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Thursday, May 01, 2008

How can there be any common ground?

I have a favor to ask.  Just for a moment let's set aside the ongoing terrorism, rocket attacks and overt incitement being sanctioned, financed and carried out by all official branches of Palestinian leadership... including both Fatah and Hamas. 

I know that's a lot to ask... but those who insist we must find a way to find common ground with the Palestinians point out that it is necessary to talk peace especially in its absence.

So we'll put the daily attempts to dehumanize, maim and kill innocent Israelis aside for a moment.  Not forgotten, mind you... just off to the side where it can't interfere with the topic at hand.

Today's topic - quite appropriately - is the Holocaust. 

Once upon a time the word 'Holocaust' was self-explanatory and carried tremendous weight and meaning.  It was mentioned in hushed tones and was always understood to mean the murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis during WWII.

Sadly, the lexicon of the holocaust (e.g. Nazi, genocide, massacre, ghetto, storm troopers, etc.), has been co-opted by the people with whom we are told we must make peace at any cost. 

These peace partners gleefully use these holocaust terms as cheap insults to suggest that Israel is perpetrating a campaign of Nazi-like genocide on the Palestinian people... and then without a trace of irony go on to claim that the Nazi genocide never really occurred.

P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas himself wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial.  It was entitled "The Secret Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement" and is chock full of scholarship such as the following excerpt:

"It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement, however, is to inflate this figure [of Holocaust deaths] so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure [six million] in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions—fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand."

His thesis has since been published in book form and widely distributed throughout the Arab world, and not surprisingly has found quite a receptive audience.  He has since claimed that he didn't mean to argue specific numbers for the holocaust, but when the entire thesis is about alleged collusion between the Nazis and their victims and he has never backed way from this, there is more to fault than simple numbers.  And remember... this is the 'moderate' with who Israel is supposed to find some common ground upon which we can both create a home.

Then there is Hamas.

In preparation for Holocaust Remembrance Day which is being observed today in Israel, Hamas commissioned a television program that also claims collusion between the Nazis and the pre-state Jewish leadership.... albeit on an even gastlier scale.

The program claims that David Ben Gurion arranged for the Nazis to murder the weak and handicapped Jews of Europe while allowing only the strong and healthy ones to come to Palestine.  The goal was to remove the burden of these weak co-religionists from the embryonic Jewish State, and at the same time garner helpful sympathy from the world.

This from the Jerusalem Post:

The documentary's narrator [says] Israel's first prime minister David Ben Gurion decided that Jewish "disabled and handicapped are a burden to the state," after which "the Satanic Jews" - the film cuts to a picture of a hassidic Jew - "thought up an evil plot to be rid of the burden of disabled and handicapped" - the film then cuts to piles of emaciated corpses - "in twisted criminal ways."

This program is nothing less than state-sponsored anti-Semitism and incitement, and was broadcast throughout the region. Yet we are supposed to sit at the table with these people and discuss truces?

I ask you, how is it that we are supposed to find common ground with people that not only deny us the right to live... but who ridicule and deny our suffering and death? 

Citations and sources can be found here

Posted by David Bogner on May 1, 2008 | Permalink


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The simple answer is, you don't. You can't.

Alas, sitting in a circle and holding hands, singing "Kumbaya," is not going to work. And, thanks to the relentless propaganda, another generation is effectively lost.

Posted by: Elisson | May 1, 2008 1:04:49 PM

Elisson... Good lord, what time is it there? Looks like soneone has a case of 'jet rag', er, I mean 'jet lag'. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 1, 2008 1:12:51 PM

What makes the whole thing even sicker is that their guy at the time, the Mufti of Jerusalem, actually DID conspire with the Nazis, met with Hitler, and urged him to bring his Gestapo to the Holy Land. Abbas and his cohorts are well aware of this. The Mufti was the father-figure of Arab terrorism, and was Yasser Arafat's uncle. Abbas' chutzpah here is truly breathtaking.

Posted by: psachya | May 1, 2008 3:48:12 PM

The formation of Israel is nothing short of a miracle, yes! Similar to what scientists consider narratives, the Red Sea parting or the slow movement of the earth along its axis to allow a war continue in daylight.

