On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

Middle East
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This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Most likely it is the last time that many survivors of Auschwitz will be alive to mourn the dead they left behind. Coming as it does within the context of the recent massacre in France, world leaders are also attending in large numbers. Including among these leaders are the president of France and the prime minister of Germany.

Yesterday’s New York Times features an article on this commemoration and the changes that Auschwitz is undergoing as the surviving generation comes to an end.  The change is momentous as described by Andrze Kacorzyk, deputy director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum:

We find this to be a moment of passage. A passing of the baton. It is younger generations publicly accepting the responsibility that they are ready to carry this history on behalf of the survivors, and to secure the physical survival of the place where they suffered.

In practical terms, Auschwitz is to be transformed from a memorial site to an educational museum. The next generation will know no survivors and will be unable to hear from them personally. They will have to be educated in the Holocaust in a different way to become the new torch bearers of the lessons of the Holocaust.

Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, is featured throughout the Times article on the importance of educating the young about the Holocaust:

It is very hard to pass the baton to a new generation, people who are living in different circumstances in a new century. Your parents may want to pass the torch to you, but it is hard to take up the cause of their life. And in many cases now, we are talking about the grandchildren of survivors.

Auschwitz is important because it was ground zero of what the Nazis did. And it is important because anti-Semitism is like a virus. You think it goes away but then it’s coming back. Right now, it is coming back very strongly.

Lauder here is referring to the “outbreaks of anti-Semitism across Europe” which he believes will help galvanize future generations on the lessons of the Holocaust.

Perhaps it will, but the question unasked by Lauder, the Auschwitz museum officials and the Times is in what direction future generation, Jewish and otherwise, will be galvanized.

The Times may have already raised this question in their recent book review of Anita Shapira’s biography of David Ben-Gurion.  Reviewing the biography, Ilene Prusher has this to say about Shapira’s handling of Ben-Gurion’s role in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948:

Some readers may find it hard, as I did, to read Shapira’s brief treatment of the moment in 1948 when the commanders Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin came to Ben-Gurion asking whether to carry out “a large-scale population evacuation.” Rabin reported that Ben-Gurion responded with a wave of the hand, saying “Expel them.” Shapira explains here that while he forbade the evacuation of some areas, like Nazareth, “like most of his ministers, he saw the Arabs’ exodus as a great miracle, one of the most important in that year of miracles, since the presence of a hostile population constituting some 40 percent of the new state’s total populace did not augur well for the future.”

Shapira doesn’t subject this incident to any ethical scrutiny or judgment, reporting it almost matter-of-factly. She does, however, note that given the history of the time — which included moving enormous masses of people across Europe and carrying out huge population transfers as part of the partition that divided Pakistan from India — Ben-Gurion’s decision wasn’t beyond the norm. “The decision not to allow the return of the Arab refugees was accepted as self-evident, and gained broad public support.”

I doubt there will be any reference to Ben Gurion’s decision or Rabin’s participation in the Nakba at the Auschwitz commemoration. I doubt, too, that the momentous change ahead in the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum will deal with the Nakba or Jewish culpability in this ongoing event.

The lessons of Auschwitz have gone unheeded. Most would agree. But the issue remains: What are the lessons of Auschwitz for future generations?

Thinking of the Nazis and Ben-Gurion, of the Holocaust and the Nakba, for Jews at least, the primary unlearned lesson is that Jews now live after what happened to Jews in the Holocaust.  Jews also live with the reality of an ongoing Nakba perpetrated by Jewish Israelis with the support of many Jews around the world.

The Holocaust is decisive for Jewish identity.  The Nakba is too.

Can this Holocaust/Nakba lesson be incorporated into the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum without minimizing the Holocaust?  Or does the continuing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians simply raise the stakes of Auschwitz, demand a renewed encounter with the suffering caused by unjust power in anyone’s hands, including Jews?

Holocaust and the Nakba.  Holocaust and Israel.  On the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz, the lessons remain.

About Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is retired Director and Professor of Jewish Studies at Baylor University and author of The Heartbeat of the Prophetic which can be found at Amazon and www.newdiasporabooks.com

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52 Responses

  1. just
    January 25, 2015, 10:51 am

    “Holocaust and the Nakba. Holocaust and Israel. On the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz, the lessons remain.”

    Unfortunately, the lessons of the Nakba have not only been ignored, they’ve not be taught nor acknowledged. It is ongoing, and judging from the 90% + support of Israelis for the latest massacre in Gaza, it looks bleak.

    So when you write:

    “Or does the continuing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians simply raise the stakes of Auschwitz, demand a renewed encounter with the suffering caused by unjust power in anyone’s hands, including Jews?”

    I answer with a resounding ‘yes’. Thus far, I am hard- pressed to find any kind of introspection among Israelis. By the way, the survivors of the Holocaust have been ‘used’ in a most heinous manner by the state of Israel (and Jewish people elsewhere), imho. About a quarter live in poverty in Israel….. is that honoring them? Others who speak out about the injustices against Palestinians are ridiculed and marginalized~ see Hedy Epstein…

    Thanks, Marc.

