July 24th, 2024

The difference between war and terrorism is viewpoint


By Lethbridge Herald on October 20, 2023.

Editor:

 A lot is being said recently about the difference between war and terrorism. People like to claim war is a justifiable, if regrettable, course of action, whereas terrorism is evil, and its perpetrators are despicable, malevolent actors who should be wiped from the face of the earth. 

This is a laughable distinction in these times, when the difference between war and terrorism is nothing more the viewpoint of the narrator telling you the story. 

The Geneva Convention, a set of rules for conducting war, has been abandoned by practically every country. Certainly all the big ones. 

This was an attempt by soldiers to somehow make the practice of their trade more noble and justifiable. 

However, the dark side of human character has emerged from the shadows to allow rape, torture and murder of innocents to be practiced with glee by everyone from world leaders to the lowest-ranked private. 

Hamas uses the oppression from Israel as an excuse to rape and murder Israeli citizens. In return, Israel uses this as an excuse to carpet bomb civilians in Palestine. 

Americans blow up entire cafés to kill a single person of interest. Russians blow up cafés just to intimidate people. Rape has become standard military practice. Weddings, funerals and music festivals are now juicy military targets. 

War is terrorism. It’s not a solution. Solutions are born from communication, cooperation, and compromise.

 If you’re looking for something different to war or terrorism, try embracing peace. Anytime is a good time to start talking and listening instead of shooting and killing.

Tom Moffatt

Lethbridge

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buckwheat

So from your viewpoint Hamas has an excuse? You casually walk back the 1947 United Nations vote to partition British Mandatory Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. The Arabs refused to accept and here is the result. The people of Palestine have a parliamentary vote. They voted for Hamas. Most of Europe is condemning the elected government Hamas, as a terrorist organization. Sometimes, as here in Canada and Alberta, you have to live with the government you elect. We are highly fortunate they don’t carry missiles and drive tanks, However, listening to some of the anti anything government rhetoric by certain persons, you would think they do. Yes, peace is the answer, but as long as terrorists organizations are elected as governments Palestinians have no hope.

Last edited 9 months ago by buckwheat
biff

you seem to know little to nothing of the region, or, you simply prefer ignorance to support your preference. is it not ignorant to support a forced choice by the likes of the sickos that brought us world wars, ongoing regional wars, and who continue to stoke division, suspicion, hatred the world over…all in the pursuit of selfishness, greed, and power for the relative few?
as is too usual, the masses pay the prime for the nastiness and power/greed transgressions perpetrated by those that purport to speak for masses, but who mostly act to satisfy their own ambitions. it is my belief and understanding that the majority of residents on either side of that geography want peace and the ability to coexist in harmony.
meanwhile, as i watch news clips on tv, it is quite clear the perspective provided has been entirely anti-palestinian. this is nothing new, as the news in our part of the world has neglected for decades, by and large, to inform viewers about israel’s decades long run of crimes against humanity, and its defiance of the UN charter of rights and conventions. that said, over the course of the past 75 years the extremist hawks on both “sides” are equally guilty…and industrial military complex has been loving it. the only way to come close to honouring the tortured and dead in that sordid history would be for peace and love to prevail. sharing – such a tough word by which to abide.
my outlook is not about choosing sides, but about valuing all human life and sending out hope that, somehow, love and light and healing can be the force that guides the future there, and through out the world.

johnny57

Great letter Tom! I often wonder and now understand why so many people on this lonely planet believe in a God or deity, a supreme being supposedly coming back to earth to save us, but from ourselves!

biff

quite right – perspective is pretty much the fine line between war monger and terrorist. many on the planet see the usa as terrorist, as they have a history of using their military and”intelligence” orgs to prop up terrorist dictatorial puppet strongmen and regimes that will allow the multinational to move in and remove the wealth of the land. to many canadians, the usa is our friend and brother in arms.

biff

here is paste from leadnow – which does a pretty good job of summarising the issue and providing further reading on the history of the region, and the events that have brought that part of the world to where it is:

At Leadnow, we condemn all violence and war crimes against civilians and grieve for the thousands of lives lost in Israel and Palestine and millions displaced in Palestine. We unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and racism. Our vision of a world where human rights are protected, and human life is sacrosanct is fundamental to our organization. Every day, we are driven by our core values of justice, equality, freedom and democracy in all of our work.

Leadnow is opposed to the Israeli apartheid and illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. As I write this email, Israel continues to violate international law by leveraging collective punishment against Palestine. Our leaders must call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to crimes against humanity, and address the root causes of this violence, by lifting the blockade and ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Our team of staff, board of directors, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of supporters represent many nationalities, faiths and cultures. Many of our staff and board, like so many of you, are directly impacted by this conflict, and we are all emotionally harrowed by the images of violence against civilians.

This email and any future work that Leadnow does related to Palestine and Israel will also be guided by the principle that multiple truths can exist at the same time and within the same geographic location.

