Brendan O'Neill
Brendan O'Neill

Whoring the Holocaust

The anti-war lobby’s use of Holocaust imagery to protest against Israel’s attack on Gaza is causing a commotion. At a protest I attended outside the Israeli Embassy in London on Sunday, activists waved placards demanding “Stop the Holocaust in Gaza”. One protester held up a home-made banner with a message scrawled in twirly black ink: “Remember the Warsaw Ghetto.” His point, I discovered upon talking to him, is that Gaza today is reminiscent of the Warsaw Ghetto from 1941 to 1943: a tiny space overcrowded with desperate people, rife with disease and hunger, and threatened by annihilation.

I am no supporter of Israel, or of its invasion of Gaza, but even I recognise that this is historical illiteracy of the highest – or perhaps the lowest – order. However desperate is the situation in Gaza, it is obscene to describe it as a “Holocaust” or to compare it with the Warsaw Ghetto where, in the early 1940s, the population of Jews was reduced from 450 000 to 71 000 through starvation and mass deportations to Nazi death camps. Following a Jewish uprising, the ghetto was finally invaded and destroyed by the Nazis in 1943, with an estimated 56 000 people massacred or deported to camps. Nothing remotely on this scale is taking place in Gaza.

Supporters of Israel are outraged by the Holocaust imagery. “Comparisons of Israel to the Nazis are a deeply cynical perversion of history”, said the US-based Anti-Defamation League, after protesters on anti-Israel demos across America carried placards saying “Israel: The Fourth Reich” and “Stop the Zionist Genocide in Gaza”.

Jonah Goldberg in the Los Angeles Times slammed the “grotesqueries” of the anti-war movement, pointing out that if “supposedly all-powerful Israel is dedicated to exterminating the Palestinian people, it is doing a very bad job”. In the London Times, David Aaronovitch said “this ahistorical hyperbole is the product of a kind of binary thinking, the belief that there can only be two kinds of anything, and two possible responses: there’s the good and the bad; there’s the victim and the murderer”.

He’s right. The use of Holocaust imagery to demonise Israel is an attempt to reduce a complex, extremely messy conflict to a simple morality tale in which Israel is depicted as evil on a Hitlerian scale while its opponents, from Hamas to the anti-war activists waving those historically warped placards, can ascend to the moral high ground of good and supreme victimhood. It is also a convenient way to guilt-trip the Israelis with the past – to throw their own terrible history back in their faces, perhaps in the hope that such emotional blackmail will substitute for serious, difficult thinking about the conflict in the Middle East and how it might be resolved.

However, we should not let our horror at the use of Holocaust imagery blind us to the fact that these anti-war activists did not start this low-down game. They did not introduce the moral absolutes of the Holocaust, and the corresponding “binary thinking” of good and evil, into international affairs. Rather, they are picking up on, and exploiting, an already well-established trend for what we might call “whoring the Holocaust” where, over the past 10 to 15 years, some very messy wars have been described as simplistic genocides in which people labelled “evil” massacre other people labelled “good”. Indeed, some of the same people slating today’s anti-Israel activists for exploiting the Holocaust have done exactly the same in the past.

During the civil war in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995, Holocaust imagery was rife in Western media coverage and in the pronouncements of Western politicians. Then, the Bosnian Serbs were labelled as the “new Fourth Reich”. The Guardian called them the “tinpot Nazis of the Balkans”. Others said the Bosnian Serbs were “committing the same crimes” as the Nazis, carrying out a “Holocaust” against Bosnian Muslims. Anyone who argued that, while the war in Bosnia was unquestionably terrible, it could not be compared to the crimes of the Nazis or seriously described as a “genocide”, was labelled a “denier” – a slur that provocatively sprung from the phrase “Holocaust denier”.

During NATO’s bombing campaign over Kosovo in 1999, Holocaust imagery was wheeled out again. American and European newspapers reported on the “Nazi-style annihilation” of Kosovo Alabanians by the Yugoslavs. The German defence minister said there was “serious evidence” in Kosovo of “systematic extermination that recalls in a horrible way what was done in the name of Germany at the beginning of World War II”. In truth, an estimated total of 3 000 people, on all sides, died during the Kosovo conflicts between 1997 and 1999. A terrible figure, of course. But let us remember that the Nazis frequently killed more than 3 000 Jews in a single day in their death factories.

David Aaronovitch, so disturbed by the exploitation of the Holocaust in relation to Gaza, was only too willing to do it himself in relation to the Serbs. He said that in Bosnia, European people were murdered en masse “just as they had been 50 years earlier” (emphasis added). Such was the Holocaust-hysteria during Bosnia and Kosovo that death camp survivor Elie Weisel felt compelled to intervene. “The Holocaust was conceived to annihilate the last Jew on the planet. Does anyone believe that Milosevic and his accomplices seriously planned to exterminate all the Bosnians, all the Albanians, all the Muslims in the world?”, he asked.

More recently, the undoubtedly terrible situation in Darfur has been hysterically described as “comparable to the death camps in Nazi Germany”. In the case of Bosnia, Kosovo and now Darfur, such Holocaust-whoring has been cynically used to justify Western military intervention. Where today’s anti-Israel activists (stupidly) use Holocaust imagery to try to stop a war, others have used it to try to start one.

