Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Weaponising Jewish Suffering in order to Inflict More Suffering

It takes the genius of imperialism’s ideological and propaganda offensive to turn the industrial annihilation of 6 million people into a propaganda weapon in aid of further suffering and murder.  Israel, a state that has either murdered or helped murder some quarter of a million people since its formation, has made the misuse of the holocaust into an art form.  It is a state which has created some 6 million Palestinian refugees by way of compensation for the Jewish dead of Europe.  Except for the small matter that the Palestinians were not, despite the best attempts of Netanyahu and Zionist ideologues, responsible for the death of the Jews of Europe.  [see rewriting the holocaust]

Harvey Garfield, Roberta Moore of the Jewish Defence League and Jonathan Hoffman, Vice Chair of the Zionist Federation demonstrating outside Ahava with the EDL (in army fatigues at rear)
One would have thought that the most obvious of lessons from the Holocaust was that if the Western countries had opened up their doors to the Jews of Europe, then millions could have been saved.  But that of course would not fit with the present racist politics of immigration control, to say nothing of anti-Muslim racism, which pervades Europe and the United States.  If the lesson of not turning away refugees from our shores were to apply, then we would be queuing up to grant permission for Syria’s refugees to enter this country.
Stephen Pollard, far-right Editor of Jewish Chronicle and ex-editor of Daily Express, leapt to the defence of European anti-Semites as long as they were Zionists
David Cameron however cannot find it within himself to even allow 3,000 refugee children to enter Britain.  They are just a ‘bunch of migrants’ a ‘swarm’ and little more than a pestilence.  Allowing them in will only encourage others.  Yet nothing that is said today wasn’t said in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  The idea that if we let one Jew in then we will have to allow more in was the prevalent orthodoxy.  In the United States under baleful influence of Breckenridge Long, an Assistant Secretary at the State Department, even the miserable quotas for Jewish refugees that did exist were not fulfilled.  It took until 1944 until Henry Morgenthau, the US Treasury Secretary, ousted him.  Breckenridge Long was however a strong supporter of the Zionist movement.
The EDL attack Birmingham PSC stall - flying the Israeli flag and giving the Hitler salute!
And the Tory press that is today so vehemently anti-immigration when it comes to Syrian and other asylum seekers, was equally hostile to Jews in the 1930’s and during the mass immigration of refugee Jews from the  pogroms in Czarist Russia.  As Tony Kushner of Southampton University observed, "The Daily Mail has been an anti-alien newspaper since the 1900s. There's great continuity."  Its owner Lord Rothermere was a  Hitler supporter.  On 20 August 1938 an article fulminated that "The way stateless Jews from Germany are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage... (it is) a problem to which the Daily Mail has repeatedly pointed.’’  The Daily Hate Mail is very prone to outrage.
Jonathan Hoffman with fascist activists outside Ahava
The Sunday Express was also outraged about the perils of Jewish immigration:  “There is a big influx of foreign Jews into Britain. They are overrunning the country. They are trying to enter the medical profession in great numbers. Worst of all many of them are holding themselves out to the public as psychoanalysts.

The newspaper went on to explain that psychoanalysts, of whom there were a number of Jews ‘often obtain an ascendancy over the patient of which bad use can be made if the psychoanalyst is a base man.”

The British establishment, from Churchill down, excelled themselves.  A certain R. Dew, a Foreign Office official was of the opinion that ‘a disproportionate amount of time in this office is wasted in dealing with these wailing Jews'.  Another official, A.W.G. Randall, head of the Foreign Office Refugee Department, worried in December 1943, after which some 5 million Jews had been killed, that 'once we open the door to adult male Jews to be taken out of enemy territory, a quite unmanageable flood may result.’  And another official believed that ‘(Hitler may facilitate it!)'
See ‘Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945’- London and Oxford: Institute of Jewish Affairs and Clarendon Press, 1979.
Stephen Pollard in the Guardian defending pro-Zionist anti-Semite Kaminski
Churchill was of the opinion, as he wrote after the war, that: 'There were known to be twenty thousand organised Nazis in England at this time'. A sentiment which the liberal Manchester Guardian supported.    It has now been updated to a belief that amongst the Syrian and other refugees, there may be hiding ISIS moles.

We can however thank Donald Trump for his honesty in wishing to ban all Muslims from the shores of the United States.  President Obama is pursuing exactly the same policy, not by legislation but by administrative decree.  Muslims are now finding that their ability to travel to the United States has been revoked at a moment notice.  Revealed: 20 British Muslimfamilies 'stopped' from entering US amid fears 'Trump ban is already in place'

That is why I have always been opposed to Holocaust Memorial Day.  It isn’t a means of renewing our anti-racism but a means of glorifying present day racism.  The holocaust has become a means of defending not only the Israeli state and its racist barbarities but western civilisation as a whole.  It is the way that racism in Europe, not least in Germany, cleanses its conscience at the expense of the Palestinians.

