Category Archives: Genocide

On Israel/Hamas: Many Conflicting “Truths”, Or Convictions


Kudos this week to the Christian Century (CC) magazine, for its statement on the Hamas/Israeli war.  They were not quick to run to the pundit barricades; when Hamas attacked, despite their shock, they grabbed their knees and kept them from jerking. They thought and struggled about it; their struggle likely continues.

And their considered editorial answer was –for me at least — clarifying. In sum, they said: the situation is complex as hell. (That’s my paraphrase.) More precisely:

From “Bearing Witness to Multiple Stories” (11/6/2023):

“Every conflict involves competing stories, but often one story clearly embodies far more truth than the other. Not in this case. Each of the two stories sketched out here [Palestinian & Israeli] is factually sound, historically informed, and morally compelling. Both stories are true.

And they are heartbreaking and tragic. Both are stories of people who love the land and deserve to live there in peace. Peace has long been stymied by political missteps, cycles of violence, and interventions by those who can only see one story’s truth. For US Christians, bearing witness to this conflict begins with recognizing that it contains more than one true story.”

Continue reading On Israel/Hamas: Many Conflicting “Truths”, Or Convictions

Syria’s Butcher is Welcomed Back by the Arab League

Syria’s Bashar Assad is being rehabilitated

by Gwynne Dyer, Opinion columnist – May 15, 2023

Syria-War damage

“There is no such word as ‘auto-genocide,’ but that would describe what Assad has done to his own country over the past 12 years.”

There is no justice. Bashar al-Assad, the murderous Syrian dictator whose membership even the Arab League suspended 12 years ago, is off to Riyadh this week to celebrate his admission back into the organization. He will pay no price for his many crimes against humanity: The name of the game now is not retribution but “rehabilitation.” Continue reading Syria’s Butcher is Welcomed Back by the Arab League

“Fear Speech” vs “Hate Speech”: An Important Distinction

From, The New York Times:

[NOTE: I learned something valuable from this piece: “fear speech” is distinct from (but closely related to) “hate speech,” and its emergence in research further complicates such tangled issues as how to preserve free speech in the toxic media culture we seem stuck in. I didn’t find simple or easy solutions here. But being enabled to think more clearly about what we’re facing — to me that’s progress. Check it out.]

Few Are Addressing One of Social Media’s Greatest Perils

By Julia Angwin — May 6, 2023

Ms. Angwin is a contributing Opinion writer and an investigative journalist.

[F]ear is weaponized even more than hate by leaders who seek to spark violence. Hate is often part of the equation, of course, but fear is almost always the key ingredient when people feel they must lash out to defend themselves.

Continue reading “Fear Speech” vs “Hate Speech”: An Important Distinction

Quotes for the Day

It was tempting to open with a passage from Volodimir Zelensky’s memorable address to Congress. But that is everywhere today. Instead, here’s a bit from a tribute by columnist David Ignatius:

Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, likes to quote a comment attributed to Napoleon: “In war, the moral is to the physical as three is to one.” Zelensky is the embodiment of that everlasting truth.”
Quoted by David Ignatius, Washington Post, 12/21/2022: Continue reading Quotes for the Day

The Ukraine War’s Other Front: Libraries & their Warrior Librarians

[NOTE: This report is one of the most clarifying pieces I have read on the Ukraine. In one sentence it gets beyond and beneath all the horrible physical death and destruction, and sets it in context: “The wars of this century are wars over meaning.

The Guardian, December 4, 2022

‘Our mission is crucial’: meet the warrior librarians of Ukraine

Oksana Bruy

When Russia invaded Ukraine, a key part of its strategy was to destroy historic libraries in order to eradicate the Ukrainians’ sense of identity. But Putin hadn’t counted on the unbreakable spirit of the country’s librarians

By Stephen Marche

The morning that Russian bombs started falling on Kyiv, Oksana Bruy woke up worried about her laptop. Bruy is president of the Ukrainian Library Association and, the night before, she hadn’t quite finished a presentation on the new plans for the Kyiv Polytechnic Library, so she had left her computer open at work.
Continue reading The Ukraine War’s Other Front: Libraries & their Warrior Librarians