It is time that everyone abandoned the “binary thinking” of good and evil that comes with invoking the Holocaust. Such cynical and distasteful exploitation of the greatest crime of the twentieth century only obscures the messy complexities of conflicts in the here and now, while denigrating the uniqueness of the Holocaust itself.

  • http://necrofiles.blogspot.com Garg Unzola

    I’d just like to point out that the holocaust is not in fact part of Israel’s own terrible history. It’s part of Germany’s own terrible history.

    What we have here is an invasion of a sovereign state by Israel who are killing off civilians of that country. Reminds you of Poland circa WW 2 much?

  • John Bond

    You rightly condemn the use of association to define a situation. We humans have a penchant for your concept of “Binary Thinking”, reducing a complex and varied concept to some simplistic 2 state scheme. Give it to us in 30 second sound bites (or is it bytes?) and tell us what to think. Everything must be expressed in terms of good and evil. If it is multifaceted and ill defined, we don’t want to know, especially if defining right and wrong is complex and difficult.

    The strife in Gaza cannot be solved using the lessons learned in the Holocaust. We can’t fix South Africa’s political ineptitude by studying Zimbabwe, Obama won’t focus on Africa just because he is a black president. The current financial crisis has almost nothing in common with the October 1929 Black Friday crash (other than it unfolded in October).

    Is this human need for simplicity and risk aversion part of our genetic make-up or is it part of our culture and education? Are we taught that there are only two states, right and wrong or is this encoded in our human psyche?

    Mind you, it’s much easier to blame it all on the media conspiracy, made up of Zionist bigots and racist big business who are just out to manipulate the masses. Having instant rhetoric like this saves us from having to think.

  • Ismail Motala

    it is obscene to describe it as a “Holocaust” or to compare it with the Warsaw Ghetto where, in the early 1940s, the population of Jews was reduced from 450 000 to 71 000 through starvation and mass deportations to Nazi death camps. Following a Jewish uprising, the ghetto was finally invaded and destroyed by the Nazis in 1943, with an estimated 56 000 people massacred or deported to camps –

    This is your own quote – do you not see the similarities – How many Palestinians need to die before this can be called a “Holocaust”

  • http://letpeoplespeak.amagama.com Lyndall Beddy

    Muslim fundamentalists are not happy with their 99% of the former Ottoman Empire (from which the Jews were evicted, and from whom their lands were seized 60 years ago), and want Israel’s 1% as well.

    The trouble with democracy is that it levels out at the lowest level of education and knowledge of the general population – which standard just seems to be dropping all the time.

  • Hamad

    While I agree that we should not trivialize serious historic events to score political points, similarly no single community or group can lay claim to the ownership of the word “holocaust”. While the term was most widely used in relation to the killings of hundreds of thousands of Jews, Roma, Polish, homosexuals and others during the Nazi era, the term has been used since the 18th century to describe an event in which a large number of people have been killed. Some have usurped the term to refer only to the killings of Jews during World War II. Winston Churchill used the term to describe the killings of Armenians during World War I or what some refer to as the Armenian genocide. Similarly the killings or genocide in Rwanda during 1994 could be described as a holocaust. In using the term, those opposed to the war against the Palestinians in Gaza are intending to express their abhorrence of the Israeli actions and bring the seriousness of the killings to the attention of the international community. While the number of Palestians killed in the recent events number just over 600 over the 40 years of Israeli occupation the total number of deaths as a result of Israeli action (bombings, artillery, attacks, blockades, checkpoints, restrictions to medical treatment, stopping of water and electricity supply, house demolitions, etc.) run into tens of thousands. That could clearly be defined as a holocaust, giving the word its true meaning, not its usurped meaning.

    In an interview with Israeli Army Radio reported by Reuters on February 29, 2008, the Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai stated: “The more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves”. The Deputy Minister is reported to have used the word “shoah”, a hebrew word meaning “calamity” that has become the standard hebrew word since the early 1940’s for the holocaust.

    Therefore Mr O’Neill, the holocaust in occupied Palestine is not merely a “whoring of the holocaust”, as in the usurped definition, but a reality threatened by the Deputy Defence Minister of Israel.

  • Benzol

    Are you telling me that the word “holocaust” and its images is reserved for the Nazi style actions during WW2 ??

    “The Holocaust was conceived to annihilate the last Jew on the planet”. Do you sincerely believe this? Even Hitler was not that stupid.

    From the other side: Jews/Israelis the world over try to keep the memories of the holocaust alive at any occasion they can find. Equally sickening at times. The whoring (to use your words) of Anne Frank is an example.

    If people feel that the images they see today reminds them of the images they have seen of the holocaust, so be it. Maybe the images of the holocaust were wrong/incomplete in the first place.

  • Matu Diba

    Is the thinking not the same one employed by the Israeli government and its supporters when everytime they are criticised they claim their critics to be anti-semitic? So in your analysis, which is not stupid, Israel con employ the imagery that noone should use? And oh, they have not yet killed enough Palistinians. When is a genocide/holocaust a genocide/holocaust? Only when the number of people equals the number of Jews killed by Hitler? It is this very thinking, the monopolization of holocaust, that makes certain people believe that the Israel government is not capable of committing the very crimes that outraged the world when committed against the Jews.

