"For the record, this is not genocide, and no rational person can justifiably call Israel's actions of self-defense genocide against any people," said Sam Sokolove, executive director of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico.Imagine having anywhere between 20 and 100 rockets randomly hitting different parts of the city. Imagine that despite a declared cease fire, these rockets continue to maim and kill your friends and family. Imagine always having to wonder whether or not your next trip to your local pizza parlor or ride on a bus will end in a fiery death. How long would it take for you to demand that your government do something?
Webster's New World Dictionary defines genocide as the "systematic killing of a whole people or nation."
Asked Monday whether he believes Israel's actions are, in fact, genocide, Benton referred to the United Nations' definition. A 1948 U.N. convention said genocide involves trying to destroy all or part of a national group and can include "causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group."
Israel has the right and the duty to protect its citizens. It's unfortunate that the Palestinians in Gaza chose Hamas to run their government, but choose they did. Hamas is responsible for the firing of rockets into Israel. The Palestinians in Gaza are responsible for turning their government, their future, and their lives over to Hamas.
While Israel is by all accounts making every attempt to minimize civilian casualties, there has never been a war where the innocent didn't die alongside the combatants - a fact that Palestinians living in Gaza should have remembered before they put a terrorist organization in charge of their government.
Benton said he didn't want to discuss his "genocide" comment further.It's no surprise that Councilor Benton doesn't want to discuss his foray into international politics. His loose tongue reveals a profound lack of understanding of not only what genocide really is, but of how terrorists use the media to claim victim status. In World War II, Germans taught the world what genocide was. Hamas uses the media and "useful idiots" like Benton to confer victim status that they do not deserve. In both cases, the real victims have been Jews and Israelis - who continue to pay on a daily basis with their lives.
"I regret it," he said. "I'll leave it at that."-ABQ Journal (Subscription)
"My response is we have freedom of speech," [Rabbi Arthur Flicker of Congregation B'nai Israel] said. "He can say whatever he wants, and we have freedom of the ballot, so we can vote him out of there."Amen.