“This insistence by Hamas on denying the reality of the Holocaust is as reprehensible as it is astonishing.”
“Denying history gets you nowhere.”
“INFORMATION DOMINANCE”: …” build up and protect friendly information and degrade and deny information from your adversary … This means that unfriendly information must be targeted …What is perceived as independent news media is in fact part of a psychological operation” ….
This is a reply to THE HOLOCAUST AND PALESTINE
I am afraid Matthew Rothchild has also fallen victim to a “psyop”, yet another brillian PR-campaign launched by the Israeli government. As Hamas has not obliged with any rocket attacks lately, the apparent goal was to reinforce the established negative “frame” for Hamas: “terrorists, fanatics, religious extremists, “no partner for peace”, etc. to “pre-empt” any attempts to end the brutal siege on Gaza or – Heaven forbid – perceive Hamas leaders and the people that voted for them, as human beings. At the same time it served as a smear-campagin against the UN(RWA), which stands accused of “appeasing Hamas” or “collaborating” with Hamas. Could this have anything to do with the UN investigating and condemning IDF war crimes in Gaza?…. Within hours headlines like these appeared in the media:
“Hamas slams UN over “Holocaust classes” in Gaza”
“Hamas rips UN over Holocaust lessons in Gaza”
“UN denies Holocaust to appease terrorists”
The first thing to do is check the source: in this case it came from Reuters and AP. Most journalists stuck to the Reuters text, omitting only quotes from Hamas representatives which dealt with the political instrumentalisation of the Holocaust:
“Regardless of the controversy, we oppose forcing the issue of the so-called Holocaust onto the syllabus, because it aims to reinforce acceptance of the occupation of Palestinian land.”
“I do not exaggerate when I say this issue is a war crime, because of how it serves the Zionist colonizers and deals with their hypocrisy and lies,”
Instead they added statements from “Israeli officials”like these:
….this should make the West think twice about ending its boycott of Hamas, in place since the group seized Gaza by force in 2007. …; the comments are “obscene” and place Hamas in a pariah club of Holocaust deniers that includes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center called for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to fire both Abu Zayd and another UNRWA representative, Gaza director John Ging, and to ensure that UNRWA schools teach pupils about the Holocaust.
“The role of UNRWA must be to help set the stage for peace and reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis, not as agents for the agenda of terrorist groups”
So now we are supposed to see that “this is further proof that the main obstacle for the peace that has eluded the region for far too long lies on the Palestinian side.
“Only after the next generations are taught, and take the lessons of the Holocaust to heart, can we have any hope for true and lasting peace in the region.
Of course “using Holocaust denial as a political tool” MUST stop….. (but not what Norman Finkelstein calls “The Holocaust Industry” … we shall return (to find out about) the “lessons of the Holocaust” later…)
Then I found a reference to the Palestinian News Agency Maan which is the real source of the story and this lead to the context that was totally omitted in all these articles:
“The Gaza group’s letter was sent THE SAME DAY that Israeli Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar told the government’s cabinet that the word NAKBA had been removed from all lesson plans. “It can be said with certainty that Arab Israelis experienced a tragedy in the war, but there will be no use of the word ‘Nakba,’ whose meaning is similar to Holocaust in this context.”
For Benjamin Netanyahu the word Nakba in schools is “tantamount to incitement against Israel.”
“After studying the matter with education experts it was decided that the term nakba should be removed. It is inconceivable that in Israel we would talk about the establishment of the state as a catastrophe,” said Yisrael Twito, a spokesman for Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, (Reuters).
Let us for a moment imagine that a German had argued – in a conversation with Polish people like this:
“It is inconceivable that in Germany we would talk about the invasion of Poland ( as part of the establishment of the “Third Reich”) as a “catastrophe” – all hell would break loose and rightly so. Of course the magnitude and monstrosity of the Nazi crimes cannot be compared to the terror, massacres and ethnic cleansing in 1948, which the Palestinians call the “Nakba” and Israel was not invading another country but the point is:
Why must the people of one state forever repent and feel guilty for crimes committed in the past by a former totalitarian regime but the new state, that was to a great extent built on the worldwide empathy for the victims of these crimes, refuses to admit its own crimes in establishing that state?
