Monday, 28 January 2013
I was really angry with Tony Blair when he introduced Holocaust Day, not because I think we should forget Hitler's crimes, nor because I think people like Netanyahu are in the same class for criminality, but because we need a Genocide Day to remind us that people were and are capable of monstrous acts in the name of racial or ethnic or religious purity or supremacy. We have seen it again in Rwanda and the Balkans, not to mention Tibet and Western New Guinea. Singling out the Holocaust is regrettable because it is used by Zionists to silence critics of Israel (see The Holocaust Industry by Norman Finkelstein, son of Holocaust survivors). The latest instance is a LibDem MP, David Ward, who made the valid point that the Israeli government is conducing a slow ethnic cleansing. His mistake was to use the word 'atrocity', which is best reserved for things like disembowelling people or burying them alive. What some Israelis do is better described as gross oppression and injustice. Secondly, Ward blamed 'the Jews'. He has fallen for the Zionist trick, which is to persuade the world that all Jews are Zionists. Zionism is based on two ideas: that Jews are a race and a nation rather than a religious community, and that Jews will always and everywhere be in danger until they are all gathered in to Israel. In fact many people who are labelled Jewish are neither Zionist nor religious, and there are probably more Christian than Jewish Zionists (many of them keen to 'send the Jews back where they belong'). It is a vicious circle: the more Zionists identify Israel with 'the Jews', the more Jewish people will be held responsible for Israel's crimes, and the more anti-Semitism will be perpetuated, seeming to justify Zionism. Meanwhile Muslims, who for centuries protected the ancient Jewish communities of Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran and India, get all the stick.