Monday, May 08, 2006

Gas Chambers vs. Refugee Camps

Hopefully this post is useless; hopefully the argument can be laid to rest, but just in case it can’t, here goes. The difference between Germany’s treatment of the Jews and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is so evident given the scope of history that the contrast doesn’t even need to be made. For the most part, I feel, lots of people already understand that such a comparison is futile and baseless, however, there are always those outspoken and mindless few whom are energetic in making their parallels of the Nazi regime and the Israeli state; some of them are Muslims. I think that to even cover this topic is kin to flogging a dead horse, but certain people never cease to amaze me, and it is to them that I dedicate this piece.

Before I get into the mechanics of the fallacious comparisons between Germany’s gas chambers and the West Bank’s and the Gaza Strip’s refugee camps, I must point out a bias that damages the entire analogical attempt before it is even constructed. There are many, many more numerous and more valid comparisons that a person can make to the Nazi regime’s gas chambers than the State of Israel, but the fact that the mindless individual whom chooses to make the comparison davka (spitefully) chooses to make the analogy to Israel, a Jewish enterprise, shows his eagerness to compare “the Jewish victim” to his aggressors. It is no ironic mistake of history that Israel is similar to Germany, in fact, it is not real at all; the entire comparison is founded simply on a desire to eradicate Jewish dignity and morale by comparing Jews to their worst oppressors and by comparing the Palestinians to Jews. It is a narrative of sorts, a narrative with no basis in reality. If you are a liberal radical Anglo-American, you make this analogy because you want something to strive for and are likely silly; if you are an Arab-American, you make this analogy because you come from a long tradition of Jew-hating, so deal with it.

Having said that, we can now examine the logical reasons as to why the comparison is flimsy. The Nazi’s carried out a vicious and systematic attempt to eradicate the entire Jewish population of Germany (and Europe). If I have to explain further how Germany and Israel are different thus far, I suggest that the reader open up a few history books before even reading on, or you can just take my word for it. Israel is not trying to eradicate the Palestinians by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, and if you like irony, it is the Palestinians that are trying to eradicate Israel -- just consider Hamas’ charter, which calls for, guess what, the eradication of the State of Israel. There are more comparisons between the Nazi Party and Hamas than between Germany and Israel, but cognitive dissonance is a favorite of people with hate in their blood.

There is no reason for the Israeli state to want to eradicate the Palestinians; all of the ideological conundrums of the Nazi war machine, backed by a long tradition of the European Christian anti-Semitic psychosis, simply has no parallel with Israel. The Israeli’s do not believe themselves to be a superior race of people, which they go to great lengths by providing bogus scientific “evidence.” They do not have a campaign in place to ship Palestinians into concentration camps where they can dispose of them in huge bonfires. They do not view them as so inhuman that even when eradicating them they try to save bullets. They do not believe that the Palestinians are vermin that are taking over the world and are by nature despicable mongrels. However, in epileptic pseudo-intellectual outbursts, the Palestinian propaganda machine attempts to mold the Palestinian into the image of the ghettoized Jew of the second World War, an appealing parable for heartless bleeding hearts, yet at the same time it denies that the Holocaust occurred or insists that it was hyped up. What then is the rationale for this comparison? Cognitive dissonance and ignorance, inability to properly process information or to think freely, the deep cultural internalization of propaganda from a very young age – these are the answers. Indeed, all of these are the same telltale forecasts predicting the morbid cloud hanging over Germany in what has become this century’s universal tale of the effective power of mental monopoly. Contrast this to the freedom of thought and speech that exists in the Israeli media circuit and the Israel-Germany analogy dematerializes and is replaced by a “Palestine”-Germany structure.

