TYT: Holocaust Survivor Laments the Brutality of the State of Israel over Gaza

The Israel lobby reached a new low last week, when Louise Ellman and her fellow witch hunters accused Corbyn of anti-Semitism because he organised and attended a Holocaust Memorial event eight years at which one of the speakers, Hayo Meyer, compared Israel to Nazi Germany.

This is because, according to the Zionist witch hunters and the I.H.R.A. definition of anti-Semitism, it is anti-Semitic to compare Jews with Nazis. Even when Israel, which is a state, not a people, is engaged in ethnic cleansing very much like Nazi Germany and the other Fascist states.

And the very lowest point of this fake outcry was that Hajo Meyer, the speaker, now deceased, was viciously smeared as an anti-Semite. This was completely untrue. Meyer was not only Jewish, but a survivor of Auschwitz. Holocaust survivors are rightly respected because they have been through and witnessed one of the most horrific genocides in modern human history. A persecution which most of us would consider to be something close to hell on Earth.

As victims of organised racism taken to its ultimate extreme, many Holocaust survivors are invited to give their perspectives and warnings about the dangers of contemporary racism and extreme right-wing movements. Way back in the 1990s one of the Black civil rights groups in Bristol’s St. Paul’s organised a meeting protesting against racism and racist violence in the city. One of the speakers at the meeting was a Holocaust survivor, an elderly gentleman, who rightly warned that the Holocaust ‘must never happen again.’

Furthermore, as I understand it, in Judaism martyrdom is considered a form of kaddish ha-Shem, ‘Sanctification of the Name (of God). And the Jewish millions, who were butchered by the Nazis certainly qualify as martyrs, or the secular equivalent because of their deaths as innocent victims at the hands of a quintessentially evil regime.

Clearly, the Israel lobby has no problem with Holocaust survivors when they speak out against the persecution of the Jews, or other ethnic groups. Indeed, one of the criticisms of Israel is that it also exploits the Holocaust and its memory to promote itself as the Jewish state, which represents all Jews, everywhere, dutifully preserving the memory of those slaughtered by the Nazis. And thus criticism of Israel is to be attacked as anti-Semitic.

Holocaust survivors like Hajo Meyer explicitly challenge that identification and the assumptions of moral superiority Israel drawn through it, by discussing and attacking Israel’s own brutal persecution of the Palestinians and its seven decades’ old policy of ethnic cleansing. Their criticisms are particularly sharp and powerful because of their unique position of survivors and victims of Nazi persecution. A position, that surely qualifies them more than most to make the comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany.

Mike’s posted up a couple of articles strongly attacking the smears and abuse heaped on Hajo Meyer, now deceased, for his criticism of Israel. In one, he demands the sacking of the radio host, James O’Brian, for his vile comments on his show. In another, he posts the twitter comments of one of the many great commenters to his blog, Kanjin Tor. Tor states that the abuse of Meyer has taken Britain to the abyss. And he’s obviously right.

Tony Greenstein has pointed out in his blog that Jewish critics of Israel, including Israelis, have regularly made the comparison between their countries, and even individual politicians, and the Nazis. He posted up a piece commenting and reproducing the text of an open letter a very well qualified and respected Israeli academic and researcher on the Holocaust, Dr. Daniel Blatman, ‘J’Accuse’, attacking Netanyahu and his ministers and bigoted supporters, explicitly comparing them to the Nazis and imperial Japanese during the Second World War.

Another Holocaust survivor, who embarrassed the Israelis by comparing them to the Nazis was the resistance hero Marek Edelman. Edelman had been a member of the Jewish Bund, whose motto was ‘Wherever we live, that’s our homeland’. He was also one of the leaders of the uprising against the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto. He declared that the Palestinians and their resistance to Israel persecution now had the spirit of the great heroes of the Warsaw uprising.