    (interesting to note that there is no mention of the people that liberated that horrible place)

    • Giles
      January 25, 2015, 11:00 am

      (interesting to note that there is no mention of the people that liberated that horrible place) –

      Nor of the non Jews who suffered in Auschwitz. Or the non-Jews who suffered and dies in the camps. We see or hear reference to 6 million Jews close to daily in our mainstream media, but I would say we Never hear about the 5 million “Others” said to have died in the Holocaust. “Others” as in not so important and not worth mentioning.

      • just
        January 25, 2015, 11:17 am

        Thanks Giles~ of course you are right, and I was remiss not to bring that up.

        To tell you the truth, this constant commemoration of all things Holocaust as it only affects Jews is disingenuous, to say the least.
        I’m with Norman Finkelstein and his work entitled “The Holocaust Industry”.

        Here’s just one example that most are familiar with:

    • John Salisbury
      January 25, 2015, 2:56 pm

      The atheistic Red Army finally put an end to the suffering.Ironic to say the least.

      • Marnie
        January 26, 2015, 4:20 am

        “To tell you the truth, this constant commemoration of all things Holocaust as it only affects Jews is disingenuous, to say the least” – Just

        That’s a very obvious, ugly truth. I think the point is, and I’m sure it would be to the horror of those who actually were murdered during the holocaust, that the intention is to infer only Jews were victims. I think the entire world was a victim. Every man who put on a uniform, went into enemy territory and lost their lives, were victims, not heroes. Their fatherless children, also victims. Their spouses, girlfriends, extended families, all victims. War kills everything. I’m not minimizing the systematic murder of Europe’s Jews at all. I resent the holocaust worship, the high school treks to Auschwitz, the constant use of the holocaust in an attempt to justify the theft of Palestine and the murder of her people to make room for Jews so they feel safe in “their ancestral homeland”. If eretz Yisrael was so important, why did the exodus from Europe, Americas, etc., wait until 1948? It is at the very least disingenuous to continue to parade holocaust survivors, invoke the holocaust, and continue to play the antisemitic card to attempt to justify the persecution, murder, theft and ethnic cleansing continuing to this day in Palestine. The architects of the holocaust were white european men. Their victims were white european Jews. The Jews are victimizing the semitic people of Palestine, who had no hand in the death of 6 million Jews.

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2015, 12:06 pm

        I’m not sure if it’s a good idea for people to think that genocide can only happen to Jews. After all, if it only happens to Jews, why be all that concerned about it?

  2. Bornajoo
    January 25, 2015, 2:13 pm

    @Just
    “I’m with Norman Finkelstein and his work entitled “The Holocaust Industry”

    Ditto that Just

    • bintbiba
      January 25, 2015, 2:43 pm

      @just & Bornajoo

      I muat have seen that clip at least a dozen times…it never ceases to make me admire NF for his strength of character and fortitude. He has lately been shunned and that I find is unseemly. He remains a great champion for Truth and Justice.

      • Bornajoo
        January 25, 2015, 2:47 pm

        Bintbiba
        “He has lately been shunned and that I find is unseemly. He remains a great champion for Truth and Justice”

        I agree Bintbiba.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2015, 4:00 pm

        me too. i wish he wasn’t so down on the bds movement. i think he views it an monolithic but it isn’t. oh well, i forgive norm for not being perfect or everything, but wow, he’s an amazing person and scholar. i have his book method and madness on my bedside table right now. he’s..norm!!!

      • Steve Macklevore
        January 26, 2015, 3:23 am

        I agree with Annie,

        I don’t share Norman’s view on BDS, but that doesn’t diminish his outstanding work on exposing hasbara and showing how much Israeli ‘history’ is lies.

  3. chet
    January 25, 2015, 3:19 pm

    In another example of near-crazed Polish Russophobia, the Polish foreign minister declared that Ukrainians and not the Red Army liberated the Auschwitz death camp.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/01/22/russia-accuses-poland-mockery-history-for-crediting-ukrainians-in-auschwitz/

    Apart from this despicable revisionism, it is sickeningly ironic to recall that that Ukrainian death camp guards have been accused of being even more brutal than the German guards.

  4. Keith
    January 25, 2015, 4:37 pm

    RONALD LAUDER- “…anti-Semitism is like a virus.”

    No it’s not.

    • JLewisDickerson
      January 25, 2015, 8:06 pm

      The cosmetics industry is like a virus!
      And, the finance industry is like a virus!
      And, the religion industry is like a virus!
      And, . . . [continued ad nauseam]

    • JLewisDickerson
      January 25, 2015, 9:07 pm

      P.S. ANDRE VLTCHEK (JANUARY 23-25, 2015):

      [EXCERPT] . . . But it is not just children and women the Empire kills: it kills everything that stands in its way.

