This morning, the not-so-subtly pro-settler, pro-war Times of Israel published an op-ed explaining that genocide is okay when the victims are Gazans. The paper quickly thought better of it, and took down the piece. We saved it here in its entirety, because it's an important window into a terrible mindset.
The piece is not by a geopolitician or a statesman or a soldier, but by a New York-based sales manager* named Yochanan Gordon who insists "that the US and the UN are completely out of touch" with the realities of war in the Middle East. The op-ed quickly garnered 300 Facebook likes and was tweeted more than 3,000 times before it disappeared from the Times' website:
Multiple Twitter users took screenshots of the entire column before it was deleted; one such shot appears below. I've excerpted some "highlights" here:
…it's now obvious that the US and the UN are completely out of touch with the nature of this foe and are therefore not qualified to dictate or enforce the rules of this war—because when it comes to terror there is much more than meets the eye.
I wasn't aware of this, but it seems that the nature of warfare has undergone a major shift over the years. Where wars were usually waged to defeat the opposing side, today it seems — and judging by the number of foul calls it would indicate — that today's wars are fought to a draw. I mean, whoever heard of a timeout in war? An NBA Basketball game allows six timeouts for each team during the course of a game, but last I checked this is a war! We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people. Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to live…
News anchors such as those from CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera have not missed an opportunity to point out the majority of innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of this war. But anyone who lives with rocket launchers installed or terror tunnels burrowed in or around the vicinity of their home cannot be considered an innocent civilian...
I will conclude with a question for all the humanitarians out there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?
I will not comment on this at length. Make of it what you will. I'll only say that Israel deserves to exist and deserves to defend itself from external threats, and certainly Hamas and its sympathizers have posed a threat to Israeli citizens and soldiers in recent years. Those are fair premises. But they do not lead inexorably to Yochanan Gordon's psychotic final conclusion. They do not lead inexorably to the manner in which this war has been waged. And Israel's manner in this war does not appear to lead inexorably—or even remotely—to a solution for Israeli security, much less peace for the non-Israelis in the region.
What Yochanan Gordon—and anyone inclined to agree with his hoop-dream musings—doesn't know about war, peace, and humanity could fill volumes.
The full column:
Update: This post initially reported Gordon's job title incorrectly. He is a sales manager, not an accountant as I initially wrote. The error is mine.
The 5 Towns Jewish Times, the U.S. news site founded by Gordon's father where he works as sales manager, also published the genocide op-ed and has finally removed it, replacing it with this note:
An article that was posted earlier today on our website dealt with the question of genocide in a most irresponsible fashion. We reject any such notion or discussion associated with even entertaining the possibility of such an unacceptable idea.
The piece should have been rejected out of hand by editors but escaped their proper attention. We reject such a suggestion unequivocally and apologize for the error.
I wish to express deep regret and beg forgiveness for an article I authored which was posted on 5TJT.com, Times of Israel and was tweeted and shared the world over.
I never intended to call to harm any people although my words may have conveyed that message.
With that said I pray and hope for a quick peaceful end to the hostilities and that all people learn to coexist with each other in creating a better world for us all.