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Warren, Schama, and Lipstadt address Holocaust echoes in Gaza conflict

Israel/Palestine
on 35 Comments

When I was a young journalist we said that three instances make a trend. This trend is about public figures seeing the Holocaust resonating in the Gaza conflict. First, Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke at Tufts University on September 15 and was asked about Israel/Palestine and the Holocaust.

Questioner: “Eva Mosley, I’m not a student, I’m not an alumna, but I was a faculty wife. I was also a Holocaust refugee and I’m extremely concerned that Jews don’t do to another people what was done to them–”

Applause, cheers.

Warren: “I think that’s fair.”

Mosley: “You recently said that you believe that Israel has the right to self-defense. Do you also believe that the Palestinians have a right to self-defense?”

Warren: “Of course. So, and the answer is yes. The direction we ought to be moving is not toward more war. The direction we need to be moving, as I said, I believe we need to move to a two-state solution where both peoples can be secure and safe within their own borders. So, I’m there.”

The real news here is that folks cheered Mosley’s concern and Warren says Palestinians have a right to self-defense. Note that Warren has run away from this issue in recent weeks, and been widely ridiculed on the left. (Daniel Halper got to her Tufts speech first, Weekly Standard.)

Next, here’s Deborah Lipstadt, the scholar of the Holocaust, who will address the topic of anti-Semitism at Yale tonight, speaking at the Hampstead Synagogue in London last Thursday. From the Camden New Journal:

she criticised Israel over its conduct of its war on Gaza.

The professor told the more than 300 guests – among them many leading members of the Jewish community, including survivors of the Holocaust – that the Israel  government had “cheapened” the memory of the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews by using it to justify the war on the Palestinians. She also seemed to liken the war as an act of “genocide” against the Palestinians.

Her barb came at the end of a talk on the danger of the memory of the Holocaust being lost as the last survivors died.

I’m afraid there is no more precision in the quotes at that link. Maybe she’ll explain herself tonight. Update: Lipstadt has now said that Gaza was not genocide.

But check this out: scholar Simon Schama on twitter is not above using the Holocaust to justify Israel’s slaughter of Gazans.

Jews lost one million children, one million in Holocaust none of which belonged to communities firing rockets and digging death tunnels

Notice “death tunnels.” Ala “death camps.” Jim Benham responds:

Here is a warning label for zionism. It makes very smart men like Schama say and believe stupid things.

About Philip Weiss

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35 Responses

  1. seafoid
    September 17, 2014, 10:39 am

    Schama is a disgrace.

    And this use of the Jewish experience in WW2 as the epitome of human depravity is wrong. Stalin killed far more people, as did Mao. Genghis Khan was no wallflower either.

    WW2 is over. Get with the program. And killing Palestinian civilians won’t bring any dead Jews back to life.

    Interesting that Zionists can’t ever countenance justice- everything has to be compared to WW2. Civil rights not possible because of WW2 because the Nazis were worse than civil rights . Bullshit.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      September 17, 2014, 10:56 am

      As a UK taxpayer, it annoys me no end that public money was given to Shama for his overtly Zionist ‘history of the Jews’ on BBC.

      ”And this use of the Jewish experience in WW2 as the epitome of human depravity is wrong. Stalin killed far more people, as did Mao. Genghis Khan was no wallflower either. ”

      Ah yes, but these were just ordinary folks whose numbers can go uncounted. They’re not special like holocaust victims. Just common and garden victims. Nothing to lose any sleep over.

      Wasn’t it the odious Elie Wiesel who said that the ‘other’ – ie non Jewish – victims of the holocaust aren’t so special because ‘Jews died differently’?

      • amigo
        September 17, 2014, 12:05 pm

        Wasn’t it the odious Elie Wiesel who said that the ‘other’ – ie non Jewish – victims of the holocaust aren’t so special because ‘Jews died differently’?

        I guess he meant that Jews died differently so Zionists could live differently.

        This man cheapens the memory of those he views as more special than anyone else .