      A few months ago I was almost killed by a unbalanced preacher in Surabaya, Indonesia. He said that he would, and he tried to liquidate me. These dudes are particularly malicious, as they or their ancestors, had already betrayed China after the revolution, and then they betrayed again, this time Indonesia, during and after the 1965 massacres. They have been serving foreign interests, they have been brainwashing people, and now many of them are going back to China, obeying orders from their foreign handlers to implant the ‘prosperity gospel’ and all sort of deranged Protestant crap.

      Killing with bombs is not the only way that the Empire destroys entire countries. It also kills through religion, propaganda and ideology.

      Its Pentecostal and Protestant implants have already caused great damage all over Africa, in Asia and all over Latin America, spreading corruption, ignorance and gloom. Only the strongest countries like Vietnam, China and Eritrea have stood firm and defined those religious inserts as weapons of imperialism and fundamentalist capitalism.

      Entire nations have been ruined by the anti-Communist and anti-socialist propaganda, by dark nihilism and commercialism, by pop culture and by the manufactured ‘opposition movements’, those that are serving directly or indirectly the interests of the Empire. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/23/genocides-not-wars/

    • JLewisDickerson
      January 26, 2015, 10:54 pm

      P.P.S. MATEO PIMENTAL (JANUARY 26, 2015):

      [EXCERPT] . . . The industrial revolution of a Modern West has since carried capitalism, like the malignant contents of a virus, injected into the nuclei of different governments its inhuman system, and sought thusly to possess centralized power everywhere for the benefit of the global hegemon, the 1%, the plutocracy. Saliently so, the United States has made itself a vector for a super strain of this selfsame, mutating capitalist virus. Now, it enjoys its last gasps of hegemony, stamping the world with its seal of war and free trade ad nauseam. . .

      SOURCE – http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/01/the-communist-manifesto-today/

  5. DaBakr
    January 25, 2015, 6:57 pm

    only Jews like Ellis and a few other assorted scholars and pseudo -scholars will continue to link Ben Gurion and his decision as part of the ’48 war with what the Germans accomplished during the Nazi regime in ww2. There is absolutely no reason why the Palestinians can not have their own Nakba recognized, studied and even- harsh criticism of young Israeli[Ben Gurion] war policy parsed. But analogies like this authors will end up on the dust heap of history-imp ( and right-I’m aware this is where Ahmadi-Nejad said Israel would end up too. Ironic, isn’t it)

    • talknic
      January 25, 2015, 9:33 pm

      @ DaBakr “There is absolutely no reason why the Palestinians can not have their own Nakba recognized, studied and even- harsh criticism of young Israeli[Ben Gurion] war policy parsed. :”

      Uh huh… https://www.google.com.au/search?q=%22Nakba%20Law%22%20Israel

      ” But analogies like this authors will end up on the dust heap of history-imp ( and right-I’m aware this is where Ahmadi-Nejad said Israel would end up too. Ironic, isn’t it)”

      Tch tch tch … What is ironic is that you have to lie in contempt of the most basic of ‘Judaisms’ tenets on behalf of the ‘Jewish’ state! Why is it defenders of the Jewish state’s illegal expansionist policies can’t even abide by the most basic of Jewish tenets?

      The Zionist regime is not Israel. Ahmadinejad reiterated the UNSC http://wp.me/pDB7k-W8

      • DaBakr
        January 25, 2015, 9:55 pm

        @tk

        “uh huh”…always with the links ad nauseum which confirm only (really, only) one interpretation of the so-called ‘facts’. if I were what you think of as some ‘professional’ hasbarast I would inundate the site here with equal and copius amounts of links which I doubt anybody here wants to read since most of the regular commenters here (and I don’t see all that many new ones) have already made up their minds about which facts and which narrative they think of as lies.

        The Zionist regime is Israel. That you want to deny it and call Zionist “liars” is all part of the political conflict that you-for one-will only understand as bound by whatever “tenets” you find relevant and have decided-along with many other anti-Zionists as something that other then the foundation of the modern Jewish state. There are many so-called ‘ironies’ in this world and for you-one of them is the that a Zionist , Jewish and democratic state can all exist at one time. Maybe it cannot exist without enemies but it certainly can exist.

        People here have already painted Israel as the closest thing the Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa on the planet and the Palestinians as the most innocent victims since the Nazi holocaust so how much more ‘linkage’ do you think I should read? I’m sure I have read most of what you have read and yet we come to different conclusions. I guess you have a superior brain and must be completely guileless in your interpretation of history post ww2. congratulations.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 26, 2015, 1:24 am

        People here have already painted Israel as the closest thing the Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa on the planet

        institutionally, and aside from current conflicts that have arisen this century, what governments do you think best represents the closest thing to nazi germany and/or apartheid south africa on the planet today?

        The Zionist regime is Israel.

        no it’s not. and iraq wasn’t sadam’s regime. don’t confuse a regime with the country and people it represents.

      • DaBakr
        January 25, 2015, 11:32 pm

        @tk

        other then your opinion-i don’t lie. not hear nor in my other posts. some here may havequibbled about my use of block quotes once and yet-what I block quoted -even if it should have been single quoted was hardly any real departure from the ‘truth’ as I could have easily found (through copius links again) something to b;ock quote that may have been far worse.

