Columnist Ted Rall wrote (extracts):
As commander of a Nazi einsatzgruppen death squad in occupied Poland, Dr. Werner Best came to believe that the most effective response to terrorism was collective punishment. After the fall of France he went on to draft the Third Reich's counterterrorism policy for countries occupied by Germany. Towns where acts of ‘passive’ resistance such as the cutting of telegraph cables had taken place were placed under curfews, fined and slapped with travel restrictions. ‘Active’ resistance - the killing of a German soldier - would be met by reprisal killings of local civilians. [...]
Eventually Hitler himself got into the act. Convinced that collective punishment was failing because it wasn't severe enough, the führer issued a September 1941 order to use ‘the harshest measures’ against civilians in areas where the Resistance was active. Arguing that ‘only the [collective] death penalty can be a real means of deterrence’, Hitler ordered that 50 civilians be executed for each German soldier killed.
Back to the future, Al Jazeera reported that the UN has criticised Israel for conducting collective punishment on Gaza's population whenever it responds to security threats such as rocket attacks by militant groups.
The Israelis would sent its fighter jets on strike missions in northern Gaza which would invariably end up with more civilian deaths, mostly women and chidren, rather than those who launched the rockets.
Additionally, when Israeli soldiers recently captured four (they claimed) Hamas fighters, and took them to Israel for questioning, the troops also arrested family members of the fighters. Another favourite Israeli practice woudl be to demolish the houses of the families of terrorists. I read an American caustically proposing a new State flag for Israel which has a bulldozer in the place of the Star of David.
More than 38 Palestinians have now been killed since Monday.
Al Jazeera reported that Israel bombed four targets in Gaza on Friday, including an office block in a crowded part of the city. The building was reduced to rubble, killing one woman and injuring almost 50 other people.
Al Jazeera's correspondent Jacky Rowland says the Israeli onslaught in Gaza is making the position of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, increasingly difficult. Khalil Shaheen, a political analyst based in Ramallah in the West Bank, agrees that Abbas has been placed in an impossible situation.
Khalil Shaheen said: "He [Abbas] is trying to continue with negotiations while Israel is continuing attacks in the West Bank and Gaza. This equation will not lead anyone anywhere, and he will have to take a political stand that will put an an end to the negotiations due to the Israeli escalation of violence."
The reality is Israel does not want peace because 'peace' will thwart its grand design. More of this later.
When President Bush embarked on his so-called ‘peace mission’ to Israel and Palestine, many couldn’t help but laugh at him. This was a Bush who, apart from launching illegal wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq, talked about ‘bringing democracy’ to Palestine but sabotaging the democratically elected Hamas government when his Israeli master told him to. Bush and his Israel bosses, Ariel Sharon and then Ehud Olmert, went about putting up a puppet Palestinian government by endorsing a minority Fatah government.
If fact in earlier years, Bush and Israel prevented elections in Palestine until after Yasser Arafat passed away because they didn’t want a world-recognised democratically elected government headed by Yasser Arafat. No way, Jose, not when the head of a democratically elected Palestinian government would be the ‘wrong man’ for Mother Israel.
‘Democracy’ in Palestine to Bush and Israel means only one thing, that the associated elections must produce the same results as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, American puppet governments. And where necessary, the election in those country would be preceded by war and occupation, of course to teach the natives about American styled ‘democracy’ which has been designed for colonies.
In earlier years there were similar such cases in South Korea, Taiwan, South Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines. Indonesia (under Suharto), Pakistan and Egypt and (at one time) Uzbekistan, etc have the sort of 'democratic' governments that the US government prefers. And they didn't even have an Israel to contend with.
Anyway, when Bush started his meaningless journey he made stern calls to Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders and to cease building new settlements in the Palestinian West Bank as had been agreed at the recent and totally useless Annapolis talks hosted by Bush, but just after two days of stay under Israeli ‘care’ he changed his stand 180 degrees around, stating that there is no possible return to the 1967 borders and that Israel has the right to continue its development of new settlements.