Further, this propaganda tries to transform the refugee camps into the concentration camps, which acts as fodder driving the Palestinians to "take up arms" against Israel and justifies the wholescale murder that they then take against its citizens. Note that even in the Jewish Ghetto Uprisings of the Holocaust, where the Jews were really being eradicated, resistant Jews did not prey on German civilians; they were so far removed from all civilian life that even had they wanted to kill civilian Germans, they were in totality separated from them and could not reach them. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are a rock's throw away from Israeli civilian society, a testament to the difference between Israel and Germany. It would be more accurate to compare the State of Jordan's 1979 "Black September" slaughter of some 3,000 to 5,000 Palestinians (although the killing was mutual) to Germany's elimination of Jews. Some people term the Jordanian massacre a genocidal attempt. The terrorist group whom kidnapped and murdered the eleven Israeli's during the Munich olympics named their group "Black September" after the Jordanian massacre.

*Note; Jordan's Palestinian population, behind Yasser Arafat's lead, was trying to create a Palestinian state within a Jordanian state, which led Jordan to expel him and according to Wikipedia, "The number of casualties in what resembled a civil war is estimated at tens of thousands, and both sides were involved in intentional killing of civilians. It was a turning point for Jordanian identity, as the kingdom embarked on the program of "Jordanization" of the society." It seems that both Israel and Jordan have had similar problems with the Palestinians, yet Israel acts, and is expected to act, radically different.

Israel’s media’s and liberal intelligentsia’s gravest sin is the guilt-ridden attempt to “prove” that Israel is the polar opposite of Germany, an internalization of all of the worst claims leveled towards it. The relationship between this heaping evidence and the effectiveness in reaching its desired goal is a transverse relationship; the more Israel provides evidence for its innocence of this charge, the more its accusers believe it is guilty. The reason for this is because Israel approaches its “trial” as if it is indeed guilty; you cannot convince others of your innocence if somewhere inside your troubled psyche you believe that you are guilty, and perhaps somehow deserving of such a fate. This particular Israeli (Jewish) ideology needs a whole new paradigm shift.



8 comments:

Down_with_the_dictatorship_of_illusion said...

Gas Chambers vs. Refugee Camps...where to start. My favorite time period to study through out history was the era right before WWI to the end of WWII, so much human loss, chaos, propaganada, politics, and everything thats wrong with the world bundled up in the first half of the 20th century. One would expect that once we lived out all of the sick, inhumane nightmares, we'd vow never to do it again, But it is the way of man to forget, and move forward blindly in the way of self interest. Thats just a brief thought on human nature in general. I grew up in Western schooling, I've read Anne Frank, acted in a play about Anne Frank, and watched a film about her. At the time, being an American Arab, I thought it was just a bunch of "feel sorry for us, we went through hell" Jewish propaganda that had even reached being shoved down the throats of school children. But superficial judgement is a characteristic of the ignorant. Later on when I had gotten into Highschool and started to do my own research, my own reading, the details were horrific. The horrific nature of the entire war and its aftermath was disgusting. I never really held the belief that the Holocaust never really happened (as some in denial might believe for reasons beyond me), but until I dug deeper, it seemed played out and over rated. I focused on the other minority, non-white/non-aryan/non-perfect groups that also went through the hell of concentration-labor camps, gas-chamers, perminant seperation from all former aspects of life and family...but you can't really do that without accepting what the Jewish population of Europe went through. Still to this day it breaks my heart to think that anyone would ever have to go through what the small minded ignorant f#%ked up nazis put the people of the Holocaust through. Of course as a student of English Literature, it was not hard to pick up on anti-Jewish sentiments found in such texts as the Merchant of Venic amongst others. As far back as modern history can recall, there has been anti-Jewish sentiments.(I refuse to say anti-semetic because Arabs are semetic as well). Now whether this entitles the Jews to have a homeland of their own or not isn't given the span nor scope to be discussed here, nor is this the place to discuss the legitmate existence of Israel on Palestinian land, or the lack thereof. Here we are discussing the comparison between nazi Germans and Israeli right wing Jews. The whole thing in and of itself makes no sense to me, but there are a few things to be discussed here. First off, it would be wonderful if you could fully assure me that Jews do not think that they are supreme people by virtue of being the "Chosen People," because, and I could be very wrong, I always thought that in Jewish doctrine, and at one point in time evidence was provided to me by the laws of the Talmud, that Jews view themselves as superior to everyone else. In that sense, it seems no different than nazi supremacy. On the other hand, you point out a vital tool of any sort of war, that of propaganda. Propaganda is by far, in my opinion atleast, much more dangerous and effective in mass mobility than any other war-time effort. The point of comparing the nazis to Israelis is simply that, a propaganda tool as you have mentioned. It sees how much the Jews are pitied for their horrible experience in the Holocaust and wishes to turn that around, and yes with an ironic twist, to aid in the bestowing of that same pity on themselves. Beyond the realm of propaganda, there is no vivid similarity to the experience of Jews and Palestinians, rather there are vivid distinctions. Mind you, however, it is not because the Palestinians "got it easy".
Israel, and this is a little of my own ideas, feel free to correct me. Israel is bound by the need for international approval, because in its initial coming into existence it need that same international support to start off with the strength it needed (very surface level analysis, won't go deeper here). Hence, Israel is constantly under pressure to meet international standards of humanity and etc., while on the other hand, German Nazis went unchecked-beyond that, Israel finds itself in a more complicated political arena with more restrictions than its opponents, whom already internationally are hated,have nothing to lose. This, to a certain extent, explains the difference in standards of propaganda. All in all, as a true, logical, sound argument, the comparison between nazi Germanz and Israeli zionist Jews as almost identical entities makes no sound sense to me. - hope I haven't bore anyone to death with how long this was, lol - take care, peace out, salamz, and shalom :)