        Odious , is a far too kind description.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        September 17, 2014, 12:16 pm

        I agree. Wiesel is despicable. Finkelstein had his number, big time. He is living proof that the mere fact of having suffered does not necessarily make you a decent human being, let alone a moral authority. And there’s something slightly sick about the doctrine of ‘holocaust uniqueness’. As the late Peter Novick put it, it is essentially saying, ‘Your suffering, unlike OUR suffering, is ordinary”, or alternatively, – not an exact quote here – the holocaust isn’t special because Jews SUFFERED, but because JEWS suffered.

      • seafoid
        September 17, 2014, 12:43 pm

        Holocaust victims had the worst leaders.
        And if they survived they got no welcome in Israel.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        September 17, 2014, 12:45 pm

        Wasn’t Wiesel instrumental in the decision for unimportant – ie non-Jewish – victims to be commemorated in the Washington holocaust museum?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        September 17, 2014, 12:45 pm

        Ugh, I of course meant to write ‘NOT commemorated’!

        Edit function, MW. Pretty please!

      • pabelmont
        September 17, 2014, 12:46 pm

        I had an Israeli neighbor, once, in Massachusetts, who said that holocausts (plural) were different and worse than other killing for one reason (which she’d experienced as a child in Europe during WW2): in a holocaust the intended victims know in advance that they are being hunted down by an implacable power intent on (and capable of) torturing and killing them. It was the FEAR of the hunted-for-extermination, not the death itself that made the holocaust special.

        She accorded the same quality to the hunting down of victims of Pol Pot and denied that there was only one holocaust.

        Something to think about. OTOH, knowing that Gengis Khan was heading your way and known to wipe out whole villages and cities upon arrival cannot have been too happy an experience.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        September 17, 2014, 1:01 pm

        I think your friend needs to read some history.

        Does she think that the Armenians didn’t know the Turks were out to get them?

        That the Kulaks had no idea Stalin didn’t much like them?

        That Gypsies were unaware the Nazis wanted to exterminate them?

        And so on and so forth…

      • Marnie
        September 18, 2014, 12:09 am

        It’s a sad commentary that the holocaust has been reduced to being the ace in the hole for the state of israel. The unrelenting invocation of the holocaust to justify the extermination of a people whose only crime is having a presence in, a history to and ties with the land you covet. The holocaust has been commercialized and is now the israeli “brand”. How very sad and what a terrible dishonor to those millions who were murdered. The holocaust has been a cash cow for the zionist enterprise. How shameful.

        There have been many, many holocausts in our lifetime alone, yet the victims have not demanded a state of their own. The victims do not hold the entire world hostage until they get their way.

    • ziusudra
      September 18, 2014, 3:33 am

      Greetings,
      ……Warsaw vs Gaza……
      Zio thought: we must destroy their tunnel System.
      Same aspect of both ‘lock ups’
      Warsaw: Children were sent out at night to buy, beg & steal items of food for the community.
      After returning with big stuffed bellies, they were easy to spot by the ‘sondocommandos’ & the food was confiscated!
      Gaza: The tunnels are used mostly for survival supplies, but must be destroyed so as not to bring in munitions!
      ziusudra
      PS Films of such instances are still viewed here in Germany.

      • can of worms
        September 19, 2014, 12:43 am

        “And there’s something slightly sick’” also about the name ‘Anti-Semitism’ itself. To differentiate racism from racism… which stands oddly in relation to anti-racism.

  2. seafoid
    September 17, 2014, 10:44 am

    The direction we need to be moving, as I said, I believe we need to move to a two-state solution where both peoples can be secure and safe within their own borders. So, I’m there.” –

    This is crap. the 2SS is dead.
    Warren also believes in apple pie, moms and pigs in space.

    • amigo
      September 17, 2014, 12:41 pm

      “This is crap. the 2SS is dead” seafoid.

      What the world needs is a worldwide “2SS” funeral complete with a military escort and a 21 gun salute and attended by all the worlds dignitaries who would be required to sign the book of condolence, for the record.

      The carcass should be buried in lime and thrown to the wind so no one ever tries to resurrect it –again.

    • American
      September 17, 2014, 2:53 pm

      Well I do agree with this……being as bad or worse for some people than being killed.

