A Short History of Collective Punishment: From the British Empire to Gaza

Reblogged from Caged But Undaunted, written by Stanley Cohen

Q.What do lawyers and sperm have in common?
A: A one in a million shot at being human.

-Stephen Fry

Stanley Cohen is that one in a million.

caged but undaunted

Originally published August 24, 2018 in Counterpunch

As old as war itself, collective punishment has long been the most damning and destructive weapon of all. Not satisfied with engaging combatants alone and directly, historically, it has fueled state reprisal against families, communities and entire populations in a drive to “win” a given conflict, military or otherwise, at all costs.

With roots that trace, literally, to the start of time, reprisal has evolved as modern warfare has became more proficient and popular resistance more prevalent. Nowhere has collective punishment proved more evident and systemic than it has in the West where it has long run the gamut from civil sanctions, to population displacement, to political penalty, to imprisonment, to outright slaughter. Of late, it has grown more subtle, yet no less pernicious, through state censorship that seeks to control the narrative of the day.

In the American Civil War, during his…

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Author: Bill Ziegler

I am a former resident of Delhi Township. These are memories of my life and times in that community during the 1950s and 1960s. A time capsule.

3 thoughts on “A Short History of Collective Punishment: From the British Empire to Gaza”

  1. Interesting how someone that has never visited Gaza or maybe never even visited Israel can come up with such a list of things that make me despair. Anyway I have asked Colonel Richard Kemp to read it and comment. Bill it is interesting that such poison and bile must have an effect on your own body and mind. Last year on my birthday I spent it on a kibbutz near Gaza and some of the people at the kibbutz are still in touch with friends that live in Gaza but since Hamas took over they had to stop entering Israel where they worked at and in some cases managed businesses on the kibbutz. People in the area used to buy their fruit and vegetables at the markets there. If they did try and work here now Hamas would probably shoot them. Did you know any of this? Did you know that companies like Mellanox have offices in Gaza and employ Gazan engineers. Do you know what Mellanox is and what they do? The best way I can describe your diatribe on Israel and Gaza in particular is that kind of person that takes poison and hopes the “the other people” will die. I have already invited you to visit and see things for yourself but it would seem you hate a people you have no idea who and what they are. People like you cause bloodshed by managing to get less informed people to hate Jews and Israelis and in some cases cause their personal harm. Maybe a blog on Assad prisons in Damascus and the 100’s of thousands of people he has killed even yesterday with mustard gas. Why do you think Hamas builds terror tunnels? They are not looking for water. Russia dropped a blockbuster bomb on a hospital in Syria because the rebels used the basement as their headquarters. Maybe after your article we will drop such a bomb on the Shifa hospital for the same reason. Words are cheap Bill specially when they confuse the uninformed people that live in your country. In fact I will send this article to somebody in our government for comment. You should try and listen to all sides of the story and even maybe listen to what Richard Kemp has to say about Gaza.
    You make a very sad world even sadder all by yourself.


  2. That is a bit embarrassing. Your new best friend seems to have a very one-sided slant on life here and in Gaza.
    The fact his name is Cohen doesn’t make what he writes any more correct. After writing what he did in hate no wonder an adult wanted to speak to him at the airport. Maybe the time has come for you to see for yourself Bill. Sad you allow someone so filled with hate to write on your blog. When he next visits Gaza maybe he can ask them to give the bodies of our young soldiers back that were killed during a Hamas requested cease fire. I would even thank him.


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