jjew said...

Again, thanks for posting. Lots of salient points made in your post. Not boring at all!

Yah, where to start, where to start?

OK, Talmud and Jewish supremacy. The truth is that I am not very well versed in Talmud, something that I would like to be, and Insha-llah, I will be soon. Anyway, I know my way around Judaism well enough to tell how Jews think of themselves in light of others, both in theory and in practice.

Theoretically, i.e., according to the dictates of the Jewish religion, which includes the revelations of the Torah itself, the Prophets and the Writings, and the Oral Law (Talmud), which is similar to the Hadiths, Jews do not think themselves superior than the rest of the world's population.

I am hesitant to make generalized conclusions about the content of the Talmud without knowing more about it, more or less for the same reason that I try to be accurate when making conclusions about anything, and needless to say, because it would be irresponsible of me to say possibly negative things about the law of my co-religionists without understanding the intent. There are volumes of content in the "work" titled Talmud, covering about 2,000 years of Jewish history and being composed in several different places and situations.

Nevertheless, much of Jewish Law is focused on telling the Jew how to be "holy," a people unto G-d, as the Torah says it, a people set apart for a different task. This has many implications on interactions between Jews and non-Jews, whomever those non-Jews happen to be at that point in time, be they Christian, Muslim, Babylonians, Assyrians, etc...

For example, on Shabbat, the Sabbath, a Jew is prohibited from completing certain types of labor (some of which are not physically straining at all), such as turning lights on and off, or electrity. Therefore, a Jew may ask a non-Jew to turn lights on and off for him; the Talmud explains that the Jew has to be considerate of the Gentile's feelings - he is not a tool, but a person helping with something. Most simply put, the Jew is not allowed to do that thing and the Gentile is, so he can be asked. Further, he can't be asked straight out, because then one could easily bypass all of the Shabbat restrictions. Rather, the Jew has to imply that it needs to be done, like, "Whoa, it's dark in here." "No problem, Jewish neighbor, I'll turn it on for you." Could a Jew, in the real world, think of himself superior to a person who isn't Jewish? Sure, it happens, but the Talmud doesn't lend itself to that. Another example is that a Jew cannot eat food, on certian occasions, made by non-Jews. On the surface, it seems that the Talmud is telling us that non-Jews are dirty. A little deeper we realize it's because there are certain requirements in the preparation of food to render it kosher; a non-Jew, who most likely knows nothing about Jewish dietary law, might do something accidently to render it non-kosher. For that reason, a qualified Jew has to supervise the preparation of the food. These laws are also quite intricate. It would be very easy to read them as implying that non-Jews are inferior, but G-d forbid, it doesn't say that.

