Guernica, Gaza and the Guardian


‘Guernica’ by Picasso

The following letter was not only chosen by editors at the Guardian as worthy of publication on Nov. 18., but even was featured in the  title.

What Leslie, a supporter of Independent Jewish Voices, is saying, in a polemic deemed meritorious by the Guardian is that, as a Jew who escaped Hitler’s attempt to exterminate all of the Jews on earth, he is in a privileged position to detect, and oppose, absolute evil – be it the evil of Nazism or the barbarity of the Jewish state.

The Nazis murdered six million Jews, and up to five million other “undesirables”, and launched wars which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions during WWII.

On April 26, 1937, the Nazis sent waves of bombers and fighter planes to the Spanish town of Guernica and dropped explosives, fragmentation bombs and incendiaries for 2 1/2 hours, literally razing the city to the ground.  Three days later, “they scorched the city and fired machine guns at the women and children who fled in panic.”

The IDF operation – targeting the Hamas terror infrastructure and aimed at putting a stop to incessant rockets fired at Israeli cities  – has included over 800 strikes on terrorist targets over five days.  It has resulted in 84 Palestinian deaths, half of whom are terrorists – an arguably unprecedented civilian to combatant death ratio of 1:1, especially in the context of Hamas’s practice of placing rocket launchers near civilians.  

The IDF is allowing Palestinian patients wounded in the fighting safe passage across the border to be treated at Israeli hospitals, and continues to send humanitarian supplies  into Gaza despite the constant rocket attacks from the territory.

I’m no emeritus professor, but to evoke Guernica in the context of the current conflict in Gaza represents an assault on truth, history and moral decency.

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