Aug 5, 2014

News and comments for Aug. 5, 2014

Who is Winning?: Germany 1944 and Gaza 2014? 
Uri Avnery (Israel) The British and American air forces bombed the German cities [during World War II] and destroyed them completely. A stone did not remain on a stone, glorious palaces were flattened, cultural treasures were obliterated. "Uninvolved civilians" were blown to smithereens, burned to death or just disappeared. Dresden, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, was totally destroyed within a few hours in a "fire storm". The official aim was to destroy the German war industry, but this was not achieved. The real aim was to terrorize the civilian population, in order to induce them to remove their leaders and capitulate ... Millions of tons of bombs did not suffice. They only strengthened the morale of the population and its loyalty to the Führer. And so to Gaza.

The Revenger's Tragedy: Denial and Reality of British WWII Bombing 
Leo McKinstry -- New Statesman (Britain) British government has long denied that wartime air raids on German cities were intended to kill as many civilians as possible. In fact, the raids, led by Arthur Harris, were motivated largely by a desire to hit back and destroy indiscriminately / ... "The aim of [Britain's] Bomber Command should be unambiguously and publicly stated," he [Harris] wrote in 1943. "That aim is the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany." He wanted the government to declare its commitment to "the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale", and he expressed his contempt of the official eagerness "to downplay the obliteration of German cities and their inhabitants".

Prominent Zionist Warns of 'Beginning of Another Holocaust' in Europe 
The Jerusalem Post (Israel) situation facing European Jewry is "simply intolerable, unacceptable and inexcusable," Israeli Jewish Congress president Vladimir Sloutsker told MKs and foreign diplomats at a special session of the Knesset Immigration Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee on Monday. Calling the rise in anti-Semitic incidents accompanying Israel's invasion of Gaza an "SOS situation," Sloutsker warned that if left unchecked, such behavior could lead to another European genocide. "Never before since the Holocaust, have we seen such a situation as today," he said ... "We are potentially looking at the beginning of another Holocaust now. These events will only grow in scale across Europe."

The Myth of the Innocent Civilian

Anti-Semitism Means The Future Of Europe's Jews Is Under Threat, Says Israeli Official Sharansky 
The Huffington Post Israel has seen a huge wave of new immigrants since the beginning of its offensive in Gaza ... And the main reason for European migrants making the journey, according to the man charged with bringing more Jews to Israel, is anti-Semitism. "In this three weeks of war, we have had 2,600 new immigrants arrive ...," Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the country's former deputy prime minister ... firmly believes that European Jewry's day are numbered, and that more and more will head for Israel. "The way things are developing in Europe, Jews will increasingly start to feel there is no future there. The number of French Jews leaving is very symbolic," he said.

Political Attitudes Derive From Body and Mind, Scientists Say 
University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Science Daily people make a rational choice to be liberal or conservative? Do their mothers raise them that way? Is it a matter of genetics? Two political scientists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a colleague from Rice University say that neither conscious decision-making nor parental upbringing fully explain why some people lean left while others lean right. A growing body of evidence shows that physiological responses and deep-seated psychology are at the core of political differences, the researchers say in the latest issue of the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences. "Politics might not be in our souls, but it probably is in our DNA," says the article ...

Russians Rely On State Media For News Of Ukraine, Crimea 
J. Ray, N. Esipova - Gallup Russians have been following the news about Ukraine and Crimea over the past few months ... While the U.S. government maintains that Russia has "repeatedly put out misinformation and propaganda throughout this conflict in Ukraine," Russians who have been following the news consider their state media the most reliable source for information about the situation. Just five percent say Western media are reliable ... The high percentage who say state media are reliable more likely reflects Russians' current record-high faith in the state and their record-low trust in the West. Russians' belief that media in their country have enough freedom is also at a record high of 55 percent ...

Russian Approval of Putin Soars to Highest Level in Years 
J. Ray, N. Esipova - Gallup Vladimir Putin's popularity in Russia is now at its highest level in years, likely propelled by a groundswell of national pride with the annexation of Crimea in March on the heels of the Sochi Olympic Games in February. The 83% of Russians saying they approve of Putin's leadership in late April/early June ties his previous high rating in 2008 when he left office the first time. The 29-percentage-point increase in Putin's job approval between 2013 and 2014 suggests he has solidified his previously shaky support base ... A record-high 65% of Russians are satisfied with their freedom. Some of this may be attributable to improving economic perceptions.

Putin's Media Lives in an Alternate Reality 
Andrei Malgin - The Moscow Times (Russia) The glass is empty, the world sees that it is empty, but the Russian media proclaims: "The glass is completely full." ... I worked for Soviet newspapers during the terms of four Soviet leaders, from Leonid Brezhnev to Mikhail Gorbachev, and this is the first time the authorities have lied so brazenly and shamelessly. They have truly reached a new low ... All of those versions of events were deliberate lies, and all of the reporters and commentators who authored and discussed them knew they were telling lies. And yet they still did it ... For Russia's state media journalists, it was not enough to simply twist the facts to their own purposes: They felt compelled to tell bold-faced lies.

Goebbels and World War II Propaganda 
Mark Weber -- Institute for Historical Review from Hitler himself, perhaps the most fascinating figure of Third Reich Germany is the regime's chief publicist and spokesman, Joseph Goebbels. He is widely portrayed as a master of lies and deceitful propaganda. But this familiar image, which is particularly entrenched in the United States, is itself a propaganda falsehood.

Australia Zionist Group Complains of Newspaper Cartoon That 'Racially Vilifies' Jews 
The Times of Israel umbrella body of the Jewish community in Sydney threatened to take action against a major newspaper for publishing a cartoon about Gaza that "racially vilifies" Jews. Yair Miller, president of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, wrote to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday claiming that the cartoon by Glen Le Lievre in the July 26 edition was in breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act ... The cartoon, published alongside a virulently anti-Israel article by columnist Mike Carlton, showed a yarmulke-wearing, hooked nose Jew sitting in an armchair etched with a Star of David, using a remote control to detonate a collection of buildings, presumably in Gaza. 

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