Remember when neocon David Frum slamdunked Obama for saying Holocaust was basis for Israel’s existence?

Israel/Palestine
on 50 Comments

In its determination to probe the Israeli psyche to a hermetic degree, The Times has a report up about young Israelis getting tattoos on their arms to commemorate the numbers their ancestors got in Auschwitz. The piece ends in Jerusalem with a comment by Doron Diamant, 40, after he got a number tattoo to remember his ancestor Yosef.

“This is the reason [the tattoo artist] sits here, this tattoo and what this number represents,” Mr. Diamant said. “We got the country because of these people.”

The statement recalled a controversy 3 years ago. Obama in the late-lamented Cairo speech:

America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known.  This bond is unbreakable.  It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied. Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust.

This upset neocon David Frum, a leading proponent of the Iraq war, who wrote:

About Israel’s origins, the President said: “The aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied” — that is, as he proceeded to explain, in the history of the Nazi Holocaust.
 
Jews could tell him that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland in Zion long antedates the horror of 1933-45. “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand lose its cunning,” is a verse far less obscure than the story of Isra and at least a thousand years older. Worse, the President’s mention of the Nazi Holocaust as justification for the Jewish state invites the unanswered question, “Why should Arabs and Muslims surrender land because of a German crime?”

Good question.  

Re the hermeticism of the Times piece, Jodi Rudoren interviewed “10 tattooed descendants… [who] wanted to live the mantra ‘Never forget’”. And yes, she also questioned the impulse:  

Arguments rage about whether that approach trivializes symbols long held as sacred and whether the primary message should be about the importance of a self-reliant Jewish state in preventing a future genocide or a more universal one about racism and tolerance.

But then she let it drop; and the phrase in the headline, “Their Skin Says ‘Never Forget’” captures the mood of the piece. Ten interviews– and interviews are hard work. Is it really the business of the Times to be exploring the Israeli psyche in such a respectful manner when this society is becoming a pariah nation because of its unending occupation? One of these young tattoo-eds got it after a trip to Auschwitz in Poland. Yoav Shamir showed how these trips were used to indoctrinate the view that the world wants to kill Jews. I wish the Times readers could have heard about that.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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50 Responses

  1. mijj
    October 1, 2012, 12:00 pm

    what symbol do Palestinians use to remember *their* holocaust?

    .. oh .. they don’t need a memory aid .. it’s ongoing.

  2. Ira Glunts
    October 1, 2012, 12:10 pm

    Phil,

    Good catch and good points. I just finished reading the piece about ten minutes ago and had exactly the same reaction.

    As I wrote to the friend who had forwarded the piece to me:

    “The remembrance conundrum is reflected in the great title of Dan Ben-Amotz’s holocaust remembrance novel which translates perfectly into English: ‘To Remember, To Forget.’”

    • Philip Weiss
      October 1, 2012, 1:05 pm

      I wish I could take credit, Ira. A friend sent me the idea this morning. Shoulda credited him, even anonymously. Tipsters make journalists look smart. Or they try anyway

    • Shmuel
      October 2, 2012, 2:32 am

      “The remembrance conundrum is reflected in the great title of Dan Ben-Amotz’s holocaust remembrance novel which translates perfectly into English: ‘To Remember, To Forget.’”

      “You shall wipe out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens. You shall not forget.”

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2012, 5:46 am

        Jews could tell him that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland in Zion long antedates the horror of 1933-45. “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand lose its cunning,” is a verse far less obscure than the story of Isra and at least a thousand years older.

        That’s an example of the remembrance conundrum. It would be much more appropriate in Frum’s case to write “Beside the River Potomac we sat and wept as we thought of Toronto.” The identity of the author of Psalms 137 is pretty obscure, but it’s a given that he was writing about Jews whose homeland was Zion, not a bunch of foreigners who aspired to establish one there someday.

        The Psalmist certainly wasn’t speaking for all Jews or for all times. Many Jews refused to abandon their new homeland in Babylonia in favor of Jerusalem. As a result, Babylon became the great center of Middle Eastern Jewish civilization for many centuries.

  3. Kathleen
    October 1, 2012, 12:16 pm

    One of the telling facets of “never forget” for the majority of Jews is that slogan generally only refers to crimes committed against Jews. If our MSM etc would focus on all of the genocides. Even the most recent one in Iraq which was directly caused by the U.S. invasion. Not just the Holocaust and not just the Jews who were horrifically murdered in that war.

  4. Krauss
    October 1, 2012, 12:30 pm

    On the Holocaust thing.

    Obama actually got it quite right, which is why Frum was so outraged.

    I remember reading an article on YNet that stated that something like 97% of all Israeli Jews considered the reason of the existance of Israel to be the Holocaust.

    It’s drummed into their heads on a daily basis via the school system, complete with a visit to Auschwitz or a similar camp. Bibi constantly compares Iran with Hitler’s Germany.
    Everyone in Israel constantly compares all threat with the appeasement of Hitler.

    It’s a mental hangup; these folks haven’t moved on. Yes, it was a tragedy, but most people who died under WWII were not Jewish and most civilians who died because of the Nazis were not Jewish either.

