Tucked between the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Zeughaus 17th Century German History Museum on Unter den Linden, Berlin’s Neue Wache (New Guardhouse) serves as the Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Victims of War and Tyranny. Continue reading Neue Wache Memorial to the Victims of War and Tyranny
A collection of reflections on the idea of ANZAC Day across the 2014 ANZAC Day weekend. Continue reading Thoughts on ANZAC Day 2014
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been noticing that the government has been rolling out the propaganda machine for the armed forces and the war in Afghanistan. Continue reading Black Hawks, Minstrels, and a losing war
Another session at the Sydney Writers’ Festival that I really got a lot out of was called The Message. The brief was ‘Is it possible that wars can be fought, even won, via non-violent mediums like film and blogs?’ and the three panelists were all fascinating.
Israeli soldiers have admitted killing Gaza civillians in the recent conflict. Not only deliberately, but also having been ordered to:
“That’s the beauty of Gaza. You see a man walking, he doesn’t have to have a weapon, and you can shoot him,” one soldier told Danny Zamir, the head of the Rabin pre-military academy, who asked him why a company commander ordered an elderly woman to be shot.
“The climate in general… I don’t know how to describe it…. the lives of Palestinians, let’s say, are much, much less important than the lives of our soldiers,” an infantry squad leader is quoted saying.
There was also a complete lack of respect for people’s privacy:
“We would throw everything out of the windows to make room and order. Everything… Refrigerators, plates, furniture. The order was to throw all of the house’s contents outside,” a soldier said.
Unsurprisingly, the Israelis tried to find religious justification for their actions:
distributing booklets that framed the fighting as a religious war. “All these articles had a clear message: we are the Jewish people, we have come to the land by miraculous means, and now we have to fight to remove the Gentiles who are getting in our way and preventing us from occupying the Holy Land… a great many soldiers had a feeling throughout this operation of a religious war,” said one soldier.
All of this is absolutely disgraceful. Why do the West continues to put up with shit like this from Israel? It’s time for Israel’s free pass to expire. For too long people have turned a blind eye to their attrocities – afraid perhaps of being accused of anti-semitism. We need to distinguish between the Jewish religion and the state of Israel – two completely separate entities.
The opening From the Bookshelf paragraph from a few weeks ago was from John Marsden’s Tomorrow, When the War Began, the first of seven in the Tomorrow series for teenagers. It follows the adventures of an Australian high school student, Ellie and her group of friends, and uses the basic idea of ‘what would happen if Australia was invaded?’ as the backdrop for an exploration of the emotional and social pressures faced by teenagers. Continue reading Who our real friends are