Netanyahu likens Hamas to Nazis attacking England

Netanyahu just told the UN General Assembly that the only example in history of rockets being rained down on civilians–prior to Hamas doing so to southern Israel–was the blitz of England by the Nazis. And the western powers responded justifiably by levelling German cities.

So Israel was justified in its actions. And so the west must take on the reign of terror, originating in Iran, says Netanyahu.

A couple of counterfactuals. I think about 40,000 Brits died in the blitz. A couple of dozen Israelis have died due to Hamas rocket attacks. More importantly, the intra-state analogy that Netanyahu offers is bogus. The Palestinians have never had a state. As the National Lawyers Guild concluded in this great white paper on the Gaza onslaught, the Gazans are under "belligerent" occupation, and have a right to resist occupation, and therefore the actions of the state, Israel, when civilians have been targeted are not quite the same as the actions of the Brits against the Nazis.

"To the extent the Israelis try to couch their actions in terms of self defense, they are in fact taking prohibited reprisals agains Palestinians, who seek the right of self-determination. Even if some of the actions taken by the Palestinians in their resistance are illegal under international humanitarian law, there is no legal justification for Israel to claim it is acting in self defense under Article 51 [of the UN Charter]."

[This supports my analogy to the American urban violence of the 60s coming out of the ghettos, which provoked Nixon to call for law and order. Imagine if he'd murdered hundreds of civilians. Those people were our citizens. And Gazans are under Israel's control.]

The larger problem with Netanyahu’s analogy is the Nazi distortion. He called on the west, per Churchill, not to "sleep" and "slumber" as terror encroaches. Redundant, that. This is the neoconservative view of the world, inflamed by paranoia and Islamophobia, and it has been discarded. Netanyahu should listen to Obama’s Cairo speech.

Ad hominem: Netanyahu didn’t look very good. His upper lip seemed unshaven. He already has a big square head; he struck me as somewhat oafish.

UPDATE: that National Lawyers Guild report was written for the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, by its president, Jeanne Mirer.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Gaza, Israeli Government, Neocons, US Politics

{ 53 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. DG says:

    OT, the actual transcript of Ahmadinejad’s U.N. speech is worth reading–
    link to npr.org

    I suspect most people will look in vain for the “antisemitic themes” that the media keeps talking about. In fact, the whole thing sounds remarkably sane to me.

    Here’s the section on the Holocaust and Palestine:

    Consider the situation in Palestine:

    The roots of the Palestinian problem go back to the Second World War. Under the pretext of protecting some of the survivors of that War, the land of Palestine was occupied through war, aggression and the displacement of millions of its inhabitants; it was placed under the control of some of the War survivors, bringing even larger population groups from elsewhere in the world, who had not been even affected by the Second World War; and a government was established in the territory of others with a population collected from across the world at the expense of driving millions of the rightful inhabitants of the land into a diaspora and homelessness. This is a great tragedy with hardly a precedent in history. Refugees continue to live in temporary refugee camps, and many have died still hoping to one day return to their land. Can any logic, law or legal reasoning justify this tragedy? Can any member of the United Nations accept such a tragedy occurring in their own homeland?

    The pretexts for the creation of the regime occupying Al-Qods Al-Sharif are so weak that its proponents want to silence any voice trying to merely speak about them, as they are concerned that shedding light on the facts would undermine the raison d’être of this regime, as it has. The tragedy does not end with the establishment of a regime in the territory of others. Regrettably, from its inception, that regime has been a constant source of threat and insecurity in the Middle East region, waging war and spilling blood and impeding the progress of regional countries, and has also been used by some powers as an instrument of division, coercion, and pressure on the people of the region. Reference to these historical realities may cause some disquiet among supporters of this regime. But these are sheer facts and not myth. History has unfolded before our eyes.

    Worst yet, is the blanket and unwarranted support provided to this regime.

    Just watch what is happening in the Palestinian land. People are being bombarded in their own homes and their children murdered in their own streets and alleys. But no authority, not even the Security Council, can afford them any support or protection. Why?

    At the same time, a Government is formed democratically and through the free choice of the electorate in a part of the Palestinian territory. But instead of receiving the support of the so-called champions of democracy, its Ministers and Members of Parliament are illegally abducted and incarcerated in full view of the international community.

