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Outrage over Orla Guerin’s report shows what’s wrong with Holocaust remembrance

Media Analysis
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As I become older I realise that the Holocaust is not over. The gas chambers and incinerators are gone but the consequences of the horror will continue to play out in the decades and even centuries to come. Our understanding of who we are as Jews, our place in the world, our politics, how others view us, even our theology, continues to be shaped, indeed defined, by the Holocaust.

Why would it be otherwise?

Just as with earlier major turning points of Jewish history – the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70 or the expulsion from Spain in 1492 – the Holocaust changed everything. A third of our people were destroyed along with their culture and heritage. But none of us were left untouched whether we were alive then or born since. Or are yet to be born.

As Jews we have every reason to be sensitive about how the Holocaust is spoken about. What happened should be remembered. It should be taught. Mourning is necessary and reverence is needed, if only to help us to heal.

In remembering the Holocaust, we understandably focus on the past. What happened. And why. We raise up the voices of the remaining survivors so they can give their personal testimony one more time before they become too frail. We ask the leaders of nations to recommit to fighting antisemitism. We engage with our neighbours at a community level and work to create a shared acceptance of the need to remember, and for some, atone.

But there are dangers in how we remember too.

Trauma and narrative

The greatest danger I see is the passing on of unprocessed trauma from one generation of Jews to the next. Living in constant fear of existential threats is not living, it is only surviving. No group of people can thrive if trapped in such a mental condition. We have become sophisticated at teaching the facts of the Holocaust. But poor at recognising the deep emotional impact such learning may cause us and our children.

The other danger is that we try to police the narrative of the Holocaust and set boundaries on its interpretation. There are many reasons why this happens. Some are about emotional and psychological needs linked to the passing on of trauma. But most of the time it’s mixed up with politics. Usually the politics of Israel. And all of this can take place in both conscious and unconscious ways. The results are the same though. We fail to see the full consequences of the tragedy as it continues to work its way through Jewish history and human history too.

All of which brings me to the BBC’s International Correspondent, Orla Guerin.

One short TV news report last week seems to illustrate what takes place when unprocessed collective trauma comes together with a desire to set boundaries on the narrative of the Holocaust.

Auschwitz and the Palestinians

The BBC had commissioned Orla Guerin’s report as part of its coverage of the 75thanniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

As I watched the report broadcast on the News at Ten last Wednesday evening I knew all hell was about to break out for Guerin and the BBC.

The following morning, Board of Deputies Vice President, Amanda Bowman, made a formal complaint to the BBC for allowing Guerin to make a link from the Holocaust to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“In an otherwise moving report on the experiences of a Holocaust survivor, Orla Guerin’s attempt to link the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the horrors of the Holocaust was crass and offensive. Her lack of impartiality on the Israel-Palestine conflict has long been a matter of concern and it is questionable why the BBC would even use her for this sensitive assignment. As we approach Holocaust Memorial Day, the Jewish community is within its rights to expect an apology.”

Meanwhile, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard, wrote an Op Ed in his paper that surpassed even his own impressive track record for hyperbolic prose:

“I cannot recall a more foul – sickening, indeed – report by any journalist, either in print or broadcast.”

Later, the former BBC chairman Michael Grade and Danny Cohen, its former director of television, added to the criticism. Cohen was quoted by the Guardian:

“The attempt to link the horrors of the Holocaust to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is deeply offensive and upsetting. It was unnecessary, insensitive and particularly ugly in the days before Holocaust Memorial Day. Adding insult to injury, the report uses pictures of Holocaust victims in Yad Vashem during the sequence in which this link is made. This is inexplicably and unjustifiably offensive.”

The Campaign Against Antisemitism also submitted a formal complaint from its Chief Executive Gideon Falter:

“Few could imagine perverting what is supposed to be an educational piece about the Holocaust to instead fuel the very antisemitism that such education is supposed to prevent, but that is what the BBC has done. It was utterly appalling to watch Orla Guerin hijack a segment dedicated to remembering six million murdered Jews, and instead use it as a vehicle to desecrate the memory of the Holocaust with her hatred of the Jewish state.”

The criticism Orla Guerin has received has been truly ferocious. So what did she actually say that has caused such offence?