    Second, I bet a lot of people, like the Armenians, would want the constant stream of Hollywood films on their forgotten and neglected genocide(who’s only brought up in a disgusting and cynical manner to pressure Turkey for political ends, not because people care) the way Hollywood constantly pumps out Holocaust-related movies.

    Third, about the humanizing Times’ piece. I think a lot of people in the lobby understand that Brand Israel is severely tarnished. That’s why they’re being given space in the New Yorker or given the frontpage and the main feature story in the New York Magazine on several occasions(like that cover story on Gilad Shailt, imagine the access these people have! Or that story on Iran where an Israeli journalist was allowed to use propaganda on a multiple of pages).

    This is a very important reason why there isn’t a mainstream understanding of Israel as the new(and worse) Apartheid South Africa, because that country never had even nearly as sympathetic press corps in America as Israel have, and yes, there’s a Jewish question binding all of this, of power and privilege and a question of dual loyalty vs liberal principles.

    But nobody wants to touch that issue for career preservation, for obvious reasons.
    So the train rolls on, however slightly more dysfunctional for each minute passing.

  5. American
    October 1, 2012, 12:53 pm

    Oh man…that is sick to me. The irony of Jews having been tattooed in concentration camps and now these freaks recreating it?
    They aren’t commemorating their ancestors with this, they are defining themselves as something. A Star of David tatoo isn’t good enough for their identity, they have to signify their membership in the vicitmhood class?

    I will never understand this’ need’ to be a victim. Think of the billions in mental health money spent on treating and counseling victims of rape and all kinds of abuse specifically to get them ‘out of’ the victim mentality or self image as a victim so they can lead normal lives.

    • Boston
      October 2, 2012, 7:53 am

      Whatever became of Generation Three”? I know that a few years ago, young people in Israel were suing Germany over psychological damage they sufferred due to their grand-parents generation having lived through the Holocaust. Does anyone know how that turned out?

      • American
        October 2, 2012, 9:46 am

        @ Boston

        I think it died, but Germany has given Israel extra money for survivors based on “inflation”. I wonder if they will ever run out countries, corporations or things to sue for…it goes on and on.
        There were in reality only 50,000 Jewish concentration camp survivors according to official US records. But now the Jewish orgs have declared that any Jews living in any nazi occupied country or those that ‘fled’ any country are qualifing ‘survivors. Recently Israel sued a Latin American country that was a protectorate of France even though it wasn’t nazi occupied and didn’t persecute Jews, on the basis that it was ‘connected’ to France which was nazi occupied.

        Fri Jul-13-07 04:25 AM
        Original message

        2nd generation survivors to sue Germany
        Source: Ynetnews

        Fisher Fund to file class action lawsuit against German government next week, following failed talks to reach compensation agreement for some 40,000 second-generation Holocaust survivors, who ‘have suffered severe mental and psychological damage’

        “A class action lawsuit representing 40,000 second-generation Holocaust survivors will be filed against the German government at the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court next week, following failed attempts to reach a settlement with Germany.

        The suit will be filed by Attorney Gideon Fisher, founder of the Fisher Fund, an independent body which grants scholarships and assists in places where other organizations are unable to help.

        After receiving many requests from second-generation survivors, Fisher, whose own parents were Holocaust survivors, began holding talks with senior German officials in a bid to receive financing for mental treatments required by some second-generation Holocaust survivors.

        “We were not interested in filing a lawsuit,” explained Baruch Mazor, CEO of the Fisher Fund on Thursday.”

        “Despite talks with officials, the German government cut ties with the Fisher Fund some two months ago and refused to comment on the matter, forcing the Fund to take legal action.”

        • Hostage
          October 2, 2012, 1:49 pm

          A class action lawsuit representing 40,000 second-generation Holocaust survivors will be filed against the German government at the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court next week, following failed attempts to reach a settlement with Germany. . . . the German government cut ties . . . forcing the Fund to take legal action.

          In the recent ICJ contentious case on “Jurisdictional Immunities of the State” (Germany v. Italy: Greece intervening ) the international court ruled that the courts of other countries lacked jurisdiction and dismissed their “last resort” arguments:

          In its Judgment, which is final, without appeal and binding on the Parties, the Court,
          (1) finds, by twelve votes to three, that the Italian Republic has violated its obligation to respect the immunity which the Federal Republic of Germany enjoys under international law by allowing civil claims to be brought against it based on violations of international humanitarian law committed by the German Reich between 1943 and 1945;

          (2) finds, by fourteen votes to one, that the Italian Republic has violated its obligation to respect the immunity which the Federal Republic of Germany enjoys under international law by taking measures of constraint against Villa Vigoni;

          (3) finds, by fourteen votes to one, that the Italian Republic has violated its obligation to respect the immunity which the Federal Republic of Germany enjoys under international law by declaring enforceable in Italy decisions of Greek courts based on violations of international humanitarian law committed in Greece by the German Reich;

          (4) finds, by fourteen votes to one, that the Italian Republic must, by enacting appropriate legislation, or by resorting to other methods of its choosing, ensure that the decisions of its courts and those of other judicial authorities infringing the immunity which the Federal Republic of Germany enjoys under international law cease to have effect;

          – 03/02/2012 link to icj-cij.org

  6. Jeff Klein
    October 1, 2012, 12:58 pm

    It’s simply incontestable that Israel owes its existence to the Nazi persecution of Jews in Europe. Without that, Zionism would have remained the tiny fringe movement among Jews that it was up to the 1930′s. Even after the Second World War, the majority of surviving Jews in Europe wanted to go to the US or the UK, until they were left no choice but to remain in camps or go to Palestine. The allies allowed Zionist agents to maintain control over the displaced persons camps and essentially force the survivors to Palestine.