  • The Truth

    Wow what a ridiculous piece of propaganda you have written, almost as if it from the Serbian government itself. At least research before you write things down. Only 3000 total deaths in Kosovo?

    Just a little basic research will refute this. Check out this site:

    http://www.hlc-rdc.org/stranice/hlc-kosovo.en.html

    According to the information gathered by the Humanitarian Law Center, over 13000 people were killed in Kosovo. All of the information is documented with the names, places of birth of the victims, and the date and place of death.

    Research is a good thing for a someone to do, especially if they are spreading information to the masses.

  • Castor Troye

    The same can be said for comparing Apartheid to Israel, which has become some what of a fashion used by Pro-Palestinian groups in South Africa. Apartheid was a brutal regime that affected tens of millions of black South Africans. To compare apartheid simplistically to Israel, and linking the Palestinians leaders like Haniyeh and Mashaal to our heroes and pacifists like Mandela and Biko is an insult to South Africans and our own history.

    Israel is far too complexed to pigeonhole into any conflict in modern history. Indeed, Islamic fundamentalism of the sort Israel has to confront today is unprecedented.

  • Trotsky

    The Holocaust as rhetoric – as Noam Finkelstein and others have shown – has long been part of the arsenel of Zionist propaganda. The experience of Holocaust was the ideological subtext to the Israeli campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians in the 1940s and it remains the shady justification for the continuation of Israeli apartheid today. Undoubtedly, there are few historical atrocities close in scale and horror to the Holocaust (except perhaps Rwanda). However, in view of the callous disregard Israel has shown toward the lives of Palestinian civilians in the last few days, it is perfectly understandable that people in the antiwar movement should make the comparison with the Holocaust. In fact the ethics of it are absolutely sound. In the context of the current of invasion of Gaza, reminding people of the Holocaust, as opposed to denying its historicity, does not disparage Jewish people’s experience at the hands of the Nazis. It simply raises the moral standard by which we judge Israeli’s actions against the Palestinians. With respect to human life,those who suffer know best this singular principle: death imposes an equal value on all human life without respect to race or creed or claims to profounder measures of past suffering and oppression than others.

  • Ned

    The simple fact is that all sides use the Holocaust as a weapon in the ideological war but without a doubt the biggest use, or misuse of the Holocaust is by the zionist and neo-con element within American Jewry. Any body in any doubt of this should aquaint themselves with the works of Norman Finkelstein, the U.S. academic, and particularly his book ‘The Holocaust industry’.

  • http://www.xen.co.za/ Hugh Robinson

    Thank you for some intelligent argument.

    I am drawn to wonder if that person who was so passionate in his condemnation of Israel, did change his point of view once his bubble of falsehood had been burst.

    I have found the even faced with the “perfect” truth the same prefer the use of what amounts to abuse based on lies rather than common sense.

    Again I always get a little steamed when words such Nazi genocide etc are used without apology to the German people.

    Why must the German people keep the mantle of abuser of human rights with reminders of acts that are in truth insignificant in comparison?

    As the ANC governments stand and obvious bias. South Africa and Zimbabwe kill as many women and children in any given day, than the Israeli’s in the corresponding period and none raise their voice in anger.

    South Africa kills more people in a Day than on any one week in Kosovo. Why the selective finger pointing. Why is death by deliberate attack so different to the human rights abuse of SA citizens.

  • Justin

    This is the most desperate attempt at veiled bigotry I have read in a long time. Are you seriously implying that the mass executions in Bosnia are not worthy of the name Holocaust? Why is this? Muslims lives are not worth as much as the lives of Jews to you? The estimated death toll in Bosnia was 200K by my sources, by the way http://www.flashpoints.info/issue_briefings/Genocide/Genocide_main.htm (first thing that came up on google, I’ll bet other searches will confirm) and they are still to this day finding mass graves. What does it take, in your educated opinion, for a genocide to be worthy of our attention?

    For you to write this article and say that this atrocity is not worthy of being recognized goes far beyond being irresponsible. I know nothing about the “mail and guardian”, and normally I would assume only a hate rag would denounce something like the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia to be “un holocaust worthy”.

    “Such cynical and distasteful exploitation of the greatest crime of the twentieth century only obscures the messy complexities of conflicts in the here and now, while denigrating the uniqueness of the Holocaust itself.” Did you even bother to read this yourself after you wrote it?

  • Rodney

    Whether 300, 3000, 30 000, 300 000, 3000 000; whether localised or nationwide, the principle is the same. Israel has long received soft press because of the events of 60+ years ago. None of those people are involved in the present day events.

  • http://redstarcoven.blogspot.com/ Walton

    Actually, I think you can blame Israel for starting the trend of whoring the Holocaust (which they also try to rewrite as an exclusively Jewish catastrophe, conveniently forgetting that several million Communists, trade unionists, Roma, homosexuals, Soviet POWs and more died in the concentration camps too).

