War Crimes

Zsolt Hermann
4 min readNov 23, 2023

These days, we hear a lot about war crimes.

Most nations in the world accuse Israel of committing war crimes against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip through their war against Hamas. People do not really care about why and how the war started. Now that the body count is increasing day by day, everybody only cares about the destruction of human lives and the infrastructure of Gaza that Israel is causing in its attempt to eradicate Hamas from the Gaza Strip.

But what are “war crimes?” Is there such a notion at all?!

“War crimes” is an oxymoron that makes absolutely no sense.

War itself is a crime.

War — the attempt to kill others, to destroy or control others, to conquer the territory and possession of others is against life and humanity.

But when war already unfolds, when armies or militias or any weaponized groups go against each other with the clear aim to defeat, eradicate, destroy, and control the others, how can we claim that we can create any kind of “legal framework” for how should be conducted?!

The whole idea that war can be legalized, controlled, or manipulated can come only from our twisted, 100% self-serving, hateful, and warmongering consciousness and mentality that accepts and condones wars.

Moreover, “war crimes” and the usual protests against wars are used very differently, depending on who is “committing those war crimes.”

There were no concerns about casualties when the Allies bombed an already weakened and retreating Germany. There were no concerns when the nuclear bombs were dropped on Japan, and America is still justifying itself to it.

When it comes to Arab casualties, nobody listed the number of dead or protested for their sake during the Syrian war or regarding Lybia, Yemen, and other places. When other Arabic nations oppress or even kill Palestinians, nobody cares.

Since it is Slavic people who kill each other in Ukraine, we do not hear how many died; we hardly hear any more about the hardship the Ukrainians or Russians have to endure, although the casualties probably number tens of thousands of people if not hundreds of thousands.

But when Israel is killing Palestinians or people around Hezbollah, Israel is committing war crimes. Even if this war was provoked by Hamas, and even if Hamas is embedded in the Gazan population and in the Gaza infrastructure like cancer. And we know that removing cancer, either by medication or surgery, greatly harms the body itself, and many times, cancer destroys the whole body.

But this is not interesting or important since it does not serve the benefit and political agenda of the majority.

Thus, the notion of “war crimes” is something artificial and baseless, and it is used loaded with political agenda.

If we truly want to avoid “war crimes,” or more precisely, if we want to avoid the “crime of war,” then we would need to understand why human history is basically a long and helplessly recurring cycle of violence, conflicts, and wars.

It is because we are all driven by a 100% egocentric, subjective, exploitative, and ‘warmongering” nature and personality. All our lives and human societies are built on ruthless and exclusive competition; we firmly believe in the “survival of the fittest” and the “stronger feasting on the weak.”

This is how we are programmed by nature; we are programmed for war.

This is why our child games, board games, computer games, educational system, sports, politics, and business are all based on success at the expense of others, and we actively and consciously enjoy succeeding at the expense of others and cheer when others lose.

If we are already fed up with this endless ruthless competition and the endless conflicts and wars, we would need to willingly and purposefully change and further develop ourselves, so we would need to become able to build unity and mutually complementing cooperation and coexistence above and against our inherent nature — without artificially suppressing or erasing anything.

This, of course, requires a special, purposeful, and practical method since we would need to be able to exist and act above and against our instincts and inherent reactions and inclinations.

And we have such a method.

It is the method of unity and mutual guarantee above and against the inherent human nature that the Nation of Israel was established upon, the Jewish people carry in their “genetic memory.”

In our times — actually for over 2000 years now — even Jews forgot their own method and succumbed to the instinctive “unfounded hatred” between them, going through exile and recurring existential danger in the lack of their original unity.

Prior to the present Gaza war, Israel was in a state of near-civil war, encouraging its enemies to attack the weakened nation. What probably even Israelis did not expect was the resounding and overwhelming national unity and mutual responsibility Jews reacted both within Israel and around the world. If Israel succeeds in this war, it will be solely as a result of this unity.

But unity and mutual responsibility as a result of suffering, collective blows, and collective grief are wrong and unwise unity and mutual responsibility. Israel and Jews around the world will need to maintain and further strengthen this unity even when the war is over, even in times of peace — if there will be such a state — and when things are going well.

This is not only for the sake of the security of the Jewish Nation.

Only through the positive Jewish example of unique unity above diversity and mutual animosity, and by learning this Jewish method, can the whole world heal itself and make sure that we can enter a future without wars and war crimes when we can all cooperate and coexist above and despite all our vast and vibrant differences, opposing qualities and opinions, using even these opposing things only to strengthen our collective abilities and facilitate our collective survival.

--

--

Zsolt Hermann

I am a Hungarian-born Orthopedic surgeon presently living in New Zealand, with a profound interest in how mutually integrated living systems work.