[Khalid Amayreh is an American-trained journalist who lives with his young family in the West Bank:



He is a member of various groups working for peace.  Ed Kent]


In the name of the holocaust

By Khalid Amayreh

18 April, 2007

“This morning we saw pictures of the Warsaw ghetto at Yad Vashem and this evening we are going to the Ramallah ghetto.”

German Bishop Gregor Maria Franz Hanke during a visit to Ramallah in  March 2007

Last week, Israel marked the “Holocaust Day” in West Jerusalem amid the usual fanfare of sanctimonious  rituals, never-again speeches and glorification of Zionism.

The solemn but also highly propagandistic occasion is manipulated to the fullest by Zionist leaders in order to justify the crime against humanity, otherwise known as “the state of Israel.”

This year, too, Zionist leaders preyed on the memories of holocaust victims by  seeking to blackmail  the collective conscience of the world into recognizing the “uniqueness of Jewish pain” ” as if non-Jews were children of a lesser God and their pain was unimportant.

Thus we had the political and ideological  gurus of Zionism, from the morbidly sanctimonious Elie Wiesel to the pathologically duplicitous  Ehud Olmert berate the world for the “reincarnation of anti-Semitism,” a deliberately twisted reference  to legitimate  criticisms of nefarious  treatment of Palestinians, including the adoption of such policies as apartheid, ethnic cleansing and the use of brutal tactics for the purpose of forcing the victims of Zionism to leave their ancestral homeland.

Nobody does or should question the enormity of the holocaust. Doing so, besides being morally unconscionable, serves the interests of Zionism, which has morphed  the Holocaust Industry into  a virtual religion that  encompasses even Judaism itself.

However, manipulating  the holocaust to justify the treatment Israel has been meting out to millions of  helpless Palestinians is no less obscene and no less outrageous than the utilization by the Third Reich  of the outcome of the First World War  to wage war on Europe and cause the death of tens of millions of people.

All humanity had suffered through history, recent, past and distant. Nobody, not even Jews, could claim that the suffering of one group is more special and more unique than the suffering of others.

Russia, for example, lost tens of millions to the Nazis in the course of the Second World War. The same thing applies to other European peoples, who too, suffered immensely. The Gypsies were also incinerated and gassed in great numbers in Hitler’s liquidation chambers, but we see no holocaust memorials perpetuating the memory of these hapless and unwept  victims as if they were lesser and insignificant human beings.

Of course, nobody objects to Jews commemorating the holocaust and reminding humanity of its evils. I, too, would join conscientious Jews in remembering the victims of Nazism.  However, remembering, when done in the wrong way, can be worse than forgetting.

The world, including Jews, doesn’t have to choose between “remembering” or “forgetting” the holocaust or any other enormous crime against humanity. Instead, the choice should be between learning the “right” or “wrong” lessons.

Today, in the name of the holocaust, Israel wants the world to give her a carte blanch to commit another holocaust against the helpless and virtually completely unprotected Palestinians.

In the name of the holocaust and the  “never-again mantra,” Israel wants the world to allow it to commit every conceivable crime and every abominable  violation of human rights in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, from murdering school children on their way to school “for security reasons” to shooting pregnant women on their way to hospital (also for security reasons) to dumping tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians into modern-day concentration camps deep in the Negev desert.

Indeed, in the name of the holocaust, Israel has been hounding,  brutalizing and tormenting four million impoverished Palestinians, barring them from accessing food and work, and utterly ravaging  their lives and livelihood as well  destroying their streets, colleges, bridges, and power stations. And, as if  these obscenities were not enough, the Israeli state has  augmented its oppression with an Satanic wall that is  effectively reducing  the bulk of Palestinian population centers into updated versions of the Ghetto Warsaw.

In short, the holocaust and the memory of its victims, have been used and are being used  outrageously and relentlessly by Israel in order to justify and legitimize  crimes against humanity that,  while not as enormous as the holocaust in their magnitude, have non the less  many similarities with it in terms of their brutality, insidiousness and  criminality.

The holocaust, we all know, didn’t start with Auschwitz or Bergen Belsen. It started with a book,  some  sporadic acts of harassment,  a Kristalnacht, and some discriminatory laws against Jews,  things very much like what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians

Today Israel is on its way to being a fully-fledged apartheid state. It systematically discriminates against its non-Jewish citizens in ways  reminiscent of the overall German discourse against Jews in the mid 1930s.

One ominous portent is the fact that a majority of Israeli Jewish citizens, who are bombarded  24 hours per day by  virulent anti-Arab propaganda, readily support the deportation of non-Jewish citizens who make up nearly a quarter of Israel’s population.  Needless to say, this state of affair is very similar to the state of affair that prevailed  in Germany  prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Unfortunately, the holocaust, which was perpetrated by Europeans, has caused European states to go morally blind, a blindness that, even today, is preventing most Europeans from seeing the outrageous crimes committed by their former victims against the Palestinians, Germany’s and Europe’s victims’ victims.

Europe has been either completely silent, or blithe,  or actively and enthusiastically supportive of  crimes against humanity Israel has been perpetrating against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples.

Last year, Israel dropped as many as 3000,000 cluster bomb-lets throughout Lebanon as, we were told,  a ” defensive action” against Hizbullah.

The three million bombs, for those who still don’t know, are sufficient to kill three million children. In other words, they could cause a holocaust, or at least half a holocaust by Jewish calculations.

Unfortunately, this outrage drew only sporadic, shy or half-hearted criticism from European leaders who never stop lecturing the Third world, especially the Muslim world, about human rights and terror.

This is no less than a moral whoredom on the part of Europe. Allowing Israel to turn the holocaust into a propaganda asset, as Israeli journalist Amria Hass wrote recently, enables the Israeli state  to further oppress the Palestinians and legitimize the oppression.

“Turning the holocaust into an asset,” wrote Hass, ” allows Israel to present all the methods of the Palestinian struggle (even  the unarmed ones) as another link in the anti-Semitic chain whose culmination is Auschwitz. Israel provides itself with the license to come up with more kinds of fences, walls and military guard towers around Palestinian enclaves.”

Indeed, Europe’s, especially Germany’s, obsequious, even acquiescent,   reactions to Israel’s  unmitigated crimes against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples shows that Europe has not learned the right lesson from the holocaust.

It shows that Europe is atoning for one holocaust by adopting policies that effectively encourage and facilitate the perpetration of another holocaust.

If this is not moral whoredom, then what is it?


“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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