There is no denying that the Holocaust
, and the long and odious history of anti-Semitism
, have left pathological marks not only in Jew
s as individuals and as a group, but in the conscience of the world.
Reactions of Jew
s range from denial to obsession. Both extremes are pathological, and both extremes coexist not only in Jewish society, but within individuals. Every person's thinking and emotions about the subject may contain elements of both pathologies, creating a constant inner struggle with the issues, and a fruitful field for development of guilt complexes and inferiority.
At one end of the spectrum, the Norman Finkelstein psychopaths rant about the "Holocaust Industry." There are many who minimize not only the Holocaust
, but the entire history of anti-Semitism
. At the other extreme there are Jew
s who insist that their identity is centered around the Holocaust
, and that only when they visited Auschwitz or participated in the march of the living did they feel truly Jewish. And there are non-Jews who somehow can only relate to Jew
s as objected of pity. That sort of morose identity, in my view, is not worth having, and it is not worth perpetuating and bequeathing to our children. It is certainly wrong to expect a "free pass" for anything Jew
s might do because of the Holocaust
There are Jew
s and non-Jews who insist that the entire history of anti-Semitism
was invented by "Zionists" and that in reality, Jewish life in the Diaspora
was mostly a wonderful story, punctuated by some "unfortunate indignities" and "incidents" that were similar to the fate of many nations and peoples. Or else there is an insistence that the "bad old days" are now passed. The optimist in every one of us wants to believe it. Forgetting and minimizing the past is convenient and less embarrassing for gentiles as well. Everyone wants to think of their ancestors as honored sages and men and women of valor. Nobody wants to dwell on grandpa and grandma running down the street to escape pursuers, hiding in hay stacks to save their lives.
I will burden you with only a few examples. In the town of Proskurov, in February of 1919, about 2000 Jew
s were murdered in a pogrom
. The New York Times wrote
The first of a new series of events which leave the scope of ordinary pogroms and assume the character of slaughter occurred in a city which will forever be written in letters of blood on the pages of Jewish history.
But Proskurov was not remembered. It has been virtually forgotten. In fact, during the Russian Civil War, between 50,000 and 200,000 Jews were killed in pogroms in the area of the Ukraine and Poland. The Ukrainians insist that they didn't do it, it was the Russians. The Russians insist that it was the Ukrainians. The Jews mostly do not want to remember. As for Proskurov, it has been wiped off the map. Appropriately enough, with wry humor, the Ukrainian government renamed the town Khmelnitzky, after the Ukrainian national hero. celebrated in many monuments. Khmelnitsky's major achievement was that he himself, together with his bands, killed up to 200,000 Jews in the seventeenth century. He was a pioneer in the field, you see.
In the town of Jedwabne in Eastern Poland, on July 10, 1941, all the evidence shows that the Poles (not the invading Germans) crowded all the Jews of the town into a barn and set the barn alight. Though the Polish government has apologized to the Jewish people, a great many people in Jedwabne insist that the murders were not done by Poles, and that the agitation is all a Jewish plot. Nonetheless, the Poles of Jedwabne continue to occupy the houses they stole from their victims. Norman Finkelstein's "Holocaust Industry" book is very popular in Jedwabne.
If we needed any further proof that anti-Semitism is alive and well, it was provided by the cynical farce of the Durban conference sponsored by the UN. The conference gave a platform to the Holocaust denying Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. To their credit, a number of countries including Poland and Germany boycotted the conference, and more delegates walked out on Ahmadinejad's speech. But many more delegates stayed and applauded his racist incitement. And a day after the speech, the United Nations is trying to whitewash the proceedings, suppressing legitimate protest and pretending everything is fine. The Swiss president met with the nice Ahmadinejad and observed that Switzerland is neutral. Between good and evil, Switzerland is neutral. That was their stand in World War II as well.
The organization that was formed to keep the peace and fight racism after World War II has instead convoked a conference to legitimize racism and honor a racist, and to help provide the familiar buzz of discreetly organized anti-Semitic propaganda that usually precedes any pogrom.
As William Faulkner remarked, and as events keep on proving, "The past is not dead. It is not even past." The anti-Semitism industry is far older and more successful than any real or imagined "Holocaust Industry." Just because we are paranoid, does not mean there are not people out to get us. Jews should one day be healed of the obsession with the Holocaust. But that can only happen when the world is healed of its pathological obsession with the Jews.
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Replies: 5 Comments
May one observe that the term Holocaust has through overuse been rendered into a thoroughly imprecise terms for almost any act of violence by one community against another. Those that use this term so liberally rightly identify the strength of association with the genocidal and other violenmt acts perpetrated by the Nazi regime and their allies against Jews, Gypsies and others. Mr Finkelstein uses the term in the same way to apprioriate the same degree of horrow and condemnation, plus to award the actions of the IDF with the extra piquancy by accusing a predominantly Jewish formation with crimes that parallel those of the 1939-1945 Holocaust.
While the IDGF may have committed war crimes against the Gazan population the use of the term Holocaust devalues the status of this. Everyone knows that the IDF have not rounded up the Gazans and gassed 90% of them. Everyone knows that the Gazans are not a wholly unarmed civilian population that has not executed a single act against a neighbouring state.
From my reading of Mr Finkelstein's tracts it seems that he is more concerned with attracting attention to himslef that progressing understand of the complexities of the Middle East. Whatever Mr,. Finkelsteing may think he is, he is certainly no friend of the Palestinians - much like many people who like to crowd around this intractable conflict.
Rod Davies, Monday, April 27th
Dear Mr. Berg:
How many Jews do you think died in the Holocaust:
3 - 70,000
4 - 6,000,000
If you think the first or second answers are correct, you agree with Finkelstein's evident view of the Holocaust.
For Finkelstein insists that Israel is committing a "Holocaust" in Gaza. Where are the mass murders and the mass graves? There are none in Gaza, so there must've been none for the Jews either. Of course, that is not the only evidence that Finkelstein is a sort of Holocaust denier, but it is one type of evidence.
Israel Is Committing A Holocaust In Gaza: Norman Finkelstein By ...
BRUSSELS -- According to Finkelstein, Israel, a state built on the ashes of the Holocaust, is now committing a holocaust against Palestinians in Gaza. ...
Zionism-Israel, Monday, April 27th
This is a gross mischaracterization of Norman Finkelstein's views. Finkelstein in no way minimizes the history of anti-Semitism nor the Holocaust. He criticizes the way the Holocaust has been used to both justify Israeli policies and extort money from Swiss banks. If you have a problem with those ideas, you should criticize those ideas, not misrepresent Finkelstien.
Michael Berg, Monday, April 27th
It's true, the world has an obsession with Jews and I don't know why...Jews are people just like everyone else...
Jewish, Thursday, April 23rd
ZIONISM IS ARCISm ideology. must be destroy it.
pres, Tuesday, April 21st
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