    The new emphasis on the “ancient” Jewish biblical claim to Palestine has grown largely as a preemptive response to the logical question asked by Frum (and Phil), as people are learning more about the dispossession of the Palestinian Arabs and the “Land Without a People” myth loses all credibility.

    Here is what the Arab League had to say on the eve of the Nakba (quoted by Benny Morris in his book 1948):

    [the Arab states declared that they were] second to none in regretting the woes which had been inflicted on the Jews of Europe by European dictatorial states. But the question of these Jews should not be confused with Zionism, for there can be no greater injustice and aggression than solving the problem of the Jews of Europe by another injustice, that is, by inflicting injustice on the Palestinian Arabs.

    Who could argue with that?

    The recent efforts to implicate the Palestinians in the European slaughter of Jews (especially Dershowitz) has the same aim of negating this argument.

    • Philip Weiss
      October 1, 2012, 1:01 pm

      Thanks Jeff

    • Miura
      October 1, 2012, 1:24 pm

      It’s simply incontestable that Israel owes its existence to the Nazi persecution of Jews in Europe.

      Mark Mazower in his recent book on WWII points out that the vast majority of Jewish immigrants to Israel after 1945 came from Arab-Islamic lands. The total number of surviving European Jews who could not make it to US/Canada/Western Europe and ended up in what became Israel would fit inside one of the larger Brazilian soccer stadiums (~200,000). If there was any “connexion” between the Holocaust and creation of Israel, it was purely in the realm of Public Relations in Europe and Americas. This is too discordant a note to digest for almost anyone in the West or Israel, but cognitive dissonance which causes this fact to bounce off everyone’s consciousness does not magically turn a shaky proposition into anything approaching historic reality.

      • Philip Weiss
        October 1, 2012, 1:40 pm

        The issue here is not #s. It is about political will, and that was formed by the Holocaust. Truman cited the DP camps in Europe as a large part of his impetus to support the creation of ISrael

        • tree
          October 1, 2012, 4:43 pm

          Phil.

          Miura’s
          If there was any “connexion” between the Holocaust and creation of Israel, it was purely in the realm of Public Relations in Europe and Americas.

          and your own, It is about political will, and that was formed by the Holocaust. Truman cited the DP camps in Europe as a large part of his impetus to support the creation of ISrael.

          are not at odds. Most of the DP camp refugees ended up going elsewhere than Israel, by their own choice, this despite the fact that for the most part the local governance of the Jewish DP camps was under the control of Zionists. It was Zionist public relations, and campaign money that convinced Truman to support the creation of Israel. Have you read Yosef Grodzinsky’s “The the Shadow of the Holocaust: The Struggle Between Jews and Zionists In the Aftermath of World War II”?

          link to amazon.com

          (I’ve always thought that the original Hebrew book title was more appropriate. “Of Good Human Material”, the term used by pre-Israel Zionists to justify their restrictive selection process of which Jews were to be allowed enter Palestine.)

      • Jeff Klein
        October 1, 2012, 2:28 pm

        This is just nonsense and typical of Zionist obfuscation. Prior to the creation of Israel political Zionism had almost no purchase among the Jews of the Arab and Persian lands. What fostered immigration from those quarters was the combination of post-independence Zionist propaganda and the (regrettable) persecution of local Mizrahi Jews in response to the Palestinian Nakba and Israeli aggression. Even then, the Zionist agents had to push things along through the application of intentional provocations, especially in Iraq. The leadership of the Zionist movement in those days was almost entirely European in origin.

        • tree
          October 1, 2012, 4:57 pm

          Jeff,

          I’d say the same thing about your points and Miura’s, and I guess that means I should say the same thing to Miura as well. I think there is considerable agreement between all the disparate points you three are making.

          The aftermath of World War II generated sympathy for Jews, which Zionists were able to exploit for public relations purposes to create their state at the expense of the Palestinians. Most Jews were not interested in going there without considerable schmoozing, prodding and provoking by Israel itself and its Zionist emissaries. Israel only opened up immigration to any and all Jews in 1950, not necessarily to save individual Jews, but to swell its own Jewish ranks, so as to prevent the return of the native Palestinians. Zionists had a selection process in place for who was allowed to receive an immigration grant prior to 1950, and this selection process continued through WWII.

        • Jeff Klein
          October 1, 2012, 6:11 pm

          Miura intentionally obscures my point by limiting his numbers purely to post-WWII emigration from Europe to Palestine. Without the Nazi rise to power, persecution of the Jews and the impending war (along with restrictions on immigration to the US, the UK and France), how many of the 300,000 or so Jews would have arrived in Palestine in the decade from 1931 to 1941, when the Jewish settler population in the Mandate almost tripled? Only the tiniest number of these came from outside Europe.

