Guernica, Gaza and the Guardian


‘Guernica’ by Picasso

The following letter was not only chosen by editors at the Guardian as worthy of publication on Nov. 18., but even was featured in the  title.

What Leslie, a supporter of Independent Jewish Voices, is saying, in a polemic deemed meritorious by the Guardian is that, as a Jew who escaped Hitler’s attempt to exterminate all of the Jews on earth, he is in a privileged position to detect, and oppose, absolute evil – be it the evil of Nazism or the barbarity of the Jewish state.

The Nazis murdered six million Jews, and up to five million other “undesirables”, and launched wars which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions during WWII.

On April 26, 1937, the Nazis sent waves of bombers and fighter planes to the Spanish town of Guernica and dropped explosives, fragmentation bombs and incendiaries for 2 1/2 hours, literally razing the city to the ground.  Three days later, “they scorched the city and fired machine guns at the women and children who fled in panic.”

The IDF operation – targeting the Hamas terror infrastructure and aimed at putting a stop to incessant rockets fired at Israeli cities  – has included over 800 strikes on terrorist targets over five days.  It has resulted in 84 Palestinian deaths, half of whom are terrorists – an arguably unprecedented civilian to combatant death ratio of 1:1, especially in the context of Hamas’s practice of placing rocket launchers near civilians.  

The IDF is allowing Palestinian patients wounded in the fighting safe passage across the border to be treated at Israeli hospitals, and continues to send humanitarian supplies  into Gaza despite the constant rocket attacks from the territory.

I’m no emeritus professor, but to evoke Guernica in the context of the current conflict in Gaza represents an assault on truth, history and moral decency.

86 replies »

  1. Prof Theobald Brent has no idea about the history of Guernica, he’s just venting his witless hate of Israel and its people with the help of der Guardian.

    • It is almost a shame he escaped, he would have made a wonderful kapo.
      Anyone who starts off with ‘As a Jew’ obviously has no brains.

      • SO, on your site supposedly fighting antisemitism, we have a posting from someone who wishes (or should I say, almost wishes) that the Nazis had managed to kill one more Jew. Bravo, I say, great work in the flight against antisemitism, folks! #ironyoftwistedfanaticism

        • Hallo ‘Sanity’. Anti-semitism is hating someone for being a Jew. I dislike someone for his actions, and use sarcasm to point out he would make a good kapo.
          Idiot comes along and misses point.

          • I’m sure if this had been posted on the Guardian website, this would have received a fulsome critique on this website. But hey ho, that’s how it goes.

          • “I’m sure if this had been posted on the Guardian website, this would have received a fulsome critique on this website. ”

            If? Sanity, we’re here today looking at what actually was posted on the Guardian website.

          • “Sorry thicko, I was talking about the comment made by Matzoh.”

            That’s the problem. You’ve made zero effort to comment on the post itself, schmuck.

          • I monitor antisemitic comments on hate sites, I’m less interested in the posts, than in the antisemitic and islamophobic bile in the comments. I call it out and challenge the moderators to remove it. Unfortunately no such luck here.

      • It is almost a shame he escaped, he would have made a wonderful kapo.

        What a thoroughly revolting post.

        • yes, and even though this was pointed out yesterday, the moderators have done nothing to remove it, and the half-wits who usually comment here rally round the bigot.

  2. Indeed. In fact, Guernica is a more appropriate reference to the 12,000 rockets that the Gazan animals have fired on Israeli towns.

  3. Leslie Baruch Brent now is supporting the Islamo Nazis.
    Let Germany fire 1000 rockets at England and lets see how the British would respond. Oh we know how the British would respond. Its called Dresden.

  4. Leslie, condemns Israel for defending itself against Hamas terrorists.
    Top Hamas official: Kill every last Jew and American
    August 24, 2012
    Talking to Hamas? – Increasing Expressions of Genocidal Intent by Hamas Leaders Against the Jews
    Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, January 3, 2011
    Dr. Yunis al-Astal, a Hamas Member of Parliament, noted on March 3, 2008, relying on citations from the Koran, that the Jews will be chastised by Allah with the punishment of burning in hell, due to their impudence toward him, their corruption, the murder of the prophets, and the shedding of the blood of Muslims. According to al-Astal, some of the religious sages believe that the tortures of burning will take place in this world prior to the next world. In other words, Muslims are commanded to burn the Jews alive until the total extermination of the entire Jewish people. He explains: “We are sure and certain that the burning and Holocaust (mahraka) will be the fate of the Jews, and one of its portents was the act of personal sacrifice on Allah’s behalf in the military seminary” (a shooting attack at the Merkaz Harav yeshiva high school in Jerusalem on March 6, 2008, in which eight students were murdered).7

