Understanding the Holocaust, and the Nakba, in the Jewish narrative

“After the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything”. In these chilling words Golda Meir, former prime minister of Israel, not only set the bar for iron lady’esque leadership, but captured that which has come to most potently define the Jewish narrative over the past century. The Holocaust, a narrative that at its source holds Jewish fear, has yielded a survivalist-at-all-costs mentality, the ‘never again’ might that has come to define political Zionism. But Meir wasn’t only evoking one of the darkest periods in Jewish history, she was also alluding to – boasting even – about the new found political power of Jews. In fact the “anything” she refers to is the consequence of this power, the ‘original sin’ in the creation of the state of Israel – the Nakba.  

The Holocaust has become an almost unquestioned characteristic of Jewish identity – imprinted onto our Jewish DNA.  This has manifested into a type of collective post traumatic stress disorder. Even those of us born into a life of unmitigated privilege, who have never experienced antisemitism, carry it. As absurd as it sounds, it is almost as if we await our persecution. As a child, I was terrified of blonde, blue-eyed men, and was guiltily grateful for my fair hair and green eyes that would potentially save me. Yes, the irony of this angst taking place in South Africa in the 1980s is not lost on me.

It is also critical however, to understand the centrality of the Holocaust on the Jewish psyche in the construction of a Jewish-Zionist identity and recognise how the evocation of historical memory has been purposefully cultivated to foster a sense of victimhood – and survival – at any cost.

Throughout the world, Jewish communities hold and maintain strong links to Israel. We are brought up and nurtured on the narrative of the Holocaust and Zionism, which many Jews have now come to understand to be the pillars of our faith. Yom Haatzmaut, or Israel’s Independence Day, is celebrated as a quasi-Jewish holiday. Yet we are not taught that this celebration rests on the dispossession and oppression of the Palestinian people. Nor that by the time the armistice lines were drawn in 1949, 750,000 indigenous Palestinians had been expelled from their homeland and around 150,000 left internally displaced. Most of us have never even heard the term ‘Nakba’.

The Nakba however is the epicentre of this conflict, not the occupation of 1967. As Israel was borne from one tragedy; the Holocaust, its foundations were built on the rubble and suffering of its indigenous inhabitants. Even Meir drew a comparison between the Jewish experience in Europe in the 1930s and 40s and the Nakba when she said: “next to the port I found children, women, the old, waiting for a way to leave. I entered the houses, there were houses where the coffee and pita bread were left on the table, and I could not avoid [thinking] that this, indeed, had been the picture in many Jewish towns.”

The sixty-fifth anniversary of the Nakba was commemorated internationally on May 15th; the day on the Gregorian calendar that the State of Israel came into being. The Nakba, however, is ongoing. Millions of Palestinians, survivors and descendants of 1947-49, live as refugees. In the West Bank, millions live under a military occupation and a siege in the Gaza Strip. A plethora of discriminatory laws consolidate dispossession and ensure that Palestinian citizens of Israel live as second class citizens. These include the 2011 amendment to the ‘Budgets Foundations Law’, also known as the Nakba Law. This law allows the Finance Minister to deny funding to organisations or institutions that reject Israel as a ‘Jewish and democratic state’, or commemorate the Nakba. There is also something deeply disturbing that historical memory – a concept that is near sacrosanct in the Jewish psyche – is denied to Palestinians.

As Jews, we have, understandably, focused on persecutions committed against us. Yet at the same time, we have abdicated collective responsibility for our role in human rights abuses committed against another. In the same way the Holocaust is part of Germany’s shared history with European Jews, the Nakba is part of our shared history with the Palestinian people as long as Israel claims to act on behalf of all Jews. Of course, as the oppressors, where we stand in this history is very different to the Palestinians.

