Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Final(ly)

Yesterday our seven-year-old son and I once again went to a cafe-restaurant in Haifa, to watch the Dutch football team play another game in the World Cup. A friend of hours, who loves football even more than my son, was supposed to come with us. I counted on her coming, because I did not feel like watching the whole game, I wanted to go out, sit in a cafe nearby, and read a bit. Alas, she could not make it, and I was forced to watch the whole game. I didn't exactly suffer, but I do not have the patience and the nerves for this ( even though I don't really care, I obviously want Holland to win, especially because I see how important it is for my son, each win really makes him happy and proud ). Before, during, and after the game, Israeli television broadcast also from Paradiso, the Tel Aviv pub where a large group of Dutchmen and -women, together with Israeli fans and would-be fans of the Dutch team, watches every game of the Dutch team. We were there three weeks ago, during the Holland - Denmark match. Yesterday I saw Michiel den Hond standing near the IBA reporter. I really felt sorry for the Dutch ambassador. He did not seem to feel very comfortable and happy. Whether that was because he likes football and crowds as much as I do, because he was about the only one who was wearing a suit, or because he was standing right next to Israel's deputy minister of foreign affairs, Danny Ayalon ( a member of the extreme rightwing Israel Our Home party, and in my personal opinion one of the very reasons for Israel's poor international standing ), I don't know.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Come now... The person who made that statement regarding supporting the German team is a Holocaust survivor! Are you really surprised that such people would hold their very personal and extremely bad experience with the (mainly) German people?

My late father, himself a Holocaust survivor, felt the same way about Germany and Poland (where he was born and where he survived the Holocaust). Even while at the same time he recognized that neither all Germans nor all Poles were bad.

Us, who have been fortunate enough to have been spared personal experience of the horrors that make up the Holocaust have no place judging such people.

In a similar way, I would never argue with the Shalit family or with the family of a fallen soldier. Such people, IMHO, have a certain status that holds their opinion in these matters above reproach.

I would fight as hard for the release of my son if he were in the same position of Gilad Shalit and I would never argue the merits of a military action with the parent, sibling, wife or child of a soldier who paid the ultimate price in that action.

Bert said...

Once again, please leave your name (and if you are active online, a link to a website, blog etc.) when you comment here.

I agree with you as far as Gilad Shalit is concerned, although I do not think that paying a high or the ultimate price gives someone immunity from any sort of criticism.

I suppose your comment relates to my previous posting.

Of course every Holocaust survivor can feel as much anger towards Germany or the Germans as he/she wants or needs. My comment was not triggered by such anger but by the ridiculous claim that the Holocaust victims did not suffer what they suffered only to have Israelis support the German squad at a soccer championship in 2010. I'm sorry, but there is no way in which a link between the Holocaust and (support for) this German team can be reasonably justified. Making such claims only helps to trivialize the suffering and the memory of the victims.

In Holland there is an Auschwitz survivor who is active for an anti-Israeli Jewish organization. He often indirectly or directly uses the fact that he was in Auschwitz to provide extra weight to all kinds of anti-Israeli claims (comparisons between Israel and Nazi-Germany, victims who have become perpetrators, etc.). It goes without saying that his fellow Dutch anti-Zionists, particularly the non-Jews among them, are very happy with his support and activism. I once interviewed a wise and wonderful Dutch-Jewish lady whom I admire very, very much. In my book she says about that man: "My God, how dare you! That Hayo Meijer. I also survived Auschwitz, but I will never brag about that." I think we have to be careful with saying "Well, this or that person is a Holocaust survivor, so we do not have the moral right to criticize whatever he or she says." In my opinion, survivors deserve more respect than that.

Bill Ballantine said...

Danny yalon ? ach die man is met een christin in den echt gebonden, moet daarvoor pauselijker dan de paus akteren, vandaar...

Op zich fijn en lekker, een shikse, maar dan het volk komen vertegenwoordigen...kom nou.

Sjuus said...

Die mok van Ayalon een lekker ding? Pffff...
Waarom bleef hij niet met haar daar in de Bible-Belt. Zou daarmee zijn en hare volk een gunst doe. Doen.
Een treife shikse is niet vies...