      ” It was the FEAR of the hunted-for-extermination, not the death itself that made the holocaust special. ”

      Not that the Jewish holocaust was any more special than the holocaust of others who have been targeted and ‘hunted down’ for who they were or the group they belonged to.
      But if you have to live as the Jews did and the Palestine now do, in a constant “hunted state’, never knowing where safety can be found, always knowing any misstep means you can be targeted and killed at any moment, it becomes too much.
      I think we saw this at work in the defiance of the Gazans in the last Israeli assault— you reach a point where you just say– here I am, I’m not running any more, go ahead, try and kill me.

      • seafoid
        September 17, 2014, 4:19 pm

        If even your phone calls and internet are monitored and your children are murdered and accused of self genocide it’s a bit rich to hold up the Jewish holocaust as uniquely evil and Israel as on the side of the angels.

        This reminds me of something that MHughes has commented on before- use of the term “the holocaust” is very uncomfortable- it implies a religious purpose to the industrial slaughter of Jews. Marek Edelman rejected that- he couldn’t agree that the murder of his people was ultimately for the establishment of a state like Israel.

  3. Sycamores
    September 17, 2014, 12:12 pm

    Schama tweets like a pro-nazi sympathizer and he doesn’t even notice it.

    Jews lost one million children, one million in Holocaust none of which belonged to communities firing rockets and digging death tunnels

    what Schama is saying European Jews were like sheep being led to the slaughter (like good people) and then goes on to say the Palestinians are savages for resisting occupation (like bad people).

    zionism has rotted this man’s brain. when an ‘ism’ gets this bad it’s no longer an ideology but a neurolgical disorder.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      September 17, 2014, 12:19 pm

      If a public figure had belittled the deaths of hundreds of Jewish children in such a manner – and make no mistake, that is what Schama is doing – it would have led to a big media outrage fest and the BBC would have cut ties with him by now.

    • seafoid
      September 17, 2014, 4:34 pm

      The Warsaw ghetto fighters lived in tunnels too. They fought back, like Gaza did.
      No wonder Edelman wanted nothing to do with Israel.

      • lysias
        September 18, 2014, 10:08 am

        What does Schama have to say about the Warsaw ghetto rebellion in his history?

  4. pabelmont
    September 17, 2014, 12:26 pm

    I’m so pleased that Sen. Warren seems to have turned an important corner. She was formerly so staunch an AIPAC puppet (or, let’s more charitably say, a convinced supporter of Israel no-matter-what). She cannot be innocent enough not to know what AIPAC and its friends in the political funding world will do. Therefore she is either brave and martyr-ish, or else sees a corner before her other colleagues do.

    Schama stinks. Someone should ask him if the fact that Warsaw ghetto fighters attacked Nazis gave Hitler the right to kill whatever children were then present within the ghetto. The trouble with off-the-cuff remarks (here, Schama’s, and maybe mine) is that there is no back-and-forth for CONSIDERED analysis of the SOUND-BYTE.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      September 17, 2014, 12:29 pm

      A lot of people on Shama’s twitter are reminding him that there were tunnels in the Warsaw Ghetto. Others are asking him just what he is implying – as if it weren’t obvious. No response from him thus far.

      Perhaps Shama should think before he tweets, and gives away the game? Ie that behind his ‘liberal Zionist’ I-too-can-be-critical-of-Israel comments, lurks just another Likudnik in desguise?

      • a blah chick
        September 17, 2014, 7:32 pm

        In his recent series he answered the rhetorical question on why he was a Zionist with “how could you not be?” Apparently being a Zionist means never having to defend your positions with logic.

    • ckg
      September 17, 2014, 2:29 pm

      I doubt Warren is either brave or martyr-ish. I agree with As’ad AbuKhalil on this:

      It is clear that Senator Warren has no clue what she is talking about on the Arab-Israeli conflict: she just reads the talking points

  5. American
    September 17, 2014, 12:36 pm

    None of this is going to matter in the end. The holocaust isnt going to matter. The few feeble words for Gaza and Palestine by corrupt politicians isnt going to matter.

