Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Israel loses German support

The latest piece in Der Spiegel is symptomatic of a shift in German political opinion. It isn't anti-Israel of course - but importantly is no longer pro-Israel either. This is quite a significant shift, and supports the view that whatever the military outcome of this conflict, however successful Israel is in destroying the Hamas rockets, that Hamas have won. War is a filthy and brutal business, and neither side has clean hands, but this must be the first war shared live on twitter and instagram. 

Our view of what constitutes a war crime changes over time. Eric Priebke was the German officer in charge of the shooting of 335 Italian hostages in the Ardeatine Caves in 1944. Post war attempts at prosecution found he could be accused of only five murders, the five extra hostages that he had himself added to the official command to execute 330 hostages. Shooting civilians in reprisal in certain given circumstances was quite lawful and not a war crime in the Second World War. Also lawful at the time was the terror-bombing by the RAF of civilian towns and cities to 'demoralise' the civilian population. Both actions were made war crimes only in 1949 - but not of course retrospectively. So Sir Arthur Harris could not be hanged for bombing Dresden any more than Eric Priebke could be hanged for shooting 330 civilian hostages. 

The changes to war-crime law came only when the true human effects became known of military actions which had previously been considered militarily expeditious and a necessary adjunct of warfare. Then it was monochrome newsreel of bundles of rags and sticks, once humans, being removed from the Adeatine Caves, and footage of German babies melted by the RAF, images that overcame protests of military necessity. And so civilisation advanced another tiny notch. 

I suspect that the images that are coming from Israel's assault on Gaza may be the catalyst for another change; the wonders of the internet have let the world see that the Palestinians are people just like themselves, wearing the same trainers and using the same mobile phones, with the same kids' pictures on the classroom walls. And filled with the same blood. 


Quiet_Man said...

The Palestinians may be ordinary, but only have themselves to blame for allowing the likes of hamas power over them. Bit like the Germans with the Nazis.

Anonymous said...

If the Israelis were after a maximum death toll, then given the material destruction they have achieved, the human toll looks extremely light.

I don't weep for any Germans: they started it (indiscriminate bombing of cities), in the First World War if not the Second, and they knew when the elected the Nazis what it would lead to.

They were bloody lucky at the end of the war that they weren't treated worse.

Wildgoose said...

The difference between Germany under the Nazis and Gaza under Hamas is that most ordinary Germans didn't actually want to murder people simply because they were Jewish. The tragedy is that this does not appear to be the case in Gaza.

Jews were expelled from (or killed) in nearly all the countries of the Middle East - Syria and Iran being two noteworthy exceptions to that rule.

In 1945 around half the population of Baghdad was Jewish. None now of course, and soon there will be no Christians either.

Turkey expelled its Christian population (and attempted genocide in Christian Armenia), but nobody talks about that.

It seems Muslims can murder and drive out anybody they like, but the World reacts in outrage when in the tiny enclave of Israel (which is smaller than Wales) a handful of Jews resist this process.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Turkey did not "attempt" genocide against the Armenians; they very succesfully committed it (and deny it to this day).

When you consider the tens of thousands of Muslims slaughtering each other across the middle east right now barely makes the news, and the eradication of Christianity across the region doesn't make the MSM at all, it is mysterious to me why a relatively low level conflict like Gaza is top of the news. Could it be the relative lack of dead Jews?

My problem with all this pro-Palestine stuff is they started it and their stated intention is the eradication of the Jews. There can be no doubt they mean it. Sadly for them, they're not very good at it.

Personally I can't see what other course of action Israel could take. I am open to suggestions from the usual suspects.

Anonymous said...

The latest casualties in the market in Shejaiya are the result of the thick Palestinians refusing to leave - like they have been told to do for more than 3 weeks. After a while, you know it's deliberate, and they are getting their human shields battered.

personally, I think the world might be better off if we stopped worrying about conflicts in other parts of the world and started preparing for the ones that will erupt here ...

mikebravo said...

20 million ethnic Germans deported back to the fatherland after the war.
A couple of million Greeks and Turks exchanged in 1923.
How many jews deported over centuries?
They are not all permanently camped out firing missiles into Prague, Istanbul and all the rest.
The so called Palestinian arabs should just sod off to the millions of sq miles of arab/muslim/oil rich lands and get on with living their lives.
Unfortunately that would not suit their murderous religion and hate filled ideologies.
Sod em all!

Anonymous said...

If you have a strong constitution check the link that Pat Condell tweeted today showing the callous barbarism and mass murders of ISIS.

Then realise that that is exactly what HAMAS would do to the 8 million jews in Israel.

It's alright taking the supposed moral high ground from your armchairs.. but what are you going to do when evil looks you right in the eye?

Incidentally, a situation I expect the UK to be in with regards to its Muslim population within the next 30 years...