Most of Guerin’s report was taken up with a sensitive and compassionate interview with a Holocaust survivor, Rena Quint, filmed in Jerusalem. It ended with Rena Quint at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial/museum with footage of her looking at the exhibits. The final seconds of the film showed Israeli soldiers visiting the museum. It was over these pictures that Guerin made her concluding commentary:

“In Yad Vashem’s Hall of Names – images of the dead. Young soldiers troop in to share the binding tragedy of the Jewish people. The State of Israel is now a regional power. For decades it has occupied Palestinian Territories. But some here will always see their nation through the prism of persecution and survival.”


For the Board, Pollard and the other objectors to this news report, mentioning the Palestinians in the same breath as the Holocaust is an outrage.

The objection is that it minimises Jewish suffering, or creates an equivalence with Palestinian suffering, or suggests that Israeli persecution of Palestinians is akin to the Nazi treatment of the Jews. Or it does all three.

I would agree that there needs to be a great deal of care and sensitivity in drawing any similarities between Israel and the Holocaust. More often than not, Holocaust comparisons to Israel are used as crude sloganising designed to be provocative and deliberately hurtful to Jews while shedding little light on Palestinian suffering.

However, Orla Guerin was doing none of this in way she ended her report.

Intimately connected

You cannot understand the creation of the State of Israel (where half the world’s Jewish population now live) nor the attitudes and outlook of its political leaders or Jewish citizens without taking account of the Holocaust and the previous 2,000 years of European Jewish history.

The Holocaust and Israel are intimately connected – emotionally, politically, theologically. They cannot be separated in any kind of analysis of Jewish experience since 1945.

And if Israel chooses to make Jerusalem the focal point of the commemorations (when previously Auschwitz itself has been) then why is it so unreasonable to link them in a news report? After all, generations of Jewish and Israel leaders have presented the creation of the State of Israel as a form of redemption for the Jewish people following the Holocaust and an act of atonement on the part of the international community which did so little to protect Jews or give them a safe haven when they could have done.

But there’s much more to justify Guerin’s commentary. And this is where the dangers of unprocessed Jewish trauma and the desire to control the narrative comes into view.

The undeniable truth is that Palestinians are part of the post Holocaust story too. Their history and current situation cannot be separated from Auschwitz any more than the Jewish story can. In fact, they have become the same story because the Palestinians paid the price for Europe’s failures and the rest of the world’s indifference.

What’s really offensive is the attempt to disconnect the relationship between these two peoples. Whether we like it or not, we are now bound together in our post Holocaust experience.

Without wanting to draw any historical equivalence of suffering, one can legitimately argue that the Palestinian people are also Hitler’s posthumous victims. All that Guerin has done is point out this relevant information.

Of course, the project of Zionism, of a settler colonial ‘return’ to the Promised Land, began decades before the Holocaust. But I strongly doubt the creation of a Jewish State in 1948 would have happened in the way it did if the Holocaust had not taken place. The international community’s relationship to Israel over the decades would have been entirely different too.

It’s not hard to understand why all those who are protesting about Guerin are so vexed by the whole affair. If the Palestinians are allowed into the Holocaust narrative, then the Jewish presentation of the creation of the State of Israel as an entirely righteous and innocent endeavour starts to break down. We can’t afford to allow the Palestinians to be anything other than obstacles and irritants to our own project of post Holocaust salvation.

And underpinning this state of mind is that perpetuation of intergenerational trauma. Trauma generates fear and fear leads to suspicion. It certainly leaves no room for empathy when it comes to the Palestinians.

This is the unbalanced, asymmetric tragedy of Israel/Palestine. It is the Holocaust continuing to wash through history.

‘Deal of the century’

In the coming days we’re likely to see a further marginalisation of the Palestinian people as President Trump finally announces the details of his grossly misnamed “deal of the century”. Benjamin Netanyahu certainly hopes it will “make history”, by which he means it will soon facilitate the annexation of the main Settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley into sovereign Israeli territory.

So the Holocaust continues to play itself out creating new generations of victims. And it’s still too soon to understand what it all means or when it will truly end.

This post first appeared on the Patheos site.

Robert Cohen

Cohen is a British writer. He blogs at Micah's Paradigm Shift.

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34 Responses

  1. Misterioso on January 27, 2020, 11:54 am

    A direct “link from the Holocaust to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” is thoroughly documented.