This miracle saw great men engage in unilateral action in the sixties and seventies to protect the lives of every Israeli at all cost. The current breed of politicians lacks the resilience upheld by their predecessors to protect, not just the lives, but the history that led to this miracle. This by all means gives those who consider Israel an enemy, political vantage to do as they want.

If you push a dog/cat to a corner with a plank of wood after a serious beating and attempt to continue beating it, it might fight back in a bid to runaway, but if you push it to the corner and quickly draw a gun and shoot it, it might not have a chance to fight back.

*A lot of inspiration from some books I’ve been reading of late.


Posted by: Rami | May 1, 2008 3:54:12 PM

My thoughts exactly. The definition of cruelty is denying a victim the opportunity to even mourn the injury inflicted.

And yes, the conflicting denials, doubts, conspiracy theories and grievances make for funny, if painful, theater of the absurd.

Al Queda's Zawahiri played the latest bit role in this screwball comedy. In his most recent rant, he was indignant at the Iranians for spreading the rumor that the Mossad executed the 9/11 attacks.

He wanted HIS organization to get credit for the massacre (a massacre unlike the forgeries and fairy tails like Jenin, Jenin)

Laughable, if it were not so tragic.

Posted by: Ari | May 1, 2008 4:09:40 PM

Historians reckon that 6 million Jews perished during the Holocaust and apparently Yad Vashem data base records about 3 million. I could not understand how half of the people could have been forgotten until this morning. I went to our local cemetery to look at a memorial of Holocaust victims that has just been renovated. I counted the number of victims: 102. When I got back home, I entered different key-words to find information about these people and could only find ... 6! Now I wonder if 6 milion is not underestimated.
Obviously I agree with the rest of your post: we cannot hold talks with people who deny the Holocaust.

Posted by: ILana-Davita | May 1, 2008 4:45:56 PM

To reach peace with these cretins there is only one prerequisite: That they evolute 1400 years. (Yeah, like that's going to happen.)

Posted by: QuietusLeo | May 1, 2008 5:48:32 PM

It is ironic.

In Europe a thuggish fellow named Jorg Haider who romanticized the Nazi years a bit gets included as a junior partner in government and the world couldn't ostracize Austria quickly enough.

Abbas, a doctor of Holocaust denial, is proclaimed a "moderate" and the world beats a path to his door.

My point isn't to minimize Haider (though I think he is less of a threat to the well being of Jews than Abbas is), but to show that the promise of peace will scrub clean an awful lot of guilt.

Posted by: soccer dad | May 1, 2008 5:49:41 PM

I have to update my earlier post, with the name of my home town written slightly differently I found 27 names on the Yad Vahem data base(the previous 6 being included in this list). It is still far from the 102 names mentioned on the monument.

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | May 1, 2008 6:23:41 PM

The only thing that can ever be achieved in negotiation with the Arab states is an armistice, like the US has with North Korea. The only basis we have for their compliance is the awareness that they have of our military will and strength. When Israel allows Hamas, Hizbollah, and Fatah to shower them with rockets, and only amounts half-hearted forays against the most egregious assaults, they tell the arabs that they do not have the will to continue the fight.I am a firm supporter of the state of Israel, but what the peace negotiations look like to me (and, I suspect to the Palis) is rather like some weak kid telling a bully "I'll give you whatever you want, just stop beating me up"

Posted by: nyexpat | May 1, 2008 6:40:10 PM

The more things like this happen, the less I believe in the possibility or even desirability of peace with the Arab side.

I am an optimist - there is always a chance of peace.
I am pragmatic - some things may have to be given up.

But I am also a realist - it does rather look like hell will freeze over first, doesn't it?
And I am sane - I trust Abou Slamdunk in my gunsights, not in my living room.

Posted by: The Back of the Hill | May 2, 2008 12:58:35 AM

Back of the Hill, Hell has in fact, already frozen over because of it's chemistry. Perhaps we should wait for pigs to fly. ;-P

Posted by: QuietusLeo | May 3, 2008 6:15:54 PM

BTW,Pink Floyd's pig did fly and got ripped to shreds.

I of the mind that any peace deal that Israel makes with the P.A. or Hamas, or anyone who denies our existance and history is just like the scorpion in the story of the scorpion and the turtle. Israel is the turtle in this case. No matter what they say, and they say a lot, what is in their nature will ultimately decide what happens.

Posted by: arrrteest | May 4, 2008 11:11:23 PM

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