Acknowledging our role in human suffering does not undermine the uniqueness and sheer horror of the Holocaust. It is becoming increasingly problematic however to talk about our suffering and persecution during the Holocaust without acknowledging our culpability in the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people. This is not only about disrupting Jewish consciousness by acknowledging the Nakba, but working to ensure Palestinian people are granted full rights and justice, including their right of return. Still, acknowledging the Nakba as part of our history is not only about justice for the Palestinian people. The core values of dignity, respect for all, and speaking out against injustice that many Jews hold dear are being corroded by Zionism.  Ultimately, Palestinian liberation, and the rights and reparations it would entail, is intrinsically tied to Jewish liberation as well.

About Heidi-Jane Esakov

Heidi-Jane Esakov is a researcher at the Afro-Middle East Centre, a South African think tank.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Nakba

{ 41 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Qualtrough says:

    I couldn’t find the source for the Meir quote in the link.

    • which quote Qualtrough? i found both. the first was haaretz:

      Israel has the right and duty to lead the world’s campaign against racism and anti-Semitism, but it must take care to avoid any manipulation in the spirit of Golda Meir’s terrible comments to Shulamit Aloni, “After the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything.”

      the second here: pg 310 of The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited
      By Benny Morris although it takes a minute to download. link to books.google.co.za

  2. German Lefty says:

    I just looked you up and saw that you were born many decades after the Holocaust. Therefore, I don’t understand why you write “our suffering and persecution during the Holocaust”. This wording indicates internalised victimhood.
    Also, you shouldn’t write “our culpability in the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people”. If you are not a Zionist, you don’t bear any blame.

    • Well said. I’m not comfortable with the concept of vicarious suffering – or vicarious guilt. The author of this piece – like everyone else – is only responsible for what he/she does, not what anyone else does, even if they are of the same ‘race’ as he/she is. Similarly, a person raised in a comfortable and safe environment should not speak of ‘our’ suffering, simply because some members of their ‘race’ endured great suffering before he/she was born.

  3. American says:

    ‘”After the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything”. ….Golda Meir

    Yep. Unfortunate hubris.
    Cause this time if Humpty Dumpty has a great fall I dont think any king’s horses or men are going to be interested in putting Humpty together again.

  4. hophmi says:

    I notice you didn’t quote this part of Levy’s op-ed: ” Israel’s right to exist, as a birthright of the Holocaust, is stronger than all its deniers, including the president of Iran.”

    “Acknowledging our role in human suffering does not undermine the uniqueness and sheer horror of the Holocaust.”

    Agreed, but unfortunately, not the view of many here, who do not acknowledge the uniqueness of the Holocaust in the first place.

    • Sin Nombre says:

      hophmi wrote:

      “… unfortunately, not the view of many here, who do not acknowledge the uniqueness of the Holocaust in the first place.”

      And just how was the Holocaust unique, hophmi? Just how was it *so* different and worse—and thus of some greater importance which you must believe else you wouldn’t find it noteworthy—than other mass slayings?

      Or, to put it another way you obviously mean it, how was it … unique unique?

      Of course, that is, *every* mass slaying has had its unique aspects. None could possibly have come any too close in resemblance to another. Not even those perpetrated by the same people, seriatim so to speak. Tamerlane, going from one town to another, obliterating the populace of one then another. Almost certainly were differences even then. The people in one town half burnt to death in fighting, the people in the other all surrendering and still being put to the sword ….

      So tell me, as I’ve heard this meme so often before and it can obviously seem such a desperate attempt at claiming some greater moral import, what exactly do you mean?

      Let’s have a specific, detailed talk about this, because (to flip your observation over) you and so many others keep saying this and it seems to be the absolute plinth upon some claim to a greater moral status than other mass slayings’ victims or other survivors … just how is it anywhere even *importantly* uniquely different?

      • It was the late Peter Novick who pointed out that those who claim the holocaust was ‘unique’ are indulging in intellectual gerrymandering. The fact is, no historical event is unique, since all of them will have aspects which they share with other comparable events, and aspects which make them differ from those comparable events. So whereas certain features of the holocaust may be unique, the event in itself is not, as history is all too replete with genocides. Claiming that the holocaust is ‘unique’ is simply an attempt to put it outside of history, immune from the sort of rational enquiry with which other ‘ordinary’ genocides are treated. The obvious extension of this rationale, of course, is that the Jewish people themselves are ‘unique’ and not subject to normal rules, as, by further extension, is the Jewish state.