Not skirting the issue, there are clearly areas in the Talmud hostile to Gentiles, but we have to understand the depth of these verses in light of human reality before we can properly judge them. Many cases in the Talmud are in disagreement with other cases, and even if they weren't, I do believe that these verses have been used out of context (as propaganda) to make people believe that all Jews sit and home and are spoonfed these ideas to make them hate their neighbors. Slightly related, it is also possible that people have "placed words" in Muslim texts in order to do the same thing, although to a lesser degree I think.

The point you're making about Germany being unchecked in its actions against the Jews and its other victims is very interesing and I've thought about that before. It's two-pronged.

The first prong is that, yah, more eyes are on Israel. This is for many reasons. First, the Holocaust opened up peoples' eyes, at least theoretically, as you mentioned. Second, lots of propaganda (always going to propaganda) has been produced about Israel, from various sources, about its need to be vigilant against such tendencies in lue of its past. In other words, "Israel, don't do to others what was done to you." I find that sentiment true for Israel as it is for everyone, but the "bias" of the statement is made clear when we consider that the people holding it are almost exclusive in pointing out Israel. Their dislike of Jews is usually skin-deep. Generally, though, Israel is just more in the spot-light, it seems, than other countries, although this has changed a bit since 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq - something else to fill our minds. Also, Israel doesn't want to become the Nazi's, which is good because it shows that they are conscience people, but it also shows that they are very sensitive to their public image, and therefore, sadly, to false propaganda. These, by the way, are two pretty ingrained "Jewish tendencies," and have both positive and negative functions.

The second prong. I don't think that the Palestinians are nationally hated, just as much as I don't think that the right wing Israeli religious Jews are internationally hated; you'll always find supporters. They attack Israel for reasons much deeper than their international image, which is so negative that they might as well do whatever they want. No, there are clear ideological reasons behind Palestinian insurgencies into Israel, if you want to call them that, that are also beyond the scope of this post. I wrote a paper on it and would be glad to send it to you. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that the reason Palestinians feel less restricted by international pressure is because they feel more vindicated in doing what they feel is right without the issue of consent. The Arabs are definitely a powerfully-spirited people, which can serve both for and against them. They also are less tempered by the type of disasters that have happened to the Jews, and therefore are less sensitive, if I may say such a thing. I mean, the most salient point I can quickly think of, and I don't like to always go back to the Holocaust, is that: if desperation can cause a group to attempt to destroy another entity in the name of survival, then we should have seen the Jews of the uprisings doing things worst than the Palestinians are in the intifadas. However, they did not, so we know that "mere" desperation is not a sufficient factor in doing something like what the Palestinians are; the Jews never attacked German civilians, and the Jews were TRULY being killed off.

As far as international opinion goes, the more people think that the Palestinians are, for example, comparable to Africans in South Africa being tormented by the Afrikaans, the more they will be supported by liberal peace groups. Not everybody supports the Palestinians, this is clear, but they have a huge following at the hands of liberal groups who like to bunch them in with "the meek" vs "the powerful." Again, this is the effect of a weak grasp on history and a weak mind coupled with an effective propaganda machine. This is the first time in history, I think, where Arabs are fighting a battle from below vs from above. This had made it so they've had to cater to international opinion, especially in a world where international opinion exists (it didn't in the 7th century). A combination of Arab (Muslim) zeal and and "being below" does a fairly good job of explaining the situation. This makes the Palestinian identity truly unique in Arab Muslim history, also because it is unique for Jewish history to be back in control of thier holy areas. I have feeling that they would continue the struggle even without much support as long as they have some, and that support eggs them on, causing them to think that what they are doing is right. However, they have a personal investment in doing this, which seems to trump international opinion. To a degree, the world seems to be afraid of them, a product of thier zeal, and a product of human stupidity, or maybe frailty.

jjew said...

