Israel promises to retaliate 10 to 1

Civilian victims of Israeli retaliationIn the days when Hitler occupied Europe, the Nazis had a problem with insurgency. At that time it was called the resistance. Resistance fighters, usually ordinary civilians, conducted espionage, acts of sabotage and executions of collaborators or Germans when they could.

Out of frustration, and to deter further acts, the Nazis promised retaliatory measures against the occupied population. Ten citizens from that town, for example, would be shot for every act of sabotage. Sometimes it was fifty. On the Russian front the ratio was even higher. There the insurgents were called partisans.

We witnessed a vivid example in the film Schindler’s List. In concentration camps, the Nazis would punish infractions by lining up prisoners and shooting every tenth man. A friend of mine in Colorado Springs, a camp survivor recently deceased, escaped several of those line-ups before he was traded to Britain for a German officer in a prisoner exchange.

Collective punishment is illegal under the conventions of war. It’s illegal because it is inhumane and unfair. Perhaps you remember back in your schooldays, feeling it was unfair when your coach ordered you to do fifty pushups because of the failings of the weakest team member. But the coach was trying to build your body, not kill you.

The collective punishment strategy didn’t work for the Nazis, not even in the name of protecting the homeland.

Perhaps because of the universal condemnation of collective punishment, our domestic media is not reporting a recent declaration by Israel, regarding its actions against Hizb’Allah in Lebanon. The world is aflame with indignation and the world is calling for an immediate cease-fire.

What is the world hearing that we are not? Two days ago, they heard the Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff General Dan Halutz promise to destroy ten buildings for each rocket. Specifically, Israel will destroy ten residential multi-level buildings in southern Beirut, for every Katyusha rocket that lands on Haifa. Google the headline and see the story that isn’t playing here.

Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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