In response to my worry that Israel’s abuses may be generating covet anti-Semitism, a critic pointed out some of our own WW2 atrocities. Let me expand. Hiroshima was a horror, but we added Nagasaki to speed up the Japanese surrender to keep the Soviets out. And more deadly than the combination of those nuclear horrors, we had killed more Japanese in Tokyo by the same device that we used in Dresden (a non military target) — concussion bombs followed by incendiaries that created firestorms particularly in Tokyo which was a city of wood and paper.

War is Hell. It brings out the worst in good people and unleashes the psychopaths to kill and maim innocent people — women and children. I am not sure that our drones are not doing something along these lines in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And let us not forget our napalm — jellied gasoline that splatters widely — particularly on people. And we look not be be outlawing cluster bombs that remain as ‘toys’ for kids for decades that explode when touched by them.

My concern remains, however, that excessive military tactics that kill innocent civilians — by Israel or us — generate not victories but long standing hatred of the perpetrators.

Incidentally some Israelis and visitors to Israel have shared with me my concern. As one who grew up surrounded by anti-Semitism and all too aware of the two millennia horrors of it, I don’t want to see yet another Holocaust atmosphere generated. For the record leading German Christian scholars at the turn of the centuries (19th and 20th) stimulated much of Germany’s anti-Semitism along with its major corporations during the Hitler reign. Our current Tea Party types who support the reestablishment of Israel to bring on the second coming also maintain that Jews unconverted then will be damned.

I can understand Israel’s wish to protect itself in a hostile environment. But this need not be done with abuses of Palestinians and others which stimulate hatred.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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