    “In 1938, a thirty-one nation conference was held in Evian, France, on resettlement of the victims of Nazism. The World Zionist Organization refused to participate, fearing that resettlement of Jews in other states would reduce the number available for Palestine.” (John Quigley, Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice, as quoted in “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict,” second edition, published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East, Berkeley, California, p. 21.)

    The Jewish Agency in Palestine was very concerned about the implications of the Evian Conference. “It was summed up in the meeting [of the Jewish Agency’s Executive on June 26, 1938] that the Zionist thing to do ‘is belittle the [Evian] Conference as far as possible and to cause it to decide nothing…. We are particularly worried that it would move Jewish organizations to collect large sums of money for aid to Jewish refugees, and these collections could interfere with our collection efforts’…. Ben-Gurion’s statement at the meeting: ‘No rationalization can turn the conference from a harmful to a useful one. What can and should be done is to limit the damage as far as possible.'” (Boas Evron, Jewish State or Israeli Nation? as quoted in “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict,” by John Quigley, second edition, p. 21.)

    On 7 December 1938, during a meeting of the Mapai Central Committee, David Ben-Gurion revealed his true feelings regarding the plight of German Jews: “If I knew it was possible to save all the [Jewish] children in Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second…” He attempted to explain his twisted reasoning by adding that he would make such a choice “…because we face not only the reckoning of those children, but the historical reckoning of the Jewish people.” Ben-Gurion also expressed his fear that “‘the human conscience’ might bring various countries to open their doors to Jewish refugees from Germany. He saw this as a threat and warned: ‘Zionism is in danger!'” (Tom Segev, The Seventh Million, Hill and Wang, New York, 1994, p. 28.)

    On 27 November 1942, the Yishuv newspaper Davar published an article that referred to the extermination of European Jews as “‘punishment from heaven’ for not having come to Palestine.” (Tom Segev, p. 98).

    As Ben-Gurion so callously put it on 8 December 1942, during a Mapai meeting: “‘They did not want to listen to us’ ….in their deaths they had sabotaged the Zionist dream.’” (David Ben-Gurion at a gathering of Mapai workers, 8 Dec. 1942, (Tom Segev)

    That saving Jews from the Nazis was not the priority of American Zionists was clearly shown during the war. When President Roosevelt became aware of the dire circumstances of European Jews (who were thought at the time to be about 80% of the total number of refugees), he sent his close friend Morris Ernst (a key member of the Democratic party and leader of the New York Jewish community) to London during the middle of the war to see if England and the Commonwealth would join the United States and other countries in taking in a half million Jewish refugees through a generous worldwide policy of political asylum once Hitler was defeated. (Roosevelt felt he could sell the plan to the American Congress if Britain agreed.)

    Ernst returned home jubilant and advised the President that Britain agreed to “match the United States up to 150,000.” Roosevelt replied:”150,000 to England – 150,000 to match that in the United States – pick up 200,000 or 300,000 elsewhere, and we can start with half a million of these oppressed people.” One week later, however, the President informed Ernst that the program had to be abandoned because “…the dominant vocal Jewish leadership of America won’t stand for it…the Zionist movement knows [that it] can raise vast sums for Palestine by saying to donors, `There is no other place this poor Jew can go.'”

    Ernst refused to believe Roosevelt and went about seeking the support of American Jews for the plan. Their response shocked him: “I was thrown out of parlours of friends of mine who very frankly said, `Morris, this is treason. You are undermining the Zionist movement’. [I found] a deep genuine, often fanatically emotional vested interest in putting over the [movement in men] who are little concerned about human blood if it is not their own.” (Dr. Alfred Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection, pp.35-36 and Morris Ernst, So Far So Good, Harper & Brothers: New York, 1948, pp. 172-177)

    In 1947, Representative William G. Stratton introduced a bill to the Congress aimed primarily at Jewish refugees which would have admitted up to 400,000 displaced persons of all faiths into the United States. Shamefully, however, the Stratton Bill never got past hearings of the House Foreign Affairs Committee because it was ignored by the Zionist lobby which wanted nothing to interfere with the flow of Jews into Palestine.

