Saturday, April 02, 2005

Regarding "Remember what? Remember how?" by Uri Avnery, IHT, March 26-27, 2005 ( Published in the IHT, April 2-3, 2005 ): Along with the cynical use by Israeli diplomats of the opening of the renewed, impressive museum at Yad Vashem, Uri Avnery's article proves once again that the Holocaust/Shoah has become an event of all seasons, which can be used by anybody for his or her personal - often political - goals. Mr Avnery is right, the concept of the exclusiveness of the Holocaust can lead to despicable perversions, but it does not necessarily have to. Personally, I do not need the Holocaust to know that Israel's occupation of the Westbank and the Gaza Strip is wrong. Claiming, as Mr Avnery does, that the Shoah should propel us towards a universal struggle against all that is evil in this world is as much a contemptuous exploitation of that period of Jewish history as are the ways in which some of the settlers have been defiling the memory of the millions of Holocaust victims. By the way, that so many Israeli and other Jewish leaders and opinion makers have often been crying wolf regarding the anti-Semitic character of criticism aimed at Israel's policies does not change the fact that "the painting of a swastika on a Jewish tombstone" is much more than simply an "insignificant incident".

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