    Israel has consistently used the Holocaust as its excuse to do what it likes.

    Norman Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry is a good read on this subject.

  • Arber

    The reference to Holocaust is not locked in time. When Bosnia and Kosovo were compared to the Holocaust, it was not a “whoring” of the genocide [terribly disrespectful wording, by the way], but rather, a comparison with the worst violence Europe had seen since WWII. Please check your history, Bosnia was indeed the first case of genocide in Europe since the Holocaust. You don’t need to quantify violence and hatred to realize how brutal, inhumane, and systematic it was – it suffices to know that the Serbian heads of state planned the eradication of a people in ways the Holocaust survivors had not witnessed: Mass rape of women, extrajudicial executions in mass graves across Bosnia, Serbia, and Kosovo instead of the concentration camps. The labeling of houses to destroy through the marking of doors with Serbian symbols is quite reminiscent of the Nazi swastikas. It’s most impressive when your research shows where you gathered your information. By the way, the United Nations agrees that over 12,000 Kosovars were murdered, 85% of them ethnic Albanians, 10% Serbs, and 5% made up of the various groups belonging to the Roma population.
    Elie Wiesel is known to have said “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.” It’s ironic that he is silent today, as Gazans suffer in many similar ways he and millions of Jews did during the Shoah.

  • Max

    Three cheers for an excellent article!!

  • MFB

    Fair point in general, but note that the people criticising the anti-war movement are all supporters of the Israeli massacres in Gaza. The reference to the “holocaust” is obviously intended ironically, to draw attention to the fact that the Israelis are behaving as the Nazis did in the Warsaw ghetto. It’s a trivial thing to complain about which the supporters of the Gaza massacres are seizing on so as to change the subject and avoid having to address the crimes committed by Israel.

  • Truth

    You’re too worried about Holocaust imagery to see what the real issue is, which is Israel’s illegal Wall, blockade, etc and the recent war on Gaza.

    Look at the bigger picture instead of picking at small things.

  • EDON-Republic of Kosovo

    Mr O’Neill resonates, either intentional or not,misinformation and misunderstanding of the war in Bosnia and Kosovo.
    Also he fails to understand the essence of Holocaust when he associates it with number.

    For the sake of the readers it has to be made clear that mr O’Neill is incorrect about the number of the killed people in Kosovo during the 1998-1999 war that he estimates 3000. It is 15000 thousand people that were killed during the war and more that 1.2 million people expelled from Kosovo- Population of Kosovo is 2 million.

    The number of people killed is not the issue here when it comes to the talking about the definition of Holocaust but it is worth mentioning, since the misinformed commentator O’Neill is so hooked up with numbers,that during the war in Rwanda there were more people killed per day than Jews during the WWII.
    Nonetheless, I tend to agree that we cannot compare the suffering and killing of the Jews with many conflicts around the world, including that of Kosovo. I also agree that for the present crisis in Gaza we cannot invoke term Holocaust because it is far from that.
    I strongly dissagree when it comes to Kosovo and Bosnia.
    Why?
    Eventhough the numbers of people that were killed during the war in Kosovo and Bosnia is relatively low in comparison to many wars it was justified the usage of the term holocaust because the intention and the Plan of Milosevic, despite the fact that it failed, was precisely the total anihilation and genocide of the people of Kosovo and Bosnia.

  • Hamad

    In response to Castor Troye:
    Apartheid has been defined as an international crime and a crime against humanity in the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” It lists such crimes as murder, extermination, enslavement, torture, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health. Prior to the Rome Statute in November 1973 the UN General Assembly defined apartheid as an international crime in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Similarly the international crime of genocide has been defined in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide 0f 1948 and in the Rome Statute. As apartheid and genocide have legal definitions, what is required is to examine the events in Palestine over the past 40 years and determine whether the actions of Israel fit within the international legal definitions.
    One other point: both former President Nelson Mandela and the late Steve Biko were called terrorists, not only by the apartheid regime, but also by international leaders such as Margaret Tatcher. Mandela was jailed and Biko was killed by the apartheid regime for being terrorists.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za ozoneblue

    I think if there ever was a manipulative case of “whoring of the Holocaust” it must surely be those apologists of Zionist atrocities committed against Palestinians who were and are still are using the Holocaust as some kind of moral justification.

    Benny Morris being a well know example :

    “There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing. I know that this term is completely negative in the discourse of the 21st century, but when the choice is between ethnic cleansing and genocide – the annihilation of your people – I prefer ethnic cleansing.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/shavit01162004.html

  • rasimeni manjezi

    Brendan

    Does not Israel use the same simplistic imagery and Manichean dichotomy to describe Palestinians or Hamas as terrorists. So have you suddenly discovered that war is about demonising the other. That is why Israel gets away with its brutality – by demonising Hamas and then attacking innocent Palestinians. That is why Americans get away with Guantanomo Bay – war or Terror. These terms are meaningless yet used to justify real Terror that Israel is using in Gaza and Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    If Dafur can be called a genocide then so is Gaza. If Aparheid was a crime against humanity, then so is this form of fundamnetalist Zionism.