    In an interview with the newspaper al-Hayat on November 11, 2010, Khalil al-Haya, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza, was asked whether Hamas was acting to establish an Islamic emirate in Gaza. He responded: “We view Gaza as part of historic Palestinian territory….We retain our Islamic, Arab and Palestinian faith that Palestine will be returned to its inhabitants and Zionist existence will conclude. The meaning of a Palestinian state is that there will be one unified Islamic Palestinian state, and not an Islamic emirate, from the sea to the river, that will unite the Palestinians. The Jews will have no right there, save for those who lived on Palestinian land prior to the First World War” (meaning that only Jews above the age of 96 will be permitted to live in Islamic Palestine).8

    Sheikh Suleiman al-Fara, the director of the religious trusts in Khan Yunis and a senior Hamas leader, prophesized the extermination of the State of Israel in a sermon at the al-Katiba al-Khadra Mosque on March 23, 2010, referring to the “expulsion of the Jews and the destruction of state.”9

    Not only military and religious leaders have adopted these genocidal themes, but also the political echelon. Hamas political leader Mahmoud al-Zahar gave a strongly anti-Semitic speech on November 5, 2010, which Hamas broadcast on its Al-Aqsa Television channel. He explained that historically the Jews had been “sucking the blood” of the French and the British. He then tells the Jews that “the expulsion will come, Allah willing, from Palestine, from the entire territory of Palestine.” He closed by saying that the Jews “have no place among us…and no future among the nations.” Where are the Jews to go? Al-Zahar predicts: “You are about to disappear, and we are about to emerge victorious.

  5. I share your indignation. It seems that there is a principle of purity involved here. The less knowledge of the situation possessed by the blessed kindertransport survivor the greater his authority with a presumably adoring public.

  6. Margie and if this Professor would have sent a letter to the Guardian saying this, which is true. You think it would have made its way on the Guardian. I dont think so.
    There are two sides to that coin. On the one hand, Israel is fielding the most moral army in human history. And on the other, the “Palestinians” are the most wicked society to have ever existed.

    The contrast is jarring. For example, “Palestinian” mothers joyfully butcher their own children in Mohammed’s name. While the Israelis are doing everything to protect these same human shields.

  7. Brent’s own continued survival was the direct result of the commission of “Guernica style war crimes” against the German people.

    He should kill himself, in protest.

    • This comment appears tasteless at best. One might term it a veiled threat. Shouldn’t moderators remove this kind of bigotry?

      • I happen to think your posts are also tasteless, inane and sophomoric (though funny, in a sense). Shall the moderators remove them?

      • Tasteless comments on CifWatch ? Say it isn’t so. And if moderators removed this kind of bigotry I would be sitting here talking to myself. The only upside is I would be guaranteed an intelligent conversation.

        • Oh, back to your standard professorial lectures, eh? Well, did you do your little research and can finally give us the definition of “realzionism”? Or is that too epistemologically hard for you?

        • “And if moderators removed this kind of bigotry I would be sitting here talking to myself.”
          Half right. You’d be sitting “somewhere” talking to yourself.

  8. Guernica is an excellent comparison in this case, whether it’s a comparison made by a Jew or not is irrelevant. But in the eyes of turbo-charged religioethnonationalists, it’s obviously the case that advocating for peace is a sort of ‘girly-man’ point of view.

    • Are you accusing the bloggers of being “turbo-charged religionethnonationalists”? This is pretty tasteless, don’t you think? So, why don’t you spare the moderators and just remove yourself from this horrible blog? How can you stand your own hypocrisy?

    • BTW, I didn’t know people of Guernica were throwing rockets at Berlin. Maybe you can elaborate on that…or maybe not.

    • “Guernica is an excellent comparison in this case”

      You mean the Basques were firing rockets and mortars at civilians living in Italy and Germany before Guernica was flattened? No.
      You mean the IDF are ‘carpet bombing’ Gaza? No, that is not true either.
      So Sanity where exactly is the “excellent comparison” between Gaza and Guernica?

      • She/it has no idea what she´s talking about. She probably had seen Picasso’s paiting somewhere and voilá, she thinks she knows all about Guernica.