Significantly, among his entourage, is ultra neocon Zionist, Elliot Abrams, a man who like Donald Feith has been perceived by many to be more Israeli than American. With a semi-moronic simpleton like George Bush, his neocon advisors would have him taking a stand like an Ariel Sharon redux within 24 hours.
Moderate Arabs may be prepared to live with an Israeli entity which doesn't oppress Palestinians, but the stand that there will ‘...no possible return to the 1967 borders ...’ means there will never ever be peace.
UN Sec-Gen Ban joined Holmes on Friday in urging Israel to end the blockade of Gaza, currently the world’s biggest prison. Ban said Israel cutting off the Gaza population from fuel supplies needed to pump water and generate electricity for homes and hospitals and food, medical and relief items is inhumane.
I say the Israelis are like born-again-Nazis.
Isolating Gaza and the West Bank like islands in Israeli military controlled zones is not new and has a sinister purpose.
In his article on the Nazi, Ted Rall said Dr Werner Best, the Nazi proponent of group punishment, was trying to protect German troops.
But the Israelis aim is more than the mere protection of its soldiers or illegal settlers. Its isolation of Gaza and West Bank is not the mere encircling of the two Palestinian enclaves (or prisons) for security reasons. Within those enclaves are further military sub-enclaves, with hundreds of military check points. The sole aim is to hamper, slow down, deny, frustrate and thwart Palestinians farmers, traders and travellers.
The strategy is to so demoralize and weaken the resolve of the Palestinians to remain in Gaza or the West Bank so that out of lost hope, wretched misery and desperation they will seek to migrate elsewhere, any f*-where. When that happens or a situation close enough, Israel will annex both pieces of Palestinian real estates.
In fact, when he was active, Ariel Sharon had repetitively pronounced Jordan as the homeland for Palestinians and for them to move over there. Israel aims to annex the entire Palestinian land, which to them are the sacred lands of Judea and Samarra.
And why won’t Israel annex the occupied territories now or earlier? Not with 5 million Palestinians there. When you annex lands, you annex or get their population as well. An Israel having 5 million Arabs as part of their population in a Greater Davidic Israel would be far too perilous and self defeating to a Jewish State.
Too bad for the Israelis they can’t indulge in what their biblical ancestors had done to the Amalekites, namely genocide to solve their problem of ensuring a Jewish-majority status for a Greater Israel, though at times we have seen isolated models of the Israeli atavistic propensity at Deir Yassin, Sabra and Shatila and their vicious malicious attacks of Southern Lebanon (Qana) and the destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure (even in the north) in the recent conflict.
Ted Rall wrote of Israel’s Nazi behavior in Lebanon:
In response to criticism that Israel was using ‘disproportionate’ force against Lebanon, its ambassador to the United Nations told a cheering mob in New York: "You're damned right we are!" Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) chimed in: "Since when should a response to aggression and murder be proportionate?"
That was the response of an arrogant Israeli ambassador about Israel’s Nazi conduct in Lebanon to a cheering Jewish crowd in New York. And though Republican Jerrold Nadler might not have realised it at that time when he was currying favour with American Jewish voters, his shameless comments actually justifies the Palestinian responses to Israeli atrocities and aggressions.
Ted Rall said: Congressman Nadler ought to catch up on his reading. Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which has been signed and ratified by both Israel and the United States and was drafted in response to the kinds of Nazi atrocities described at the beginning of this column, specifically prohibits collective punishment. As a treaty obligation, it is U.S. law. It is Israeli law.
Nothing prevents a nation from defending itself or going after those who commit heinous crimes--which include kidnapping--against its citizens. Understanding the difference between self-defense and collective punishment is what separates Israel and the U.S.--on paper, anyway--from the Nazis.
Heil Hitler, Heil Israel, Heil Ariel Sharon, Heil Ehud Olmert.