Four years ago during the Israeli attack on Gaza, the American alternative news site, The Young Turks, did a segment demanding the Israelis end their bombardment and harassment of the Palestinians. In the piece, which can be viewed on YouTube, they quoted another Holocaust survivor, a Jewish Canadian called Gabor Mate. And Mate, who supported Israel as a grand ideal, lamented what the country had become in its brutality towards the Palestinians.

The video begins with host Cenk Uigur stating the statistics that 97 per cent of Israelis, according to polls, thought that the attack on Gaza was right and justified. He argued that the war had pushed the country to the extreme right, just as it had pushed the Palestinians to the extreme right, and made them feel that the war was justified. He felt that the Palestinians now should turn to non-violent resistance, listening to people like Martin Luther and Gandhi. Not only was this right, such tactics actually worked.

He then went on to argue that the only chance of stopping the war was if people listened to the Jews outside Israel. He realised that in the past, diaspora Jews had also encouraged and supported Israel’s wars. But this time there were voices for peace, such as Mr. Mate’s. He then went on to quote him.
Mate said

As a Jewish youngster growing up in Budapest, an infant survivor of the Nazi genocide, I was for years haunted by a question resounding in my brain with such force that sometimes my head would spin: ‘How was it possible? How could the world let such horrors happen?

In Gaza today we find ways of justifying the bombing of hospitals, the annihilation of families at dinner, the killing of pre-adolescents playing soccer on a beach.

In Israel-Palestine the powerful party has succeeded in painting itself as the victim, while the ones being killed and maimed are the perpetrators.

Netanyahu, you, who with surgical precision slaughter innocents, the young and the old, you who have cruelly blocked Gaza for years, starving it of necessities, you who deprive Palestinians of more and more of their land, their water, their crops, their trees – you care about life?

The Palestinians use tunnels? So did my heroes, the poorly armed fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Unlike Israel, Palestinians lack Apache helicopters, guided drones, jet fighters with bombs, laser-guided artillery. Out of impotent defiance, they fire inept rockets, causing terror for innocent Israelis but rarely physical harm. With such a gross imbalance of power, there is no equivalence of culpability.

And what shall we do, we ordinary people? I pray we can listen to our hearts. My heart tells me that ‘Never Again’ is not a tribal slogan, that the murder of my grandparents in Auschwitz does not justify the ongoing dispossession of the Palestinians, that justice, truth and peace are not tribal prerogatives. That Israel’s right to defend itself, inarguable in principle, does not validate mass killing.

Mate states that his views are not shared by friend, who wholehearted supports the bombardment, and that this has caused a rift between them. But he continues

But, I want to say to my friend, can we not be sad together at what that beautiful old dream of Jewish redemption has come to? Can we not grieve the death of innocents?

Uigur then goes to state that a simple test of Netanyahu’s claim that Israelis don’t kill civilians would be if they took 10,000 Israelis and put them in Gaza, without telling the Israelis where they were. Would the Israelis then stop their bombardment?

He also shows an image of wounded Palestinian boy, and argues that the outrage would be much greater if the child was Israeli.

He also goes on to discuss how the bombardment has also resulted in a rise in anti-Semitism. He ends this segment arguing for all sides to recognise the others’ humanity, just like Blacks had to tell Whites time and again that they too were human during their persecution.

Here’s the video.

Mate is clearly no anti-Semite, and he does believe in the original ideal on which Israel was founded. He also does not compared the country to Nazi Germany. But he does state that its persecution of the Palestinians is like the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews and other genocides by implication, based on his own bewilderment at how the Holocaust could have been allowed to happen as a young lad. And his childhood questions clearly found their answer in the way Israel justified its attack on Gaza.

Holocaust survivors need to be respected and listened to when they denounce racism, persecution and genocide. And this includes criticism of or denunciations of Israel. It does not make them anti-Semites, and abusing them as such debases British society and disgraces those, who make such vile accusations.

One Response to “TYT: Holocaust Survivor Laments the Brutality of the State of Israel over Gaza”

  1. A6er Says:

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

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