Here we are discussing the comparison between nazi Germans and Israeli right wing Jews.

This is a good distinction to be made, i.e., between left and right wing Israeli Jews. The overlap is very interesting. Basically, right wing Jews tend to be religious, but it is more accurate to say that religious Jews tend to be more right wing, many are right wing moderates. Secular Jews tend to be left wing. However, there are definitely left wing Jews that fall more into the right wing category. An old friend of ours, Gabi (ZL), was about fifty and a total atheist, yet he was of the opinion of most right wing Jews, that land can't be given up if it will present a security threat. The interesting thing here is that his atheism, he contended, was a product of his parents' dying in the Holocaust. Some secular Jews go left for the same reason he went right; they don't want to hate people, but he wanted to defend his family.

There aren't many left wing religious Jews in Israel, but there is a group called "Neturei Karter," an Orthodox group that is in total rejection of the existence of the State of Israel. Supposedly, their ideology is that the Messiah has not arrived yet and therefore Jewish residence in the Land of Israel is prohibited until then. This answers their problems with a Jewish state, but it does not answer why they support the Palestinian cause. They've met with Yasser Arafat and shaken his hand are seen with posters and Palestinian flags. Basically, they are crazy. I wouldn't bunch them as "left wing" because they aren't really moved from humanitarian reasons to defend the Palestinians, and I don't think that they really care about them, I just think that they are using the victim imagery to get the point across of thier beliefs about Israel. Again, another point of contention in the realm of Jewish Law, although not really. Neturei Karta are more like religious apolitical theocratists (is that a word). "Zionist," also, is not a bad word. I consider myself a Zionist, yet I don't hate Arabs or want them to perish, and I don't think that we are superior. The argument in Israel is to what the word "Zionist" means, everybody wants to reform Zionism to meet thier ideologies; left, right, religious, secular, etc... All it means is Israeli statehood.

Down_with_the_dictatorship_of_illusion said...