      • hophmi says:

        Number of deaths, volume of deaths in a short period, method of execution, and the fact that it took place in the 20th century, for starters. I note that there are far more people here trying to prove that it isn’t unique than there are trying to prove that it is unique.

        You know why the whole discussion here is ridiculous? Because for you guys, the Holocaust is routine because there have been other genocides, but Israel is unique because it’s the 21st century. That to me is a totally bankrupt moral argument. If the Holocaust is not unique, then Israel is not unique, and you shouldn’t care all that much about what it does, just as you show little comparative interest in other conflicts around the world, where human rights violations are infinitely greater and the death toll exponentially higher. If the Holocaust is unique, then you must acknowledge that the Israel, as one possible outcome of the denial of basic human rights of Jews, is justified in part on its foundation. But you routinely take the hypocritical option. You declare the Holocaust is not unique because there have been other genocides in history, but that Israel is unique, because, though virtually every state has a bloody history, particularly those in the Middle East, Israel is special because it “benefits from US tax dollars,” or whatever other excuse you can come up with to explain away your obsessive focus on it. When that hypocrisy is pointed out to you, you call it “whataboutery,” which is your way of saying you can’t deal with the most basic of arguments.

        • ”Number of deaths, volume of deaths in a short period, method of execution, and the fact that it took place in the 20th century, for starters.”

          You’re not actually claiming that the holocaust is the only instance of mass killing that took place in the 20th century are you? So the Rwandan, Armenian and Cambodian genocides are simply figments of the imagination?

          As for your other points, these are just examples of how the holocaust might be different from other genocides, but they certainly do not make it ‘unique’. Afaik, the Rwandan genocide was the only genocide where machetes were widely used as instruments of killing. Does that make it ‘unique’ in your eyes?

          ‘If the Holocaust is unique, then you must acknowledge that the Israel, as one possible outcome of the denial of basic human rights of Jews, is justified in part on its foundation. ‘

          And here we have, straight from the horse’s mouth, the zionist rationale for ‘holocaust uniqueness’.

        • Sin Nombre says:

          In reply then to my invitation to tell us why he believes the Holocaust was “unique” in some significant if not great morally important manner hophmi wrote:

          “Number of deaths, volume of deaths in a short period, method of execution, and the fact that it took place in the 20th century, for starters.”

          That’s it? (I ignore the “for starters”; nobody is limiting you here, and indeed you just stopped here and then choose to expend all kinds of your time with some attempted diversionary verbiage.) That’s *all*?

          The Holomodor, the purge spasms of Stalin, the mechanized-like butchery of the Chinese at the hands of the Japanese, the enforced starvation of zillions in the *second* half of the 20th by Mao, Pol Pot likewise in that second half, Rwanda in that second half ….

          And “the mechanism”? Being gassed to death you mean? As opposed to … being starved into cannibalism? (Stalin and Mao.) As opposed to being lined up in queues for beheading-by-sword contests? (The Japanese.) As opposed to being worked to death digging ditches or trying to cut timber in the high arctic in mid-winter negative zero temperatures? (Stalin again.) As opposed to being buried up to your neck and the having your head beaten in while your family—who was next—watched? (Pol Pot.) As opposed to being put on a barge, towed out to the middle of a freezing river and then sunk? (Stalin, of course, yet again.)

          I don’t want to say “you must be joking” because I know you are sincere in *feeling* that the Holocaust is unique and I my intent is not to hurt your feelings. But while you are entitled to your own feelings of some “specialness” you aren’t entitled to your own facts. And I’m sorry but the facts here just blow away your assertion of some special, unique importance of the Holocaust. It was important. Maybe even cosmically so. But neither any less so nor moreso than any other, including those in the 20th Century.

          Moreover, as regards your claim of hypocrisy on the part of those of us who do not see the Holocaust as unique and yet focus somewhat on Israel’s behavior due to our government’s support of same, it frankly strikes me that once again your feelings of “specialness” are once again on display.