      • ColinWright
        October 1, 2012, 4:00 pm

        Miura says: “Mark Mazower in his recent book on WWII points out that…”

        Aside from the immediate point, I’d add that Mazower’s book (‘Hitler’s Empire’) is far better than average, and indispensable reading for anyone who wants to acquire some actual understanding of what happened under the Third Reich.

        I try to keep my books pared down to two bookshelves. That one’s a keeper.

      • ColinWright
        October 1, 2012, 7:48 pm

        In connection with all this, it’s not irrelevant to repeat something I’m sure I read in a perfectly reputable source — which, admittedly, I can no longer recall.

        At the end of World War Two, as it dawned on the United States and Britain that there were a whole lot of Holocaust survivors who no longer really had a home to return to, they formulated a fine, altruistic plan.

        They would resettle a million of them. Half in the United States, and half in the various countries of the British Commonwealth.

        The Zionists got wind of that, went to Truman, and made him kill it, toot sweet. Had that one ever been implemented, it’s hard to see Israel coming into being.

        On reflection, I also think the whole notion that the Holocaust survivors ‘couldn’t return’ was a tad suspect. Obviously, there were obstacles — but was the consensus that it was all just impossible helped along by interested parties? After all, it would have made the position of the Zionists worse still if in fact more Eastern European Jews had been able to reestablish themselves in their homes.

        • American
          October 2, 2012, 12:40 am

          link to blackwellreference.com

          About 50,000 Jews were actually liberated from concentration camps.
          Howver in the DP camps, 450,00 of the total 8 million DP’s in all DP camps were Jewish. Where the 400,000 DP Jews that hadn’t been liberated from camps came from it doesn’t say.

          The International Refugee Organization.
          Between 1948 and 1950 the majority of the 450,000 Jews in camps for displaced persons emigrated from Europe to Israel, the US, and elsewhere.

        • Meyer
          October 13, 2012, 10:40 pm

          ColinWright,

          You are referring to the Bermuda Conference, where the US and Britain got together on April 19, 1943 at Hamilton, Bermuda to discuss the Jewish refugee problem, but somewhere along the way the details as they were related to you became somewhat garbled.

          The only agreement made was that the war must be won against the Nazis. While recommendations were arrived at, none of them were actually put forward in the interests of focusing on winning the war. There was certainly never any kind of concrete plan that was going to be put into motion if not for the intervention of the Zionists opposing it. To the contrary, the US Zionists reacted angrily that no one ever did anything for the Jews suffering in Europe beyond making empty promises. So while there WAS a criticism made of the conferences conclusions, they were quite different what you understood them to be.

          According to wikipedia:
          “A week later, the American Zionist Committee for a Jewish Army ran an advertisement in the New York Times condemning the United States efforts at Bermuda for being a mockery of past promises to the Jewish people and of Jewish suffering under Nazi occupation.”

          If you actually still find it suspect that Holocaust survivors couldn’t return (though in today’s day and age I have trouble believing that such a thing is really possible), I recommend a book on the subject of Jewish survivors returning to Poland. Here is the review.

          link to nytimes.com

        • Hostage
          October 14, 2012, 5:51 pm

          “A week later, the American Zionist Committee for a Jewish Army ran an advertisement in the New York Times condemning the United States efforts at Bermuda for being a mockery of past promises to the Jewish people and of Jewish suffering under Nazi occupation.”

          Jabotinsky’s and Ben Gurion’s campaigns for a Jewish Army in Palestine obviously didn’t address the problem of persecution of Jews in Europe either. Taking in millions of people who have been made penniless and involuntarily displaced really doesn’t discourage persecution if the perpetrators go unpunished.

          32 nations declared the massacres and persecution of Jews and others illegal and promised that they would prosecute the responsible individuals in the Moscow Declaration of October, 1943. Their Statement on Atrocities was fulfilled through the post war criminal tribunals. link to avalon.law.yale.edu

        • Meyer
          October 14, 2012, 6:12 pm

          Hostage,

          I do not know much at all about this Declaration, but after reading it I noticed that there was not a single mention of Jewish victims, refugees, survivors, or people at all.

          The Yishuv was at least active in their efforts to bring Jewish refugees from Europe to Palestine. That said, the Yishuv had significantly fewer resources than America and Britain could bring to bear on the problem. Their own survival was far from assured at that early point.

          However I think focusing on saving survivors SHOULD have taken precedence over punishing the guilty. Discouraging future persecution sounds great and all, but not at the expense of the refugees’ survival.

        • Hostage
          October 14, 2012, 11:58 pm

          I do not know much at all about this Declaration, but after reading it I noticed that there was not a single mention of Jewish victims, refugees, survivors, or people at all.

          That’s a very strained criticism. The declaration was intended as a deterrent against all atrocities, not just those directed at Jews.

          The Yishuv was at least active in their efforts to bring Jewish refugees from Europe to Palestine.