    On to another point – read Norman Finkelstein’s book, ‘The Holocaust Industry”, and then you’ll figure out who is really Whoring the Holocaust.

  • Moshe Dayan

    The Israeli’s like the Nats use history to justify ever more oppressive and outrageous acts. The Natskept on about the concentration camps of the Boer War, whenever anyone criticized apartheid. The Israeli’s and their friend ADL JDL etc do teh same. Whenever anyone criticizes Israel then they are an anti-Semite and a supporter of the Nazis. The Palestinians are all motivated by anti-Semitism. It is this sort of manipulation of the past which has paradoxically cheapened the holocaust in the mind of the world and has lead to the rise of holocaust denialists. People get tired of hearing about the 6 million good and important deaths when they see that the Palestinian deaths are obvioulsy unimportant and not worthy of taking note of.

  • Serathi

    All areas of cinflict in the world are underlined by complexities. All are characterised by the sipmlistic “binary thinking” – there are the good and the bad; this informed the killing of one Maki Skosana in south africa as it informs the killing of Palestians in Gaza today.
    To lament the “whoring of the holocaust” is misplaced here. As you show in the blog invoking the holocaust today serves an ideological standpoint!
    The fact is a “democratically elected goverment” has deliberately chose to eliminate its enemies enmass – citizens of another democratically elected teritory!!
    This must STOP!!!!!

  • John Bond

    Well done Mr Oneill – You’ve got the bigots screaming!!!

    It serves us well to remember that this is a war, declared by the Palestinians against JEWS, not against Israel because the Palestinians won’t acknowledge the existence of the Israel state. Now correct me if I am wrong but a holocaust is the killing of as substantial portion of a group of people so one could claim that the intention of the Palestinians, from 1947 onwards was to continue Hitler’s final solution, to continue the Holocaust… Only trouble is that they are such a useless bunch. (see how easy it is to drop into this meaningless rhetoric)

    We must remember that war is war and if the Palestinians attack the enemy who then retaliate, Palestinians cannot then abdicate responsibility and claim a Holocaust.

    I feel sympathy for the innocent but wonder if there are any innocent Palestinian adults. The video footage of Hamas fighters using schools, apartment blocks and even a hospital questions their commitment to protecting their own.

    For me, the pivot to this problem is that Israel, whether the Arabs acknowledge their existence or not, WILL protect their people. Threaten the life of an Israeli Jew and you will die. These people are not Arabs, to whom life is cheap; they will fight for life and their right to exist. A more dangerous enemy would be hard to find.

    So, if after 60 years you still keep starting then loosing the battles, isn’t it time to change what you’re doing. Is it not time to recognise that the people who keep thrashing you actually exist, yes they even have a democratic state. Maybe you can then start talking to them.

    Until the Palestinians can recognise Israel and agree to negotiations with the Jews, we should show them no sympathy.

  • Ben

    What a deplorable article. How can you possibly refer to the genocide in Bosnia as “whoring” the Holocaust? The International Court of Justice deemed it be genocide, and why can’t it be justifiably compared to an equally-heinous historical event? I think you have yourself bogged down in semantic arguments, and have not thoroughly thought nor researched your statements – particularly in regards to Bosnia. Perhaps you should read more about the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide charges being churned out by the Hague tribunal which specify a planned, deliberate and brutal campaign by Serb ultra-nationalists to carry out much of Hitler’s ideas, just on a different race. Think about it.

  • Straight from Ra’anana

    Let’s get the facts straight:
    For EIGHT years, Hamas terrorists have ONLY targeted civilians in South Israel
    Hamas terrorists continue to use innocent civilians in Gaza as HUMAN Shields
    Despite written warning and telephone calls, Hamas refused to evacuate the UNWRA school
    There is photographic proof of Hamas terrorists firing missiles from the UNWRA school into Southern Israel
    Hamas continues to hide munitions and rockets in mosques, hospitals and schools and hide behind innocent civilians
    Where is the Hamas leadership? Hiding in Syria, Lebanon and Iran!
    No other country negotiates with terrorists – why should Israel?

  • http://letpeoplespeak.amagama.com Lyndall Beddy

    In case you have not noticed it is not only Israel fighting terrorists – Mubai, Madrid, London.

    Muslim fanantics want to wipe all other religions off the face of the earth, not just the Jews.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za ozoneblue

    John Bond

    “These people are not Arabs, to whom life is cheap;”

    Is it just me or is this a racist comment of the highest order. How does that get past the thoughtleader censors? – I’m fascinated.

    Mr. Bond – have you ever heard of Arab Jews? What would their attitude towards the value of life be ?

  • Finkelstien

    Muslims fanatics are just that – fanatics. DO not associate them with Palestinians. If you put yourself in their (palestinian) shoes – where you have restriced access to places, body searches, your land stolen, friends & family killed by Israeli troops and bombers, your livelihood taken away, home destroyed etc you will find that you too will do anything to stop the terrorist regime of Israel. and why do we have to label them as Muslim fanatics. That would mean that we should clearly label the Jews as Jewish fanatics.

  • Eligos

    Moshe Dayan on January 8th, 2009 “The Palestinians are all motivated by anti-Semitism.”