Instead of taking the “Holocaust lessons to heart” which means recognize the dangers of organized national chauvinism based on racism and / or religion, of affirming one social body by denigrating another (first a “superior” people than a “chosen” people who could strip the “inferior” human beings of their rights and not feel guilty about it)
How abhorrent Nazi terror and mass murder was, it was over in 1945 but the consequences of the Nakba did not go away, on the contrary. The situation of the refugees and the Palestinians in their own land became worse every year because Israel never intended to accept the territorial restrictions laid down in the UN partition plan of 1947.
The “Holocaust” is over but the “Nakba” is not: the brutal occupation of the West Bank, the cruel bombings and siege in Gaza, the illegal wall that cuts deeply into Palestinian land, the building of further “settlements”, the daily humiliation at checkpoints, the systematic dehumanization of Palestinians, who have been stripped of their rights, because they are not Jews and must make room for the “chosen people” – how can they be expected to put the Holocaust on the curriculum of their schools?
How does a UNRWA teacher explain to a Palestinian child that severe violations of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions (results of World Wars and Nazi crimes) committed by the state of Israel for decades against its people, is not sanctioned by the “international community”?
The pupil could ask:
Why is past Jewish suffering superior to ours, which seems endless and why can it serve to excuse the injustice and aggression of the Jewish state? We did not build Auschwitz…. How obscene is a contest for suffering and injustice? Why are no questions about the Holocaust allowed? Why does it give them impunity while our legitimate resistance is presented as “terrorism”?
The state which is responsible for their endless suffering refuses to admit its guilt and deal with it, even punishes Jews (see below) for simply acknowledging the Nakba (thus showing compassion, and respect for historic truth and universal human rights)
Is this a farce, a tragicomedy or a case for a psychiatrist?
One “catastrophe” must forever be omnipresent in our minds or else..(in Germany it is a crime to “deny” the Holocaust but the other “catastrophe” (which pales in comparison) must not even be mentioned because it would shatter the myth of the “essential goodness and moral superiority” of the Jewish people on which Zionism tried to build the “national identity” (along with the “biblical license” to expropriate Palestinian land?
Baruch Spinoza must be turning in his grave….
BUT while the world media sheep are attacking and demonizing Hamas, (to provide Israel with a moral figleaf for the cruel blockade and undermine Hamas ouvertures to negotiate a two-state settlement based on Israel’s withdrawal to the 1967 borders) in the same article the Palestinian News agency Maan referred to an earlier story and this context was totally omitted in all Western media “reports”:
“On the other hand in January some were angry when, at the height of the Gaza War Palestinians erected a Memorial Site near the West Bank city of Ramallah to MOURN Nazi Germany’s crimes against the Jewish people. The whole article (published in January) can be read here:
Here are some excerpts:
“Hundreds of Palestinians were estimated to have attended the event in Ni’lin that coincided with the United Nations-declared World HOLOCAUST Remembrance Day with photographs purchased from an Israeli museum.
[…] “The Koran orders us to acknowledge the Holocaust and understand it,” ….
[…] why the memorial was chosen for Ni’lin, a devastated Palestinian town sliced apart by Israel’s separation barrier.
“We thought the public should understand the pain and suffering the Nazis caused the Jews,” Amira said. “Unfortunately, we are paying the price for the immense pain suffered by the Jews during the Holocaust.”
“People are surprised at what they see here; there are people who are seeing images of the suffering in the Holocaust for the first time,” he said. “There are people who didn’t know anything about Jewish history.”
“In mid-2008, the HAMAS movement CONDEMNED the Jewish Holocaust, as well, insisting that it “was not only a crime against humanity but one of the most abhorrent crimes in modern history.”
What the Hamas minister said can be read HERE. (Source: The Guardian)
How Israel helped to empower Hamas as a rival to the secular Palestinan resistance is another example of “unfriendly information” that must disappear from the public debate….
