War’s hell. Just ask the non-combatants.
As the bloodletting in the Holy Land (there’s a bit of sick irony for you) continues, pleas for sanity, restraint, and calm-headedness amid the slaughter, is being drowned out by calls baying for blood, on both sides.
Far from being a regional conflict, the conflagration in the Middle East has torn communities and countries far and wide, with the implications long and lasting.
Here in Malaysia, the war cry is reaching a fever pitch, with some on social media demanding that the government send in the Malaysian Armed Forces to help the besieged Gazans.
On Oct 13, Malaysian hacker group Dragonforce Malaysia (DFM) announced that it had launched cyberattacks on key Israeli data hubs and social media sites in retaliation to the atrocities committed against the Palestinians.
On Oct 15, in the southern Malaysian state of Johor, police were alerted to a bomb threat in a shopping mall.
It was reported that the call, from a ‘foreign national’, was in protest against Malaysia’s support of the Palestinians.
It’s easy to yell ‘Kill ‘em … kill ‘em all’ in the comforts of your air-conditioned living room, while scrolling through Netflix and Facebook, chomping on your McDonald’s double cheeseburger, and sipping on your Frappuccino.
The true cost of war – the wanton destruction, the loss of human life, the millions displaced – is often pushed into the background. In our ‘blindness’ to pick a side, driven purely along racial, ethnic, and religious lines, we forget that war brings with it unspeakable suffering. We have not experienced, first-hand, the utter chaos, devastation, and pain of having a 2,000lb GBU-24 Paveway III laser guided bomb slamming into our homes; and jackbooted, bloodthirsty grunts breaking down our doors and shepherding us to concentration and death camps.
War is brutal. It is where humanity cease to exist. One only has to look at the images of the torn, mangled pieces of human flesh being pulled out from the rubble of the al-Ahli Arabi Hospital in Gaza, to realise this.
The surgical strike, which reportedly killed 800, many of whom were children and the elderly, bore all the hallmarks of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and the Heyl Ha’Avir (Israeli Air Force). However, Tel Aviv denied this, saying that it was the work of Hamas’ rocket artillery. After days of penetrating through Israel’s Iron Dome ballistic missile defence shield and striking Israeli targets with impunity and pinpoint accuracy, these Hamas rockets are suddenly plagued by targeting and guidance issues. Talk about coincidence.
Already, all the major state actors are bracing themselves for this powder keg that could ignite, spill over from the Middle East, and engulf the entire world. The United States, a staunch ally of Israel, has dispatched two nuclear-powered aircraft carrier battle groups – the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) to the region.
Iran has been doing a bit of sabre-rattling of its own, vowing to eliminate the Jewish state from the face of the earth, and chanting ‘Death to America’. With Russia, Ukraine, and China joining the fray, this latest crisis could devolve into a fight to settle old scores.
The fact that Israel is able to do what it does, in contravention to basic human rights and the Geneva Convention, and in the face of international condemnation, is because it can.
It pulls out the victim card any chance it gets, and the world, perhaps racked by the collective guilt over the Holocaust post World War 2, often gives it carte blanche to do whatever it wants.
The similarities of what is happening in Gaza, and what happened in Europe in 1933 and throughout the Second World War, is terrifying.
After Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party (Nazis) seized power, Germany instituted a systematic ‘pogrom’ of European Jews. They were stripped of their basic rights, their businesses and homes taken away from them, and millions were herded into ‘ghettos’ and denied the basic necessities needed to sustain human life. They were subjected to horrific living conditions. Gaza is no different.
Millions more ended up in death camps with chilling names like Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The world hardly batted an eyelid. In a way, this was due to the Nazis’ ‘success’ in reducing the Jews to the category of ‘Untermenschen’ – sub-humans. Vermin.
And what do you do with vermin? You exterminate them. Hence, ‘The Final Solution’.
Under Joseph Goebbels, the head of Nazi Germany’s Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, the Jews were reduced to the scum of the earth, unworthy of pity and compassion. They were less than human, the face of everything that was vile and abhorrent. They were a blight on humanity that needed to be exterminated.
In 2023, with the West’s major mainstream media organisations kow-towing to the Israelis, the narrative has not changed. Only this time, instead of the Jews, the Palestinians are the ‘Untermenschen’. It’s easier to deal with the mass Arab deaths, especially for the West, when the ‘vermin’ does not look like you – no blonde hair, blue eyes, and fair skin.
Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz-Birkenau have been replaced by the killing house that is Gaza. And Sabra, and Shatila, where 3,500 Palestinians and Lebanese Shias were slaughtered over three days on a cold, dark day in September, 1982.
Oh, what Goebbels would have given to have the propaganda tools of today, back in ’33.
The Western world’s tacit approval of the atrocities in the Middle East is understandable, given the narrative that has been played ad nauseum over the last 75 years. After all, it was Goebbels himself who said; “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”. Obviously, the lessons of the Jewish Holocaust of 1933-1945 have not been learnt.
Who knows, perhaps in 2,600 years, the world will finally come to its senses, and once again hang its head in collective shame over the ‘Palestinian Holocaust’ it did nothing to prevent.