    Palestinians are, by birth, all Semetic.

    Many of the Zionist Jews in power in Israel, the UK and US are NOT Semetic and cannot trace their roots back to the 12 Tribes. Many of the dual citizen, wanted criminals Israel is harboring are Khazarian Jews, not descendants of the 12 Tribes. Many of them are from Russia after Genghis Khan sent both Russian and Khazarians fleeing.

    Don’t trot out meaningless phrases – check your facts and history.

    If being “anti-semetic” is such a terrible thing, just ask who is actually being “anti-semetic” in Gaza.

  • John Bond

    @ Ozoneblue – You said
    “Is it just me or is this a racist comment of the highest order. How does that get past the thoughtleader censors? – I’m fascinated.”

    The easiest way to deal with a decenting argument is to silence it through censorship. More difficult, more frightening but ultimately more rewarding is to deal with the substance of the argument. Why not just refute my claim that the mass morality of Palestinians and Jews are different.

    The Jews go to almost ridiculous lengths to protect Jewish citizens living near the border while Hamas openly expose their people to the ravages of war, with the overt support of the Palestinian people. If this exposes me to claims of racism, then I’ll just have to live with it. Unfortunately, giving me a label won’t change the situation in the Middle east much…

    YOU NEED TO DISCUSS THE SUBSTABTIVE ISSUES IF YOU WANT TO CALL YOURSELF A THINKER

  • pete ess

    No cheers for a typical “clever” excuse-making coverup for crimes against humanity by Israel. What the West did to Palestine 60 yrs ago was disgraceful; What Israel has done to Palestine for 60 years since is disgusting; What the West still does to cover up for brutal murder and genocide stinks.
    To hell with Zionists who rush to condemn every use of the words holocaust, genocide and final solution when used for anything other than their history in Germany.
    They ARE TRULY guilty of genocide, holocaust-like crimes now.
    Watching children die in front of their eyes and refusing to call for help – in 2009!!

    NOTHING is more disgusting than what Israel is doing TODAY.
    And that INCLUDES the holocaust.
    ESPECIALLY given the fact that: There is no world war on; Many mighty countries COULD intervene and don’t; The United Nations exists; We’re seeing it happen – not discovering it after the fact.

    What Israel is doing IS indeed another holocaust.
    Say it loud.

  • Soloni

    “The easiest way to deal with a decenting argument is to silence it through censorship. More difficult, more frightening but ultimately more rewarding is to deal with the substance of the argument. Why not just refute my claim that the mass morality of Palestinians and Jews are different.

    The Jews go to almost ridiculous lengths to protect Jewish citizens living near the border while Hamas openly expose their people to the ravages of war, with the overt support of the Palestinian people. If this exposes me to claims of racism, then I’ll just have to live with it. Unfortunately, giving me a label won’t change the situation in the Middle east much…

    YOU NEED TO DISCUSS THE SUBSTABTIVE ”

    The Israelis came from different parts of the world and thefted the palestinians land and deported them to refugee’s camps in gaza and west bank. simply this is not be a digestable situation to humans. In the broad thinking, the Israelis should think to solve or address the important but blindly ignored issue of refugees. If you look at the vast majority of the Palestinian fighters you will see that they came from refugee camps. They feel their parent’s land and houses are stolen by Israelis and enjoying the life, while they are living in poverty and slums looking to their parents houses and the keys of their houses in their hand. The bank of Hate shall be addressed; otherwise that bank account will keep growing rather than diminishing. What increases that bank is the increasing number of attacks and the number of beloved ones death.

  • http://letpeoplespeak.amagama.com lyndall beddy

    Pete Ess

    The Israelis are not occupying Palestine; the Palestinains are occupying Jewish land.

    And Palestinians were not encamped by the Jews but by the Arabs.

    If you want to understand – read the running debate on Mondli’s collumn in “The Times” blogsite.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za ozoneblue

    John Bond on January 9th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Mr. Bond – would my comments get published here if I said that “Africans are corrupt” or that “White people are blue-eyed devils” ? Please – your generalization that “Arabs don’t value life” is a racist remark that can not be condoned and it boggles the mind that they were published at all. Now the second thing is : why did you not answer my question when I asked you if you have ever heard of an Arab Jew – http://www.bintjbeil.com/E/occupation/arab_jew.html

    Please respond to that before we even attempt to rebut your racist assumptions about the Israel/Palestine conflict.

  • Eligos

    lyndall beddy “The Israelis are not occupying Palestine; the Palestinains are occupying Jewish land.”

    Read this article from the New York Times – of all places!

    What You Don’t Know About Gaza

    By Rashid Khalidi

    January 10, 2009 “NY Times”

    NEARLY everything you’ve been led to believe about Gaza is wrong. Below are a few essential points that seem to be missing from the conversation, much of which has taken place in the press, about Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip.

    THE GAZANS Most of the people living in Gaza are not there by choice. The majority of the 1.5 million people crammed into the roughly 140 square miles of the Gaza Strip belong to families that came from towns and villages outside Gaza like Ashkelon and Beersheba. They were driven to Gaza by the Israeli Army in 1948.