        The point is-I read this site to see if there is anything at all that could possibly shift my perspective and I can honestly say=on a few things-it has. But you calling me a “liar” about just about everything -including, lol-the “tenets” of Judaism is not giving me much to work with. In the end-it will be as many Palestinians who sympathize with the Hamas as with Fata (or neither that will be negotiating with liberal, center and right Zionists for whatever treaty can be worked out. Either conditional time based treaty or a full on final treaty. do you want to be part of the process or one of the cheerleaders like the hooligans in the bleechers rooting for ‘their side’ to ‘win’. I think in this i/p conflict it is safe to say -in the end-everybody will lose. period.

      • DaBakr
        January 26, 2015, 2:12 pm

        @annie
        a-my use of “regime” was facetious as Israel has PMs that are voted in and out and sometimes a PM holds power long enough for political foes to refer to this period of ‘regime’ of which it is not.

        But-yes-I would say that Zionism has been part of every govt in Israel since ’48 and it is very unlikely that even a peace treaty would take the Zionism out of Israeli society/politics . And if like I, one believes a state can be Zionist, Jewish and Democratic (and there are many variations of ‘democratic’ from federal republic to 1:1 vote) So engaging in the folly of who and what is as bad as the nazis and/or SA Apartheid is a childish endeavor imo. I could accuse the PA, Hezbollah, Iran or many other ‘regimes’ [including the US and Russia] of charges as well.

        personally-I don’t think anything compares to either the Nazi reich or SA but in a microcosm-there were incidents as brutal: Bosnia, Rwanda, Pol Pot, H.al-Assad Hama massacre, and of course, going back to the late 19th c. there is the final destruction (holocaust, even) of the native Americans with Wounded Knee and the Ghost Dancers and the reservation and ‘de-Indian-ization’ that followed.

      • talknic
        January 26, 2015, 10:21 pm

        @ DaBakr “always with the links ad nauseum which confirm only (really, only) one interpretation of the so-called ‘facts’.”

        You can’t address the points made and supporting material, especially when the official words of the Israeli Govt, Jewish and Zionist representatives reveals the duplicity that has gotten Israel into its current illegal situation, I understand. Sure, you’d like it better if I quoted some biased antisemitic conspiracist nonsense. Tough.

        ” if I were what you think of as some ‘professional’ hasbarast”

        A normal person when shown indisputable facts, usually formulates an intelligent and informed opinion accordingly. Propagandists and fools go into denial and try to shoot the messenger. You’re not a fool are you?

        ” I would inundate the site here with equal and copius amounts of links “

        Sure you would and they’d be swiftly shown to be the bullsh*t. Say, why don’t you try just one … go ahead …

        “most of the regular commenters here .. have already made up their minds about which facts and which narrative they think of as lies”

        The Zionist narrative and so called ‘facts’ don’t stand up to scrutiny, they are so easily ripped open, usually by the documents they claim as support. Something purposefully not true is by definition a lie.

        “The Zionist regime is Israel”

        No it isn’t buster. Regimes are governments. Israel is a State.

        “That you want to deny it and call Zionist “liars” is all part of the political conflict that you-for one-will only understand as bound by whatever “tenets” you find relevant and have decided-along with many other anti-Zionists as something that other then the foundation of the modern Jewish state”

        A) Strange, I’ve never denied Israel’s existence or it’s right to exist, B) false accusations, lies and coveting other folks property are against Judaisms basic common sense tenets, applicable at all times. You’re not Jewish ?

        C) Shall we start with ripping apart the ridiculous Zionist notion about Israel not having declared any borders? After all borders are a must in order to be recognized, right? Borders are a must in order to collect taxes, right? Borders are a must in order to determine where ones citizens are allowed to build, right? Borders are necessary to determine the sovereign extent of countries, right? Borders are necessary to know if a country has been attacked, right? A borderless country is Zionutter territory. I.e., complete bullsh*t!

        “There are many so-called ‘ironies’ in this world and for you-one of them is the that a Zionist , Jewish and democratic state can all exist at one time. “

        Is that the Zionist led state that keeps raising the threshold for election to the parliament, thereby excluding instead of including minorities? That has no mention of democracy in its declaration? That has not been able to write it’s constitution because being a Jewish state and a democracy simply cannot be reconciled? That has never had a legally elected government, under a constitution? The state that has illegal settler leaders talking about dispossessing 20% of its citizens?

        “People here have already painted Israel as the closest thing the Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa on the planet “

        Israel under consecutive Zionist regimes has been led to be in breach of laws and conventions adopted by the UN in large part because of the ghastly treatment of our Jewish fellows under the Nazis. You’re whining at the wrong people. Go whine to the Zionist Federation

        “I’m sure I have read most of what you have read and yet we come to different conclusions.”

        Your denial isn’t a rational conclusion, it’s denial.