    Which council or international organization stands up to protect this brutally besieged Government? And why can’t the Security Council take any steps?

    • DG says:

      Very sorry, that’s Ahmadinejad’s 2006 speech.

      You can see the video of yesterday’s speech here–
      link to un.org

      • Citizen says:

        No video at link to un.org
        But there is a summary of Ahmadinejad’s speech. After reading it, I conclude it
        sure takes some chutzpah to report on it as has the TV news shows for consumption
        by the masses. Nothing like co-opting Hitler’s Mein Kampf concept that the Big Lie works because the masses can only imagine themselves, and there fore everyone,
        of commiting little (white?) lies.

      • potsherd says:

        From Haaretz:

        Following the release last week of the Goldstone commission findings which accused Israel of committing war crimes during its offensive in the Gaza Strip, diplomatic officials feared that the report would weigh heavily on the agenda of this week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting.

        Israel’s fears proved to have no basis in fact as the report was cited by just a few world leaders.

        The country that has thus far attracted the most attention is Iran. After accusing Israel of committing war crimes against the Palestinians, Iran itself was the object of criticism.

    • Citizen says:

      Hanity was really incensed that he used the term “occupation.” That was the first time I heard any of the usual anchors on any of the cable TV news shows even mention the word
      “occupation.” It’s quite frightening and depressing how there is no reality window at all into the I-P situation and our gross enabling of it for so many years. It’s like we’ve
      been smoking cigarets for decades and nobody commanding the public air waves or licensing their use ever told us cigarets cause cancer. Gives new pop meaning to
      “All the News fit for youze.”

  2. Chu says:

    Great, more Nazi talk. The gift that keeps on giving.
    I’m surprised he didn’t manage to squeeze in a bit about the Holocaust.

    Yeah, he does have a square head. It’s quite nice. I always think of Fred Flintstone when I see him.

  3. marc b. says:

    Netanyahu just told the UN General Assembly that the only example in history of rockets being rained down on civilians–prior to Hamas doing so to southern Israel–was the blitz of England by the Nazis. And the western powers responded justifiably by levelling German cities.

    If this is an accurate summary of his argument, one can only assume that his speechwriter is a lawyer. This is but one stretch of the unending stream of drivel comparing Hamas to German National Socialism. There is no comparison to make even in the mushy world of historical analogy. And to focus on ‘rocketry’ as a unique evil of military technology. You silly, silly man. The civilized ‘West’, not Nazi Germany or Hamas, pioneered the ‘rain of death’ as a military tactic, starting with the Brits and others bombing bedouins, farmers, and a variety of other defenseless populations. ‘What of white phosphorous?’, an objective person might retort. This weapon is more benign than Hamas bottle rocket technology?

    • DavidF says:

      Agreed. It might be worth mentioning what the “V” in the V1 and V2 stood for: *vergeltung*–revenge. The Blitz was in part a response to the RAF’s bombing of German population centers.

    • MRW says:

      Netanyahu is either profoundly uneducated, or profoundly deceptive. If the former, he has no business being a leader of a ‘nation’; if the latter, he needs to be globally derided for his revisionism.

      He’s a moral cretin, IMHO.

  4. Citizen says:

    Here’s a summary of Netanyahu’s UN speech; apparently about as many people stayed for it as stayed for the Iranian presdident’s speech–notice how blatently he waves the
    Auschwitz free pass to justify Israel’s validity and sanctify all it’s actions against the Palestinians. It’s like he’s talking to himself in a closet, same as Ahmadinejad:

    link to haaretz.com

    Gives me the creeps–between the two of them, does anyone think we’re not headed
    for WW3?

    • Chaos4700 says:

      I’ve thought that for a long time. The thing I fear the most is, this time the United States isn’t going to be on the right side of the war.

      You better believe if Israel initiates an attack on Iran — which is more likely by far than the reverse — and Obama signs us up along with them, the rest of the world is going to drop us like a bad penny. And the only thing propping up the United States right now, economically, is fear and grudging respect from the rest of the world.

