Friday, December 6, 2013

a real memorial for the holocaust

Today, Friday the 6 of December, 2013, the Wall Street Journal features a front page story by Naftali Bendavid on the passing of the last of the holocaust survivors and how this puts the memory of the event at risk, a truly outlandish claim that called for a response, which I reproduce here...

Mr. Bendavid:

I have read your article on the last of the holocaust survivors dying of old age.

There is absolutely no danger the holocaust will be forgotten – there are dozens of holocaust memorials in the United States and in my state of Illinois it is a legal requirement that public school students be taught about the holocaust before they reach high school. Mention of the holocaust is frequent in the U.S. media.

A long term and current tragedy made possible by the holocaust is rarely, if ever, mentioned and that is the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and their more than 65 year abuse by the state of Israel, the foundation of which was made possible by leveraging the horror of the holocaust to deflect criticism of Jews who, as Israelis, deny equality to Arabs in Palestine.

The Knesset approved plan to evict tens of thousands of Bedouin (Israeli citizens!) from the Negev, forcing them into concentration towns while opening their lands up to Jews-only settlement is something I believe would horrify the great majority of those who were lost in the holocaust. I haven’t read about this in the WSJ. Nor have I read about the Nakba, the horrible expulsion of Arabs in 1947-48 that literally laid the groundwork for The Jewish State.

The promised land for Jews, as for any other ethnic group, is the United States, where we attempt to practice liberty and justice for all. In Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu continually raises the specter of a “second holocaust” to excuse whatever he chooses to do in the name of the defense of Jews. For Israel, no non-Jews need apply for citizenship, a direct refutation of all the United States claims to hold dear.

I don’t know about you, but the Jews I know have no fears whatsoever of intolerance in the U.S. and, as is evident to all, there is no profession or occupation or way of life in America that is denied to Jews. Quite the contrary, it is the very success of Jews in the United States that provides the wealth and democratic participation that provides the clout of the Israel Lobby in Congress, protecting Israel from every UN sanction, including the incredible veto by the U.S. of its own policy against Israeli settlements in the UN last year.

To be faithful to those who perished in the holocaust, the correct course of action is to bring to public attention the fact that there are Jews behaving badly in the Middle East, rapidly approaching in Israel the kind of state that made the holocaust possible. Read Max Blumenthal’s “Goliath” for evidence. When Israel is held responsible for its ethnic-cleansing project, the project of Zionism from the start, only then will the holocaust be honored as it should be.

When innocent people are victims, as was the case in the holocaust, it in no way entitles those who claim them for relations, the Israelis, to victimize innocents anew. There is no more shameful evidence that the lesson of the holocaust has not been learned than the behavior of the State of Israel as I write. Benjamin Netanyahu’s tongue should burn as he leads yet another party through Yad Vachem.

Clif Brown

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