        ” I guess you have a superior brain and must be completely guileless in your interpretation of history post ww2. “

        Shove it pal. I’m not interested in your drivel

      • oldgeezer
        January 26, 2015, 10:27 pm

        @DaBakr
        “one of them is the that a Zionist , Jewish and democratic state can all exist at one time. ”

        You may well be right. What we do know is that the state of Israel is not a democratic state as it has excluded individuals born there both from the right of residency and the right to vote.

        Any description of Israel as democratic is a farce. It has some democratic features but only after precluding voting rights on the what was the majority of the rightful citizens. Current demographics are irrelevant as they’ve been gerrymandered which has long been considered democratic by western nations.

        Oh… One last thing. Israel is not one of the western democratic states.

      • talknic
        January 27, 2015, 12:31 am

        @ DaBakr “… you calling me a “liar” about just about everything -including, lol-the “tenets” of Judaism is not giving me much to work with.”

        You claimed Ahmadjinedad said “Israel” will end up on the dust heap of history. He didn’t. Purposefully repeating a lie makes one a liar. Lying is against the basic common sense tenets of Judaism. Judaism is an official religion of the Jewish state, that people like you lie on behalf of the Jewish state is really quite bizarre.

        So knock yourself on the chin with over the top knee jerk false accusations for all I care. You’re showing readers the ghastly type of person Israeli’s illegal expansionism attracts

        “In the end-it will be as many Palestinians who sympathize with the Hamas as with Fata (or neither that will be negotiating …”

        You’re talking about political parties. Only a non-politically aligned organization can represent all of the people of a territory regardless of which political parties the people might vote for. (see the Jewish People’s Council)

        “…with liberal, center and right Zionists for whatever treaty can be worked out”

        The Palestinians are under no legal obligation to ‘work out’ anything that might compromise any of their legal rights in order that Israel keep what it is not legally entitled to and; Israel, like every other country on the planet, is not entitled to anything outside its proclaimed and Internationally recognized borders.

        However, the Palestinians have voiced their willingness in front of the world at the UN, to accept only 22% of their rightful territories in order that there be peace with Israel http://pages.citebite.com/e9p5s8u2yhcd The Israeli govt’s idiotic reply was to build more illegal settlements.

        Israel’s failure to take up on Palestinian generosity leaves only the default position, that dictated by law where Israel is legally obliged to end the occupation and withdraw from all non-Israeli territories http://wp.me/pDB7k-W8 and take all of its citizens back to Israel.

        The only ‘working out’ in that scenario is how Israel will withdraw from all non-Israeli territory in order for there to be peace. See the Israeli Egypt Peace Treaty, wherein Israel was required, agreed and did withdraw from all territory sovereign to Egypt before peaceful relations were assumed. It’s called withdrawal for peace.

        “Either conditional time based treaty or a full on final treaty.”

        There’s no legal requirement on the Palestinians to have any treaty with Israel in order to enjoy their legal rights. There is a legal requirement for both to adhere to the law. While there is occupation and the illegal acquisition of territory by Israel, the Palestinians have a legal right to legitimate armed resistance.

        But Israel has never been able to afford to adhere to the law. Under the law, Israel would be required to withdraw from all non-Israeli territories it has illegally acquired by war since 00:01 May 1948 (ME time), take all its citizens back to Israel, pay rightful compensation to Palestine and individual Palestinians and grant Israel’s non Jewish citizens RoR.

        It is the Jewish state who must negotiate a settlement in order to circumvent the laws it cannot possibly afford to uphold.

        ” do you want to be part of the process or one of the cheerleaders like the hooligans in the bleechers rooting for ‘their side’ to ‘win’. I think in this i/p conflict it is safe to say -in the end-everybody will lose. period.”

        My side is Israel you stupid person. Israel the Jewish people’s homeland state, living within its borders and within the law and in peace with its neighbours.

        Instead, under Zionist governance and people like you, Israel is in breach of hundreds of UNSC resolutions, in breach of its own declaration of statehood, in breach of International Law and the UN Charter and has been in a self inflicted war for 67 years

      • talknic
        January 27, 2015, 1:06 am

        @ DaBakr “a-my use of “regime” was facetious as Israel has PMs that are voted in and out and sometimes a PM holds power long enough for political foes to refer to this period of ‘regime’ of which it is not”

        All PM’s are heads of governments and all governments are regimes.

        ” I could accuse the PA, Hezbollah, Iran or many other ‘regimes’ [including the US and Russia] of charges as well”

        None are regimes. The PA doesn’t effectively govern all of Palestine. It was put in place to cooperate with Israel while Israel continues to occupy Palestinian territory. Fatah or/and Hamas (as a unity government or separate) could be considered regimes.

        Hezbollah is not the governing regime;
        Iran is not the governing regime;
        The Obama administration is the governing regime in the US and;
        Putin is the Governing regime in Russia

      • DaBakr
        January 28, 2015, 2:31 pm

        all of that really put me in my place and accomplished so much in the ‘war of ideas’. obviously-its your way or the highway.