      • Citizen says:

        Yeah, and that grudging respect came from our efforts in WW2, and now we have
        ditched our ethical principles and the world sees it. Israel does not give a crap; they look only at what they want; too bad due to our campaign finance system Israel rules uber USA better judgment.

  5. Chaos4700 says:

    No, actually, what Hamas is doing resembles the futile efforts of those trapped in the Warsaw Ghetto by the Nazis. If you’re going to make a comparison to the blitzkrieg, you actually kind of need a military with tanks and bombers. Like…. say… the Israeli Defense Force. And they need to bomb indiscriminately on civilian infrastructure… like, say, Operation Cast Lead.

    People like Netanyahu disgust me because in abusing the memory of the Holocaust and of WW2 in general, they cheapen it. This is precisely what Norman Finkelstein means when he talks about the “Holocaust industry” — trying to turn a profit and make political hay out of tragedies rather than memorializing and respecting them.

    • Citizen says:

      Netanyahu is disgusting; either the Shoah was a lesson applicable to all, including the Palestinans, or Never Again is merely a slogan resuming Goering’s conviction that
      (economic and military) makes right. Perhaps the young GI who allowed Goering
      his poison pill intuited that.

  6. Mooser says:

    “This supports my analogy to the American urban violence of the 60s coming out of the ghettos”

    That is one awful analogy. I’m glad it’s your’s and you’re welcome to it!

    • DavidF says:

      Agreed, this analogy makes utterly no sense.

      Nixon was trying to *restore* law and order.

      The Gaza operation commenced with the *destruction* of a graduating class of police cadets! It was intended to destroy infrastructure and government in Gaza.

    • Does one bad analogy deserve another? Just because Netanyahu’s analogy is poor, doesn’t mean that Weiss’s analogy is any better.

    • Donald says:

      You guys are harsh critics. Phil only meant that the inner city people in the 60′s were American citizens, so if they rioted and the police responded by bombing and killing hundreds of civilians, everyone would have been shocked. The Palestinians in Gaza are under complete Israeli control and so if a few shoot rockets (leaving aside the fact that Israel started it and also has them under a brutal blockade), they still have no right to respond with extreme violence.

      I don’t think the analogy was meant to say much more than that.

  7. MRW says:

    From Memory Lane of nine months ago: Mark Steel writing in The Independent on 21st January 2009:
    Now we’ve all seen through the Israeli government’s excuses:
    If the Hamas rockets are so lethal, why doesn’t Israel swap an F-16 for some?

    The worrying part about whether the ceasefire in Gaza can hold together will be whether the international community can stop the flow of arms to the terrorists. Because Israel’s getting their planes and tanks and missiles from somewhere and until this supply is cut off there’s every chance it could start up again.

    The disregard for life from these terrorists and their supporters is shocking. For example Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, wrote that the purpose of the Israeli attack must be to “inflict a heavy death toll and heavy pain on the Gaza population”.

    Replace “Gaza” with “western”, and that could have been written by al-Qa’ida. Maybe this is the problem: the Israelis are writing their policies by downloading statements from an Islamic Jihad website and just changing the place names. Also, if the Israelis think the Hamas rockets are as lethal as they say, why don’t they swap their F-16 fighters and Apache helicopters for a few of them?

    These things are capable of terrorising a whole nation for years apparently, yet the Israelis have neglected to buy any, wasting their money on gunboats and stuff. Given that their annual arms budget is $7.2bn plus $2.2 bn in “aid”, they’d save enough to buy a selection of banks in every country in the world. [...]

    Another way to allay their worries about Hamas breaking the ceasefire is to read the report from their government’s own Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre. This states that during the ceasefire “Hamas did not take part in any rocket fire and sometimes prevented other organisations from attacking.” Still, with all that’s been going on I suppose they haven’t had time for reading. [...]

    Maybe, best of all, was genetics expert Steven Rose who appeared on Radio 4′s Today programme to talk about a new study that’s located “morality spots”, the part of the brain that deals with our morality. Asked how we could know whether this was true, he said in a marvellously posh academic Radio 4 voice “Well we could test the brains of the Israeli cabinet and see if they’ve got no morality spots whatsoever.”

    • Citizen says:

      Actually they do have a morality spot; it’s the same as the NAZI morality spot–a double standard; neither Israel not the former Nazi regime have ever recognized Kant, for example.