    The Zionist campaign to force European Jews to go to Palestine after the war while doing everything possible to prevent them from finding new homes in the United States, did not escape criticism by all American Jews. “…by insisting that Jewish D.P.’s [displaced persons] do not wish to go to any country outside of Israel; by not participating in the negotiations on behalf of the D.P.’s; and by refraining from a campaign of their own – by all this they [the Zionists] certainly did not help to open the gates of America for Jews. In fact, they sacrificed the interests of living people – their brothers and sisters who went through a world of pain – to the politics of their own movement.” (Yiddish Bulletin, Free Jewish Club, May 19, 1950)

    The Zionists made it clear to President Truman that their backing would only be forthcoming if he did not impede their efforts to take possession of Palestine by allowing European Jewish refugees to immigrate to the United States. “…an aide sympathetic to Zionism [advised Truman] not to offer haven to Jewish displaced persons in the United States as this would dilute the argument that an independent Jewish state was required to absorb them.” (Prof. Charles Smith, Palestine And The Arab Israel Conflict, p. 128)

    Ben-Gurion and the Jewish Agency prevented European Jews who had sought temporary sanctuary in Palestine during the war from returning to their homes. Britain was well aware of this and Lord Halifax, British Ambassador to the United States made a point of informing Secretary of State Byrnes “that the Zionists were using every possible form of intimidation to stop Jews from leaving Palestine to go back to Europe and play their part in its reconstruction.” (FR: 1945, Vol. Vlll p. 775; cited by Dr. Alfred Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection, p. 52)

    Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times called for a reversal of Zionist policy that put statehood first, refugees last: “Admitting that the Jews of Europe have suffered beyond expression, why in God’s name should the fate of all these unhappy people be subordinated to the single cry of Statehood? I cannot rid myself of the feeling that the unfortunate Jews of Europe’s D.P. [Displaced Persons] camps are helpless hostages for whom statehood has been made the only ransom.” (New York Times, October 27/46)

    During an interview in 1951, one of America’s most renowned theologians, Dr. Louis Finkelstein of the Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan declared that he had always felt “if United States Jews had put as much effort into getting [Jewish] D.P.’s admitted to this country as they put into Zionism, a home could have been found in the New World for all the displaced Jews of Europe.” (Lilienthal, What Price Israel?, p. 36)

    On 2 May 1948, in a report delivered to the pro-Zionist American Jewish Conference regarding “Jewish Displaced Persons in the American Occupied Zone of Germany,” Jewish Chaplain Klausner stated that “The Jews as a group are not overwhelmingly desirous of going to Palestine…we may predict that perhaps 30% of the people will go to Palestine.” (Lilienthal, WPI? p. 260)

    Klausner concluded that displaced Jews “… must be forced to go to Palestine…. By ‘force’ I suggest a program. It is not a new program.” “The first step…is the adoption of the principle that it is the conviction of the world Jewish community that these people must go to Palestine. The second step is the transmittal of that policy to the Displaced Persons.”

    The strategy suggested by Klausner to persuade Jews in the Displaced Persons camps to immigrate to Israel was implemented. Its tactics included: “confiscation of food rations, dismissal from work, smashing of machines sent by Americans to train D.P.’s in useful skills, taking away legal protection and visa rights from dissenters, expulsion from the camps of political opponents and, in one instance, even the public flogging of a recalcitrant recruit for the Israel Army. Trucks of the Jewish Agency were known to drive through the Jewish camps in Germany, ‘picking up’ boys and young men. Strange transports left Germany every week for France where, as a first step en route to Israel, the herded people were kept in camps established at Marseilles. In Germany’s D.P. camps, stories were spread that pogroms were taking place in parts of the United States.” (Lilienthal, WPI?, pp. 196-197)

    “The government [of Israel] made great efforts to convince Jews in Eastern Europe to migrate to Israel. Its immigration agent in Romania reported in 1950: ‘Working through the local leadership and every reliable Jew we have met, we are urging Jews to make application for emigration and for passports.’ Agents tried to get emigrating Jews to Israel. In Poland Israeli officials would ‘send the people directly to the port, so they would not be able to stop en route,’ reported Samuel Eliashiv, Israel’s ambassador to Czechoslovakia. Israel’s consul in Warsaw, Israel Carmel, found that persuasion was difficult. ‘The awakening of the Jews in Poland will not happen by itself,’ he reported in 1949. ‘They must be motivated and organized.'” (Quigley, p. 99)

  2. eljay on January 27, 2020, 12:51 pm

    The Holocaust was a great tragedy – no question about it – but as it’s neither the most recent nor the greatest nor the most brutal genocide / mass murder ever perpetrated, its veneration is puzzling.