          After all, there are the people of your country asking the people of mine for help. And of course we have the absolute right to say no, *regardless* even of how we view your behavior, but *especially* if we find your behavior somehow objectionable to us. And thus it is only if you consider yourselves special that you could possibly feel aggrieved at those who would say no, including even those who would say no due to your behavior. In essence what you are saying is that we have some obligation to support you *regardless not only of our absolute right to say no for any reason,* but also regardless of our own standards.

          I.e., that you are somehow so special, that same trumps our right to say no for any reason as well as our right to say no due to our own standards.

          I will say this though hophmi: I think your original post here talking about how you feel the Holocaust was “unique” was right in one big sense: It explains alot. It gets to the nub of things in terms of that belief in its “specialness” and the belief in the alleged specialness therefore of Israel and jewry.

          But, as I said above, that belief just simply has no basis in fact, and so goes the feeling of specialness too.

    • eljay says:

      >> … who do not acknowledge the uniqueness of the Holocaust in the first place.

      Much as you might wish it were “The Bestest Genocide Ever!”(c), the Holocaust wasn’t unique:

      1 Samuel 15 – Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. … And Saul smote the Amalekites … and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

      But even if it were unique, it wouldn’t justify the creation of a oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine, or the Jewish terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians undertaken to create it, or the 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder employed to maintain and expand it.

      • john h says:

        Your last paragraph, eljay, is one I have read from you a number of times. It never fails to stir in me an adamant “yes” to such an excellent little summary – thanks.

        • eljay says:

          >> john h @ June 10, 2013 at 8:50 pm

          Thanks! :-)

          And since some things are worth repeating, it likely won’t be the last time you read it, either. ;-)

    • Sin Nombre says:

      In addition to questioning hophmi on this “Holocaust uniqueness” issue I’d like to make another observation about it:

      As I understand it Phil and Adam and Co. have banned any talk that would seem to deny either the Holocaust or the Nakba.

      Fair enough. Again as I understand it the idea is that doing is just … beyond the Pale, so to speak, and traffics in matters that are really unprovable and are deeply offensive to many.

      Well, not that I’m advocating the doing of same here because I’m not, but why isn’t it considered equally beyond the Pale, trafficking in matters that are unprovable and are deeply offensive to many to allow people to talk about the alleged “uniqueness” of the Holocaust and so minimizing if not dismissing the terror and damage inflicted by other mass murders?

      Again I don’t think it should be banned, but it does seem to me to highlight a certain unconscious … deformation of the discourse. Merely because this “uniqueness of the Holocaust” meme has been so often and loudly trumpeted—despite having a clear self-serving nature—that we must accept that it has at least some significant amount of legitimacy? At the same time huffily rejecting that as to any number of other arguments/assertions cutting in favor of someone else?

      I don’t think the uniqueness of the Holocaust to the point of it being more morally significant that other mass murders comes anywhere close to being provable, and indeed maybe only amounts to just being within the bounds of reasonable differences of opinion.

      So how come we see the allowance here of an assertion essentially minimizing all the other mass outrages committed against all the other human beings on the planet throughout all the ages?

      • Good points. I agree with you that ‘holocaust uniqueness’ discourse should not be banned, but I also agree that it is offensive to many people. To paraphrase Peter Novick again (sorry, I can’t remember his exact words), what ‘holocaust uniqueness’ is effectively saying is: ”Your suffering, unlike ours, is ordinary.” It harks back to the odious Elie Wiesel’s claim that non-Jewish victims of the very same concentration camps weren’t quite as ‘special’ (and therefore, by obvious implication, not as worthy of sympathy) as Jewish victims because they ‘died differently’. This distasteful ‘gold medal in suffering’ contest is simply ethno-supremacism dressed up as ‘uniqueness’.

        • hophmi says:

          Who cares if you’re offended? There is plenty written here that is offensive. Most of you are in no position to complain.

