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Revenge and Retaliation

by LYNDA BRAYER

Is it an accident that over the past five days Israeli F-16 fighters have bombed Gaza City while tanks and missiles targeted several other areas in the Gaza strip of Palestine? It also appears that the Israelis attempted to assassinate the secretary-general of the PRC, the Palestinian Resistance Committee?  While no one was killed, once again there was extensive physical damage together with the horror of being bombed, a situation which gives rise to profound fears and uncertainty in both the children and adults.

These attacks seem to have been co-ordinated with the timing of the Gaza Freedom March  whose participants had been prevented as a group from approaching Gaza through Rafah to join Palestinians in a solidarity march protesting the continuing siege against Gaza. These attacks also seem to be directed against the Declaration in Cairo of the Gaza Freedom March both condemning the siege and demanding its lifting.  Were these actions targeting Gaza taken both to force the Egyptian government to prevent the big march as well as in retaliation against those who dared to speak out and demonstrate against the continuing Israeli murderous siege of Gaza?

In other words, has the Israeli regime adopted Rhett Butler’s famous/infamous response to Scarlet O’Hara in the novel, Gone with the Wind,  where he turned to her and said “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”  Is  the Israeli regime telling us that the continuing war against Gaza and the throttling of life there are all acts that should not be commented upon, not remarked upon, not to be  condemned?  Not to be noticed?

Despite the constant attempts to prevent any comparisons being made, one cannot help but be reminded of the Zionist/Holocaust voices continuing to condemn the silence ordinary people maintained the face of the mass extermination of European Jewry during WWII.  One cannot help hearing over and over again the accusations against the goys whose silence allowed the Jews to be led to the slaughter without protest of the surrounding populations! Etc. Etc.

For those of us who remember some of the history we have learned, I think that it is not inapposite to focus attention on the fate of the Jewish woman from Breslau, the philosopher Edith Stein, who was one of the main assistants of the philosopher Edward Husserl, a forerunner of Martin Heidegger, who developed the field of phenomenology which grounded one’s understanding of life within material existence, rather than in ideal, conceptual notions – an approach to human life not much different from historical materialism.  She converted in 1922 to Roman Catholicism, and taught in Catholic schools and institutes until her decision to enter religious life in 1933, becoming the Roman Catholic Carmelite nun Sister Teresa Benedicta in the Carmel of Cologne, St Maria von Frieden. However, with the rise of the Nazis and the threats to Jews, she and her sister Rosa, who also converted, were transferred to the Carmel Convent in Echt, Holland.

On July 20, 1942, the Dutch Bishops’ Conference issued a statement which was read in all the  churches condemning Nazi racism, and thereby obviously condemning the anti-Semitism of the Nazi regime. In a retaliatory response on July 26, 1942, the Nazi government of occupied Holland, Reichkommissar Arthur Seyss-Inquart, ordered the arrest of all Jewish converts who had previously been spared from deportation. Stein and her sister Rosa were arrested and deported to Auschwitz on August 9, 1942, where they met their death.

LYNDA BRAYER is an Israeli human rights lawyer who represented Palestinians in the Israeli High Court of Justice for twelve years. She can be reached at lyndabrayer@yahoo.com

 

 

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