What are the deadliest wars of the 21st Century?
1 The Syrian Civil War 2011-Present 535,000 deaths
2 War on Terror (including 2001-Present 493,500 deaths
Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan)
3 War in Darfur 2003-Present 286,827 deaths
4 Yemeni Civil War 2014–Present 233,000+ deaths
5 Mexican Drug War 2006-Present 106,800 deaths
By contrast the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1948 has killed only 116,000 people in over 70 years.
The War on Terror was given a lot of media coverage, when Western troops were involved in the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it is rarely on the TV news now and has not been for some time. The Syrian Civil War was given extensive coverage, but much less since ISIS was defeated. The other wars are barely covered on the news at all.
Only specialists pay much attention to the Yemeni Civil War or have any idea what it is about. Few people could even point to Darfur on a map. Going a little further back, I am shocked to discover that the Second Congo War (1998-2003) cost the lives of between 3 and 5 million people. How many British people could say more than a sentence about it? I couldn’t.
I can recall no demonstrations in London outside the Mexican Embassy protesting about the Mexican Drug war. No one much demonstrates outside the Sudanese Embassy either and no one at all says anything nasty about Mexicans or Sudanese people because of their involvement in these wars.
I don’t recall mass demonstrations in London about Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its own people, nor were there crowds complaining about Russia when it bombed various Syrian cities indiscriminately to help its ally Assad.
Since 2005 when Hamas was first elected in the Gaza Strip there have been various conflicts but the death toll is around 3,500. It’s a little more than Palestinian deaths from Covid.
It is reasonable for people to criticise Israel to the same extent that they criticise any other country for doing the same thing. It’s also reasonable to criticise Hamas. Any war between people is regrettable and should be avoided. But the word for people who only demonstrate when wars involve Jews is anti-Semitism.
If you didn’t notice the War in Darfur, didn’t make signs and didn’t drive around London seeking Sudanese people to shout at and abuse, why are you concerned with a relatively small conflict in Gaza?
There is something odd about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It stirs emotions like no other. There are any number of post-war conflicts with massively higher death tolls, which have been forgotten or never noticed, but if Israel is involved it immediately goes to number one news item and demonstrators get out their placards.
After the Second World War new countries and new borders were established and there were huge population transfers. Millions of Germans were expelled by force from what is now Poland and Russia and large numbers died. So too Poles were expelled from what is now Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine to where the Germans had been living.
The Partition of India led to 10 to 20 million people being forced to leave their homes, many did not survive.
I have never heard of demonstrations in London asking for the post war border of Germany and Poland to be redrawn and the descendants of those displaced being allowed to return home. Neither in India nor Pakistan are there refugee camps on the border where people fire rockets into the country they were displaced from. How do you suppose the Pakistani Army would respond if Indians fired rocked into Pakistan? How would any country in the world respond?
It was unjust what happened to the Poles when the Soviet Union invaded their country in 1939 and later annexed part of it, but if Poles were now sitting on the border with Belarus shooting rockets, there is little doubt how Belarus would respond even if the Belarus border is the result of injustice.
Prior to 1920 there was no nation state called Palestine. Rather there was a province of the Ottoman Empire. There were no Palestinians, rather there were Syrians who lived in Ottoman Syria which included modern day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel.
Palestine only came into existence with the British Mandate. Jewish migration to the region accelerated especially after World War II. The United Nations decided to partition Mandate Palestine. The Arabs tried to destroy the Jewish state, but lost the war in 1948 and continued to lose in 1956, 1967, 1973 and so on. The Palestinians were crammed into ever smaller territory, because with each war they lost territory. But if the Soviet Union can annex parts of Poland, and Poland can annex parts of Germany, is it only Jews who cannot gain territory after winning wars?
Jewish people have the same rights to live where they do as any other migrant. If 9 million Jewish migrants don’t have the right to live in the Middle East, why do 44 million Muslims have the right to live in Europe? If Jewish migration to the Middle East is wrong, why is Muslim migration to Europe right?
It appears as if the benefits of multiculturalism only apply to Europe and not to Palestine. If descendants of migrants such as Humza Yousaf can fight to partition Britain, why couldn’t descendants of Jewish migrants fight to partition Palestine not least because they were the majority in their part? If Muslims can create a Muslim state in Pakistan in 1947 there can be no moral reason for preventing Jews from doing likewise in 1948.
Israel having been legally established in 1948 has the same right as any other state to defend itself. If a country is attacked it has the right of self-defence to defend itself. The task of any armed forces is to win, while suffering as few casualties as possible.
Having decided that conventional war was impossible to win the Palestinians embraced unconventional war and terrorism. But while no one questions the right of the French, the British and the Americans to fight terrorism, Jews do not have this right.
The situation in Israel is analogous to the one between Germany and Poland and India and Pakistan. People were displaced by war. It was horrible as all wars are. It was unjust. But Germans do not sit in refugee camps firing rockets at Poland, nor does anyone else who has been displaced by war except in Palestine.
The injustice is that while Poles would be allowed to defend themselves from Germans shooting rockets, Jews must give in to the demands of Palestinians, which would not involve peaceful coexistence, but rather the destruction of Israel and the expulsion its population if it were lucky enough to survive.
Anyone who favours the destruction of the Jewish people in Israel is an anti-Semite anyone who thinks Jews may not defend themselves against people who wish to destroy them, is an anti-Semite. Anyone who cares not at all about any war except when it involves Jews is an anti-Semite. Anyone who thinks everyone has the right to migrate except Jews is an anti-Semite.
The only peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict involves neither side starting a war. If one side initiated the conflict by firing rockets it is at least partly to blame. Only when both sides resolve not to start a conflict will there be peace. But there can never be peace so long as one side wishes to drive the other into the sea. If you support people who wish to do this, you are an anti-Semite.
This post was originally published by the author on his personal blog: https://www.effiedeans.com/2021/05/why-do-they-only-demonstrate-when-jews.html