      • SQ Debris says:

        On the “Uniqueness” discourse:
        Netflix currently posts a film titled “War File: Nazi Concentration Camps” in it’s online offerings. It consists of a compilation of US army film reports shot shortly after liberation of several camps. There is something very odd about the army voice-overs. The word “Jew” or “Jewish” is not uttered once in the reports. There are references to specific nationalities, reference to a camp that was specifically for “dissidents, and a reference to a camp that contained people of many religions. But never a mention of Jews. I want to be clear that neither I, or the film, in any way suggest that the Holocaust is anything but fact. However the film implicitly suggests the question of whether “The Final Solution” was a segment, rather than the fundamental context, of the Nazi death machine. If so it would be peculiar for any individual ethnic group to “own” the German campaign of mass murder either inside or outside of the camps. It stands as historically vile pan-human victimization. As a Palestinian friend once said, “There is no aristocracy of suffering.”

        • German Lefty says:

          It stands as historically vile pan-human victimization. As a Palestinian friend once said, “There is no aristocracy of suffering.”
          Right!

    • Sin Nombre says:

      C’mon, hophmi, in addition of course to the meme being lots trumpeted by others you yourself implicitly asserted that the idea that the Holocaust was unique was extremely important. So c’mon; seems to me you’ve got an obligation to say why you feel that way, or at least so say that you can’t explain it but it just does. (Which, I’d add, is completely emotionally understandable at least.) But, either way, I’d like to hear you out.

  5. Don says:

    “…a type of collective post traumatic stress disorder.”

    When Methodists came to the same conclusion in 2007, an article in the Forward accused them of demonizing Israel…
    link to forward.com

    When Leonard Fein mentioned the same opinion in 2008, in the Forward no less, I don’t think anyone accused him of demonizing Israel.
    link to forward.com

    I am not sure what point I am trying to make…maybe…if we non-Jews agree with Jews about Jewish trauma…that makes us antisemitic?

  6. “After the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything”

    There is never a place for unchecked power, because it is always abused.

  7. RoHa says:

    To me this looks like another piece of self-indulgent Jewish self-obsession. But if that is what is needed to get justice for the Palestinians, let it roll.

  8. Uniqueness of the “Holocaust” (if we have to use that word) is probably argued most coherently by the Jewish theologian Emil Fackenheim. It is argued at greatest length by Steven Katz, but his method is simply to list “competing” events and for each one think up ad hoc reasons why it is not comparable to the Holocaust. Fackenheim at least identifies five specific features that he claims are unique to the Holocaust. His critics, however, have cogently demonstrated that all his five features can also be found in other genocides.

    In view of the weakness of the uniqueness thesis, the interesting question is obviously why its advocates persist in upholding it. That is a matter of speculation, but I would not reduce the matter to one of political expediency.

    • German Lefty says:

      In view of the weakness of the uniqueness thesis, the interesting question is obviously why its advocates persist in upholding it.
      Yes, that’s what I was asking myself, too. Isn’t it sufficient to say that the Holocaust was very horrible? Why do certain people insist on putting it at the top of a scale of horribleness?

      I would not reduce the matter to one of political expediency.
      I would. What else could be a reason?

      • ”I would. What else could be a reason?”

        Narcissism?

        • German Lefty says:

          Narcissism?
          Yes, but narcissism is connected to Zionism.

        • And to the tribal beliefs enshrined in Orthodox Judaism. A holy people, a people of priests, a light unto the nations, etc. If Jews are holier, i.e., closer to God, than non-Jews, then an attempt to exterminate them must be especially evil, more evil than an attempt to do the same to a less holy people (Gypsies, Hereros, etc.). I strongly suspect that this often underlies the insistence on the uniqueness thesis. Certainly for Orthodox Jews who still believe that Jews are spiritually superior to Gentiles. Possibly also for some Jews who no longer consciously believe this but are still influenced by the “psychic residue” of the belief, which causes an “irrational” feeling that genocide is worse when the victims are Jews .