    • Shingo says:

      “If the Hamas rockets are so lethal, why doesn’t Israel swap an F-16 for some?”

      And if suicide bombing is so unforgivable, then why not give the Palestinians F-16′s. That ill gurantee that further attacks will not involve suicide vests.

  8. gmeyers says:

    This isn’t the first time he’s tried that analogy. He tried it on a visit to Britain because he knows damn well that mentioning missiles when addressing a London-based audience will at least get you the attention you seek (but not deserve).

    And he’s right of course with his analogy: Lebanon II and WW II are perfectly analogous. Under cover of a couple of V2s, the Germans snatched a few British soldiers, Britain then declared war on Germany and the cowardly barstewards started raining missiles on Albion… Okay?

    G-d, that man is a reprehensible oaf…

  9. RE: “This (Netanyahu’s view) is the neoconservative view of the world, inflamed by paranoia and Islamophobia…” – Phil Weiss

    MY COMMENT: I had to stop by my mother’s house, and she had the TV tuned to Fox News (despite my constantly giving her hell for it). I was only there for a couple of minutes, but unless I was having auditory hallucinations I heard Netanyahu unequivocally state that he was speaking for “all of the Jewish people” (not just the Israelis). As much as I admire so many Jews (or because or it), it pains me to say that I feel very, very sorry for “the Jewish people” as represented by Binyamin Netanyahu. Of course, due to G W Bush, Pat Robertson, “Pastor” John Hagee, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, David Duke, etc., I renounced several years ago any association with “Christians”, Protestants, Westerners, Americans, WASPS, Whites, etc. I’m also perilously close to renouncing my membership in the ‘human race’ (the species Homo sapiens in Hominidae, the great ape family).

    “I was once a man; I know the evil men do.” – Swamp Thing

    • Citizen says:

      Yeah, all the groups you mention really suck. What else can I say except you are not alone in your vision?

    • RE: …I heard Netanyahu unequivocally state that he was speaking for “all of the Jewish people”

      TO CLARIFY: He was addressing (making his speech to) the General Assembly at the UN. I’m certain this was a carefully prepared speech, so I attach considerable significance to his claiming to “speak for all the Jewish people”. Since I only saw a couple of minutes of his speech, it is unclear to me whether he was speaking “for all the Jewish people” for his entire speech or during only a portion of his speech.
      It is also unclear to me as to whether he is claiming that as PM of Israel he speaks not only for the Israelis but for “all the Jewish people”. Does President Peres also speak for “all the Jewish people”? Does FM Avigdor Lieberman speak for “all the Jewish people”?
      Assuming that I’m not Jewish, should I care whether Netanyahu claims to (or does. in fact) speak for “all of the Jewish people”? Of course, I suppose it’s really none of my business. I suppose that I should only concern myself when someone claims to speak for me (or perhaps is perceived as speaking for me). And yet, I seem to vaguely remember some leader of a nation in the past who essentially (implicitly, if not explicitly) spoke “for all the ?????? people”. I might be wrong, but I have this vague recollection that he appeared to think that he spoke not only for the people who resided in his country (unless they were of inferior origins, were not pure or were otherwise deemed unfit), but also for people outside his country who’s forbears were originally from der Heimatland (assuming there had been no intermarriage with people of inferior origins, or at least not enough so that it was obvious). And I seem to vaguely remember this leader causing a whole lot of trouble. Was it Charlemagne? I just can’t seem to remember. If only I was fortunate enough to have a degree in history from Yale!

  10. dlgreen1950 says:

    The recent book Human Smoke by Nicolson Baker provides a lot of food for thought regarding events prior to Pearl Harbor, including vis a vis Europe. Churchill comes off as a madman, and Britain bombed civilians in Germany before vice versa. Not that Netanyahu should be taken seriously.

  11. MRW says:

    “A couple of dozen Israelis have died due to Hamas rocket attacks.” In eight years. The blitz lasted 60 days over three months. And the Germans used powerful bombs from planes, not qassam rockets that you make in your backyard, and go a few km.

  12. Rehmat says:

    Zionist Jew leaders are know for their short memory.