    • oldgeezer
      January 26, 2015, 10:32 pm

      Israel is SA on steroids.

      The fact you have no empathy for the victims clouds your judgement. Even the leaders of the movement to free South Africans recognize that.

      You discount them to support a racist endevour. No surprise there.

    • Mooser
      January 27, 2015, 12:15 pm

      “only Jews like Ellis”

      Aieee! All rise! The Blunder-working Rabbi is here to render judgement on the condition and quality of anyone’s and everyone’s Jewishness.

      Israel, five or six million people all telling each other they are not Jewish enough, too Jewish, or the wrong style Jewish, or maybe they’re nothing but a kapo and moser (one “o”, not two) and their sister eats Arab dates. Sounds like fun.

      • RoHa
        January 28, 2015, 3:47 am

        “their sister eats Arab dates”

        That’s where the real trouble starts. Arab dates!

  6. JLewisDickerson
    January 25, 2015, 7:53 pm

    RE: Some readers may find it hard, as I did, to read Shapira’s brief treatment of the moment in 1948 when the commanders Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin came to Ben-Gurion asking whether to carry out “a large-scale population evacuation.” ~ recent NYT book review of Anita Shapira’s biography of David Ben-Gurion

    AND, THE BEAT GOES ON*: “Israel’s Treasonous Drone Strike”, by Uri Avnery, CounterPunch.org, January 23-25, 2015

    [EXCERPT] There used to be a joke about a sadist and a masochist.

    “Hit me! Beat me! Kick me!” the masochist pleads with the sadist.

    The sadist smiles a cruel smile and slowly answers: “No!”

    That, more or less, reflects the situation on our northern border at this moment.

    Two Israeli drones have bombed (or missiled) a small Hezbollah convoy, a few miles beyond the border with Syria on the Golan heights. 12 people were killed. One was an Iranian general. One was a very young Hezbollah officer, the son of Imad Mughniyeh, a very high-ranking Hezbollah officer who was also killed by Israel, some seven years ago, in a Damascus car explosion.

    The killing of the Iranian general was perhaps unintended. Seems that Israeli intelligence did not know that he, and five other Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers, were in the convoy. An Israeli army officer admitted this in a roundabout way. A second officer denied the statement of the first.

    He did not apologize, of course. One cannot apologize when one does not officially admit to being the perpetrator. And, of course, Israelis do not apologize. Never ever. Indeed, one far-right party in the present election has turned this into an election slogan: “No apologies!”

    The intended victim of the attack was the 25-year old Jihad Mughniyeh, a junior Hezbollah officer whose only claim to fame was his family name.

    Immediately after the killing, the question arose: Why? Why now? Why at all?

    The Israeli-Syrian border (or, rather, cease-fire line) has been for decades the quietest border of Israel. No shooting. No incidents. Nothing.

    Assad the father and Assad the son both saw to this. They were not interested in provoking Israel. After the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which started with a huge Syrian surprise success and ended with a complete Syrian defeat, the Assads wanted no new adventure.

    Even when Ariel Sharon attacked Lebanon in 1982, the Syrian troops stationed in Lebanon did not intervene. But since one of Sharon’s war aims was to drive the Syrians out of Lebanon, he had to open fire himself to get them involved. That adventure ended with a Syrian success.

    Any intention Bashar al-Assad might ever have had to provoke Israel (and it seems that he never had any) vanished when the Syrian civil war started, more than four years ago. Both Bashar al-Assad and the various rebel factions were fully occupied with their bloody business. Israel could not interest them less.

    So why did Israeli drones hit a small convoy of Assad’s allies – Hezbollah and Iran? It is very unlikely that they had any aggressive intentions against Israel. Probably they were scouting the terrain in search of Syrian rebels.

    The Israeli government and the army did not explain. How could they, when they did not officially admit to the action? Even unofficially, there was no hint.

    But there is an elephant in the room: the Israeli elections. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/23/israels-treasonous-drone-strike/

    * ■ The Beat Goes On (VIDEO 03:27) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBu8h1Js5Fg

  7. Mayhem
    January 27, 2015, 7:56 am

    On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz – an event on a scale which has never been matched in history for the shocking dimension of human suffering – some choose to diminish the significance of the Holocaust and use it to divert attention to their own political agendas. There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens but today has been reserved.

    The demonstrators who disrupted a NYC Council motion vote commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz show how low some people are prepared to go. This is pure anti-semitism that emanates from the pro-Palestinian movement – invoking the Nakba to distract from the horrors of the Holocaust is despicable behavior.

    Jews don’t have a monopoly on the Holocaust and the commemoration I attended tonight acknowledged all the different groups of people who were affected. Jew haters will always demean the efforts of Jews on the world stage and the actions of Jews, who punch well above their weight, are despised ipso facto by dedicated judeophobes the world over (MondoWeiss constituents strongly represented).

    A study just reported in Haaretz comparing high school textbooks in 139 countries and territories shows that just 57 countries describe Holocaust directly. Yes Ellis the lessons remain but from the tone of the remarks around here it doesn’t seem that much has sunk in.