    THE OCCUPATION The Gazans have lived under Israeli occupation since the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel is still widely considered to be an occupying power, even though it removed its troops and settlers from the strip in 2005. Israel still controls access to the area, imports and exports, and the movement of people in and out. Israel has control over Gaza’s air space and sea coast, and its forces enter the area at will. As the occupying power, Israel has the responsibility under the Fourth Geneva Convention to see to the welfare of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

    THE BLOCKADE Israel’s blockade of the strip, with the support of the United States and the European Union, has grown increasingly stringent since Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January 2006. Fuel, electricity, imports, exports and the movement of people in and out of the Strip have been slowly choked off, leading to life-threatening problems of sanitation, health, water supply and transportation.

    The blockade has subjected many to unemployment, penury and malnutrition. This amounts to the collective punishment — with the tacit support of the United States — of a civilian population for exercising its democratic rights.

    THE CEASE-FIRE Lifting the blockade, along with a cessation of rocket fire, was one of the key terms of the June cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. This accord led to a reduction in rockets fired from Gaza from hundreds in May and June to a total of less than 20 in the subsequent four months (according to Israeli government figures). The cease-fire broke down when Israeli forces launched major air and ground attacks in early November; six Hamas operatives were reported killed.

    WAR CRIMES The targeting of civilians, whether by Hamas or by Israel, is potentially a war crime. Every human life is precious. But the numbers speak for themselves: Nearly 700 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed since the conflict broke out at the end of last year. In contrast, there have been around a dozen Israelis killed, many of them soldiers. Negotiation is a much more effective way to deal with rockets and other forms of violence. This might have been able to happen had Israel fulfilled the terms of the June cease-fire and lifted its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

    This war on the people of Gaza isn’t really about rockets. Nor is it about “restoring Israel’s deterrence,” as the Israeli press might have you believe. Far more revealing are the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, in 2002: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”
    Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia, is the author of the forthcoming “Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East.”

    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

  • Garzukhal

    A note for Albanian nationalist’s: On August 6, 1992 and repeatedly ever since, the world has been told that Serbia committed Nazi-like atrocities. One particular and exemplary example of this propaganda was made from film shot on August 5 by a crew from ITN, the British news station, those doctored pictures supposedly depicted Muslim men imprisoned behind barbed wire in a Serbian death camp located in Trnopolje in Bosnia.

    No such death camp ever existed, it was a media creation and that can be objectively demonstrated.

    Time to give it up. Time to move on. There was no genocide in the now curiously mono ethnic Kosovo.

  • http://letpeoplespeak.amagama.com lyndall beddy

    Eligos

    In 1947/1948 The new UN decided to create a few Bantustans to protect minorities from being slaughtered by majorities in the soon to be new free post colonial states. Pakistan was divided off from India, to protect the Muslim minority from being slaughtered by the Hindu majority. Israel was divided off from The Middle East, to protect the Jews from being slaughtered by the Muslim majority. The rest is propaganda.

    Garzukhai

    In 1915 a million Armenians were killed in a genocide by the Turks. There are only a few hundred thousand left in Turkey now. They are allowed to have Armenian schools and Armenian teachers, but their history teacher has to be a Turk. The Turks will not admit to this history.

  • Aleks

    Much wrong in comments regarding Bosnia & Kosovo.

    Justin,
    If you can’t use google properly to do research, then don’t pretend to do it, especially if you rely on others to do your home work for you. The total figure for all dead in Bosnia is just over 100,000 as the mirsad tokaca of the Missing Persons project in Bosnia has reported and also as reported by bosnian newspaper Dani where he was interviewed by Emir Suljagic (also admitted most from Srebrenica were soldiers in the bosnian army). NTB, the norwegian state broadcaster reported this figure over 4 years ago. I bet you people like to call Bosnia 1992+ ‘genocide’, but would not use the word ‘genocide’ to what happened in Yugoslavia during World War II.

    To the other posters on Kosovo, most of the Albanian dead were KLA fighters. Even Thaci has publicly admitted this. This is something that the media doesn’t like to mention.

    What is it with you guys? “If I’m not a victim of ‘genocide’ then I’m irrelevant” crowd? You think that for the last 20 years of all the ‘genocides’ reported by the western media that your contrived one is special and stands out? Or are you just fashionistas? You like to wear the label because when you cannot stitch together a cogent argument to support your opinion you can always trot out ‘genocide’ so that anyone who disagrees immediately becomes a ‘genocide denier’? Smells like fascism to me.

  • John Bond

    @ Ozoneblue

    Yes, I do know quite a lot about Jews, including Ethiopian Jews and some of the myths of Jews elsewhere in Africa, also Jewish communities in India and elsewhere in the East, and even the Arab Jews. I am not sure what this has to do with this discussion though. Perhaps you could explain your apparently confused reasoning (or maybe you have some profound point to make).

    I also have no intention of being politically correct. If any one group of people tend to use barbaric tactics that other civilised people don’t, I will speak out. I will for example, openly condemn black ANC politicians for political and state corruption and I will become annoyed with the police (as I did with our local station last week) when I once again see a corrupt police officer. We must, for example to call a corrupt police force a corrupt police force, even though there are some good policemen in their ranks. If that makes me a racist (which it probably does), then this is a label I will accept. To do otherwise would disgrace our battle for a better world.

