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ZGram: Where Truth is Destiny - and Destination!

January 19, 2000

Good Morning from the Zundelsite:

Here is Part II of the WRMEA/Allan Brownfeld essay talking about the abuses to which the "Holocaust is being put - and has been put in the past:


Over time, Israelis began to see parallels between themselves and the Holocaust. They abandoned the Zionist notion that they were "new Jews" free of the ghetto mentality that supposedly characterized the Diaspora, and started to view themselves as the latest in a line of Jewish victims. The Holocaust, once considered a shameful trauma, instead came to be seen as the defining event of the new state.

Finally, the Holocaust came to be used as a weapon against Israel's Arab adversaries, who came to be identified with the Nazis. Prior to the 1967 war with Egypt, Eliezer Livneh, a well-known commentator and former Knesset member for Mapai, wrote in Ha'aretz: "It is more than the Strait of Tiran that is at issue now. What is at issue is the existence or nonexistence of the Jewish people. We must crush the machinations of the new Hitler at the outset, when it is still possible to crush them and survive...Neither the world nor the Jews believed in the sincerity of Hitler's declarations...Nasser's fundamental strategy is the same as Hitler."


Everybody got to be "Hitler" in no time at all - Konrad Adenauer, Helmut Schmidt, Arafat, Nasser, Assad, Saddam Hussein, Libya's Khaddafi. Whoever stood in the way of Israeli policies became a "Hitler", "Nazi", "Neo-Nazi etc. Why, even Yzak Rabin became a "Nazi" before he was killed. What a useful weapon, that ever-present smear! What does the Lipstadt defense team say of David Irving? That he is a "Hitler lover"!


During his term as prime minister, Menachem Begin repeatedly invoked the Holocaust as a justification for his policies. He often compared Yasser Arafat to Hitler, referring to him as a "two-legged beast," a phrase he had used earlier to describe Hitler. Begin compared the PLO's Palestine National Covenant to Mein Kampf.

"Never in the history of mankind has there been an armed organization so loathsome and contemptible with the exception of the Nazis," he said.

On the eve of Israel's invasion of Lebanon in June 1982, Begin told his cabinet, "You know what I have done and what we have all done to prevent war and loss of life. There is no other way to fight selflessly. Believe me, the alternative is Treblinka, and we have decided that there will be no more Treblinkas."


It is important to recall that Israel attacked Lebanon because its Ambassador to London was grazed by a bullet in an assassination attempt. A few hundred thousand people lost their lives. Millions lost their homes and possessions over this one assassination attempt. And all in the name of Treblinka.


A few weeks after the war in Lebanon began, Begin responded to international criticism of Israel, Segev points out, "by repeating a premise that his predecessors had shared: after the Holocaust, the international community had lost its right to demand that Israel answer for its actions.

'No one, anywhere in the world, can preach morality to our people,' Begin declared to the Knesset.

A similar statement was included in the resolution adopted by the cabinet after the massacres in Sabra and Shatila, the Palestinian refugee camps on the outskirts of Beirut...In a letter to President Reagan, Begin wrote that the destruction of Arafat's headquarters in Beirut had given him the feeling that he had sent the Israeli army into Berlin to destroy Hitler in the bunker.


A true megalomaniac speaking in such terms with a US president. Begin was plagued by a severe manic depression condition requiring frequent hospitalization, sometimes forcing him to hold cabinet meetings around his bedside while he underwent treatment for his depressions.


In response to Begin's repeated invocation of the Holocaust to defend his policies in Lebanon, author Amos Oz responded: "Hitler is already dead, Mr. Prime Minister. Adolf Hitler destroyed a third of the Jewish people....Often I, like many Jews, find at the bottom of my soul a dull sense of pain because I did not kill Hitler with my own hands. I am sure that in your soul a similar fantasy hovers. There is not and never will be a cure of this open wound in our souls. Tens of thousands of dead Arabs will not heal this wound."


This is pretty open talk of some deep-seated psychological condition, is it not? So kill Arabs as substitute Hitlers?


(quoting Amos Oz) "But, Mr. Begin, Adolf Hitler died 37 years ago...Hitler is not hiding in Nabatea, in Sidon or in Beirut. He is dead and gone. Again and again, Mr. Begin, you reveal to the public eye a strange urge to resuscitate Hitler in order to kill him every day anew in the guise of terrorists...This urge to revive and obliterate Hitler over and over again is the result of a melancholy that poets must express, but among statesmen it is a hazard that is liable to lead them along a path of mortal danger."


Begin was an assassin and murderer elected prime minister of a state born in violence by violence. He just had a larger force, the IDF, to murder with than he had as a leader of the terrorist Irgun gang back in the 1940s. That hardly qualifies him as a statesman.


Some in Israel seem to learn a universal lesson from the Holocaust and apply it in creating a more humane society. In February 1983, the Knesset held a debate on "Fifty Years Since the Nazi Rise To Power - The Day and Its Lessons."

Yair Tsaban (Mapam), a leader of the Israeli peace movement, said that the most important lesson of the Holocaust was the universal one: "To be on guard, to be alert to every sign of the erosion of democracy, to every inclination toward dictatorship of any type, in any clothing, even if populist or pseudo-leftist. This lesson is accompanied by another lesson: the terrible peril involved in the conjunction of the destruction of democracy and the rise of dictatorship with the cancerous growth of unrestrained, overpowering nationalist madness."


Might he have been talking about what he observed in Israel for the last 50 years?


Others in Israel, however, are learning a different lesson. Young Israelis are sent to visit the Nazi death camps in Europe and are taught a largely narrow and nationalistic lesson.

Segev cites a special booklet, a message for teachers and guides, written by Avraham Oded, the Ministry of Education's director of youth, which includes the following passage: "As we stand beside the death furnaces in the extermination camps, our hearts fill with resentment and tears come to our eyes...Yet while we weep and suffer pain and sorrow over the destruction, our hearts fill with pride and contentment at the great privilege we have of being citizens of an independent Israel...


". . . our hearts fill with resentment"? Against Germans, by the display of faked exhibits, reconstructed gas chambers, fake crematories etc.? Sounds like a hate law might apply.


"We swear before our millions of murdered brothers, 'If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my right hand lose its cunning.' And it is as if we hear the souls crying to us. 'In our deaths, we have commanded you to live. Preserve and defend the State of Israel as your most precious possession.' Then we answer with a full heart, 'May the State of Israel live forever.'"


Pretty blatant use of the Holocaust, wouldn't you say? Can it be called anything else?


(Allan C. Brownfeld, who wrote this article, is a syndicated columnist and associate editor of the Lincoln Review, a journal published by the Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, and editor of Issues , the quarterly journal of the American Council for Judaism.)

(To be continued tomorrow)


Thought for the Day:

"Before I built a wall,

I'd ask to know

What I was walling in

Or walling out.

(Robert Frost)

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