For those who bristle at the idea of calling Israel's attacks against the Palestinians a holocaust, I urge you to pay attention to what Israel's deputy defense minister, Matan Vilnai, told Army Radio on Friday, February 29, 2008
"… they [ the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger 'shoah' [a Hebrew word for catastrophe and a synonym for the Nazi Holocaust] because we will use all our might to defend ourselves."
He certainly doesn't seem to have a problem with using this word when referring to Israel's plan of action against the Palestinians. This is a holocaust. If you have a problem dealing with that, I would suggest that you address this with Mr. Vilnai and the Knesset.
What's going on in Gaza right now is no different from what went on inside of the Warsaw Ghetto. The Nazis first confined the Jews and then proceeded to deprive them of food and medical care. Soon people began to drop dead from diseases due to lack of treatment and lack of proper nutrition. When those in the ghetto realized what was in store for them, they used improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Molotov cocktails and whatever arms they could get their hands on to attack the Nazis. Did they think they could win? There was no way the weapons at their disposal could stop the Nazis from coming in and killing them all. Realistically, all they could do was peacefully die at the hands of the Nazis or die fighting. If they chose the latter, perhaps they'd manage to kill a few of the Nazis in the process, so I can understand why many chose to fight.
It should be mentioned that the fighters weren't all men. The Jewish women and children also armed themselves and fought to kill as many Nazis as possible. I can't imagine that any of the parents exactly liked the idea of allowing their children to become killers but I can also understand why someone in that situation might have felt as if there really weren't any other options and that even their children had a right to defend themselves against the Nazis who they'd already watched kill so many other children.
Ultimately, the Nazis went into the ghetto and set fire to the streets of the ghetto, block by block. When the smoke and flames drove the Jews out of the buildings, the Nazis shot them to death. You could say that the Nazis were just responding to the fact that the Jews were using their women and children to attack Germans, but that doesn't take into consideration who put the Jews in that position in the first place. Maybe we should ask ourselves a few questions.
If they had not been confined, deprived of food and medicine, and systematically killed, would the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto have taken up arms against the Nazis?
Was it immoral or unethical for the Jews of Warsaw to allow their children to take up arms against the occupiers of their homeland?
Should the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising be viewed as an attempt to destroy all Germans since the people the Jews were shooting and fire-bombing were Germans?
Does the fact that the some of the Warsaw fighters did kill a few of those who were keeping them in confinement mean that the Nazis were justified in killing thousands of Jews afterwards?
Were the Jews who chose to fight the Nazis responsible for the deaths of those non-fighting Jews who were later killed by the Nazis?
Did the non-fighting Jews in Warsaw deserve to die since they didn't prevent other Jews in their community from launching fire-bombs and using IEDs against the Nazis?
Was the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising an act of self-defense?
If so, how can we decide which group was acting in self-defense?
If the occupation, confinement, and killings made it justifiable for the Jewish fighters to shoot and fire-bomb the Nazis, is there any reason why wouldn't that justification also apply to others who are experiencing the same thing?