Wednesday, March 21, 2007

28% of Israeli Arabs Deny the Holocaust -

According to a March 18, 2007 article by the Associated Press, 28% of Israeli Arabs deny the Holocaust. That’s somewhere in between one quarter and one third. Can you imagine if 28% of America’s white population denied that American blacks were oppressed and mistreated in the United States’ own history?

Based on the findings of Sami Smoocha, “a prominent sociologist at the University of Haifa,” “radicals in the Arab world believe the Holocaust to be a political event, and many feel that by denying it they are expressing opposition to Israel.”

I am a strong advocate that today’s generation of Jews should have already, and if not, then it needs to, shed some of the persistent anxieties about the Holocaust (which is different than forgetting it). But the issue remains; denying a confirmed event, which was a product of World War II and Hitler’s attempt to take over the world, has no place in the lexicon of Palestinian resistance to the State of Israel’s existence. How deep is the abyss between historical truths and reality among radical hatred in the Palestinian towns that the veracity of the entire Holocaust will be downplayed just to stick it to the Jewish State? Can the “radicals” involved really have free reign to smudge history as they please in order to recreate a new picture that they find more suitable? What about the countless other tens of millions of people, non-Jews, whom were murdered in the Holocaust; do the radicals also deny that? That Hitler also targeted Poles, Russians, Czechs, Gypsies, homosexuals, and others was as well part of the Zionist plot to take land from the Palestinians? We must grasp the mythical importance to the Palestinian story of underplaying the veracity of the Holocaust, but we also must understand how it factors into reality.

But the statistics of the poll are not pure theory; according to the study, “Among Israeli Jews, 63 percent said they avoid entering Arab towns and cities, and 68 percent fear the possibility of civil unrest among Israeli Arabs.” These are Arab towns and cities in Israel, not the dreary images of West Bank municipalities, but areas into which an unseasoned visitor to Jerusalem, Haifa, Akko, or Tel-Aviv, cities in “Israel Proper,” might accidentally stroll. These aren’t Arabs who thrust their rifles into the air, they are the people who drive Israeli buses, maintain Israeli roads, guard Israeli post-office entrances, and shop in Israeli malls and stores.

Regarding “the Lebanon incursion,” Smoocha found that “While 89 percent said they viewed the IDF's bombing of Lebanon as a war crime, only 44 percent said they saw Hizbullah's attacks on Israel as such.” It is important to understand that large populations of Israeli Arabs live in northern Israel, which is where the some 4,000 Lebanese rockets landed. Smoocha “expressed surprise” with his findings, explaining that, “One would have expected more pro-Israeli results among Israeli Arabs due to the uniqueness of the most recent war: a war with no involvement of the Palestinians, a war in which the lives and belongings of Israelis were endangered, a war against an Islamic fundamentalist group that most of them don't support.”

Israeli-Arab Member of Knesset Ahmed Tibi said that he could not explain the numbers indicating support of Hizbullah, but said that, “usually there is no empathy for the aggressor,” referring to Israel, not Lebanon. That would explain the 89%.

He also said that the Holocaust was “the worst crime ever against humanity,” against humanity, not against the Jews. Humanity didn’t need a Zionist state.

Also according to Tibi, “some of the sentiments [of Holocaust denial] might stem from ‘reservations about the way the Holocaust is used as a political tool.’”

At the end of the day, I can’t blame the Israeli Arabs; Israel is the foolish one. It is a misnomer to suggest that Israel should allow Arab Members of Knesset the freedom to say such inflammatory things against the State in which they live. It is really Israel’s fault, which should have long become aware that the Arab population tends to feel that Israel doesn’t have many rights, yet they are still afforded the practical freedom to say and do much of what they please.

Ah, but one could say, “Yaniv, Israel is a democracy.” True, but the Israeli democracy has not done or said anything to show that it is unacceptable to support policies that reject the veracity of Israel’s existence, while pressure is put on Jewish Members of Knesset to conform to particular viewpoints. If such thing curbing applies to Jews in the Knesset as part of its competitive nature, which can said to be sometimes unfair, why does it maneuver around the Arab Knesset party “United Arab List?”

In a March 20, 2007 article by the Jerusalem Post, Member of Knesset Taleb a-Sanaa, also in the United Arab List party, is quoted as saying, “The international community should positively consider boycotting Israel, which is endangering the stability of the region.” His statement refers to a group of yeshiva students who “moved into a Hebron home formerly owned by a Palestinian who claimed not to have sold them the house.” Would it be acceptable if a Jewish Member of Knesset said the same thing with regards to the same incident?

“According to Hebron Jewish community spokesman David Wilder, representatives of the community purchased the building through an office in Jordan for the sum of $700,000.”

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