Friday, August 01, 2014

Is it fair to compare Gaza with the Warsaw Ghetto?

 Warsaw Ghetto 1944
Gaza 2014

I have had a bit of a discussion on Twitter with Steve Hynd, a blogger whom I respect, over whether a comparison can be made between the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the present attack on Gaza.

I retweeted a tweet by Jan van den Heuvel,  (‏@jhvdheuvel) Nothing learned in 70 years....containing the above images, and Steve objected to the comparison.

The fact is that one can make comparisons between almost any two events, because comparing is a function of our mind. There will be differences in any pair of events also, because making distinctions is also a function of our mind. In fact, analysis and synthesis together can be seen as forming the basis of all thought.

The similarity between the Gaza situation and the Warsaw ghetto is that an area of land containing a group of people ethnically diverse from the dominant power in the region is besieged, deprived of basic necessities, and attacked by overwhelming deadly force with little (in the case of Israel) or no (in the case of the Germans) regard for civilian life.

The differences are that Gaza is a lot bigger than the Warsaw Ghetto, in Gaza the Palestinian people are the victims whereas in Warsaw the victims were Jewish.

Reading up on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, it was odd to feel acute sympathy for the heroic Jewish resistance fighters, in contrast to the total disgust that I and most people now feel for the Israeli Government.

It has to be said at every stage in this debate that it is not anti-semitic to be 100% opposed to the cruel stupidity of the Israeli Government. It should be obvious to everyone that the Government of any nation is not synonymous with the people. It also goes without saying that Hamas is also just as cruel and stupid, and it would kill as many people as the Israelis if they possibly could. Both governments have lost their grip on reason and reality.

In reading up about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising I found that 13,000 Jews died.
This led me to look at the numbers of dead since 1948. The Israelis have lost about 20,000 people, and the Palestinians have lost 25-72,000.

Every single death is a tragedy, the whole situation is tragic, and what Israel is doing is a re-echo of the inhuman cruelty that Hitler inflicted on the Jewish people.

Martin Luther King said "We can either live together as brothers, or perish together as fools".

At the moment, Hamas and Netanyahu's Government are choosing the fool's option.

I regret disagreeing with Steve Hynd, but I remain convinced that Netanyahu is behaving in a way that is analogous to that of the Nazis in Warsaw.


Kasia Turajczyk said...

The photo is from Warsaw Uprising and has nothing to do with the Uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto. The uprising in the Ghetto took place in 1943. It is good to check first the facts before posting.
The Warsaw Uprising (Polish: Powstanie Warszawskie) was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army (Polish: Armia Krajowa) to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union's Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces. However, the Soviet advance stopped short, enabling the Germans to regroup and demolish the city while defeating the Polish resistance, which fought for 63 days with little outside support. The Uprising was the largest single military effort taken by any European resistance movement during World War II.

Richard Lawson said...

Thanks Kasia. It is sometimes impossible to check the provenance of every photo.

The main point remains however; the Nazis defeated the occupants of the Ghetto with fire and smoke bombs, effectively destroying the city as a place for them to live.
Israel is destroying Gaza with high explosives, making it impossible for Gazans to live there. They are hitting infrastructure like water and electricity.

The destruction shown above was done a year later, after the Polish resistance uprising.

Anonymous said...

But you said Hamas would kill as many Jews as the Israelis - in which case don't Hamas need to be contained? Unlike the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto. Who are nothing like Hamas. They weren't hurting anybody. There was no reason to contain them.

And the birthrate of Gaza is very high, whereas the population of the Warsaw Ghetto only grew when they dumped new Jews into it, because there was so much disease and so little food.

So your analogy is pretty ignorant. No need for it to be.