The Holy Trinity: Anti-Semitism, Holocaust and Israel

If you say it is true that you (Germany) massacred and burned six million Jews during the Second World War, if you committed this massacre, why should the Palestinians pay the price? (Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad)

The logic in the above statement is flawless; unable to refute the argument, Western leaders responded with emotional outbursts. If they were to pose the same question to their masses at home, they would see that a significant section of their population hold the same viewpoint as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The context of his remark reminded me of the courageous boy [1], who publicly stated that the Emperor has no clothes, while everyone else remained silent in a state of ‘denial’ or due to ‘fear’.

Similarly, a climate of fear has been generated by the stigma of being labelled as an anti-Semitic; thus, many remain silent while witnessing Zionist crimes. Even some of the anti-Imperialists have been affected; they have labelled the Iraq war, as a war for oil, but the fear of being charged with anti-Semitism, has prevented the Iraq war from also being called a war for Israel. The Zionist entity has undeniably been one of the main beneficiaries of this invasion. Needless, to say that many of the US policy makers, who were architects of the Iraq war, are all pro-Zionist Jews (Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle etc.)

Like Fascism and Nazism, Anti-Semitism is a European phenomenon. For centuries Europe persecuted the Jews, resulting in the regular massacres and pogroms. On the contrary, the Muslims have provided the greatest level of security and hospitality to the Jews. Can anybody cite an event in Islamic history that was fuelled by hatred for the Jews? Before anyone shouts about the only incident from a 1500 year history, i.e. the punishment given to the Jews of Banu Quraydah [2], this was given for their crime of treachery and not for their Jewish identity.

The Jews in fact prospered under tolerant Islamic rule in ways that it never did in intolerant Christian Europe. Islamic Spain is one pertinent example, where the Jews become very prosperous and lived in security for centuries, until the Catholic reconquista that was followed by the genocidal – Catholic Church sponsored inquisition, which resulted in the genocide of Jews and Muslims alike. In the face of such persecution the Jews fled and were invited by the Othmania Khaleef (Ottoman State) - Bayazid II to settle in Othmania lands, notably Istanbul (where over 500 years later, the ancestors of these Jews still reside, speaking their ancestral language of Ladino) and Sarajevo (Bosnia). Even the renowned Orientalist Bernard Lewis, an ardent critic of Islam, accepts that Muslims were remarkably tolerant of their conquered subjects. Lewis’s book Jews of Islam, details the enlightened Islamic approach to Jews.

If establishing a Jewish state was some kind of atonement for the crimes of the West against the Jews, then surely this gesture should have led to the establishment of a Jewish ‘homeland’ in Europe. This point was made to Michael Gove (a British Member of Parliament, a regular contributor to the UK - Times Newspaper) as he argued for the rights of the Jews to have a homeland. But Gove clearly did not like the idea of ‘Israel in Europe’, presumably even less so inside the UK! Michael Gove is like all pro-Israeli Western journalists, who are enthusiastic about the Jewish homeland being in someone else’s territory, just like those who are enthusiastic about giving charity, using someone else’s money!

Few would admit that everything was done to ensure that a Jewish homeland was established outside of Europe and the US, in line with the real sentiments of the West towards the Jews! Thus, establishing Israel in Palestine was not atonement for centuries of anti-Semitism but simply more evidence of it. However, it is absolutely fair to reward the Jews with a homeland where they were most recently resident legally, that is prior to illegally squatting in Palestine since 1948. Now, that would be a recipe for real peace, going back to the 1947 borders and not 1967.

Michael Gove was then asked, why he scorns the Muslims for invoking religion, yet he expects the entire world to accept the legitimacy of the Biblical argument (God apparently gave the land exclusively to the Jews) as a justification for ‘Israel’ and its ethnic cleansing policy. So we as Muslims cannot invoke our religion, it would be fundamentalist to do so, but simultaneously we must accept the abrogated religious verdict from the Rabbis and the Jewish text! This type of view is beyond hypocrisy, it is plainly idiotic. Accordingly, Michael Gove looked confused, his cheeks blushed and he was lost for words! Gove did not seem keen in pursuing the debate any longer as democracy dictates that a Politician has to represent the popular opinion and not what is morally right or wrong.