    “The International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust is thus a day on which we must reassert our commitment to human rights. […] We must also go beyond remembrance, and make sure that new generations know this history. We must apply the lessons of the Holocaust to today’s world. And we must do our utmost so that all peoples must enjoy the protections and rights for which the United Nations stands.”  – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    • Mooser
      January 27, 2015, 12:37 pm

      ” an event on a scale which has never been matched in history for the shocking dimension of human suffering”

      Oh, let’s skip all the fol-de-rol and obsequies and hoo-haw, Mayhem, and get down to realistic solutions, okay?
      Now, how much do you think we owe you? C’mon, it’s pretty obvious where you are going with this, so how much will it take to shut you up? C’mon, Mayhem, name a figure, and we can negotiate.
      And you better hurry and arrive at that figure, cause the way you talk about the holocaust, it’s going to get harder and harder for people to believe, no matter what really happened that it seriously hurt us in any way. Sure it was a blow, but we got right past it, and went on to the even greater glory of our very own Kosher Kountry!

      So either name a figure or shut up, Mayhem. From listening to you I get the idea it really wasn’t so bad. Hardly seemed to dampen your spirits. Didn’t seem to teach you anything. Maybe it never really happened?

      Gee, I don’t know, if I was really concerned about the Holocaust, maybe I would look at the places it didn’t happen, and try to apply those conditions everywhere we can?

      I apologize for the intemperate speech.

      • Bornajoo
        January 27, 2015, 1:48 pm

        “I apologize for the intemperate speech”

        No need to apologise Mooser. You saved me from writing an even more intemperate reply

        Nothing denigrates the memory of the holocaust more than Jews who use it to invoke eternal victimhood and Zionist hasbarists who use it to try and justify the other holocaust they are perpetrating against the Palestinians.

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2015, 2:21 pm

        The facts about the Holocaust are in very little doubt, about. How rights were taken, how groups were identified, how rounded up what happened so many killed, in these various ways.
        There may be some arguments about some of the details, but there’s very little doubt about the over-all picture of slave labor and extermination. Okay, and those figures and facts are graven on history forever, like many other things.

        But what the Holocaust did, to Jews, what it means to history, and to mankind, each and every person gets to make up their mind about that, based on what they see around them.
        What else can they do? They have to make a judgement based on what they see and experience.
        And the present will change the past.

    • Mooser
      January 27, 2015, 2:27 pm

      “invoking the Nakba to distract from the horrors of the Holocaust is despicable behavior.”

      And naturally, invoking the Holocaust to further Zionism isn’t despicable, it’s just the way you roll. At any rate, I’m glad all those deaths were useful to you, Dabakr. I’ve never found a use for them, but I must not be as practical as you.

      • DaBakr
        January 28, 2015, 5:53 pm

        @mr
        in the future don’t attribute quotes that have nothing to do with what I wrote or said-in your pontificating. Whatever your issue is-the quote above is not mine. The palestinians can do whatever they like about their own narrative and surely don’t need to consult with me for permission.

    • seafoid
      January 27, 2015, 4:20 pm

      “Some choose to diminish the significance of the Holocaust and use it to divert attention to their own political agendas. There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens but today has been reserved. ”

      not in Erez Israel hashlemah, habibi
      all those loser Jews who went willingly to the slaughter didn’t fit in the new Judistan

      http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/the-jewish-thinker/.premium-1.639209

      “Ultimately, in 1951, Israel’s Yom HaShoah (literally, Holocaust Day) was scheduled close to the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. (NOT AUSCHWITZ DAY) The choice of date was an attempt to focus on those who fought against the Nazis, rather than on those who never had that chance. Those who “went like sheep to the slaughter,” as it was phrased in those days, were an embarrassment to the so-called “new Jews” of Israel. The official name of the new memorial day—Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day—reflected this mindset: It was, in large part, a commemoration of the lucky few who had been able to fight, rather than the unfortunate majority. In effect, Israel’s version of Holocaust memorial day was not a commemoration, but a denial of memory. “

      • just
        January 27, 2015, 4:23 pm

        Well done, seafoid.

        (I just finished reading that article~more than a bit startling, imho)

  8. Mooser
    January 27, 2015, 12:41 pm

    “Jews, who punch well above their weight, are despised ipso facto by dedicated judeophobes the world over (MondoWeiss constituents strongly represented).”

    That’s right folks, it takes more than a mere Holocaust to get “Mayhem” down. He pops right up, ready for the next round, punching above his weight, in his Star-O-David boxing trunks.

  9. eljay
    January 27, 2015, 12:53 pm

    >> Mayhemeee: On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz … some choose to diminish the significance of the Holocaust and use it to divert attention to their own political agendas.

    It’s no worse than how Zio-supremacists cheapen the Holocaust by using it to diminish the significance of the suffering of others and to justify:
    – Jewish terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands;
    – the establishment of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine; and
    – 60+ years of war and other crimes on behalf of Jewish supremacism and the supremacist “Jewish State”.