My understanding of the word Zionism has always been "the push for Israeli Statehood."-just thought I'd mention that- of course people's connotations to the word differ. you touched upon one thing that stands out in my mind...for the first time in history...Arabs are fighting from the bottom up. For once we are the underdog, and, with the exceptions of the miracles of the times of prophets, Jews are fighting with the upper hand. This brings to mind two problems Arabs have...two problems that seem like an oxy moron more or less. Arabs have both a superiority problem and and an inferiority problem. The first the by product of the "Golden Age" and the second a by-product of colonialism and and the defeats of the late 40's-70's. These both collide and create a stagnant attitude towards the whole thing. My father left Egypt in the 80's, my grand parents saw war after war after war, my grandfather used to work in an army jet plane factory...his plant was blown up by Israeli jets. Its very easy to hate Israel with soo many loses at its creation, and I grew up in the states as an Arab Nationalist. when I came here to Egypt...the air here, everything people once believed in were dead. You said desperation is not a valid excuse...but it is vivid in the eyes of people who have no where to turn to. I no longer am an Arab Nationalist...I don't really believe in the whole Arab thing anymore. Why??? Because anyone here can tell you its gotten us, especially Egyptians, no where. People here turn to the one thing they can have faith in, God, religion, the Golden Age. It can be clearly seen here that in the wrong hands, the religion machine can be dangerous. But at the same time, if you tap into Arab roots...offend an Arab for being an Arab...things will tend to resurface. The problem with the Arab world is that it was injured, and insult was added to that injury when the Arabs could not defend themselves, so now their heads are in the sand (yes, I know I could've phrased it some other way...). The problem with that is that a new generation is coming up that is fed up with just about anyone and everyone, a generation that is tired of having puppet governments who are to shamed, weak, and useless to preserve any national dignity. Their ideology: F#@k everyone! They see no help or justice being provide from the outside, or even from within, so their response is complete rebellion. To this generation, Hamas is the leading force. To this generation, Hizballah is guidance, Iranian leadership is ideal. To them, Israel, U.S. troops, the rest of the world is a valid scape-goat. I am not underminding what people are facing in the camps in Palestine, and you might strongly disagree, but they are facing hell from what I recollect from eye witness stories and Palestinians themselves, that people in Iraq whom (and this is documented) had weapons of chemical/biological warfare used against them, that A good deal of Arab/Muslim countries are facing widespread poverty, and internal injustice. What I am saying is that its easier to aim at the outsiders and ignore the disease within. our government supports mass opinion and directs it outwards so that it can keep eyes off itself. The new forces, and sadly the only forces of defense that we have, are independent, un organized groups that abid by their own laws, or lack thereof. Killing civilians: I don't think, and I'm almost certain that Islam does NOT condone it. There is a Hadith by the Prophet Mohamad peace and blessings be upon him and the prophets past that says when going into battle, (giving meaning, not direct wording): no women, child, or priest in prayer is to be harmed, nor is even a tree to be uplifted. We are not a destructive force, but my people are uncertain, and powerless. We must, and this is only my opinion, first find true faith, and here I refer to Muslims as opposed to Arabs because they are two different things), understand our religion, restructure the inside, and then project to whatever we must face outwards, and by then it might only be international integration for all we know. I think that if we truly learned how to embrace Islam, we won't have hurt pride, in fact, the opposite can be found, our self dignity will be restored, because a people that has done justly and held firm to that justice can always raise its head high. It's four in the morning and I've been rambling, I apologize if this made no sense at all :) I'm glad that I can discuss things of this matter with you all...but I'm gonna go dooowwwzzzz off now :) take care, peace out, salamz, and shalom.

jjew said...

The thing is that I understood your rambling.

I've never gotten such a relaxed insight into what Arabs are facing day to day. I mean, I've spoken to enough Arabs, read, and have tried to comprehend things enough that much of what you said Arabs face, I have already come to realize. However, what you said brought it into a bit better focus than I could have come to on my own.

I understand that the Arab predicament, as Fouad Ajami calls it (I haven't read the book yet, just showing off) is quite bleak. I actually do feel for them and would love to see things get better for them, but my empathy and sympathy are short changed when I realize that Israel is made out to be the enemy. Years ago, maybe 4 or 5, I used to be more "liberal" towards the Arab sentiment, primarily the Palestinian one. As the years went by and I learned more about the bigger picture, my liberalism tended to fall away and I became more right wing with regards to Israel and the Arab situation(s), but it didn't replace that I knew that things weren't the best for them. I understand now, how their problems cause them to call for the destruction of Israel, but I am not left with much of a choice when my destruction is one of my options. I started to speak out loudly against the Palestinian cause. The one thing that gets me time after time is why the Arabs, who have their own set of problems, turn "the Palestinian martyr" into a beacon of hope for them. I understand its purpose and effect, but rationally it is a thing that makes little sense, especially considering that the Arabs want thier lives to improve.

After what you said I understood the desperation and rebellion that causes Arabs to rally behind terrorist groups in their countries, which I pray can end, but why they rally around the Palestinians, whom serve as purely a symbolic and retorical entity? It's hard for me to understand why Arabs (meaning societies and individuals) demand that Israel relinquish this and that as a means for peace. Clearly they've been "burned" by Israel, at least in their minds (which matters), but every step of the way Israel was met with resistance. Only the Palestinians have been "forced" to suicide bombing, but it seems that the majority of the Arab world feels like they are Palestinians. This exaltation of the Palestinian cause seems counter-productive and sparks up easily-ignited Jewish paranoia and the need for defense.

