Netanyahu likens Hamas to Nazis attacking England

US Politics
on 53 Comments

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.

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