    This is what is going to matter and determine the final disposition of Israel, Palestine and the US…… and its now filtering down from Bacevich to the net influencers to the public.

    Andrew Bacevich said it several years ago–the Israeli client state takeover of the imperial US power is “unprecedented in all of history”

    https://storify.com/billmon1/the-strange-case-of-amerisrael-1

    Billmon …”In effect, old “duel loyalty” charge is obsolete. There is only 1 loyalty now: to a consolidated Israeli-American national security state”

    “”This is an unprecedented historical situation: a tiny client state has acquired total control over an imperial power.””
    That’s the entire enchilada.’

    When this blows up, and it eventually will, it will literally ‘rock the world. ‘
    The fact that the power structures cant see or perhaps dont care what this will end in shows you how completely delusional and removed from the reality ‘of human populaces” both Israel and the US government are.

    • seafoid
      September 17, 2014, 4:29 pm

      Gaza 2014 showed that fewer people buy the shtick of Israeli preventive war to forestall another wipeout of Jews. “Why can’t you act normally” was the default response. If they can’t live in peace why should anyone support their murderous impulses ? Can’t Israel just get a girlfriend ?

      • American
        September 17, 2014, 6:43 pm

        @ seafood

        Israel doesnt need a girlfriend, its like a earthworm who has both male and female sex organs—–it can screw itself.
        Which is what it is doing…along with screwing everyone else..

  6. surewin
    September 17, 2014, 2:44 pm

    Schama is pissing away whatever credibility he had. He’s becoming a vengeful old Jewish man, as happens to so many.

    The use and abuse of the Holocaust and of the flexibly-defined idea of anti-Semitism is reaching a breaking point now, where people are saying “enough” in growing numbers.

  7. Nurit Baytch
    September 17, 2014, 5:02 pm

    The cited article misrepresented Deborah Lipstadt’s remarks. Prof. Lipstadt stated on Twitter: “I said to call Gaza a genocide was ludicrous.”
    https://twitter.com/deborahlipstadt/status/512284005396279297

  8. eGuard
    September 17, 2014, 10:09 pm

    Schama: Jews lost one million children, … none of which belonged to communities firing rockets and digging death tunnels

    Does he mean the Poles did not fire at the Germans, when they invaded their country? The French did not fire at Germans? The Russians did not?

  9. eGuard
    September 17, 2014, 10:19 pm

    I find Deborah Lipstad cheap herself, in the NYT last August, by worrying about ‘rising’ anti-Semitism in Europe while not addressing its main cause. Luckily, Yale chaplain Shipman could clarify this for her – at a cost.

    Now who’s the brave one.

    • seafoid
      September 18, 2014, 1:48 am

      “Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state. You can’t support or attend a Birthright trip, the basic premise of which — just look at the name — is that a Jew has only to be born to win the “right” to romp all over Israel, and then act all surprised when these things are conflated. You can’t applaud Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he goes around calling himself “the leader of the Jewish people,” and then get all huffy when Arabic-speakers use a single word to denote “Zionists” and “Israelis” and “Jews.””

      Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/202924/when-anti-israel-looks-like-anti-semitism/?#ixzz3DdxGixVd

      • eGuard
        September 18, 2014, 8:08 pm

        We agree. Nobody, not even Deborah Lipstadt or Elie Wiesel, should cry about anti-semitism when the Jewish state is killing children by the scores on the very same day the wrote.

  10. W.Jones
    September 18, 2014, 2:51 am

    Jews lost one million children, one million in Holocaust none of which belonged to communities firing rockets and digging death tunnels.

    Sometimes partisans attacked German police. In return, the Germans massacred whole villages. I think that that counts as part of the Holocaust. The Germans got their cities bombed too – not as if that makes any of what is happening, or happened then – OK.

  11. Shingo
    September 18, 2014, 8:44 am

    The good news is that Schama has been taken to the wood shed over this Tweet. The responses to him have been a resounding rejection. One of the better ones reads:

    Here is a warning label for zionism. It makes very smart men like Schama say and believe stupid things.

    And another reads:

    Zionism is poison for otherwise moral and brilliant Jewish souls and minds. Schama being a prime example.

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