We all would say that the Holocaust must 'never again' be repeated. It's time to act like you really mean it.
Terrific article. Here are three other memory-holed contexts:
1) Hamas is an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood whose founders were allies of the Nazis.
2) Israel was founded primarily by indigenous Jews who had lived in the Middle East for millennia and whose thriving communities were ethnically cleansed and pogromed by all the Arab nations in the area. It is not a "white, settler, colonial construct." (When people raise *only* displaced Palestinians, ask them what happened to the Jews in Egypt, Syria, Iran, and etcetera.)
3) "Genocide" exists within the context of race essentialists like Hamas, not Israel: It doesn't describe a major loss of life, but rather the attempt to liquidate an entire people. "Apartheid" exists within the context of countries like China and the old South Africa, not within the context of countries like Israel which provides civil rights to its 2 million Arab citizens, as well as their ability to have political parties, elect members of parliament, and in government, as the Arab line was in the last coalition. "Open air prisons" exist in the context of places like Alcatraz, not Gaza where the wall was only erected after Hamas suicide bombers literally blew up the Oslo Accord's two-state solution by detonating themselves in crowded restaurants, markets and public transportation.
4) There is also the context of a long history of gaslighting and what-about-ism in which Jews are blamed no matter what they do. (Currently, if Israel bombs Hamas targets and civilians die, it is accused of "genocide." But if it escorts them to safety, it is accused of ethnic cleansing.)
This was written with the assumption that the bombardment of Gaza isn't an atrocity or at least won't be considered one in the future. I'm am hoping this Israel action will end in a peace that will have needed this horrific stage. As a Jew, we've been taught how toxic a concoction of equal parts fury, incompetence and confidence can be in a leader...I'm not so sure we aren't the ones rationalizing atrocities now.
Round of applause. We have to mean never again and use our voices to speak against anti-semitism when we hear it. There are things I've stayed quiet on for the sake of keeping the peace in the past. This isn't one of them. Hamas is a murderous group and I wish Israel every success in rooting them out and destroying them. I would hope those who support Palestine would also see that Hamas is brutal to them as well and the best case scenario for everyone's benefit is to eliminate Hamas.
Thank you. Our daughter met and married a Jewish man and has since married and had 3 children. They live just outside of Tel Aviv. I am guilty of in the past turning off “bad news” as I was overwhelmed by it. It is now personal and I have realized I have can not turn it off and must face it and speak up. As a non Jewish person, I now have an inside perspective and it is personal. You have presented what has been swirling in my head and terrorizing my dreams.
Hitler bombed Britain intending to terrorize the civilian population. The Allies bombed back, primarily to eradicate military and infrastructure targets, but not really caring about what the ratio of civilian casualties were. Does that make Britain, America and Canada guilty of war crimes? It was major, kill or be killed warfare. But the Allies didn't set out with the goal to butcher women and children and take them hostage as well. Hamas did. And Hamas wants Gazans killed, the more the better, so the gullible of the world will say 'horrors, naughty Israel', conveniently forgetting or purposely ignoring that Hamas uses Gazans as shield to protect their weapons. Cockroaches have more humanity than Hamas.
History is repeating itself here in Canada, especially in Montreal and to a lesser degree in Toronto. In Montreal, during the 1930s, the publisher of several right-wing newspapers became Hitler’s Canadian lieutenant. While Hitler had his brown shirts, and Mussolini had his black shirts, Adrien Arcand had his blue shirts. He organized huge rallies in Montreal where anti-semitism was used to fuel the demonstrators. Arcand was of a generation of Quebecers whose understanding of their province’s history was found in the writings of Abbe Lionel Groulx who wrote that Quebec would be perfect if only there were no English or Jews within the population. Arcand was greatly influenced by Hitler and adopted much of Hitler’s philosophy — the working class in Quebec were impoverished by big companies which were run by the English or the Jews. This view was adopted again in the 1960s and 1970s by the FLQ to justify their campaign of bombings, kidnapping and eventually murder. Arcand, along with the then mayor of Montreal, Camillien Houde, were interned in a military camp in Petawawa for the duration of World War 2. So we should not be surprised by the large protests and acts of violence in Montreal today. There’s a history of anti-semitism in the province — detailed in “The Swastika and the Maple Leaf “ by Lita Rose Betcherman.
I kept waiting for the article to flip and call out Israel for genocide.
While I know there are those who equivocate about the actions of Hamas generally, and on October 7, 2023, I haven’t seen much of it here in Canada. I do see those who are afraid to criticize Israel’s murder of civilians in Gaza for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic.
I think one can be opposed to what Israel is doing in Gaza AND unreservedly condemn the abhorrent atrocities committed by Hamas
What about that other kind of contextualization? "Yes, how awful that 11,000 Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli bombing but after all, Israel must defend itself".
I think the Israeli people have learned that 'never again' spoken from their western 'allies' actually means 'inevitibly again and again'. And again. And again.
I pray Israel can see this through, for all our sakes.
If Israel is defeated, we will all lose everything.
Sure, but also remember that the policy of the Entente powers after the First World War was to plunder the German empire, starve German of credit, keep Germany constantly on the edge of economic crisis, and cut off East Prussia from the rest of Germany. Far-sighted people after the Paris Peace Conference mourned the Treaty Of Versailles as the start of the Second World War.
When the Great Depression hit, Germany was clobbered by economic trauma and turned to fascists to right the ship. Germany was not so special; every western nation had fascist movements.
A policy of containment, austerity, blockade, land seizure, infantilization, and humiliation will only lead to disaster. Netanyahu has a lot to answer for.
Until we ditch the woke religion we will be unable to solve our spiralling problems. Recommend Jonathan Rauch’s “The Constitution of Knowledge” be compulsory in high school and as a prerequisite for university entry.
Ah yes, the use and misuse of history to justify one's point of view! People typically use comparisons to Nazi Germany to stifle questions and debate, to present complex problems in black and white. In this case, which side are the Nazis and which are heros depends precisely on where you sit and your protagonist of choice.
Tying yourself to history is like tying yourself to a boat anchor, forced to drag it around like Sysiphus and his damn rock.