    During Hitler era – Hamas was not there – nor were any Muslim serving in Nazi Germany. However, reportedly, there were 150,000 German Jews serving in the Nazi army and the Zionist terrorist group, Irgun, was also in bed with the Nazis.

    If one read the Zionist lir=terature, one would finf them the most anti-Semite people on the face of Earth.

    • potsherd says:

      Actually, Rehmat, there were Muslims in the SS, most in the 13th Waffen SS Division (Hanjar), recruited from Bosnians. They were by all reports murderous thugs with no military merit. And Zionist propagandists will be eager to add that the Grand Mufti al-Husseini was associated with them. There was also the Albanian 21st Waffen SS Divison (Skanderbeg), mostly Muslim.

      The 150,000 figure includes mostly “mischlings” or persons with mixed Jewish ancestry. Many of them did not regard themselves as Jews.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Not to go off on too much of a tangent, but as a happy fun fact, the Bush family — perennial favorites nowadays of Israel for obvious reasons — were in real cozy with the Nazis, via Prescott Bush, back in the day. Not to mention a few other American industrialists. How is that for irony?

      • MRW says:

        potsherd is right. The Albanians were a closed society throughout the 20th C until the 90s. Closed, as in anyone caught trying to leave would be killed, ditto anyone trying to get in. Their religion was what the Ottoman Empire practiced in the main: Islam. They sided with the Italians in WWII, and as such were aligned with Hungary and the Nazis.

      • Koshiro says:

        They sided with the Italians in WWII.
        Err. Well, in the sense that the Koreans “sided” with Japan. Albania was militarily occupied by Italy, and effectively turned into a colony. It certainly was not an independent ally.

      • MRW says:

        Also in the sense that Japan was aligned with Germany. So when we declared war with Japan, we were now declaring war against Germany.

        The King of Albania specifically aligned himself with Mussolini; he didn’t want to have anything to do with Yugoslavia, with whom he was warring.

      • MRW says:

        I tried to get into Albania in the early 70s. Not a chance. I was told I would be shot if I attempted it; couldn’t even go near the border.

      • Koshiro says:

        You have your facts about Albania in WW2 wrong. I can only ask you to look it up or to tell me your source.

      • Koshiro says:

        Oh, and by the way, you also have the facts about Japan and Germany wrong. “We”, assuming you refer to the United States, did not declare war on Germany after Pearl Harbour. It was the other way ’round.

  13. Citizen says:

    So how many Israeli jews have died from the Hamas rockets, one or two over many years? You can say but the brutality is psychological, but then one has to ask how about the psychological affect on Palestinians where the death rate from the IDF is gigantically multiplied in fact? Who’s living in OZ here?

    • Shingo says:

      “So how many Israeli jews have died from the Hamas rockets, one or two over many years?”

      About as many as Israel killed duing their Novemner 4th raid, which broke the ceasefire, and Zionists expect us to forget about it, while insisting that we be outraged about the rocket attacks.

  14. tommy says:

    The industrial development of Nazi Germany was the greatest in the world in its time, enabling it to waste its resources Blitzkrieg’ing London, which was mostly done with bombardment from aeroplanes. At first it seems odd to compare the Battle of Britain with the random firing of small rockets from Gaza into neighboring Israeli towns. The use of the V rockets was a pitiful attempt by Germany to at least inflict additional pain on England; the rockets had no strategic value at the stage of the war they were used. It is true that the use of rockets by the Palestinians is a pitiful attempt to strike out, but it is about the only comparison that works with the Nazi example. The rockets fired by Palestinians more resembles what ships at sea do when in distress. Like a ship wreck, the Palestinians have little resources to stop the sea of oppression ceaselessly washing over them, and so they fire strategically useless rockets into Israel as a desperate act that someone will come to their rescue.