Anonymous said...

On R4 last week was an Israeli being questioned by an obviously biased BBC interviewer, who thought he would easily get his popular (sic) way until the Israeli guy asked him a question in return. "How would you expect your government to react if 1500 rockets had been fired onto UK towns and cities?" No answer from the BBC interviewer.

In reality, there is only one way for Israel to sort this out and that is to eradicate the Palestinians, annex what was their land and let any other Islamic wannabes know that that is the fate that befalls them if they want to have another go. Of course, the Islamists could just stop poking the hornet's nest and it would all settle down in a week. Wanna place bets on that?

Coney Island

Anonymous said...

On other thing - why are institutions such as the UN stoking the fires on this?

5 Million dead in the Congo - no one gave a shit
2 Million dead in Rwanda - no one gave a shit
1.5 Million dead in Iraq - people pissed off but they shrug their shoulders
200,000 dead in Syria - ditto as Iraq
1000 dead in response to non stop HAMAS aggression.... and the world loses it's collective shit...

The hypocrisy is sickening...

DeeDee99 said...

Ultimately, if the Palestinians stopped supporting Hamas and accepted that peace will only come when they agree a settlement with Israel, the war would stop.

Let's not forget that this particular bout of the ongoing war was kicked off when 3 Israelis were murdered.

Sadly, all the time the Palestinians and their supporters are calling for the destruction of Israel, peace will not be possible. And civilians always get killed in the fighting.

Bloke In Italy said...

I fully respect Israel's right to defend itself and admire the guts and courage it has shown down the years to do so.

However I cannot avoid thinking that an entirely justifiable campaign to remove the threat posed by hamas has been allowed to mutate into what looks from the outside like an ugly war of aggression.

The attack on the market yesterday by all accounts took place during a ceasefire. That is unacceptable. I might expect it of Putin's Russia, or of Hamas itslef but I hold the Isaelis to higher standards, the same as I would the US or the British.

If hospitals and schools are targetted because Hamas have located launchers there - well to some extent that is fair enough, but there must be a better way than airstrikes and artillery.

At some point this damn war has to end and at some point Israelis and palestinians will have to live peacefully alongside each other - that is made harder by stoking up the hatred in the way they are doing.

I don't know whether Israel can achieve its military objectives in this war, but regardless of that they have comprehensively lost the twitter war, and made a longer term solution harder, and probably made hamas stronger.

Raedwald said...

I wanted to avoid a debate on the rights and wrongs of the conflict - hundreds of thousands of comments and posts elsewhere do this - and look instead at whether the unique exposure of the conflict via social media will cause change.

My own view is that this is a one-way ratchet; no-one ever reports that Israeli artillery has destroyed a Hamas rocket position with no collateral civilian casualties. The 'Mail' says today, for example, that it is 'profoundly troubled' by the civilian casualties, despite having been a long time uncritical supporter of Israel's actions. Israel now finds herself unable to take military action against Hamas in Gaza without losing even more support - and this process will continue, I suspect, until even a change in US public opinion occurs.

Israel simply cannot come out of this in a better position than she was in at the start.

Anonymous said...

What will we do when the murderous lunatics, sorry the ideologues...'followers' of the ROP - what will we do when they start asserting themselves and killing the kafir, here in Britain?

You know it is coming here Raedwald.

I don't particularly like what Israel is doing in Gaza but I do not see that they have any choice, what choice is there, die or fight?

That will be our choice, we were soft, have been to accommodating and some of us, we encourage the ROP to behave like the new masters.
Look into the university campuses across Britain, each one has an aggressive Muslim students associations and a faculty dedicated to Islamic studies paid for by the sovereign funds from the Gulf Wahabists.
Yes, the funding of new build Mosques springing up all over the north, the midlands and the south. Mosques built even, in towns with no significant Muslim population ie; Banbury, Newbury, York to name but a few - this is colonization, a takeover if you like and the British authorities collude and abet it.
And year in, year out they pour in, you see it in their eyes, "we are the masters now" a birth rate to match and paid for by you and me.
Undeniable also - the new arrivals like their already arrived brethren walk tall shouting their greetings to each other, kids in "their areas" view all whites as 'outsiders' and don't deny it - a perceptive bloke like you, you'll have seen the same.
I've worked with South Asian Muslims, Indo,Pak,Bangla not all of them are nutters but even the meek pay lip service and we know doctors as do they all, at Mosque pay in to the coffers of the salafists.
I watched, as some Pakistani, African and others cheer as the twin Towers were bombed, the knowing looks the tacit understanding, the shared smiles and back clapping and then I thought, in this country - we've had it.

We'd better prepare, the Israelis understand what they face, most here [in Britain] do not.

Anonymous said...