My “favourite” reaction to the Reuters article comes from – the one and only – Alan Dershowitz:
His headline is Can A State be built on a Pack of Lies? . (The irony escapes him obviously). Here are some pearls of his “wisdom”:
“There is absolutely no way in which Hamas would ever allow any kind of objective analysis of the Holocaust to be taught to their students. The essence of Hamas education is brainwashing and the shutting down of any marketplace of ideas. What Hamas fears most is truth, science, history and objectivity.
FACT: This is the ultimate hypocrisy. What would Ilan Pappe or Neve Gordon have to say about Israel’s commitment “to truth, history and objectivity”? (To say nothing about Norman Finkelstein…)
Just try this
“A state built on lies cannot long endure, unless it is an entirely totalitarian state.[…]”
“If it [Hamas] were to become a state, its control over the minds and actions of its citizens would become even more total. The sad reality is that totalitarian censorship—provided it is completely totalitarian—really does work.
“The people of Gaza really believe that the Holocaust never occurred.”
FACT: No, but as as result of “The Holocaust Industry” (which drowns out their own ongoing suffering) they are not very enthusiastic to accept everything at face value. Besides Many Israelis are kept in ignorance about the crimes committed in 1948 (the Nakba) … With modern PR-instruments you can establish a totalitarian “thought control” without obvious censorship .. the brilliant control and “information dominance” Israel has established in major parts of the Western media is the perfect example….
“They really believe that firing rockets at school children is God’s command.”
FACT: Remember Baruch Goldstein’s massacre in a Hebron mosque in 1994? It was the incentive for Hamas to target civilians in Israel .... Take a look at the naked aggression of orthodox Jewish “settlers” and think twice…
“They really believe that Jews are a combination of the devil monkeys, pigs and vermin.”
FACT is that Judaism teaches that only Jews are human beings and several military / political leaders are on the record for calling Palestinians (Arabs) anything from “cattle” to “cockroaches” (see alsolatest reports from “Breaking the Silence”, in Haaretz and other sources)
“They really believe that Jews control the world and that Barak Obama is a puppet whose strings are pulled by hook-nosed “Yids.”
FACT is that Obama’s promises to AIPAC and the growing literature documenting massive Zionist influence in the US encourage such “views” enormously…. That Obama does nothing to stop the expropriation of Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem speaks for itself… (see also my former post about “Change”)
“They really believe that Israel doesn’t want peace and seeks to destroy the Islamic world and its holy places.”
FACT is that Israel does not want peace –it is so obvious from the historical and political record that only severe cases of autism (or ideological indoctrination) fail to see it….
In the Jan. 3 Ha’aretz, Yossi Sarid, chairman of the Meretz party, wrote, “What does frighten Sharon [and his successors] … is any prospect or sign of calm or moderation. If the situation were to calm down and stabilize, Sharon would have to return to the negotiating table and, in the wake of pressure from within and without, he would have to raise serious proposals for an agreement.
This moment terrifies Sharon and he wants to put it off for as long as he possibly can.” In contrast, Sarid said that Sharon understands “that the terrorists and those who give them asylum are not the real enemies. Instead, the real enemies are the moderates…. You fight terrorists-a pretty simple operation-but you must talk with moderates, and this is a very tricky, if not dangerous, business.” …
Back to Dershowitz:
“It is difficult to build an enduring peace on such a structure of lies.”
The best description of Israel’s contribution to the “peace process” I have ever seen.
To pretend that the violence of Hamas militants is not the unfortunate but legitimate result of Israel’s state terror, systematic injustice, dehumanization and occupation brutality and instead portray them as deranged antisemites and Holocaust-deniers is pathetic and reinforces the dangerous stereotype of Judaeophobia (Anti-Semitism is nonsense, as Arabs are also semites).
The ultimate irony is that many Israelis of German descent have applied for German passports ….just in case …. and emigration is rising .. Small wonder as the “redeemed “Holy Land” ´(far from being a safe haven) is now the most dangerous place on earth for Jewish people …..
“I am a patriot (currently serving in the IDF), I wanted to give everything for Israel but this state is somehow insane. Life here isn’t normal.”
(Rotem Pappe, a young Israeli woman with a German passport)