Fundamentalism, terrorism, genocide

Celtic fans / Telegram Reproduction
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By LEONARDO BOFF*

It is no longer a war of the strong against the weak, but war crimes and real genocide on the part of the strong

On October 7th we witnessed a terrorist act against Israel, perpetrated by the armed group Hamas from the Gaza Strip, a group that is also a conventional form of civil organization in the society they manage. The retaliation by the Zionist State of Israel, under Benjamin Netanyahu, was so asymmetrical and disproportionate that, according to the UN itself, it represents a true genocide of the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip with the death of thousands of innocent children and civilians and the destruction of most of the houses. A terrorist state was created. A wave of fundamentalism is spreading throughout the world, associated with terrorism and, in its extreme form, genocide. Let's start with fundamentalism.

Fundamentalism is not a doctrine but “an exclusionary way of seeing doctrine”. The fundamentalist is absolutely convinced that his doctrine is the only true one and all the others are false. If they have no right, they can and should be fought. When someone considers themselves the bearer of an absolute truth they cannot tolerate another truth and their destiny is intolerance that degenerates into contempt for others, aggression and eventually war.

It occurs with part of Judaism called Zionism, which seeks a state only for Jews. This says that the land of Palestine was given by God to the Jews and they would have the right to a State exclusively theirs. As a result, they occupy land in the West Bank, expel its Arab inhabitants, taking their houses and everything inside. The dream of root Zionism proposes to create a Jewish State the size of King David's time. Some Palestinians and Arabs in the region believe they have their secular right and refuse to recognize Israel as a state because it is a usurper. They declare the purpose of defending and recovering their expropriated lands and to this end they arm themselves and carry out acts of violence, reaching terror as a response to the terror of Jewish radicals who have been suffering for 75 years.

What are the characteristics of terrorism? The uniqueness of terrorism lies in the “occupation of minds”. In wars, aerial bombings are not enough, as seen in the hundreds of Israeli air raids. You need to occupy physical space to effectively impose yourself. This was the case in Afghanistan and Iraq and now in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army. Not in horror. It is enough to occupy minds with threats that produce fear, internalized in the population and in the government. The Americans physically occupied Afghanistan from the Taliban and Iraq from Saddam Hussein. But al-Qaeda has psychologically occupied the minds of Americans. The then still alive Osama Bin Laden, on October 8, 2001, proclaimed: “From now on, the USA will never have security again, will never have peace again”.

 To dominate minds through fear, terrorism follows the following strategy: (i) the acts must be spectacular, otherwise they will not cause widespread commotion; (ii) despite being hated, they must provoke astonishment due to the sagacity used; (iii) must suggest that they have been thoroughly prepared; (iv) they must be unforeseen to give the impression of being uncontrollable; (v) the authors must remain anonymous (wear masks) because the more suspicious they are, the greater the fear; (vi) they must provoke permanent fear; (vii) they must distort the perception of reality: anything different can constitute terror. An Arab on a plane is easily seen as a terrorist and the authorities are called. Later, it is seen that he was a simple citizen.

Formalizing: “terrorism is all spectacular violence, practiced with the purpose of occupying minds with fear and dread”. In addition to violence, what is sought is its spectacular character, capable of dominating everyone's minds. In general, terrorism is the war of the weak, of those who are always dominated and humiliated. Ultimately, as currently in the Gaza Strip, they have no alternative but to resist and commit acts of violence. Resilience has its limits.

We fear that, after Israel's genocidal violence in the Gaza Strip, claiming so many innocent victims, especially thousands of children, women and civilians, acts of terror against Jews will occur around the world or even anti-Semitism will erupt. which should not be identified with root Zionism.

God free us from this horror that arouses the spirit of revenge and the spiral of murderous violence. Given the virulence that militarist countries apply to those who oppose them, well represented by the Americans, it is feared that terrorism will become a manifestation in many dominated countries. It is not born in itself. It is an explosion of domination and humiliation so mad (first violence) that they see no other alternative than to rebel, some becoming suicide bombers and carrying out acts of terror (second violence).

The response of the dominant countries is to retaliate in an even more violent way, waging hybrid and absolutely asymmetrical wars with the most modern weapons, killing people indiscriminately, razing their homes and committing true genocides, in the sense of murdering children and elderly people who have nothing to do with it. do with war, destroy temples, hospitals, schools and cultural centers. It is no longer a war between the strong and the weak, but war crimes and real genocide on the part of the strong.

*Leonardo Boff He is a theologian, philosopher and writer. Author, among other books, of Fundamentalism, terrorism, religion and peace (Vozes).


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