This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.
Here it comes again, election season and the seemingly inevitable Israel love fest, Republicans and Democrats alike, this time focused on Iran. And the Holocaust.
Not the historical Holocaust in Europe, mind you. This Holocaust is on Israel’s horizon.
Enter Mike Huckabee, the perennial, all-purpose, Christian evangelical, Presidential hopeful, or publicity seeker, invoking the recently-brokered deal with Iran as the enabler of another Holocaust. For Huckabee, making sure that Iran cannot acquire nuclear weapons, is just the opening Iran needs to destroy Israel.
Huckabee’s words are aimed to make his Holocaust point:
This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.
How often can the Holocaust ovens be invoked before people everywhere begin to see that, while Jews suffered terribly in Europe, it is the Palestinians in the Middle East who are suffering now?
It doesn’t help that on the Jewish side of the second Holocaust visionaries, Dennis Ross, one of our premier Middle East government experts, suggested the delivery of a fleet of B-52 bombers to Israel without delay. To keep the Holocaust futurists at bay?
Huckabee and Ross are warmongers. Huckabee demeans the Holocaust. Ross has fallen for the Iran-destroys-Israel bait.
The Holocaust trump card is employed so often now that everyone knows when it’s about to be played. Thus the power of the Holocaust and its memory of mass suffering diminishes. How much longer people will listen to invocations of the Holocaust and what power Holocaust memory will retain once the American political process finishes with it?
The Holocaust happened in real time. The virtual, future, Holocaust is another thing altogether. Israel is armed to its nuclear teeth. Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians and the occupation of the West Bank is planned, carried out as government policy and enforced by the Israeli army. Invasions of Palestinian territories and other Middle Eastern countries, as well as Israel’s alliances with those they invaded, is a strategy to insure Israel’s security through military dominance. Israeli expansion and domination is not a defense against a future Holocaust. Whatever happens to Israel because of these policies is on Israel.
Once upon a time, Jewish dissent regarding Israel’s policies toward Palestinians was held in check by the threat of another Holocaust. This “threat” was pedaled by the Jewish establishment, progressive Jews and liberal Christians repenting for Christian complicity in the Holocaust. Those days are over. They won’t return.
We are left with Holocaust spectacle, American Christian flag-wavers who know nothing about Jewish history and could care less about Jews. They know and care even less about Palestinians.
Is the Holocaust trump card destined to be in the hands of those who could care less about Jews and Palestinian? When the ovens of the Holocaust are invoked as the Jewish future it already is.
[P.S. President Obama today condemned Huckabee’s remarks.]