Thursday, 28 January 2010


So Holocaust Day is over and we can get back to our normal practice of forgetting human inhumanity? I must say I feel uncomfortable about being asked to remember only one ghastly example when the suffering continues in Darfur and Burma and Tibet and Western New Guinea. And it's not as if Europe were now safe; the conflicts in Kosovo and Bosnia have been covered over, but without constant vigilance they could start again.

As for Hitler's Holocaust, the memory of it has been contaminated by the way it has been used as a justification of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the continuing oppression of the Palestinians. When Norman Finkelstein exposed this in his book The Holocaust Industry, he was persecuted for it and eventually lost his job. He was not a 'Holocaust-denier', simply a scholar who refused to exploit the past to justify injustice in the present.

Ultimately our problem is the glorified tribalism called nationalism, bane of minorities and spawner of wars. The European Community is an inspiring example of amulti-national society, and what a pity so man of the English are too nationalistic to join in properly.

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