    Solemnly commemorating acts of immorality and injustice committed by others against Jews while actively advocating, engaging in, supporting and/or defending acts of injustice and immorality committed by Jews against others is more than just puzzling – it’s obscene.

    (Just imagine: Half of a family in a given community murdered, so 4/5ths of the remaining half takes to doing evil in a different part of the city. But every year the city makes a big show of commemorating the murder even as the mayor, the police chief and other influential municipal leaders openly and staunchly support the evil the surviving family members do and their “right” to do it. No-one in their right mind would accept this…or be expected to.)

  3. Ossinev on January 27, 2020, 2:17 pm

    ” It was utterly appalling to watch Orla Guerin hijack a segment dedicated to remembering six million murdered Jews, and instead use it as a vehicle to desecrate the memory of the Holocaust with her hatred of the Jewish state.”

    Ah but it is all fine and proper to use the Holocaust to desecrate the memory of all those native Palestinians who were murdered and ethnically cleansed form their lands by colonising foreign terrorists.

  4. Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 27, 2020, 3:54 pm

    Worth pointing out that the lobby have had it in for Guerin big time for about 15 years and more, due to her – by mainstream media standards – honest and accurate reporting from the occupied territories. They tried to bully the BBC into having her taken off the job at least once in the past. Strange that the author omits this important piece of context.

    “We ask the leaders of nations to recommit to fighting antisemitism.”

    Antisemitism is a tiny issue in most countries. What exactly do you want these leaders to do and why should they prioritise antisemitism over other forms of prejudice?

    “We engage with our neighbours at a community level and work to create a shared acceptance of the need to remember, and for some, atone.”

    Huh? Who today is alive that needs to ‘atone’ for the crimes of the Holocaust? Exceedingly few.

    Also regarding the whole ‘need to remember’ thing, what exactly does it mean? Genocide happened before the holocaust, has happened since then and sadly will no doubt happen again in the future. I’m not sure how visiting a holocaust museum or attending a memorial event will change that.

    But that’s not really what this whole ‘remember the holocaust’ thing is about, is it?

  5. JaapBo on January 27, 2020, 4:19 pm

    Guerin’s commentary is spot-on: If you want to justify yourself, imagine yourself as a victim.

    It’s not only Zionism doing this, people do it all the time.

  6. Mayhem on January 27, 2020, 8:00 pm

    Often we see on MW complaints about cultural appropriation but what about historical appropriation like when the Palestinians or their supporters appropriate (adopt) an aspect of the Jewish-Israeli narrative to make it theirs?

    No complaints about that of course if you happen to be anti Israel and pro-Palestinian.

    A case of taking logic and applying it differently from one situation to another according to your particular prejudices.

    Like making the Nakba into a Holocaust, like saying the Palestinians are the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine, like saying Palestinian-Arabs have a right to self-determination a la Zionism by devising Palestinianism etc. All mischievious attempts to use the idea of intersectionality to rope in a cause from left field.

    A significant event shouldn’t be railroaded by someone wishing to cynically exploit it for their own political purposes.

    This reminds me of the case of Yassmin Abdel-Magied who shocked Australia with her Anzac Day gaffe last year, where she posted on Facebook: “Lest We Forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine …).”

    She was heavily criticised for inappropriately appropriating a sacred day in the psyche of the nation and was forced to issue an apology.

    “It was brought to my attention that my last post was disrespectful, and for that I unreservedly apologise,” Abdel-Magied wrote.

    There is a time and a place.

    Untimely political opportunism like Guerin’s deserves to be condemned.

    • eljay on January 28, 2020, 9:51 am

      || Mayhem: … saying the Palestinians are the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine … ||

      That’s because Palestinians are the indigenous people of geographic Palestine.

      || … like saying Palestinian-Arabs have a right to self-determination a la Zionism … ||

      No-one says that, because “[s]elf-determination a la Zionism” is a fraud.

      The right of self-determination – the real one, not the Zionist one – belongs to all the people of a geographic region. In Palestine, that right belongs to Palestinians (all of them) and not to people all over the world – citizens of homelands throughout the world – who have chosen to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.

      • Mayhem on January 28, 2020, 8:45 pm

        @eljay, I get to define who I am and to which ethnic group I belong. You don’t. Moreover I do not give credibility to unsubstantiatable, blanket statements like “Palestinians are the indigenous people of geographic Palestine” which are political agenda and not based on fact.
        As for your quibble about the claims of entitlement by ‘Zionists’. You want to take away my rights and you expect me to sit back and take it on the chin?
        Never Again!

