Gilad Sharon, son of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, has written a sickening op-ed in the Jerusalem Post expressing a desire to 'flatten' Gaza, and even, it seems, suggest using nuclear weapons against the impoverished refugees:
We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.
There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire.
According to Sharon, there it no such thing as an innocent Gazan - they elected Hamas, so must be collectively punished for the actions of their government:
The desire to prevent harm to innocent civilians in Gaza will ultimately lead to harming the truly innocent: the residents of southern Israel. The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences.
I try to keep personal emotion out of my analysis, particularly when it comes to the situation in Israel. I am of Jewish heritage, so was initially blindly pro Israel before I understood the complex history of the region. I decided to keep ethnic pride out of the equation when assessing the conflict, and now understand the situation to be a tragic example of colonialism and occupation - sadly on behalf of my own people. While I am able to distance myself from the tribal emotion of it all, I can't help but feel utterly depressed when reading dehumanizing hate mongering by figures like Gilad Sharon - a Jew who should be ashamed of himself given the history of his own people.
Surely Sharon has read about 'Kristallnacht', the 'Night of the broken glass' - a horrific campaign of collective Jewish punishment lead by Dr. Goebbels after a lone Jew shot a German diplomat in Paris in 1938. If he hasn't, he should, and compare the German mentality of dehumanization to his own.
Surely Sharon must understand that if Gazans are to be collectively punished for electing a particular government, then so too must Israelis. If Israel is allowed to 'flatten' Gaza, then surely the Palestinians can return the favor for the election of Benjamin Netanyahu.
But of course he doesn't, because Sharon is a bully versed only in the language of violence and intimidation. To call Sharon a racist would be an understatement - just look at an article he wrote for 'Arutz Sheva' comparing Palestinians to wild animals:
Let us not forget with whom we are dealing here. You can take the wild Palestinian beast and put a mask on it, in the form of some fluent English-speaking spokesman. You can also dress it in a three-piece suit and silk tie.
But every once in a while – during a new moon, or when a crow’s droppings hit a howling jackal, or when its pita with hyssop doesn’t come out just right – the wild beast senses that this is its night, and out of primeval instincts, it sets off to stalk its prey.
Comparisons to Nazis should not be made lightly, but in the case of Gilad Sharon, it's entirely justified.