        • I’ve seen the original actually,and a very fine painting it is, too. Unfortunately I see that you are literalists (and of course there are no true comparisons in such a world) so not really worth tyring out my fingers typing when I could be using them to have a wank.

          • No, sweetie, we’re not “literalists”: most people here just happen to recognize the difference between reality and fantasy. You, on the other hand, seem to live perennially in your self-constructed lala-land.

          • “so not really worth tyring out my fingers typing when I could be using them to have a wank.”
            Quite right Sanity, stick to what you’re good at!

          • “Sanity” you have excelled yourself. You make a comment that bears no relation to reality (that Guernica is a good comparison to Gaza), have several people point out to you why it is such a terrible comparison, then rather than address the point or attempt to justify your position, you attempt to be “witty” and tell us it’s OUR fault we can’t rise to YOUR level of intellect.

            Standard troll procedure. File under “ignore”.

    • ‘Picking sides’ is different from ‘advocating for peace’, although both can be done by the same person.

      Selective hand-wringing does not fall into the second category. Actually, even-handed hand-wringing does not fall into the second category.

  9. “I am dismayed that both the British and American governments have given Israel carte blanche for these acts of barbarity in Gaza.”

    Quite frankly, I am dismayed that the professor emeritus of something or other hasn’t mentioned the barbarity of the Hamas regime nor the barbarity they’ve been carrying out in Israel for years. He references WWII, but doesn’t note that the side calling for genocide in this case is the side he’s implicitly defending, i.e., Hamas and the population of Gaza match up quite well to the Nazis and their German (and other) supporters. I therefore regard his comment as somewhat demented.

    As for the Guardian, one day they’re telling us that Israel is controlling the U.S. and U.K., the next they’re telling us Israel needs “permission” from these governments in order to even defend itself, oh wait, I mean “carry out acts of barbarity,” of course. I guess their just fickle.

  10. Wow. Every time I think this website can’t sink any lower, it finds a way. This post has to be the most offensive thing I’ve read on here – not only but especially for the sneering tone with which Leslie Brent (whose parents were executed during the Holocaust) is dismissed with a casual link to your post on the supposed “as a Jew” phenomenon, a theory which itself would be repugnant were it not so childish and pathetic. Can you really not see the contradiction in raging against Jews who you disagree with by adopting a stance of assumed superiority when it comes to speaking about Israel?

    And seriously, that quote at the top of the website HAS to come down, unless it’s a sick in-joke. “The voice of opponents no less than friends has the right to be heard” – what hope is there of that being applied on this site (I have never seen it applied once) if not even a Jewish man who lost his parents to the insanity of Nazi Europe can raise his without being instantly delegitimized with outrageous “as a Jew” rhetoric and – in the case of one commenter who evidently lacks a single shred of intelligence, compassion or, to borrow a phrase, “moral decency” – IS ACTUALLY WISHED TO HAVE DIED IN THE HOLOCAUST? (Oh, that was sarcasm? Well, I shudder to think what you come out with when you’re being serious.)

    Congratulations, guys. You’ve outdone yourselves.

    • and even worse, instead of calling out the guy who wishes the nazis had managed to kill one more Jew during the holocaust as a decent community blog might do, they rally round to defend the offender. family site for everyone!

      • Sanity I hope you have washed your hands before using your keyboard in light of your self declared predilection for self abuse. “I could be using them to have a wank.”

        Now what is that remark you were making about a “family site for everyone”? Or is that the way you behave in your family?

      • And what about you, hypocrite-in-chief, that called everybody here a “mega-turbo religionethnonationalist”? Remove yourself from this blog. Do us all this favor.

        • I think there’s a difference between giving someone a label and wishing that a Jew had been killed by the Nazis. This is what gets me about you ass-wipes. Here you are blabbering on about how much you jerk off over Israel, yet when it comes to bald-faced antisemitism, you would rather take it out on me than condemn a real racist. Pathetic.

          • Again, you call people here “ass-wipes”. The very same tastelessness you whine about others. You are an incurable hypocrite. Just remove yourself and your self-righteous trash from this blog you hate so much.

          • you know,bad language and rude imagery is really nothing compared to antisemitism or other racism. you need to sort your priorities out. Here I am (and also other commenters) pointing out racist comments on this thread, and you instead get all upset over a couple of cuss words. It’s the priorities, stupid!