Maybe Israel and the first Zionists ignored the existence of an Arab national sentiment when they came to Israel (when it was still called Palestine). This is entirely possible and even likely, although there is an indication that Arab nationalism, although not approached exactly in the way Arabs would have liked, was recognized by the first Zionists. For the most part, the Zionists didn't want to simply take Arab land; they had a socialist philosophy and they wanted to live in their little Jewish enclaves and work the land, and believed that the Arabs would have invited this socialist approach. It made a measure of sense, but it was a bit naive as well, and the Arabs were a bit closed-minded and didn't like the sudden immigration of Jews. That they were both Jews and European had alot to do with it, and the stuff that was going on in the background. The Arabs were a bit xenophobic. Desperation wise, the Jews coming there were quite desperate, maybe more desperate than the Arabs, but you can't perfectly measure sentiment even if it's true. The British are to blame as well for stirring things up, but they also tried to help Jews and Arabs. Looks like we have alot of the past pinned down, but the present needs to be addressed.

Today, and this doesn't make sense either, Arab youth and even adults seem to view Jews as some kind of racial group, which Jews never attest to being. For example, I've heard Arabs say and write that, for example, "she has a Jewish accent." What the heck is a Jewish accent? That's like saying "Muslim accent." There is a psychological phenomenon where people reflect onto others mental paradigms that they themselves hold. For example, and maybe I'm wrong, Q'uranic/Islamic thought says that Jews believe themselves to be a race (although we never said that), and for that reason they define us in the way that they believe we believe about ourselves. Does that make sense? The word "Jewish" is not an adjective, but I've heard Arabs using it that way: that thing is "Jewish." It's funny at the same time as it is ignorant.

The pre-occupation with Holocaust-denial is an example of this. It seems that Arabs, and maybe this is becuase of the tormet of the last decade or so, Arabs are quite emphatic about turning particular events into rallying points, such as Deir Yassin, Sabra and Shatila, Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount, and Muhammad Dura's death, etc... It's almost like a culture, or a cult. It's true to a certain degree that Jews view, or viewed, the Holocaust in the same way, but I think that Arabs assume that Jews view the Holocaust in the same way that Arabs view, for example, Deir Yassin, or "al Nakba," and therefore put so much energy into showing how it didn't exist, or was played up. I just saw some Iranian intellectuals debating among themselves the exaggerations of the Holocaust. I would say that, maybe, maybe, some Arabs (and Muslims) feel privately guilty about rejecting Israel's establishment the way it did and therefore play down the Holocaust, but I can't be sure.

The late Rabbi Meir Kahane, a very right wing American Jew who lived in Israel, called for the removal of Arabs from Israel and was eventually assassinated by an Arab; I forgot what country he (the assassin) was from. The interesting thing about Kahane, as unpopular among the Israeli left as he was, he made some of the honest and most empathetic comments about the Arab reality in Israel, that it was naive for the Jews to believe that the Arabs would accept their secondary status in Israel, and that it was contuingly naive for the Israeli left to continue to believe that the Arabs are happy with their lives in Israel. Therefore, he argued, that expulsion was the only solution. Until then, he said, Arabs in Israel would continue to wrestle the Israeli estabishment for demographic, civil, and social dominance, and Israel would continue to have to deny them this "right" over and over again, knowing that to endow the Arab Israeli's with it would be utter destruction. The Israeli left would psychotically agrue that the Arabs in fact did NOT want to destroy Israel and were angry because they weren't getting enough, so then liberal Knesset members would advocate for "more rights" and "more equal treatment" for the Arabs. But, Kahane said, the Arabs cannot ever accept their secondary status in Israel, especially in light of the things that you said about how Arabs view Israel in light of what its done. The Arabs in Israel have it worst than any of the Arabs outside of Israel, and the West Bank and Gaza Arabs have it worst than all of them. In the end, he said, either:
1)Israel will become an Arab state

2) the Arabs will continue to be mistreated and rebel

3)Israel will expell them, get a lot of heat for it, but bring peace

4) or Jews will leave Israel

I don't know what the Arabs must do in order to find a way to get along with Israel and to reach internal peace of mind, and I hear alot of people say that America's policies are the culprit, and they probably carry some blame, but the problems are also internal. I don't think that Israel can really do anything to fix the situation, but I do know that our lives (Israel's and Arabs) are intertwined to the point where things have to change.

