Extracts from the Jun 2011 Journal

Bombs and ethics

The bombing of Libya, following on from the ‘Shock and Awe’ bombardment of Iraq in 2003, has reopened the question of the morality of bombing when civilian lives are at stake. The moral issues raised by the Allied air offensive against Germany during the Second World War are still very much alive today, more than 60 years later, not least because of the scale of the casualties: it has been reliably estimated that some 600,000 German civilians were killed in the raids. [more...]

British Quakers and the rescue of Jewish refugees

Contrary to contemporary public perception, the doors of the world were usually firmly closed to refugees desperate to escape the fascist regimes of Franco and Hitler in the 1930s. The British government, worried by unemployment, anti-Semitism and xenophobia among the British population, refused visa applications from anyone who could not meet one of the following criteria: prove they were financially self-supporting; produce a valid offer of work, usually as a domestic servant; or provide evidence they had been offered a £50 guarantee by a British benefactor to ensure they would not be a drain on the British economy. [more...]

Art Notes (review)

If there is a poignancy to Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World, which opened at the British Museum (until 17 July) just two months before Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces, it is its war zone status. Most recently, America invaded its cavernous territory in quest of the fugitive mass murderer of 9/11, who honed his Al-Qaeda strategy in the embers of the last Soviet invasion in 1979. [more...]

The ‘German malady’ (review)

by Louis Hagen
Stroud: The History Press (tel 01453 883 2332) 2011, 288 pp. paperback, illustrated, £14.99 [more...]

Letter from Israel: A classic case of cognitive dissonance

We watch the news on TV, where we are informed that murder and mayhem, death and destruction are raging all around us. Regimes are changing in the wake of mass demonstrations, some more violent than others, in several countries nearby. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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