          • Here you are blabbering on about how much you jerk off over Israel,…
            Do you remember your post sanity about telling the readers about your masturbating while posting? And now this… You are a one of its kind moron dear.

          • So, YOU set your so-called priorities straight, you moron. You cannot come here shouting your idiotic self-righteous act, calling people all kinds of names and at the same time whining and asking comments to be removed. It´s the hypocrisy, MORON.

          • I can do what I like while I enjoy the moderators’ patience. And regardless of me, I would have thought that people like you, supposed anti-racists, would be taking Motzoh Maker to task. Why did it require me to come in and point out the antisemitism. You can get all upset because I happily talk about jerking off and call things as I see them, whatever, I couldn’t care less. But that you wouldn’t criticise antisemitism, show what an ass-wipe you really are.

  11. Wow, you are soooo enraged, so pungent…a true drama-queen! You seem to have that same pathology as the late Norma Rae and the recurrent inSanity: you seem to hate this blog, you think people here are childish and repugnant, etc, but, alas, you keep posting your little tantrums. Who knows? Maybe you have some sense of mission, like hectoring and boring people to death, or saving the Universe.

    Maybe you should take some lectures on meaninglessness from our philosophaster-in-chief, whose name (or ‘name’) I dare not say, ´cause, you know,
    names (or “names”) are senseless and aren´t part of language at all. Do you follow me?

    • My, my, we are projecting, eh? Don’t worry, philosophaster-in-chief, I’m having fun at your expense. And where are those little rethorical questions you are so fond of?

      But, listen, as you repeated many times in your free “lectures”, we are just names (or “names”), and names (or ‘names’) are meaningless and not part of language at all (repeat, repeat, repeat…). So, instead of “realzionist”, you could equally have picked, say, “turd-boy”, “prick” or “jerk” as your nick. Curiously you didn´t, eh?

    • You pathetic scum.
      What rock did you crawl from under, “Professor”?
      So the Deputy FM of a country is a “bigot”?
      Go and have that “wank”, Prof. Your only strong suit.

      • Yes, the same bigot who tries to humiliate Turks by putting them on lower chairs, etc. etc. The Foreign Ministry of Israel is packed to the rafters with bigots and it starts from the top.

        • Of course it is.
          If only your brain had been “packed” with anything resembling original thought, instead of lewd lasciviousness, there might’ve been hope for you yet.
          Alas, since you can’t distinguish a democratically elected gov. from a terrorist org. — Hamas, you’re in greater need of that “wank” than I thought.

        • Pretty nasty as regards diplomacy (this was the Turkish ambassador, after all) – but how does that make Ayalon a bigot?

          • Seriously? He’s a member of Yisrael Beiteinu. The party that gave us the ‘No loyalty, No citizenship!’ slogan aimed at disenfrachising Arab Israelis. They also refuse to allow Arab Israeli journalists at their press conferences.

          • @ Sanity

            Yisrael Beiteinu refuse to allow Arab Israeli journalists at their press conferences? Is this true? Would any other poster here care to comment?

          • Total bullshit naturally. One of the al-Jazeera journos didn’t allow to search her belongings by the security detail at a press conference of Ayalon or Lieberman (don’t remember which one) and they didn’t allow her in.
            This is only one of sanity’s many lies and libels.

          • Sanity thank you for showing your state of sanity. The linked article speaks about a campaign gathering of a city councilor in Haifa, where at the same time there was a demonstration against it mainly with Arab participants. The gathering has nothing to do with Lieberman or Ayalon but only with an insignificant city councilor.
            You should apply for a job a Komment Macht Free – there is an opening – seems to me Whitaker left them or has been fired.

          • You just don’t get it, “Sanity”, do you? Your extension, of one stupid councillor doing something reprehensible, to a comment that an unrelated member of the same party is a “bigot” is no better or worse than someone saying that all Palestinians are terrorists because some undoubtedly are, or that all Jews are fraudsters because some undoubtedly are.

            You simply cannot justify comments such as “bigot given platform”, “The Foreign Ministry is packed to the rafters with bigots and it starts from the top”, and allegations that it is party policy to “refuse to allow Arab Israeli journalists at their press conferences” with one link to a story about one idiot.

  12. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion – but the current Israeli operation is no way another Guernica. Did the G. really have to publish such an inflammatory letter – when it must have had others from Jewish readers that are a) critical of Israel but b) in far more reasonable terms? Then there’s the outrageous option of featuring letters in support of Israel …