Can there be a more depressing and alarming sign of the times in which we live than the sad fact that Holocaust Memorial Day has since its inception been a subject of political wrangling? It seems that any mention whatsoever of the Holocaust on CiF will generate some comments which can be defined as antisemitic under the EUM C Working Definition of Antisemitism and Alan Posener’s article of January 26th proved to be no exception.
“Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”
26 Jan 2010, 2:08PM
The Holocaust shouldn’t be forgotten but we shouldn’t forget the Armenian genocide, the Rwandan genocide, the death of thousands of communists and anarchists in the German concentration camps.
We should celebrate everyone or no-one. Selective memory just doesn’t work.
Let’s also not forget what’s going on right now in the occupied territories (Palestinian territories). Otherwise, why are we remembering for? If not to avoid repeating the mistakes of past generations.
26 Jan 2010, 2:21PM
The legacy of the Holocaust/Shoa is more complex than the writer suggests.
I did some research in to children of Holocaust survivors. The parents reaction to their experience was either to make them highly sensitive and sympathetic to the pain of other, or vile and open racists who can abuse blacks like any Nazi. The reason as I understood it was after such suffering, helplessness the impulse was never to be that vulnerable again. And that sometimes entailed aligning oneself with power.
26 Jan 2010, 2:27PM
as long as the holocaust is used to justify say the state of Israel there are going to be people who use it as an excuse to commit other atrocities especially against muslims. today’s germans arent responsible for the holocaust and they have measures like holocaust denial as a crime put in place to make sure that it isnt wiped from their history. that should be where it ends
26 Jan 2010, 4:56PM
…so why is the Warsaw ghetto being revisited in Gaza? Has Israel forgotten the holocaust now it is the regional top dog?
26 Jan 2010, 6:23PM
as someone who once cried during his history lessons at school about the nazi treatment of jews during ww2, i am disturbed by the very fact that i do not sympathise with jews any longer largely due to the israeli treatment of palestinians and lebanese. how can you cry about a genocide that was perpertrated on your people whilst you carry out one yourselves on others. have you not learnt any lessons from history?
“Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).”
26 Jan 2010, 1:45PM
A huge disservice is done to the memory of many conflicts, many genocides, because we have allowed the IPR of “holocaust” to be owned by Jews.
Armenia, practically the whole population of North and South America after its “discovery”, the list goes on. Even during WWII it now seems clear that some countries, Czechoslovakia for example, lost a higher proportion of their Roma population that their Jewish citizens.
The idea that what happened to the Jews in world war II was special is not helpful, reading the above article you might think that this kind of outrage only happened once, to one group of people.
“Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.”
26 Jan 2010, 2:42PM
Let me clarify what I mean
If we consider the trial process, I am saying that all I have ever heard is the case for the prosecution, never its counterpart, where the same evidence could be interpreted differently, or different testimony offered.
Other comments, whilst maybe not fitting the EUMC definition exactly, certainly have an offensive edge to them and include attempts to downplay the scope of antisemitism, accusing Israel of ‘using’ the Holocaust and claims of phoney anti-Semitism.
26 Jan 2010, 5:21PM
AlanPosener: ” Islamist antisemitism is a clear and present danger to Jews in Europe.”
I would dispute that.
The anti-muslim, UN-flouting Israeli state is FAR MORE dangerous to Palestinian Muslims (men, women, children) living in Gaza and Southern Lebanon than any anti-jewish feeling (which you wrongly label ‘anti-semitism’) amongst Muslims in Europe.
26 Jan 2010, 4:43PM
. ## the standard party line on CIF, ..”those Jews only feel badly when they themselves are the victims”, ##
.You have put this into “quotation marks ” as if someone has said it ..or its like .. on CIF. My feeling is no one has said this..except you ..and I am accusing you of posting anti Semitic dross on CIF to imply extremism here.
No to any anti Semitism on CIF ..either the real stuff ..or the way, way more common type phoney anti Semitism
26 Jan 2010, 1:48PM
Anyone interested in this subject should watch this brave and illuminating new film by an Israeli filmmaker.
http://www.channel4.com/programmes/defamation/4od – 3022029
It shows how Israel is teaching its children to believe that the world hates them, that they will always be under threat and therefore must act in the manner they do. They use Auschwitz as a tool in this.
There is no doubt. The Holocaust is being used by right wing ethno-supremacists. It is not only disgusting but very very dangerous.
It is, of course necessary to remember, but perhaps more important not to perpetuate, and not put at stake the safety of rest of the world.
The recent vogue for accusing supporters of Israel of making fake accusations of antisemitism in order to silence criticism was also evident on this thread.
26 Jan 2010, 4:55PM
a quick read in CIF and the kids will come to the same conclusion .
Only it they read the kind of tripe you put out. Excuse me – not just you, but every other person who comes here and tries to portray any criticism of Israel as anti-semitic.
On this subject and on the EUMC Working Definition in general, Professor Bernard Harrison wrote an interesting piece in which he rather succinctly says
“But (leaving aside the demonstrable lousiness, as arguments, of the “arguments” in question), one would have thought, anyway, that someone who complains that the observance of a restriction on anti-Semitism will deprive him of his best arguments is more or less hanging a notice round his neck saying “Look at me! I am an anti-Semite!”
An additional theme in the comments on this thread was the denial of the growing Iranian threat which Israel faces, even though the day previous to the publication of this CiF article, Der Spiegel released details of an Iranian intelligence dossier obtained by the newspaper which is causing much concern in diplomatic circles.
26 Jan 2010, 1:34PM
What Iranian threat to Israel?
26 Jan 2010, 1:59PM
‘Murderous antisemitism of Islamists such as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’, I don’t know which is more preposterous, the assertion that Ahmadinejad is an ‘Islamist’ or the claim that his criticism of Israel amounts to ‘murderous antisemitism’.
26 Jan 2010, 5:40PM
Namokel: “Softly, softly…..do I hear war drums?”
Yes you do.
The regular Israeli threats to Iran are, for some unknown reason, to be completely ignored. However, imaginary threats from Iran (which besides hasn’t the means to carry them out) are to be trotted out at every available opportunity.
Part of the bizarro world we live in.
In this strange world in which we currently live, not only are opponents of Israel able to allow their bigotry against Jews to distort their view of history to the extent that they are capable of twisting the meaning of the holding of memorial services for the victims of the most extensive genocide of the 20th century, but that bigotry also permits them to ignore the presence of present and possible future threats to the same people. If the lessons of the Holocaust are to be finally learned, Western journalists, politicians and commentators must recognise the obvious fact that Third World fascism is no less dangerous than its now vanquished European counterparts.
When a Palestinian preacher tells his audience that the Jews are “enemies of humanity in general and of Palestinians in particular” or when Ahmedinejad says that Jews are “fighting a war against humanity” we should, by now, be able to recognise the ideology behind such words and be alert to the dark places to which it leads. As more recent tragedies such as the Rwandan genocide or the Srebrenica massacre prove, this is by no means a matter for concern to Jews alone. It is certainly a sign of the times that a left-leaning liberal Western newspaper such as the Guardian, rather than being the vanguard of opposition to the distortion of the Holocaust’s message is actually allowing it to be dissipated on its own pages.
“Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand with a grip that kills it”
Rabindranath Tagore, Fireflies