      • RoHa on January 28, 2020, 10:47 pm

        “I get to define who I am”

        Me too. I am Jin Yutang.

        “and to which ethnic group I belong.”

        I am a Manchu, of the Aisin Gioro clan.

        ” You want to take away my rights …”

        I’m with you all the way! I’m affirming my right to the Imperial Throne, and the heck with reality.

      • MHughes976 on January 29, 2020, 4:37 am

        I don’t think that there is always general public consent to self-ascribed ethnicity, as Elizabeth Warren has found. I agree that objective criteria of ethnicity are hard to identify. To the extent that we do have them we have to check personal claims against them, so that I don’t get to determine the matter entirely by myself and you may be more right objectively about my ethnicity than I am. If RoHa claims to be Fu Manchu we may rightly disagree with him. To the extent that there is no objective criterion all subjective judgements, yours of my ethnicity, mine of mine etc. seem to have comparable status.
        It’s an objective fact that of those currently indigenous to the Holy Land in the sense of having been born there to parents who were long-standing residents (the sense in which I’d claim to be indigenous to England) are non-Jewish Palestinians. In their humanity they deserve normal political rights as much as I do.

      • eljay on January 29, 2020, 5:54 am

        || Mayhem: @eljay, I get to define who I am and to which ethnic group I belong. You don’t. … ||

        And I haven’t, so quit you whining.

        || … Moreover I do not give credibility to unsubstantiatable, blanket statements like “Palestinians are the indigenous people of geographic Palestine” … ||

        Of course you don’t – you’re a Zionist. You give credibility to unsubstantiatable, blanket Zionist statements like: For those who choose to embrace it, the religion-based identity of Jewish magically:
        – transforms them into Ancient Israelites and Judeans;
        – transforms geographic Palestine into their ancient / historic / eternal / lost / one true homeland; and
        – grants them right to be supremacists, to have a supremacist state and to do “necessary evil unto others.

        || … You want to take away my rights and you expect me to sit back and take it on the chin? … ||

        Neither you nor anyone else has a “right” to be a supremacist, to have a supremacist state or to do evil unto others, so I’m not proposing to take away any rights from you, but I am proposing giving to the non-Jews of I-P the rights of justice, accountability and equality to which all people are entitled.

        || … Never Again! ||

        A lesson you Zionists clearly haven’t learned.

      • eljay on January 29, 2020, 7:24 am

        || eljay: … I am proposing giving to the non-Jews of I-P the rights of justice, accountability and equality to which all people are entitled. … ||

        Correction: … I am proposing giving to everyone in I-P the rights of justice, accountability and equality to which all people are entitled and whose obligations all people should respect and uphold. …

      • Talkback on January 29, 2020, 9:19 am

        Mayhem: “Moreover I do not give credibility to unsubstantiatable, blanket statements like “Palestinians are the indigenous people of geographic Palestine” which are political agenda and not based on fact.”

        Well, if you are saying that a few of the Palestinians were immigrants to Palestine during mandate times I would agree. On the other hand most of the Jews were, too. And more than half of them weren’t even citizens of Palestine in 1948. So it’s fair to say that Palestinians are the indigenous and constitutive people of the state of Paletsine under mandate.

        Mayhem: “You want to take away my rights …”

        What rights? The right to violate international law or the right to violate human rights? The right to violate the right to self determination? The right to Apartheid? The right to The right to conquest, illegal annexation and illegal settlements? The right to illegally prolonged occupation? The right to expulsion, denationalization, dispossession and disenfranchisementof people, because of their faith? Please let us know of any right recognized in international law or based on universal principles that you think you have and that any other people could claim, too.

      • RoHa on January 29, 2020, 9:36 pm

        ” In their humanity they deserve normal political rights as much as I do.”

        I think we have a better chance of making a case for your normal political rights than for my right to the Imperial Throne, or for whatever special rights Mayhem wants to claim.

        But I never thought of taking up a career as Fu Manchu. I might give that a whirl.

      • Mooser on January 29, 2020, 10:14 pm

        .” I might give that a whirl.”

        You’ll need a base of operation. I know of an abandoned dye-works which would make an outstanding laboratory of crime, you could lease it quite cheaply.