Sebastian Weetabix: "When you consider the tens of thousands of Muslims slaughtering each other across the middle east right now barely makes the news,"

How many mosques are blown up by musslemen and not a whimper by the western media, yet one stray mortar originating from Western forces, and the BBC is grovelling on it's belly along side CNN, CBS, bla bla

Anonymous said...

Raewald: " and look instead at whether the unique exposure of the conflict via social media will cause change."

Social media is controlled by the media monoliths- the BBC in the UK.

They have legions of people sitting on twatter, twatting, at the tax payers expense.

Social media is shite.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Everything you say about civilisation, and war in general, is true.

But in this particular case, it's worth remembering that if the Palestinians laid down their arms tomorrow, there would be peace; whereas if the Israelis laid down their arms tomorrow, there would be a slaughter.

That, and what anon 0154 said.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

@Raedwald: since the Twatterati and the MSM seem universally to believe the Israelis are massacring the Palestinians anyway, whatever evidence the Israelis produce to the contrary, if I were Mr Netanyahu I would tell my army commanders to take the gloves off and eradicate Hamas. No more phone calls, roof knocking or warnings. Just blow away every target, pronto, with maximum force, and keep going until every Hamas operative is dead, every tunnel is caved in and every rocket has been spent, no matter how long it takes. Sounds harsh, does it not? Yet I think back to the Germans and the Japanese. Once they were the world's most aggressive militarists. Total war is what it took to convince them of the error of their ways. If the Palestinians want to hurl rockets at Israel, completely unprovoked, then they must suffer the consequences until they stop.

As for Bloke in Italy's comment about there being a better way than airstrikes or artillery... give me strength. You could try a twitter campaign, perhaps #kumbayapleasestopit. Or send in infantry. The Islamist nutters in Hamas say "we love death more than you love life". Fine. Give them what they want.

Scpetical Steve said...

Bloke in Italy, I guess everyone would share your thought that "there must be a better way than airstrikes and artillery."
A few years ago, when Israel was routinely targeted by suicide bombers, they reasoned that a security wall was an appropriate and non-violent response.
The ensuing outcry from the liberal media was hysterical and predictable.
Putting soldiers into Gaza to hunt down the rocket and mortar teams would seem obvious but, would inevitably lead to potential ambushes on killing fields of Hamas' choosing.

Strangely enough, no journalists or UN staff embedded in Gaza ever seem to witness the actions of the mortar or rocket launching teams, but are always close at hand when the Israelis retaliate, a testament to the News Management skills of Hamas.

Sadly, we have to accept that nothing that the Israelis can do would earn them overt praise from western governments and media.

meltemian said...

Weekend Yachtsman: You beat me to it with your paraphrasing of Benjamin Netanyahu's quote.
I also remember Golda Meir saying "Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us".

Span Ows said...

Ironically it is Hamas that are committing the war crimes. Israel, in defending itself IS NOT.

G. Tingey said...

Quiet man
How evilly wrong of you
Once the Nazis had power, even shared a little during 1933-4 it was too late.
By the time September 1939 came around, any attempt at resistance to the NDSAP was brutally crushed.
Similarly with Palestinians who want peace, trying to resist Hamas, right now.
As Radders says "filled with the same blood" & victims of their own cruel & evil bosses, whom they are powerless, truly powerless, to resist.

Now what?

They (the Germans) never "elected" the Nazis (they were the largest party, only & even there they did NOT know what it would lead to.
But they all suffered, just the same.

I am, very surprisingly totally in agreement with Sebastian Weetabix over this one
Yes, being christian is marginally less stupid than being muslim, but that's NOT an excuse to murder them, is it?
Do they say "We love death more than you love life"?
If so, truly scary, as Franco's people had than one: "viva el muerte" - & the SS death's head units.

Perhaps the Palestinians don't support Hamas - but ... Hamas have all the guns.
Just like the NSDAP in 1934-39-45

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Israelis would be better off sheltering behind the Iron Dome and mining and / or covering all the exit tunnels with snipers? Search every vessel bound for Gaza and, with the Generals back in power in Egypt, wait for Hamas to run out of rockets leaving them impotent. I can't help but think that the current Israeli action only serves to strengthen rather than weaken Hamas. They are like a tumour feeding off the anger of the Palestinian people. They need to be starved of the oxygen of western publicity and sympathy which is the real source of their strength. I suspect that Israel has already lost more sons as a result of the present action than it would from sitting tight, in the manner described above, for several years. For now containment would seem to be the best tactic (as it would have been with Saddam) but the strategy must surely be to drain the swamp. Also what of the plight of the Palestinians? Nearly two million of them crammed into an area slightly less than that of the Isle of Wight (population c. 140,000 last I looked) and living under conditions of an economic blockade. A breeding ground for jobless, angry young men if there ever was one. This can only get worse.