I too, living in America from age five, loving Zionism, have seen Israeli's be less enthusiastic about it than I, with Zionism being Israeli nationalism. Their morale has sunk there for many reasons, but largely because they are not seeing peace. They have gripped to any philosophy they could to make them happy, many going to liberalism, while it seems that many Arabs have gone to conversativism for the same reason. This is dangerous; Israeli's becoming ultra-liberal and Arabs become ultra-conservative - it's not a recipe for success but for horrible partnerships and injustice. The move towards religiousity has also begun to pick up in Israel, and years ago, while living in America (I still do), I became a religious Jew.

Israeli nationalism, based on culture, and a political identity that did not ensure any cohesion, not to mention flaky moral values, didn't seem to gaurantee Israel, or the Jewish people, with much of a future. That kind of scared me into reality and is one of the reasons I became religious, observant, or Orthodox.

It seems that Arab Muslims and Israeli Jews have certain things in common, but also have many many differences.

Mas'ah 'il-kheer wa shu ismak? Yaniv...

Melissa said...

I don't believe that it ever occurred in Nazi Germany that the government would collect taxes from the Jewish community on behalf of the Judenrat to redistribute for the purpose of building infrastructure for the Jewish Community. With the coming of Hamas, it's become clear how dependent the Palestinians are on the "enemy" government, who set up (yes, it was Israel who organized and guarded the free Palestinian elections). All this time, the Palestinian authority has been either pocketing the most of the money paid in taxes or giving it to terrorists, money intended for schools, roads, and hospitals. I won't claim that Israel has behaved perfectly. Although the Jewish religion requires a higher standard of morality, not every Jew is as perfect as he should be. But the pro-Palestinian masters of propaganda have managed to paint themselves as victims and incite violence against Jews, very much in the way the Nazis had called on the German people to "defend" themselves from Jewish oppression and domination. In the situation of Nazi Germany, it was quite clear who the real oppressors were, and it wasn't the babies who were dying in gas chambers. Now Jews are in a situation of more power, having a world class army with guns, tanks, and high-tech missiles. As is usual through human history, the Palenstinians are blaming the Jews for the utter incompetence and corruption of their own leaders. Their mission to "drive the Israelis into the sea" has gotten much international sympathy under the guise of a heroic resistance, firing missiles at elementary schools. In their free elections, the Palestinians have elected a political party whose objectives mimic that of Hitler's. It makes you think, who are the real Nazis now?

jjew said...

Well said, I have no comment. I like your first scenario, I never thought of that. By the way, just curious, how did you find this blog? Good week, Yaniv...

Philip said...

Comparing someone, anyone, to the Nazis is the standard for anything. Log onto any forum on the Internet and you'll see the comparison used to attack people over shoes, sport, the weather, anything. The Nazis are the architypical, irreproachable evil enemy of Western civilization (and rightly so) but to assume that someone compares Israel to the Nazis because they are anti-Semetic is simply baseless. While anti-Semitism may make someone more likely to make this comparison you cannot say that this comparison equals anti-Semitism. The 'Nazi Insult' is far too widespread in society generally for this to stand up to scrutiny.

Also, the picture at the bottom...historically inaccurate and just generally not helpful. A closed minded, racist semiotic. Not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Jews are innocent victims. Once you can accept that fact you can start to have a grown up conversation about the matter.