      • echinococcus on January 29, 2020, 10:45 pm


        “I think we have a better chance of making a case for your normal political rights than for my right to the Imperial Throne…”

        When writing ”In their humanity they deserve normal political rights as much as I do”, Hughes was referring to non-Jewish Palestinians. So this is not about his political rights — obvious rights. It’s about the shocking heresy of putting the rights of a subject of both the Queen and the Church of England on the same level as those of the un – ehm – speakable.

        What else than sacrilegious confusion would one expect from a Manchurian candidate, anyway?

      • RoHa on January 30, 2020, 12:21 am

        Echinococcus, first we have to establish that MHughes deserves political rights. (We must bear in mind that it seems as though some of his ancestors were Welsh.)

        If he does, then we can consider his claim that the Palestinians deserve the rights to the same extent.

    • Marnie on January 28, 2020, 11:17 am

      For the life of me I can’t grasp the sense of entitlement, special treatment and accommodation that the zionist entity demands from the rest of the world. A journalist speaks the truth, without any denial of the suffering of the jewish people and is scorned and abused because why? How dare anyone try to compare jewish suffering from the suffering of non-Jews? How is the holocaust different from the systematic mass murder of Tutsi simply because they are Tutsi? The murder, rape and theft of land from the indigenous people of what was called ‘america’, simply because their skin wasn’t white and they didn’t speak english, weren’t christian and so couldn’t possibly be human? What about the capture of millions of Africans, ripped from their homelands, dying on the journey by the millions and those that survived the hellish journey found themselves strangers in a strange land, with no sanctuary and forced to be beasts of burden and sexual slaves at the whim of so-called ‘civilized’ white men and women. Who do you think you are? This faux outrage by yourself and others only says one thing to me – you want the top spot on the victim pyramid and everyone else can just fuck off? God forbid some goyim suffered as much or more than us!! Jews don’t own the market on tragedy and suffering. Read the news and see what’s happening outside your zionist bubble of fear and hatred. Zionists have no shame and are totally ignorant of history and they’ll reap what they’ve sewn.

      • eljay on January 28, 2020, 2:24 pm

        || Marnie: For the life of me I can’t grasp the sense of entitlement, special treatment and accommodation that the zionist entity demands from the rest of the world. … ||

        Zionists are torn between:
        – “singling out” Israel, because they think it deserves it; and
        – not “singling out” Israel, because they think it doesn’t deserve it.

        Actually, they’re not torn – they simply want it both ways. (And they want to be able to damn people who do and who don’t “single out” Israel.)

      • Antidote on January 28, 2020, 5:32 pm

        “ For the life of me I can’t grasp the sense of entitlement, special treatment and accommodation that the zionist entity demands from the rest of the world.”

        I feel exactly the same way about the USA. Nobody, not even the “Zionist entity” can top the country that feels entitled to rule the world, based on some imaginary superiority

        Book tip:

      • Marnie on January 28, 2020, 11:49 pm

        “I feel exactly the same way about the USA.”
        I agree. The u.s. made the blueprint.

    • Misterioso on January 28, 2020, 11:21 am


      To be brief:

      “like saying the Palestinians are the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine,…”

      It seems the truth hurts:

      Renowned historian/anthropologist and “Holy Land” specialist, the late Professor Ilene Beatty: “When we speak of ‘Palestinians’ or of the ‘Arab population [of Palestine]‘, we must bear in mind their Canaanite origin. This is important because their legal right to the country stems… from the fact that the Canaanites were first, which gives them priority; their descendants have continued to live there, which gives them continuity; and (except for the 800,000 dispossessed refugees [of 1948 along with the further hundreds of thousands expelled before and after the war Israel launched on 5 June 1967]) they are still living there, which gives them present possession. Thus we see that on purely statistical grounds they have a proven legal right to their own land.” (“Arab and Jew in the Land of Canaan,” 1957)
      Front. Genet., 21 June 2017 |

      “The Origins of Ashkenaz, Ashkenazic Jews, and Yiddish”

      “Recent genetic samples from bones found in Palestine dating to the Epipaleolithic (20000-10500 BCE) showed remarkable resemblance to modern day Palestinians.”