        • German Lefty says:

          And to the tribal beliefs enshrined in Orthodox Judaism. If Jews are holier, i.e., closer to God, than non-Jews, then an attempt to exterminate them must be especially evil. I strongly suspect that this often underlies the insistence on the uniqueness thesis.
          Oh, totally right! Now that you say it, I remember the video link you gave me:
          Yaron Yadan on Orthodox Judaism (Part 1)

      • American says:

        I would not reduce the matter to one of political expediency.’

        I would. What else could be a reason?…..Citizen

        I would too where the Zionist are concerned. For other Jews who might embrace it I would say it’s a combinaton of things.

      • john h says:

        “What else could be a reason?”

        Jewish origins and the specialness attached to it. That is, chosenness, being the chosen people of God, which is something unique.

        “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities”. Amos 3:2

    • ”In view of the weakness of the uniqueness thesis, the interesting question is obviously why its advocates persist in upholding it.”

      Took the words out of my mouth. WHY does it matter so much if the holocaust is or is not ‘unique’ – and what does that really mean, in any case? The obvious answer, as exemplifed in the Golda Meir quote above, is that it excuses Jews – and specifically Israeli Jews – from any moral responsibility for their actions, no matter how dreadful they are. Jewish suffering was so very special and so very ‘unique’ that it serves to atone for all Jewish crimes, before and after the holocaust. After all, all sorts of people have been subjected to massacres over the centuries, but if we believe that the Jewish genocide was somehow ‘unique’ and therefore not comparable to ‘common and garden’ genocides, then the justification for the Jewish state is similarly ‘unique’ and does not have to fulfill the criteria expected of other, ‘ordinary’ states for ‘ordinary’ peoples.

      Another obvious fact is that Jews today tend to be a privileged group, at least in America and Western Europe. That allows them to get away with claiming ‘uniqueness’ for themselves and their collective suffering, in a way in which groups which continue to be despised – eg Gypsies – would never be allowed to do.

    • Keith says:

      “In view of the weakness of the uniqueness thesis, the interesting question is obviously why its advocates persist in upholding it.”

      From the perspective of Jewish tribalism, since the Jewish people are no longer united by the Judaic religion, appeals to being God’s chosen people are less effective than appeals to unique suffering and victim hood. Also, it tends to relieve any sense of responsibility or guilt as a consequence of Jewish privilege.

      From the perspective of the rest of the imperial elite, they are more than happy to go along with the uniqueness of this instance of mass murder to avoid dealing with the reality of the historical prevalence of the mass murder of the weak by the powerful. All empires routinely engage in mass murder which they downplay and/or deny. The Romans, the Spanish, the British, the Americans, etc. To advocate “never again” for mass murder in general is to call for the elimination of empire and power seeking.

      “…up to a certain point, the Nazi war crimes consisted largely of inflicting on white Europeans levels of brutality that had previously been reserved only for Asians, Africans, and the native populations of North, Central, and South America.” (Bertram Gross)

      “The United States has financed and given overall direction to the worst genocide since World War Two, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 1996, Washington has drenched Congo’s eastern provinces in the blood of over six million people.”
      link to blackagendareport.com

    • American says:

      I would give the political expedency of it great weight in Zionist practices toward their goals. And I would say the reason some Jews accept it is because it does prevent them from seeing or justifies their own hostile projections.

      Israel is the perfect petri dish for this.

      Genocide Prevention- Warning signs and Pathology of Genocide- Journal of Criminology http://www.internetjournalofcr

      *Day and Vandiver (2000) have observed that two of Kelman’s processes (of genocide) can be recognised in Sykes and Matza’s (1957) ‘techniques of neutralisation’, the two that are of interest being ‘Denial of the Victim ’ and ‘Appeal to Higher Loyalities’.

      *Alvarez (2001) has stressed the importance of ‘denying the victim’ in mass atrocities, whereby perpetrators assert their victims deserved their victimisation and go so far as to claim their violence as self-defence arguing they are the true victims.