          Haaretz journalist Evron Boas and others have documented the fact that they were active in preventing Jewish refugees from going to other countries as well. Here are a number of cites from “Jewish State or Israeli Nation?”, Indiana University Press, 1995, page 260-261 regarding the deliberations and correspondence of the Zionist Executive on the subject of the Evian Conference on Refugees:

          *The Jewish Agency’s Executive met on June 26, 1938 to discuss the Evian Conference goal of raising Allied attention to the need for efforts and funding in order to resettle endangered Jews in other countries. Evron wrote that: “It was summed up in the meeting that the Zionist thing to do ‘is belittle the Conference as far as possible and to cause it to decide nothing’.

          “We are particularly worried that it would move Jewish organizations to collect large sums of money for aid to Jewish refugees, and these collections could interfere with our collection effort.” Ben Gurion said “No rationalization can turn the conference from a harmful to a useful one. What can and should be done is to limit the damage as far as possible.”

          *Evron quotes from a letter written by Georg Landauer, the managing director of the Jewish Agency Central Bureau for the Settlement of German Jews, to Rabbi Stephen Wise, the Co-Chair of the American Zionist Emergency Council, dated February 13, 1938: I am writing this letter at the request of Dr. Weizmann because we are extremely concerned lest the problem be presented in a way which would prejudice the activity for Eretz Israel. Even if the conference does not propose immediately after its opening other countries but Eretz Israel as venues for Jewish emigration, it will certainly arouse a public response that could put the importance of Eretz Israel in the shade. . . . We are particularly worried that it would move Jewish organizations to collect large sums of money for the aid of Jewish refugees, and these collection efforts would interfere with our collection efforts.

          *There was also the statement made by Menachem Ussishkin head of the Jewish National Fund in the meeting of the Zionist Executive on June 26, 1938 regarding the report of Mr. Greenbaum: “He is also concerned at the Evian Conference. . . . Mr. Greenbaum is right in stating that there is a danger that the Jewish people also will take Eretz Israel off its agenda, and this should be viewed by us as a terrible danger. He hoped to hear in Evian that Eretz Israel remains the main venue for Jewish emigration. All other emigration countries do not interest him. . . . The greatest danger remains that attempts will be made to find other territories for Jewish emigration.”

          The statement by Ben Gurion and the letter to Rabbi Wise were also cited in S. Beit Zvi, Hatzionut Ha-Post-Ugandit Bemashber Ha’shoah (Post-Uganda Zionism and the Holocaust), Tel Aviv: Bronfmann, 1977, page 178, 181, 182.

          However I think focusing on saving survivors SHOULD have taken precedence over punishing the guilty.

          Even by today’s standards, 300 million Americans had enormous difficulty relocating 1 million people and providing them with adequate food and shelter after a hurricane, while simultaneously waging wars in two theaters of operations. The best alternative is always going to be to prevent a holocaust or crimes against humanity in the first place. There’s nothing improper about insuring that belligerents are put on notice that their crimes won’t go unpunished.

        • Annie Robbins
          October 15, 2012, 3:59 am

          the Yishuv had significantly fewer resources than America and Britain could bring to bear on the problem.

          and i suppose one way to counter that would be to discourage american and british immigration, limit the damage as far as possible.

          “It was summed up in the meeting that the Zionist thing to do ‘is belittle the Conference as far as possible and to cause it to decide nothing’.

          “We are particularly worried that it would move Jewish organizations to collect large sums of money for aid to Jewish refugees, and these collections could interfere with our collection effort.” Ben Gurion said “No rationalization can turn the conference from a harmful to a useful one. What can and should be done is to limit the damage as far as possible.”

          the truth is always so much more damaging than the lies.

        • Meyer
          October 17, 2012, 5:21 am

          Hostage,

          Did you read the paper? It has nothing at all to do with violence against Jewish refugees. It warns only German Nazis that their atrocities would be punished. Nothing in it secures the rights of Jewish survivors attempting to return home; many of whom were in fact killed by their neighbors who never faced repercussions.

          Your assertion that America and Britain would have been unable to do more than they did, (which was nothing), seems disingenuous. Besides this point is the fact that the original statement I commented on to disprove has been accomplished at this point. There never was a deal to rescue a million Jews. Nor was that deal scuttled by Zionist’s intervening with Truman (who wasn’t even president at the time.). Zionists made their desires known via paid ads criticizing their lack of action.

          Lastly, your quotes from Ben Gurion and co. are regarding the Evian conference, not the Bermuda conference. The former took place in the 30′s, before knowledge about the genocide planned by Hitler was widespread.

        • Meyer
          October 17, 2012, 5:32 am

          Annie,

          The truth is more damaging than the lies? Ok. What truth is that?

          You just provided a quote completely unrelated to the conference under discussion, spoken in an entirely different decade. It could not be taken any more out of context.

          Yet you ignore the real position taken by Zionists commenting on the actual conference because they don’t do anything for your argument.

          It takes chutzpah to make a dig about truth after posting that.

        • Hostage
          October 17, 2012, 2:33 pm

          Hostage, Did you read the paper? It has nothing at all to do with violence against Jewish refugees. It warns only German Nazis that their atrocities would be punished. Nothing in it secures the rights of Jewish survivors attempting to return home; many of whom were in fact killed by their neighbors who never faced repercussions.

          Your desperation is showing. The declaration was addressed to anyone committing atrocities, not just the Nazis. That naturally included the atrocities committed against the Jews by anyone. Authorities around the world are still tracking down war criminals from that era, and demanding the return of properties or compensation for Jewish refugees.

