It's 1930s Germany all over again
What we are witnessing in our present day is a repeat of the events in which led up to Kristallnacht and the Holocaust.
Point of no Return blog
first published 31/01/13
Two events shook Jews the world over, on or around Holocaust Memorial Day: one, the pronouncements of a British MP, David Ward
, accusing the Israelis of failing to learn the lesson of the Holocaust by ‘committing atrocities against the Palestinians’.
The other was an antisemitic cartoon
in the Sunday Time
s by the controversial Gerald Scarfe showing Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall with the blood of crushed Palestinians. But for all the furore and the condemnations, critics have been guilty of moral inversion, failing to see in Palestinian and Arab exterminationist intentions the legacy of a pro-Nazi past.
The Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem was an active collaborator in Hitler’s Holocaust, and was responsible for causing the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews in Europe. In the Middle East too, he incited riots in Palestine and Iraq which cost hundreds of Jewish lives. He had a plan to deport Iraqi Jews to camps in the desert and planned death camps for the Jews of Palestine near Nablus. After the war, the Arab states colluded in Nuremberg-style laws to engineer the ethnic cleansing of their Jews.
Many of today’s Palestinians nurse the same genocidal intentions as the Mufti, try as they might to cloak their aims in language acceptable to western ears. Just read the Hamas charter. The difference between then and now, is that today’s Jews have the means to defend themselves.
*Such Jew-hatred is deep and all-pervasive in the Arab and Muslim world, suggests Hirsan Ayaan Ali in the Christian Science Monitor:
“Millions of Muslims have been conditioned to regard Jews not only as the enemies of Palestine but as the enemies of all Muslims, of God, and of all humanity”, she writes. “In the wake of the Arab Spring, as the people take a chance on democracy, they and their new leadership want to see their ideals turned into policy.”
She quotes a 2011 Pew survey: in Turkey, just 4 percent of those surveyed held a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” view of Jews; in Indonesia, 10 percent; in Pakistan, 2 percent. In addition, 95 percent of Jordanians, 94 percent of Egyptians, and 95 percent of Lebanese hold a “very unfavorable” view of Jews.
That’s why the West needs to take seriously Arab and Muslim anti-Jewish hatred and incitement, such as that of President (‘Jews-are-apes-and-pigs’) Morsi, and condemn it in the strongest terms.
*In her blog post on the David Ward scandal, Melanie Philips hits the nail on the head:
“… the really terrible thing here is not the grotesque misuse of the Holocaust, nor the vicious suggestion that ‘the Jews’ are guilty of behaviour that is somehow analogous to the Nazi genocide inflicted upon them, nor even the sickening insult that they have to ‘learn the lessons’ of their own suffering.
“No, the true venom of these remarks is the way they reverse the position of today’s Jewish victims – the Israeli survivors of the Holocaust and their children and grandchildren — and their currentwould-be exterminators – the descendants of Hitler’s Nazi collaborators in Palestine during the Holocaust.
“For the fact is that Israel is not trying to exterminate the Palestinians – indeed how could this possibly be the case, since the Palestinian population has more than quadrupled since the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Nor are the Israelis oppressing the Palestinians, who have benefited from some of the highest rises in GDP and lowest child mortality ratios in the Middle East.”
Footnote: The Christians Together website does not necessarily endorse the opinions, individuals or organisations referred to in the above article.
Media supremo Rupert Murdoch whose group owns the Sunday Times has apologised over the Gerald Scarfe cartoon. However other newspapers have been ambivalent on the issue. Independent columnist Jennifer Lipman concludes her piece: "When we allow a day of memorial for the victims of genocide to become a political tool, something has gone wrong. I do not believe the Sunday Times is in any way antisemitic, or that Gerald Scarfe is. But the cartoon is still deeply, deeply unpleasant."
UK Chief Rabbi Lord Sachs said that regardless of the intention, the danger of publishing this type of cartoon on Holocaust Memorial Day in a respected national newspaper was that such images "reinforce a great slander of our time: that Jews, victims of the Holocaust, are now perpetrators of a similar crime. "Not only is this manifestly untrue, it is also inflammatory and deeply dangerous."
He described the image as 'deplorable' and spoke of the immense pain to the Jewish community in the UK and around the world.
Aside from the various responses what is beyond doubt is that we are seeing exactly the same emblems in our society today as those used by the Nazis in the run-up to the greatest and most systematic genocidal atrocity in the recorded history of the world. And the events prior to and during the Holocaust are still young enough to be part of living memory.
In July 1938 an international conference was held at Evian on the shores of Lake Geneva. With the exception of the Dominican Republic the nations of the world refused of offer asylum to Germany's Jews, even though Hitler offered to pay for their transportation. He Hitler duely noted the refusal and on September 12, 1938 he declared to the Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg:
"They (the world) complain of the boundless cruelty with which Germany seek(s) to rid itself of Jewish elements. However the countries with icy coldness assured us that obviously there was no place for Jews in their territory."
Following very soon after that, Hitler sanctioned a ferocious series of attacks on Jews living in Germany and parts of Austria on 9 - 10 November 1938. The violent assauts were carried out by the SA (Sturmabteilung) paramilitary and civilians. German authorities looked on without intervening. The attacks left the streets covered with broken glass from the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues. The events became known as 'Kristallnacht': Crystal Night - the night of broken glass.
At least 91 Jews were killed in the attacks, and a further 30,000 arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps. Jewish homes, hospitals, and schools were ransacked, as the attackers demolished buildings with sledgehammers.Over 1,000 synagogues were burned (95 in Vienna alone), and over 7,000 Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged.
The events of Kristallnacht led directly into the wholesale deportations and mass murder of approximately two-thirds of the nine million Jews living in Europe at that time.