Showing posts with label violence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label violence. Show all posts

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Holocaust engulfs Gaza according to Palestinian poet

A Palestinian poet novelist and activist, Susan Abdulhawa, living in Cairo, who's just returned from two weeks in Gaza described what has happened there is a holocaust. She was reluctant to use that word and did not use it lightly but she says that "it is absolutely that".
“What I witnessed personally in Rafah and some of the middle areas is incomprehensible, and I will call it a holocaust — and I don’t use that word lightly. But it is absolutely that.”

Gaza mass destruction is like a holocaust as per the definition of the word.
Gaza mass destruction is like a holocaust as per the definition of the word.  Image: Wikipedia.

Definition of 'holocaust'

So what is the definition of the word "holocaust"? Here it is: "destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war", according to a Google search.

Destruction of buildings and infrastructure

It can't be denied that Israel has destroyed large parts of Gaza and I'm talking about the buildings including homes, hospitals and other administrative buildings and of course roads and other infrastructure. The pictures confirm that there has been mass destruction.

Holocaust engulfs Gaza according to Palestinian poet

Destruction of innocent people

The information from the Palestinian authorities tell us that about 30,000 people have died in Gaza as a result of the Israeli bombardments. Nearly all of these are innocent men women and children. 

Obviously some of them are Hamas terrorists, the target of Israel's invasion and bombardment of the Gaza Strip but I would suggest that the terrorists are a tiny proportion of the overall number of Gazans guilt in this war.


It is difficult to avoid coming to the same conclusion as this poet and novelist. You make up your own mind but to me it does look like a holocaust and if that is true it is shatteringly ironic that the Israelis are causing holocaust when in the history of the Jewish race they were, as the world knows, the victims of the ultimate holocaust, the Holocaust, perpetrated by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II between 1941 and 1945 when 6 million Jews were systematically murdered.

Obviously nothing can match that horror but even if we can discuss the possibility that what is going on in Gaza has some resemblance to a holocaust it is very sad and shocking bearing in mind this history.

Animals of Gaza

And I want to briefly mention the animals of Gaza. The news media talk about the innocent women and children being killed in their homes but we must remember the animals, the domestic animals killed with their owners or if they survived, left starving on the streets. 

They have nowhere to go, no one to look after them, no one cares except the odd and very fine individual who is engaged in animal rescue. Yes, there are still people in Gaza engaged in animal rescue despite the most horrific conditions.

There are still some veterinarians operating in Gaza as I understand it but I'm sure their medications are running out or have run out. I feel for the animals terribly. It is depressing to think about them. They are entirely innocent as are the children.

Domestic animals live in the human world. When the human world is destroyed by humans in the most violent of ways, domestic animals are either violently killed or they slowly die. Humankind should be ashamed of itself. Thoroughly ashamed.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 29 March 2021

Decriminalising possession of all drugs, prostitution and minor crime to improve animal welfare

Baltimore in the USA had done something radical. Baltimore's top prosecutor has decriminalised the possession of all drugs, along with prostitution and other minor street crimes. The objective: to improve public safety in what was one of America's most dangerous cities. I say "was" because it has worked. In this city the drug war is over said Marilyn Mosby. They have, in the words of the mayor, "reimagined public safety". In other words they have taken a completely different position on how to improve public safety. And I'm going to argue in this post that if you improve the safety of the public you also improve the safety of companion animals who live with the public.

Baltimore, USA. Image by emitea from Pixabay 

And the safety of companion animals, particularly domestic cats, is my overriding concern. Baltimore won't even prosecute criminals who possess heroin. They don't prosecute for non-violent crimes of attempted drug distribution, possession of drug paraphernalia, trespassing and minor traffic offences and, as mentioned, prostitution. These infractions are now dealt with as community health problems and the perpetrators are redirected to social services or other sections of Baltimore's public health system.

Over the past year, during the coronavirus pandemic, many American cities have experienced a spike in violence whereas violent crime in Baltimore has fallen by 20%. Property crime has dropped by 36%. The number of prisoners has fallen by 18% and there has been a fall in the number of people entering the criminal justice system by 39%.

In Baltimore they measure public concern by the number of emergency calls about drug use and sex work. Between March and December 2020 these calls dropped by one third with respect to drug use and by one half with respect to sex work.

They are going to focus on violent offences like armed robbery and carjacking together with drug distribution organisations. These are the underbelly of violence in Baltimore.

I think this story need to be digested by anybody who is considering how to improve public safety and reduce levels of crime in their city or municipality. It's a good test case. It has probably released some of the tension in Baltimore. If law enforcement is constantly cracking down on petty crime there is a constant level of tension between the authorities and the citizens. 

I don't know for sure because I am not an expert but to try and help drug takers through social services and health systems is far more ameliorative and palliative and therefore more gentle than cracking down on these people who certainly need help.

Perhaps that attitude from the authorities has feed through to society, making these perpetrators less aggressive and with less aggression you are less likely to have incidents of violence against animals. Often animals are the victims of spontaneous acts of aggression from citizens either on drugs or alcohol. Alcoholism is  an outlet for aggression and anger. If you reduce the level of anger in society you should reduce the level of animal abuse and cruelty. I'm thinking aloud so I don't know for sure but it makes sense to me.

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