          You just provided a quote completely unrelated to the conference under discussion, spoken in an entirely different decade.

          The fact is that 1938 and 1943 are not even a decade apart. But we know for certain that in 1942, months before the Bermuda conference, the President of the World Zionist Organization had advised the US government that he had no plans to take in all of the refugees that survived the war. He considered most of them poor human material and said their lives were behind them:

          It was to be anticipated, Dr. Weizmann said, that at the end of the war there would be at least 2,500,000 Jews seeking refuge. Of these perhaps 1,000,000 would represent Jews with a future and the others Jews whose lives were behind them-”who were but little more than dust”. He believed that it would be possible to settle in Palestine 1,000,000 of these refugees, so far as possible those with a future, one-fourth on the land, the remainder as an addition to the urban population.

    • Kathleen
      October 1, 2012, 2:46 pm

      Who could argue with that? Zionist

  7. marc b.
    October 1, 2012, 1:06 pm

    In its determination to probe the Israeli psyche to a hermetic degree ….

    wah? how does one probe ‘hermetically’?

    And yes, she also questioned the impulse:

    “Arguments rage about whether that approach trivializes symbols long held as sacred and whether the primary message should be about the importance of a self-reliant Jewish state in preventing a future genocide or a more universal one about racism and tolerance.”

    that’s inaccurate. she didn’t question anything, she exploited someone else’s disagreement with the practice as a rhetorical device to reach a predetermined result, a conclusion that would have been clear to any third grader after reading the first two sentences of the article.

    But then she let it drop; and the phrase in the headline, “Their Skin Says ‘Never Forget’” captures the mood of the piece.

    no, this sentence captures the mood of the piece:

    When Eli Sagir showed her grandfather, Yosef Diamant, the new tattoo on her left forearm, he bent his head to kiss it.

    that’s the ‘headline’, that’s the sentiment. (and is anyone still holding their breath, waiting for rudoren’s ‘education’ curve to overtake her PR instincts?)

  8. radii
    October 1, 2012, 1:20 pm

    tattoos became trendy in America in the late 80s and their popularity has exploded ever since – primarily “tribal” style tattoos and now pop-art referencing tattoos … it has been seen by the young as a “rite of passage” to endure pain to impart some meaning into their lives … most by the 90s are merely trendoids aping a trend and it has expanded outward to fetishes of piercing and lacing and scarification, etc. – overall it is a dumbed-down, vulgarization of traditional tattooing done by indigenous peoples around the world, made into a cheap pop-culture fashion accessory you can’t take off … now the trend has hit the younger zio-thugs of israel, oh joy – the irony is rich indeed that they celebrate with a mark their ancestors who were marked, and it oversimplifies and makes a mockery of the real history – but modern israel is now domnated by the extremists who care not for facts, history, or anything that approaches the reasonable – they want only to smash their way to their goals and these young israelis might as well be wearing white hoods or Nazi SS insignia

    • marc b.
      October 1, 2012, 1:51 pm

      the NYT,

      “We are moving from lived memory to historical memory,” noted Michael Berenbaum, a professor at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles who is among the foremost scholars of the memorialization of the Holocaust. “We’re at that transition, and this is sort of a brazen, in-your-face way of bridging it.”

      radii,

      overall it is a dumbed-down, vulgarization of traditional tattooing done by indigenous peoples around the world, made into a cheap pop-culture fashion accessory you can’t take off

      there it is. two groups, who, lacking their own ‘history’ attempt to adopt the history and heritage of others. the zio-youth think that they are ‘keeping the memory of their grandparents alive’, but it’s just the opposite. they are part of the process of the extinction of the memory, and the substitution of something else. with all due respect to the professor, it’s not accurate to call what these nitwits think they are experiencing is ‘memory’, historical or otherwise. essentially, they are trying to internalize the special image ‘status’ of the holocaust survivor. i’d be interested to find out the details about the social status of the people who have chosen to do this. i’d guess that many of them, like the cashier, aren’t among israel’s educated classes.

    • Mooser
      October 17, 2012, 5:56 pm

      I like the temporary tattooes. You can have a lot of fun with those, and they wash off.

  9. bobsmith
    October 1, 2012, 3:21 pm

    This tatooing story reminds me of an anecdote from Avram Burg’s book, The Holocaust is Over, in which Burg asks a friend, Mr. D., why he cut short his business trip to Poland:

    I couldn’t bear it any more… Everything came back to me… It was cold and snowy… All we saw were birch forests and shrubbery… The wheels and the cars shook… Everything came back to me. The following day, I hopped on a plane and came back.

    But, D., Burg replies, Aren’t your parents from Iraq?

    • MHughes976
      October 1, 2012, 5:03 pm

      Tattooing seems to have a long-standing religious significance. Talmud Shabbat 104b notoriously contains a conversation, maybe rather garbled, maybe rendered barely intelligible to frustrate Christian censors, in which some Jewish scholars appear to agree that tattooing is forbidden or at least questionable, that Jesus (the reference is questioned) had tattoos which conveyed Egyptian magical lore, tattoos being an Egyptian thing, and that this fact helps to show that Jesus tended to make mistakes.