Religious fundamentalists/fanatics, both Christians and Jews argue that God gave the land of Palestine to the Jews. The secularist argument is that the Jews occupied these lands before the Arabs did. Never mind who occupied the land before the Jews. Also the period of Jewish rule over this region was much smaller compared to everyone else but that is also irrelevant here, what matters is that the Jews were in Palestine before the Arabs. Of course the Palestinians would also argue that they were Arabised and their real roots go back even further before the Jews, back to the Canaanites, the original inhabitants of that land.

In any case, why is the argument of the right of the first settlers, an exclusively Jewish one? By this criteria the indigenous peoples of present day US and Australia have the same right to expel the European occupiers; and I wish someone would find the courage to remind the racist and nasty, pro-Israeli Americans and Australians to lead by example, by giving up their homes to the indigenous populations, next time they rant in favour of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

Paradoxically, the holocaust seems to be a justification for overlooking the Israeli holocaust (how many does one have to kill, in order for it to be defined as a holocaust?) against the Palestinians. If they really suffered so much under the Nazis, why are they behaving like them? One would expect the traumatic experiences of the holocaust to have left a permanent mark on their psyche. Accordingly, Israel and its pro-Zionist brigade should be at the forefront of defending other communities who are being targeted in a similar way. Instead, they are the ones constantly instigating and leading a vicious campaign in demonising the Muslims and Arabs in general, using their disproportionate representation in the Western mass media and the various Western governments. The Jews function using the garb of secularism and nationalism, in that way they conceal their identity while appearing to represent the masses of the West.

The disproportionate focus on the holocaust in defence of Israel has also raised questions like: do the Jews have a monopoly over suffering; are their (Jewish) lives more valuable than others? Twenty million Soviet citizens were killed during World War Two, but that hardly gets the same level of coverage. What about the millions of Native Americans killed in North, Central and South America? What about the millions of Aboriginal peoples who were murdered by convicts from the UK, who were ‘transported’ (dumped) there illegally without a visa or an invite from the native population of Australia? These evidences reinforce the view that the holocaust has become a political tool not a tragic event to be remembered and learnt from.

But why and how has the issue of the holocaust become so sacred within secular nations? One can invoke profanity; offend millions of Muslims and Christians using the license of ‘freedom of expression’ (such as recently in Denmark, where a national newspaper invited its readers to send in cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to be mocked) but challenging the holocaust brings instant condemnation and even prison sentences! Questioning the holocaust is a legitimate right. This is merely a difference of opinion on an historical event. It is not inciting people to commit murder or violence. Why is ‘free speech’ not applicable in this case? Perhaps this is why the US can claim to have a monopoly over ‘free speech’ while it was bombing Al-Jazeerah! ‘Free speech’ has in fact become more absurd than lecturing the inmates in Camp-X-Ray or Abu-Ghraib that they are being ‘softened up’ (tortured) in compliance with the principles of Human Rights!

Disputing the figure of six million Jews being killed, leads to a frenzied response from fanatical pro-Zionist elements, they instantly label you as a ‘holocaust denier’. It is black and white, there seems to be no middle ground. In fact, it was natural to expect the holocaust figures to be initially inflated, because it was part and parcel of post-war propaganda to demonise the enemy. This figure should have been revised over the years. It was not and every effort was made to repress the revisionists by the Western powers because it has become a political tool, often used as justification for oppressing the Palestinians; and it also helps to cover the past war crimes committed by Western powers.

Yamin Zakaria (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
London, UK
Published in 2006

[1] From the fairytale story of “The Emperor’s New Suit” by Hans Christian Anderson. [2] A Jewish tribe which had an alliance with Prophet Muhammad (SAW) but subsequently committed an act of treachery during a battle.

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