December 1942, "In Belgrade, 8 arrests, 60 Mihailovich [the guerrilla Chetnik leader] supporters shot;" 27 December, "In Belgrade, 11 arrests, 250 Mihailovich supporters shot as retaliation." A German placard from Belgrade announced that the Nazis shot fifty hostages in retaliation for the dynamiting of a bridge. On 25 May 1943 the Nazis shot 150 hostages in Kraljevo; in October they shot 150 hostages in Belgrade; fifty hostages in Belgrade in August 1943; 150 Serbs at Cacak in October; and so on. In Greece, as another example, the Nazis may have burned and destroyed as many as 1,600 villages each with populations of 500 to 1,000 people, no doubt massacring many of the inhabitants beforehand. Overall, the Nazis thus slaughtered hundreds of thousands in Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Greece, and France; and millions overall in Poland and the Soviet Union.”

We should also remember the massacre of the Czech town of Lidice.  This kind of massive over-retaliation isn’t politically possible any longer, but the Israelis have found that a similar result can be obtained by removing access to electricity, creating terror through sonic booms and bombs, and kidnapping a large portion of a democratically-elected government. The critical point is that they continue to use the same racist mathematics as the Nazis:  since a Palestinian is only worth a tiny percentage of a Jew, the taking of one Jewish prisoner of war rates the terrorizing of a million Gazans.  The deafening silence of the world to this kind of calculation means that the world apparently approves of the higher Nazi/Jewish math.

From an article by Virginia Tilley:

“Israel has done many things argued to be war crimes: mass house demolitions, closing whole cities for weeks, indefinite ‘preventative’ detentions, massive land confiscation, the razing of thousands of square miles of Palestinian olive groves and agriculture, systematic physical and mental torture of prisoners, extrajudicial killings, aerial bombardment of civilian areas, collective punishment of every description in defiance of the Geneva Conventions – not to mention the general humiliation and ruin of the indigenous people under its military control. But destroying the only power source for a trapped and defenseless civilian population is an unprecedented step toward barbarity. It reeks, ironically, of the Warsaw Ghetto. As we flutter our hands about tectonic political change, we must take pause: in the eyes of history, what is happening in Gaza may come to eclipse them all.”

The barbarity is even worse as Israel, not having relinquished de facto control of Gaza and its borders, has an obligation under international law as an occupying country to protect the civilian population of Gaza.

I haven’t been able to find much under-the-bombs commentary from inside Gaza itself, but the blog From Gaza, with Love is very good.