Friday, May 06, 2016

Stop the Holocaust analogies

From The Times of Israel, 5 May 2016, by Fred Maroun*:
       
Some Zionists feel the need to make analogies between Nazi Germany and Israel.

The latest such occurrence came from no less than IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan. Golan said, “If there is something that frightens me in the memory of the Holocaust, it is identifying horrifying processes that occurred in Europe…70, 80 and 90 years ago and finding evidence of their existence here in our midst, today, in 2016”.

I admire Yair Golan for identifying weaknesses in the IDF and Israeli society and trying to improve them. He is not unique in this among Israelis. It is one of the main reasons why Israel is a light unto the nations. What bothers me however is that he made an utterly unwarranted analogy between Israeli society and pre-Holocaust Germany. 

Does Golan seriously believe that Israel is in any danger of rounding up Arabs and shipping them to death camps? I ask this because this is exactly the extrapolation that the enemies of Israel will make. People whose full-time job is to demonize Israel and the IDF will say, “Even the IDF Deputy Chief of Staff says so”.
 
If there is frustration among Israeli Jews towards Arabs, who in their right mind could blame them? I am an Arab, and I get it. Why doesn’t Golan get it?
 
After almost seventy years of having been welcomed into the Jewish state, many if not most Israeli Arabs still show more loyalty to Palestinian terrorists than to their own state, and they elect Politicians who bring that foul outlook to the heart of Israel’s own Knesset. After almost seventy years of fighting for its survival against a much larger Arab enemy, Israelis still need to fight for their survival and to be subjected to a demonization that is very much reminiscent of pre-Holocaust Europe.
 
The question I ask is not why some Israelis are frustrated towards Arabs. The question I ask is by what miracle they still tolerate Arabs among them. We all know that if the roles were reversed, the Jews would have been massacred long ago.
 
If Golan must make an analogy with the pre-Holocaust Europe then he should look at the Europe of today where one quarter of the French army is needed to protect 717 Jewish schools. He should look at the analogy between the BDS movement of today and the boycott of Jewish businesses in the 1930’s Germany. He should look at the similarity between Iran’s threats against Israel which the world seems to ignore and the Nazis’ threats against Jews which the world also ignored. These are apt analogies to make.
 
Wanting to be better is one thing, and of course neither the IDF nor Israel is perfect, but making inane analogies with the Holocaust is quite another thing. These damaging analogies must stop. Israel and the Jewish people deserve better.
 
 
Fred Maroun
*Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. 
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