  10. ColinWright
    October 1, 2012, 3:56 pm

    The black and white photos were pretty kitschy. Tells us right away: we’re in for a trip down Holocaust memory lane.

  11. MarkF
    October 1, 2012, 3:57 pm

    Hope I didn’t miss this in other comments –

    As I remember from Hebrew school, I thought it was against our religion to get tattoos. We’re not suppossed to do anything to our bodies (aside from circumcision) that mutilates or desicrates, right?

    So it’s alright to violate the religion for this? Please, someone correct me. This is complete insanity. My dad would have kicked my ass if I decided to get his prisoner# tattooed on my arm.

  12. Keith
    October 1, 2012, 4:33 pm

    “Yeshayahu Leibowitz, an observant Jew, said years ago that the Jewish religion had practically died 200 years ago, and that the only thing that unites all Jews now is the Holocaust.” (Uri Avnery) link to counterpunch.org

  13. bilal a
    October 1, 2012, 5:12 pm

    There is something wrong with the victimhood story of Nachson in this NYT article. It reports the tattoo number of:

    “Avrahm Nachson and on the arm of his grandson, Ayal Gelles…[as]… A-15510″

    This number refers to late 1944 Hungarian Action deportees , and was issued only to registered inmates ready to work; Auchwitz was liberated in Jan 1945, and in coordination with the Allied War refugees Board, Germany began evacuating inmates from Birkenau in Sept. 1944 fearing the rapid Soviet advance. He was most likely moved west to what later became a Western allied zone, and from there emigrated to Palestine, where he receives an added German reparations pension.

  14. DICKERSON3870
    October 1, 2012, 11:30 pm

    RE: “Remember when neocon David Frum slamdunked Obama for saying Holocaust was basis for Israel’s existence [in Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo]?” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Yes, the Likudnik Revisionist Zionists desperately want everyone to acknowledge “the Jews’ 4,000-year connection” to their homeland* [Judea and Samaria (a/k/a the occupied West Bank)] so that it will legitimate Israel’s continued colonization and ultimate annexation of the West Bank.
    The Likudniks were very upset by Obama’s having referred to the Holocaust, etc. as justifying Israel’s existence in his June 2009 Cairo speech. For instance, check out this whiny ‘hissy fit’ by Melanie Phillips in the Spectator on 6/04/09.
    While the Holocaust, etc. might well justify the existence of Israel, the Eretz Israel crowd fears that it does not necessarily justify Israel’s absorption of “Judea and Samaria” [a/k/a the "disputed" West Bank (f/k/a the occupied West Bank)] . Consequently, they want the “Biblical narrative” used to justify Israel’s existence because they see it as being more specific to “Judea and Samaria”.
    By referring to Israel as the ‘historic homeland’ of ‘the Jewish people’ in his 2010 speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Obama has – for the settlers in the West Bank and their supporters – acknowledged that “Judea and Samaria” is/are a legitimate part of Israel. That was probably the final nail in the coffin of the two-state solution. Of course, the two-state solution had long been in an advanced state of Rigor mortis, so a proper Christian burial was probably in order.
    Obama is a Christian, right? I can never keep that straight.

    * P.S. SEE: “Oren rationalizes Israel’s isolation (then rants about Abbas denying 4000 years of Jewish homeland)”, By Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 10/16/11
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 1, 2012, 11:44 pm

      P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “A Serial Obstructionist”, By Rachel Tabachnick, ZEEK – Forward, 3/15/10

      [EXCERPTS] . . . Shortly after Vice President Joe Biden’s arrival in Israel, Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat were the headliners at Pastor John Hagee’s two-hour Christians United for Israel (CUFI) extravaganza at the Jerusalem Convention Center. . .
      . . . Monday’s CUFI production was based on the concept of “biblical Zionism,” or the belief that God mandates nonnegotiable borders of Israel, and any leader or nation who thwarts this divine plan will be cursed. Before introducing Netanyahu, Hagee stated, “World leaders do not have the authority to tell Israel and the Jewish people what they can and can not do in Jerusalem.” He added, “Israel does not exist because of a decree of the United Nations in 1948. Israel exists because of a covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. . . The settlements are not the problem.”
      In his books and sermons Hagee has promoted a “greater Israel,” that will reclaim all of Israel’s former biblical territory, stating “In modern terms, Israel rightfully owns all of present-day Israel, all of Lebanon, half of Syria, two-thirds of Jordan, all of Iraq, and the northern portion of Saudi Arabia.”
      At the Jerusalem CUFI event Hagee described Ahmadinejad as the Hitler of the Middle East who could turn the world upside down in 24 hours, words similar to those he made when lobbying for the attack on Iraq. . .
      . . . During a performance by singer Dudu Fisher, the God TV camera panned to the audience and centered on Joel Bell, leader of Worldwide Biblical Zionists. WBZ is currently building a center in Sha’ar Benjamin for “facilitating absorption” of Christian Zionists into the West Bank. It was established after a joint meetingheld in Texas of the Board of Governors of World Likud led by Danny Danon, and World Evangelical Zionists led by Joel Bell. Speakers included ZOA’s Morton Klein. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to zeek.forward.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 2, 2012, 12:11 am

      P.P.P.S. A LITTLE BACKGROUND: “Grace Halsell: De-bunker of Christian Zionist Doctrine”, by Stuart Littlewood, Palestine Chronicle, 8/11/12

      [EXCERPT] Not long ago I quoted American journalist Grace Halsell in an article about the damaging influence of the Scofield Bible, not realising how sorely she was made to suffer for setting out the truth.
      That article, ‘The Zionist cuckoos in Christianity’s nest’, showed how Cyrus Scofield corrupted the Biblical message and produced a propaganda classic that has been working its evil for 100 years.