    • Mooser
      January 27, 2015, 3:02 pm

      “Or as Shabtai Teveth, the official biographer of Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister’s wrote:
      ‘If there was a line in Ben-Gurion’s mind between the beneficial disaster and an all-destroying catastrophe, it must have been a very fine one.’ [The Burning Ground 1886-1948, 1987: 851, Houghton Mifflin, Boston]”

      From Tony Greenstein’s Blog.

      • seafoid
        January 27, 2015, 11:19 pm

        There was very little punishment in Germany for those who took part in the systematic destruction of the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. Nobody wanted to go there so they just left it.

        Israel didn’t respect the survivors.
        The Germans paid reparations. Israel took the money.

        Now of course the dead are saints.

        The whole story is so sordid.

      • Kay24
        January 27, 2015, 11:55 pm

        Seafoid to your point, Israel/zionists uses the Holocaust for their own devious purposes around the world, but factually, this is how they regard, and treat, the poor Holocaust survivors, the true victims. Apparently the term “never again” is not for them.

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/92-of-israeli-holocaust-survivors-say-country-doesn-t-allocate-enough-funds-for-them.premium-1.513241

      • Kris
        January 28, 2015, 12:43 am

        The Holocaust means so much to Israeli Jews today that they allow at least 50,000 actual Holocaust survivors to live in poverty in Israel. Why is this allowed?

        From NBC news today: “Thousands of Israeli Holocaust Survivors Struggle in Poverty”
        http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/thousands-israeli-holocaust-survivors-struggle-poverty-n293391 There are some good links, and a good video, in this article. Here’s an excerpt:

        “TEL AVIV, Israel — Hadasa Hershkovichi fled to Israel in search of a home after the Nazis murdered her entire family.

        “But while million-dollar apartments pop up throughout her Tel Aviv neighborhood, Hershkovichi lives in a shack originally built as a laundry room on the roof of a five-story building.

        “The cold winter wind is coming in through the windows so I shove newspapers around the edges to stop the wind coming in,” said the Romanian-born Hershkovichi, who suffers from a combination of ailments that make it very hard for her to climb the stairs to her tiny apartment.

        “This is not the way for a human being to live,” the 80-year-old said. “I only have a few more years to live and I want a proper home.”

        “Hershkovichi is one of 190,000 Holocaust survivors residing in Israel today. She is also one of the 50,000 estimated to live below the poverty line, according to the Association for Immediate Help for Holocaust Survivors. Israel classifies a person as poor if they survive on around $600 or less a month.

        “I’m ashamed, I want to cry but crying doesn’t help,” Susan Rotem, a volunteer with the Association for Immediate Help for Holocaust Survivors, told NBC News. “It’s hard to be old but it’s very hard to be old, sick and lonely.”

        Rotem and some 3,000 fellow volunteers help people like Hershkovichi by giving them meals and medicine, paying their bills, and keeping them company on their birthdays.” …..

      • Walid
        January 28, 2015, 1:56 am

        “But while million-dollar apartments pop up throughout her Tel Aviv neighborhood ”

        A few years back, there was a Haaretz article on the plight of survivors describing how reparations monies that had been destined to help survivors was being diverted by the Israeli government to build apartment buildings to house incoming immigrants from Brooklyn. It’s shameful of Israel of having received billions and billions in reparations monies to still have tens of thousands of survivors living in poverty.

      • Bornajoo
        January 28, 2015, 3:18 am

        @Walid
        “It’s shameful of Israel of having received billions and billions in reparations monies to still have tens of thousands of survivors living in poverty.”

        To be added to their long and growing list of other shameful activities. From the huge amount of money that has been paid in reparations, each and every one of these survivors should be living in wealth and luxury.

      • RoHa
        January 28, 2015, 3:54 am

        The money extorted from the Swiss banks alone should be sufficient to keep the survivor in luxury.

        The money from Germany keeps the whole country afloat.

  10. Pixel
    January 27, 2015, 6:05 pm
  11. just
    January 28, 2015, 10:44 am

    Why does this carry more than a whiff of a PR stunt?

    “The head of Rome’s Jewish community, Riccardo Pacifici, was arrested in Poland and held overnight on Tuesday, after finding himself locked inside the Auschwitz death camp, where his grandparents were murdered. In a tweet he sent out in Italian, Pacifici called the arrest, which took place on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, “a disgrace.”

    After attending a ceremony commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz and appearing live on “Matrix,” an Italian television talk show, Pacifici noticed that the camp’s gates had been closed, locking him inside together with Jewish community spokesman Fabio Perugia, “Matrix” host David Parenzo and two technicians. After an hour outside in the bitter cold — it was minus nine degrees Celsius — and no response to their calls for help and efforts to alert someone through the security cameras, they decided to attempt to leave through the box-office, by climbing through an open window. That activated the alarm, bringing the museum guard and several Polish police officers.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/.premium-1.639514

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