    But enough of a diversion – Lets focus on the core issue

    Do you see Arab suicide bombers blowing up innocent people, Yes/No
    Am I correct to say there has never been a single Jewish suicide bomber, Yes/No
    Can you therefore assume that suicide bombing is an Arab pastime Yes/No
    So one of the undesirable racial attributes of the Palestinians as a group that they encourage some of their youth to become suicide bombers to kill innocent people.

    Do the Israelis build bomb shelters in all the towns and villages near their boarders, Yes/No
    Do the Israeli military track every incoming missile Yes/No
    Do the Palestinians encourage civilians to hang round (even in the field of fire) during a conflict, Yes/No
    So one of the racial attributes of the Israeli (Jewish) people to protect their community from harm

    So there are attributes that the Palestinians as a group exhibit that hinder peace, have done for the last 60 years and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. Ag shame, poor little Ayhrabs, wmust we all fight the Jews because the Palestinians won’t negotiate….

    Unfortunately, Israel has had to teach various countries and people round them to treat the Jew with respect. Think of the Egyptians in 1967, the Syrians and people of Lebanon in the last conflict. This time round it is the Hamas supporters. The cost has always been heavy and it will be again this time but it is the only formula that Israel has found that works.

    And it’s wise to understand that the Israelis aren’t out to win any cheap international public relations exercise, their attention is fixed to the single goal of peace in Israel, nothing more, nothing less.

  • pasile

    I was just watching Hohn Pilger’s documentary “Palestine is still the issue”, and I was moved by a Jewish Israeli father who had lost his daughter to a suicide bomber. He was understandably angry, but at the same time declared that the oppression, routine humiliation and dehumanization that breeds hopelessness amongst the Palestinians is the cause of suicide bombs. To me he represented the best of humanity and Jewish culture, which the world is heavily indebted to. Ofcourse Zionist apologists like Castro Troye and John Bond together with other simpletons have long mortgaged their humanity.
    The same human empathy and sensitivity that has made us revile Nazism and its barbarity, of collective punishment, ghettos and dehuminazation, is the same impulse that make us empathise with Palestinians. Jewish people of good will should demand an end to the occupation of Palestine. Mandela and Tutu both described Israel/Palestine conflict apartheid on a grand scale. Its the 21st century for gods sake- colonialism is suppose to be out of fashion!

  • Aleks

    A note to the editors – Brendan O’Neill’s website is not http://www.BrendanONeill.net as posted but http://www.BrendanONeill.co.uk

  • Oldfox

    Lyndall,

    Of course Turks admit to the slaughter of the Armenians. The present Turkish govt just does not accept the term “genocide”.
    The Armenian massacres are described on Turkish websites today, and I can’t imagine that there is no mention in Turkish school history books.
    And whether it is or isn’t in school books, Turks all know about it. Second time I heard about this massacre, was from a Turkish friend.
    The following is from the English Wikipedia site on the Armenian Genocide.
    The Republic of Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, does not accept the word genocide as an accurate description of the events.In recent years, it has faced repeated calls to accept the events as genocide. To date, twenty-one countries have officially recognized the events of the period as genocide, and most genocide scholars and historians accept this view

  • Matt

    While I support what you’re saying Brendan, the comparison hardly holds, it might be important to point out why the comparison is being made. Israel uses the Holocaust and the declaration that they are the only nation to experience such an atrocity as an important article for normalizing relations with other countries. In establishing relations with Turkey, Turkey was forced to accept this while Israel agreed to deny the Armenians and Kurds of Turkey the same claim. In exchange for the US’ recognition of this exclusive claim, Israel denied the existence of a US-perpetrated genocide against the Native American people on their soil. The point being, Israel has exploited the Holocaust, whether right or wrong, for its own aims. And under the Likud party and since 1967, they have been following a series of policies in Gaza and the West Bank that have been described by many observers to be fascist and apartheid-like. While the anti-war people are wrong for using Holocaust for their political ends, they are by no means the only ones to do it. Israel claims to be the victims of persecution in the Middle East when in fact they are the dominant military power, have over 200 nukes when their neighbors have none, and have actively pursued a policy of pushing the Palestinians out while sending the settlers in, and using that as a pretext for permanent military occupation. All I’m saying is, there’s plenty of hypocrisy to go around.

  • Linda Descant

    I hope that we will all wake up soon from this nightmare we are having here on Earth.
    Why we kill each other for land I do not know but I do know we were given the gift of life to celebrate all the beauty the Earth has to offer and some how I don’t think it involved killing our fellow human beings. Jewish or not we all have the right to live Free. We should all want Peace, Unity, Respect and Love for all living beings and we should take care of the Earth because we need it, it does not need us. My feeling is the Jewish people of all people should want Peace because of what they went through and should find another way to get along because war is never going to solve anything and we should not help anyone kill anyone else. I have a very sad heart that our great spiritual leaders cannot bring this to an end, in the name of all the great spiritual leaders that died before them trying. If we are all not Free then none of us are Free. What is next?