A humanitarian crisis a century in the making
The media is full of conflicting messaging right now. Many Western governments and news outlets are telling the story as if the clock started on October 7, with the worst attack on Jewish families since the holocaust, by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas, must be held accountable for their deliberate and horrific attacks on civilians and safe passage for the Israeli hostages must be ensured.

Such violence against civilians can never be justified, nor can it be called unprovoked. This current conflict has been hundreds of years in the making, and follows decades of Israeli occupation of Palestine. [1] In retribution for the Hamas attack, the Israeli military government is carrying out a “full siege” of the 2.3 million Palestinian people living in Gaza (half of whom are children), who are now living with no electricity and limited food, water and fuel.

We recognize that the history of Israel in Palestine is long and complex, and understanding it is fundamental to framing the context of the violence we now bear witness to. It can be hard to understand what’s happening amidst the many different stories circulating in the media, so we’d like to share some context for how this came about – and why Palestinian people need our solidarity now.

These are some resources you may want to use to build up your knowledge of the region:

Western powers carved up the Middle East in much the same way that they abused their power to create arbitrary borders across other parts of their former empires. Tensions increased with the creation of a “national home” for Jews. Following the bitterly contested 1947 UN resolution partitioning Palestine, Jewish leaders’ declaration of the State of Israel ignited the Arab-Israeli war on May 15, 1948, as Palestinians fought against Israel’s policy of settler colonialism that intended to permanently replace the Palestinian people.

In the area which became Israel, over 500 Palestinian villages were destroyed, and 750,000 Palestinian people fled or were forcibly expelled from their homes. May 15 this year marked 75 years since the Nakba, the “Catastrophe”. This is why groups like Jewish Voice for Peace are now calling on media outlets such as the New York Times to ensure that their coverage of the violence in Gaza and Israel “must include the context of a brutal, 75-year occupation”. [2]

Neither the Palestinian people displaced by the Nakba nor their descendants have been allowed by Israel to return to their homelands, despite a United Nations resolution setting out their right to return. [3] Before this most recent wave of violence and displacement, the United Nations recognized around five million Palestinian refugees. Returning to their homes is a key Palestinian demand, which Israel refuses.

Since 2007, Israel has imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip, controlling Gazan airspace, its shoreline, and strictly policing the movement of people, goods, produce and fuel through its border crossings for 16 years. Israel has effectively created an open air prison system in Gaza. This blockade and international sanctions against Hamas mean that the vast majority (80%) of the Gazan population depends on international aid, and one million people rely on daily food aid. Right now, no aid can reach Gaza, because of the Israeli blockade and bombing of the single border crossing not controlled by Israel. [4] This morning, Israel agreed that Egypt may deliver a limited amount of humanitarian aid to southern Gaza, far less than what is needed. [5]

The occupation and blockade have led many in the international community to refer to Israel’s regime as an apartheid against Palestinian people. [6]

Peaceful protest, freedom of religion are fundamental human rights
As vehement believers that peaceful protest is a human right, we were dismayed over the past week to see Canadian leaders conflating peaceful pro-Palestinian protests with hate speech or support for Hamas. [7] Solidarity with Palestinian people is not anti-Semitism, nor is criticizing the State of Israel. Canadian leaders must reject the dangerous narrative that standing in solidarity with Palestinian civilians under siege is synonymous with hate speech. [8]

This past weekend, I spoke with a Muslim executive director of another advocacy organization, and they shared that they have felt silenced by this climate of fear. As an organization that promotes civic engagement, we must all rail against the darkness that comes when chilling and unwarranted threats of hate speech shuts down open dialogue and free speech.

Both the targeting of civilians and the strategy of collective punishment is illegal under international law. Yet as we write, already a million Gazans have been displaced since the outbreak of violence on October 7. [9] Following Israel’s order for over a million civilians to leave their homes in Gaza, we have already seen Israeli attacks on civilian convoys. [10,11,12]. Yesterday, hundreds of Palestinian people were killed during a bomb strike on a hospital in Gaza. These are war crimes.

Our collective hearts break with every passing day of this unfolding war and as more civilians are targeted, massacred, maimed and displaced.

It is clear that our leaders must call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to crimes against humanity. In doing so, they must address the root causes of this violence. This means ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and lifting the blockade which is punishing Gazan civilians.

Dennis Bremner

As we continue to lose faith in politicians we find less and less, that they represent our viewpoint. We elect radicals to get even with the boring flat liners that occupied the office in hopes we will teach people a lesson. I have no idea what that lesson is, other than Trudeau does not represent me, Hamas does not represent the will of the Palestinians, Netanyahu does not represent the majority of Israelii’s and Trump does not represent the majority of Americans. Saying “they elected them” is a cop out because through the division of real estate you can create any result you want. If you want more votes in Georgia you carve up districts so your opponent has less impact.
As more and more people become homeless. have less, are not getting ahead and “feel” like they are barely surviving, they turn to the nutbars of society in hopes of “we will give him/her a shot” what the hell, we have nothing to lose, only to lose even more.
What is mine, is mine, and if I am unhappy in life, well, what is yours is mine too!

Last edited 9 months ago by Dennis Bremner