In Britain we can see this in the way fascist organisations like the English Defence League and the British National Party openly proclaim their support for Israel and their hostility to the Palestinians.  We even had the obscenity of leading Zionist activists such as Jonathan Hoffman and Harvey Garfield, demonstrating alongside the English Defence League at the demonstrations outside Israel’s ‘beauty’ products shop, Ahava, in London.  Likewise the tie up between Zionist activists and the Jewish Nazi Jewish Defence League.  In Birmingham the EDL attacked a Birmingham PSC stall flaunting the Israeli flag in one hand and giving Hitler salutes with the other!

Indeed across Europe far-right and fascist organisations are, almost uniformily, pro-Israel.  People like the anti-Semitic Polish politician, Michal Kaminski combined hostility to Poland Jews with avid support for Israel.  In this they receive fulsome support from leading Zionists such as the Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard who wrote that ‘"Far from being an anti-Semite, Mr Kaminski is about as pro-Israeli an MEP as exists."  Which of course is true.  You can be pro-Israeli and virulently anti-Semitic!  See Pollard – Upset by Corbyn’s‘anti-Semitism’ but a devotee of the anti-Semitic Michael Kaminski.   

Tony Greenstein

Obama after his speech at Israeli embassy Jan. 27, 2016, on CSPAN

This is taken from Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss.

As International Holocaust Remembrance Day dawned, I was in the Philippines on a month-long teaching and speaking tour. In the Philippines, remembering the Holocaust feels different. The experience of devastation and suffering is ongoing here. When Filipinos look back to their history of suffering, they see their future.

For Filipinos, the future is different than the future Jews around the world experience. Rather than empowerment, with the unbridled and increasing aid Israel receives from the United States, the Philippines remains dependent and vulnerable to American imperial power. It’s unlikely that the current or any future president of the Philippines will be invited to address Congress as Prime Minister Netanyahu did some months ago. Prime Minister Netanyahu was critical of the proposed US deal with Iran. If a Filipino president addressed Congress, and was honest, what would he or she have to say?

So when President Obama declared at the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C, that “We are all Jews,” Filipinos might wonder how that applies to them. If it did apply, the Philippines would soon have a memorial museum in proximity to the Mall in Washington. Such a museum would commemorate their martyrs to the Spanish, the Japanese and, yes, to the Americans. What would that museum be named?

To internationalize Holocaust remembrance, it must cease being Jewish in time and place. Or become truly Jewish in light of Israel and the Palestinians. With the organized, systematic and permanent oppression of the Palestinian people by Israel, with the enablement of Jews in America and the United States government, the Holocaust has ceased to be a prophetic warning for the future. The Holocaust has become an imperial export that continues the cycle of violence and atrocity in different parts of the world, often in its name.

Later that day, I lectured on a Jewish theology of liberation and paid tribute to those Jews who mined the meaning of the Holocaust for Jews and others. Holocaust thinkers probed deeply the disconnection between God and the Jewish people and human endeavor and ethics, as a challenge to Jews and humanity. Yet the trajectory of Holocaust thought is Israel, unmindful of the horrific suffering Israel is causing the Palestinian people. Such thought then censors dissent on the consequences of the use of the Holocaust as a blunt instrument against the Palestinian people.
With the suffering of the Palestinians in mind, I moved quickly to the second “after” of Jewish life. After the Holocaust, yes, but also after what Jews in Israel and beyond have done and are doing to the Palestinian people. If indeed “We are all Jews,” then Jews, too, must contemplate how the memory of the Holocaust functions to the detriment of others. It must be a critical force against the misuse of Jewish power

My Filipino audience resonated with the Holocaust’s dual after’s precisely because the onslaught here continues. But it isn’t only the Philippines where both after’s apply. The truly international importance of Holocaust remembrance awaits a further exploration as the fiftieth anniversary of Israel’s permanent occupation of Palestine looms. When that exploration is named internationally, the horror of Holocaust will remain. It may even be disentangled from those who trumpet the Holocaust as an imperial and colonial power over others.

It is little wonder that Goebbels wrote in his Diaries (12.12.42.) that ‘At bottom, however, I believe both the English and the Americans are happy that we are exterminating the Jewish riff-raff.’ (Henry Feingold, the Politics of Rescue, p. 169)

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