      *‘Condemning the Condemners’ ….Perpetrators have an acute consciousness of political history and past victimisation which is used to reverse victimhood (Cohen, 2001. Perpetrators deflect blame by referring to instances of past
      inhumane policies and atrocities. Ratko Mladic (cited in Alvarez, 2001: 125) referred to America’s ‘chemical cleansing of the Indian tribes’ to deny America any moral authority over the Serbs attack against the Muslims (Alvarez, 2001). Finally, by ‘appealing to higher loyalties’, perpetrators portray their actions as patriotic and nationalistic, rather than personal.

      Thus, perpetrators contributing toward the goal of the ‘Final Solution’ could claim they were acting for the benefit of their country (or their people), thus the act becomes an obligation, rather than a criminal offence (ibid).

      *The nature of perpetrators and bystanders is complex; however, by focusing on situational influences on the individual, this chapter has demonstrated that it is the situation that is essential to understanding why people participate in genocide and why others fail to intervene. Individuals react to the social world around them and perceive their actions as justified in the abnormal situation they find themselves in (Waller, 2007). Organisers of genocide ensure that ordinary boundaries are blurred throughout the genocidal process facilitating the breakdown of moral boundaries in the perpetrator and bystander.

      The international response to the 1994 Rwandan genocide was heavily dictated by the United States who, as one of the five members of the Security Council, arguably has the most influence of all member states. The US State Department continually resisted the use of the term ‘genocide’, instead insisting that ‘only “acts of genocide” were occurring’ (Bradshaw, 2004). This effectively demonstrated to the extremist Hutu’s in Rwanda that international intervention was unlikely.

      All of these markers are present in Zionist adherents: …..Holocaust classic and classic use of the Holocaust.

      1) The denial of victims other then themselves as victims.

      2)The justification of “higher loyalty” to one’s own or the state.

      3) The perpetrators claiming they are the victims and acting in self defense.

      4) The perpetrators ‘condemning the condemners’’, using political history and their past victimisation to maintain they are ”still the victims”.

      5) The perpetrators try to deflect blame by referring to instances of past inhumane policies and atrocities commited by others.

      • German Lefty says:

        American, your link doesn’t work. I googled it and here’s the correct link:
        link to internetjournalofcriminology.com

        I would. What else could be a reason?…..Citizen
        Ahem, I am not Citizen.

      • yourstruly says:

        What if Jewish were made aware of the fact that not only they, but perpetrators of other genocides used these same five rationalizations to justify committing genocide upon whomever their particular victims, be it Native Americans, Africans, Armenians, or some other people? Such knowledge might facilitate a bit of self-reflection on their part as to whether they’ve allowed themselves to be supporters of Nazi-like crimes against humanity. Who knows for sure, but in many Jews this new found awareness might help bring about an epiphany of sorts – something like “Damn, all along I’ve let myself be fooled” Happened to me during the ’67 Israeli/Arab War, when Jewish-Zionist racism against all things Arab knew no bounds.

        • American says:

          yours truly says:
          June 9, 2013 at 11:17 am

          What if Jewish were made aware of the fact that not only they, but perpetrators of other genocides used these same five rationalizations to justify committing genocide upon whomever their particular victims,”

          LOL…the zionist aren’t going to let that ‘awareness” (their similarity ) take hold among many Jews if they can help it.
          What do you think their global, never ending , bull horn Holocaust and Anti Semite branding and bandwagon campaigns are for?
          Nope, Jews must be kept as ‘exceptions” to any comparisons on earth for Zionism ..and Israel ….to succeed.

    • Don says:

      I always like your comments, Stephen; they are very thoughtful.

  9. john h says:

    “It is becoming increasingly problematic however to talk about our suffering and persecution during the Holocaust without acknowledging our culpability in the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people”.

    “increasingly problematic”? Surely it has been just as problematic from day one of Zionism in action.

    “The core values of dignity, respect for all, and speaking out against injustice that many Jews hold dear, are being corroded by Zionism”.

    “being corroded”? No, “have been corroded”. This has been the case for 100 years due to the nature of Zionism and its priorities, and its gaining of the allegiance of most. To what was so simply and clearly put by Jabotinsky, “There is no other morality”.