      Scofield, a convicted criminal and described by one American newspaper as “a shyster”, was commissioned to re-write the King James Bible by inserting Zionist-friendly notes. The idea was to change the Christian view of Zionism by creating and promoting a pro-Zionist sub-culture within Christianity. The Oxford University Press appointed Scofield as editor, and the Scofield Reference Bible was born.
      It introduced a new worship icon, the modern State of Israel, which did not exist until 1948 but was already being ‘prepped’ on the drawing board of the World Zionist movement.
      It appealed to the impressionable and was seized on by religious chancers who have used inappropriate methods to establish a large and dangerously un-Christian fringe to the Christianity movement. They call themselves Christian Zionists.
      Here is how Grace Halsell explained the re-hashed Biblical message: “Simply stated it is this: Every act taken by Israel is orchestrated by God, and should be condoned, supported, and even praised by the rest of us. Never mind what Israel does, say the Christian Zionists. God wants this to happen…
      “Scofield said that Christ cannot return to earth until certain events occur: The Jews must return to Palestine, gain control of Jerusalem and rebuild a temple, and then we all must engage in the final, great battle called Armageddon. Estimates vary, but most students of Armageddon theology agree that as a result of these relatively recent interpretations of Biblical scripture, 10 to 40 million Americans believe Palestine is God’s chosen land for the Jews.”
      The problem, she said, was the belief system of Christian Zionists. “They believe that what Israel wants is what God wants. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to give the green light to whatever it is Israel wants and then conceal this from the American people. Anything, including lies, theft, even murder, is justified as long as Israel wants it.”
      Those pseudo-Christians, who would have us all believe that God is some kind of racist real estate agent, thereafter made her life a misery. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to palestinechronicle.com

  15. atime forpeace
    October 2, 2012, 6:53 am

    what hypocrites these zionist be.

    ‘Yitzhak Gruenbaum was chairperson of the Jewish Agency’s Rescue Committee.
    In his book, “In Days of Holocaust and Destruction,” Yitzchak Greenbaum writes, “when they asked me, couldn’t you give money out of the United Jewish Appeal funds for the rescue of Jews in Europe, I said, ‘NO!’ and I say again, ‘NO!’…one should resist this wave which pushes the Zionist activities to secondary importance.”
    …Holocaust Victims Accuse, pp 26.’

    link to jewsagainstzionism.com

  16. Kathleen
    October 2, 2012, 8:22 am

    David “axis of evil” Frum

  17. traintosiberia
    October 2, 2012, 8:43 am

    Two points I want to make. Something is fair and never an issue until and unless a gentiles opens up to repeat it. This give two powerful instruments in the hands of the Zionist.One of the two is for the present political reality and that is to deflect ,divert,quash,silence any discussion that can force the israeli to change their curent behaviors or to acknowledge the past crimes against Palestinian. Second is for the future as an investment in case the table is turned and the powerless becomes the master.Israel can always say that creation of Isreal was a mistake and was in respone to Holocaust that had nothing to do with the Arabs and should never have happened. ( I remember a letter I think it was in USA Today in 1996,The writer reminded the readers as a rejoinder to an earlier article , how the Jewish peopel had helped the company of Ferdinand in Spain against the Moors! It could be true or might be false but obviously in those times that collusion would have been branded as subversion ,terrorism,and treason in today’s political parlance )

    The other part about the insertion in the Gospel and reamking of Bible. The Qataris ( Saban center ) ,the Saudis ( Rupert Murdoch’s news paper group), The Azeris ( the mafia nation run with Israeli muscle ) should be very careful. The prenicious elemets will destroy them and will destroy the Islam ( one of the ways will be to through the Hadith for it allows different sources,credibility,interpretation .Using the ideas and the languages of Hadith the same Scofieldcould be resurrected to preach a dangerous distortion of Islam.Who knows how the current history of mulsim sufferiings will suffuse the invented material presented to angry and fanatics muslims to hasten the endtimes for some and to enrich the pocket for other.)

  18. David Samel
    October 2, 2012, 8:56 am

    On the other hand, Debroah Lipstadt has accused Jimmy Carter of “soft-core” Holocaust denial by not including it in his chronology of the I/P conflict: “When a former president of the United States writes a book on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis and writes a chronology at the beginning of the book in order to help them understand the emergence of the situation and in that chronology lists nothing of importance between 1939 and 1947, that is soft-core denial.”

    The lesson is clear. If you say that the Holocaust led to the establishment of Israel, you are an anti-semite. If you say there was no connection, you are an anti-semite. Provided, of course, that you are a critic of Israel. Supporters need not worry.

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