  15. i’m not sure where to begin
    we have the same father
    our mother is the earth
    we are all gods’ children
    from the moment of our birth
    how we treat each other
    is how we will be judged
    you can call yourself
    whatever you like
    a point i won’t begrudge
    you’ve been given gifts sublime
    but not for waging war
    can’t you see i trust in you
    to realize what they’ re for?
    can’t you see your the hope
    the worlds been waiting on?
    when are you going to cut the bs
    put an end to the endless con?
    when will you find the courage
    to trust in the good of a man
    that you haven’t met and never will
    if you continue with this plan
    how can you judge another
    and give yourselves a pass
    picking off folks helicopter gun ship
    always seemed a little too crass
    if you want to kill a man
    you must look him in the eye
    put your hands around his neck
    and listen to his cry
    listen to his pleading
    ‘i’m not ready to die’
    take his life into your hands
    and let his spirit fly
    then you will see his sorrow
    then you will see his fear
    you should know better after all
    when death is always near
    it’s just a suggestion
    i’ll throw out and only
    for what it’s worth
    why don’t you give those nukes up
    save yourself and the rest of this earth
    and this goes for all of ‘us’

  16. Koshiro says:

    If Netanyahu really said that, he needs a history lesson.
    “The Blitz” = German bombers attacking British cities in 1940/41. As Phil said, about 40000 civilians killed. No rockets!
    “V2 rockets” = Late 1944 last-ditch retaliation weapons. While one might compare them to Hamas rockets in terms of being a militarily useless weapon of last resort, in every other aspect, the comparison is an insult. By comparing Hamas’ rockets, which are by comparison comically ineffective, to the V2, Netanyahu minimizes and ridicules the hardships of Londoners, thousands of whom died in a few months due to V2 attack. (Not to mention the even larger number of slave laborers worked to death by German authorities while building the V2.)

  17. potsherd says:

    Gideon Levy link to haaretz.com

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cheapened the memory of the Holocaust in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. He did so twice. Once, when he brandished proof of the very existence of the Holocaust, as if it needed any, and again when he compared Hamas to the Nazis.

    If Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust, Netanyahu cheapens it. Is there a need of proof, 60 years later? Or, the world might think, is the denier right?

    And it is doubtful that any historian of stature would buy the comparison the prime minister made between Hamas and the Nazis, or between the London Blitz and the Qassam rockets on Sderot. In the Blitz, 400 German bombers and 600 fighter planes killed 43,000 people and destroyed more than one million homes. Hamas’ Qassams, perhaps the most primitive weapon in the world, have killed 18 people in eight years. Yes, they sowed great terror – but a Blitz?

    And if we can compare a poorly equipped terrorist organization to the horrific Nazi killing machine, why should others not compare the Nazis’ behavior to that of Israel Defense Forces soldiers? In both cases, the comparison is baseless and infuriating.

    • DavidF says:

      Worse, the blueprints plans Netanyahu was showing off are not proof of anything. Other copies were found years ago, and they are not even of Auschwitz. They depict plans for a planned slave labor camp with delousing chambers.

      The Himmler initials are probably forged. (Why would the SS chief initial a copy of a blueprint?)

      Van der Pelt:

      “Everyone is repeating the same nonsense, and the deniers are having great fun because it shows how people are gullible,” he told JTA. ”

      link to jta.org

      link to haaretz.com

  18. Bibi says that when someone harms Jews others are harmed too. That’s only because of the habit Jews have of sucking other people into their affairs.

  19. Hamas isn’t like the naziis because it doesn’t have a sophisticated and powerful war machine.

    It does have a horrific recent history, which it has made no apologies in any form, and the for which solidarity regards as benign somehow.

    They err horribly in pandering to Hamas’ objectives to dominate Palestinian society, and in functionally apologizing for terror as a means, of which the form of BDS proposed is a “terror lite”.

    The contrasting truly progressive view would be for dissenters to communicate to Hamas that the way to accomplish justice is by acceptance of the other, and assertive negotiations on one’s behalf, on the basis of acceptance of the other.

    • Shingo says:

      If Hamas’ history is horrific, then Israel’s is truly gruesome.

      If BDS is a “terror lite”, the the blockade it terror on a grand scale.

      Hamas have pushed for negotiations, a 2 state settlement, and normalization of relations. It is Israel that has rejected all of these, which demonstrates that Israel is not only the block to peace, but a threat to it.

      Thanks for pointing that out yet again Richard, albeit inadvertently.

  20. Shingo says:

    Oh an BTW. thank you also for pointing out that Hamas isn’t like the naziis because it doesn’t have a sophisticated and powerful war machine, that woudl be Israel.

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