      “The non-Levantine origin of AJs [Ashkenazi Jews] is further supported by an ancient DNA analysis of six Natufians and a Levantine Neolithic (Lazaridis et al., 2016), some of the most likely Judaean progenitors (Finkelstein and Silberman, 2002; Frendo, 2004). In a principle component analysis (PCA), the ancient Levantines clustered predominantly with modern-day Palestinians and Bedouins and marginally overlapped with Arabian Jews, whereas AJs clustered away from Levantine individuals and adjacent to Neolithic Anatolians and Late Neolithic and Bronze Age Europeans.”

      “Overall, the combined results are in a strong agreement with the predictions of the Irano-Turko-Slavic hypothesis (Table 1) and rule out an ancient Levantine origin for AJs, which is predominant among modern-day Levantine populations (e.g., Bedouins and Palestinians). This is not surprising since Jews differed in cultural practices and norms (Sand, 2011) and tended to adopt local customs (Falk, 2006). Very little Palestinian Jewish culture survived outside of Palestine (Sand, 2009). For example, the folklore and folkways of the Jews in northern Europe is distinctly pre-Christian German (Patai, 1983) and Slavic in origin, which disappeared among the latter (Wexler, 1993, 2012).”

    • Marnie on January 29, 2020, 7:00 am

      ‘She was heavily criticised for inappropriately appropriating a sacred day in the psyche of the nation and was forced to issue an apology.’

      Why should this be a ‘sacred day’ in the first place – do you even know what that means? FFS shabbat is sacred. There is nothing sacred about the holocaust. It should be a day of mourning but that doesn’t work for Likud and the right. They have to make it a circus, a political game in which the survivors are pimped out and paraded like animals in a zoo. That’s absolutely disgusting and minimizes and diminishes the horror by turning it into an event. Fucking sick. Professor Finklestein’s book The Holocaust Industry should be required reading.

      • RoHa on January 29, 2020, 9:32 pm

        Mayhem was referring to Anzac Day.

  7. John Douglas on January 27, 2020, 8:57 pm

    If an intelligent Martian were to read the news about the Palestine/Israel conflict they could not be faulted for concluding that one side is capable of, even very sensitive, feelings while the other side are automata, capable of understanding that tragedy was occurring all around them while feeling nothing. One side can be outraged and infuriated, feel slighted by insensitive words, hurt by hurtful comparisons, saddened as they wonder “How can they speak such inappropriate words. That same side is open to be wounded by tropes and memes. One side can be appalled by even unintended slights, speaking of Palestinian suffering in the same sentence as the Holocaust. How dare they! One side has the humanity to be victims while the other side is capable only of lashing out, motivated by the only emotion of which they are capable, hatred, forcing the other side against their wishes, to lash out, but only ever “in response to…”

  8. Abuadam on January 27, 2020, 10:37 pm

    “But I strongly doubt the creation of a Jewish State in 1948 would have happened in the way it did if the Holocaust had not taken place. The international community’s relationship to Israel over the decades would have been entirely different too’

    Says it all for any one that is objective in his/hers deductive reasoning

  9. DaBakr on January 28, 2020, 12:52 am

    wondering about why nobody but an outright racist (according to the lefts definition) would ever mention the ‘dangers of remembering slavery or the genocide of the native Americans. No dangers in how the Cambodian genocide is remembered or the starvation by design of over a million Sudanese and Somalis. No. As is typical of far left Jews who can’t help themselves from aggressive hand wringing, they obsess on how an indescribable industrial mass murder can be ‘dangerously remembered’. How is the narrative of Palestinians being ‘dangerously remembered’.? Cohen once again self righteously admonishes Jewish nationalism while most likely touting the benefits and wonders of Arab nationalism in most of the Middle East.
    With Ofers wrong headed obsessiion with the whiteness and western nature of the Israeli government (completely ignoring the 50% of Jewish Israelis that are Sephardic or mizrahii. Notice almost zero complaints about the actual ‘western system’ they fled to from the oppressive Muslim/arab regimes they were forced to flee. The only protest is access to power sharing which in any nation is bound to be hard fought and won.) and cohens obsession with ‘remembering ‘ the holocaust with parameters that new to his particular beliefs Israelis and Zionist Jews worldwide can take comfort in knowing that these views are continuing to lose more and more traction. Cohen adheres to the old and dead model of a negotiated peace. There is no negotiated peace, either now or since Oslo, the second intifada and Arafat’s own statement that ANY deal made with the Jews was merely a “stepping stone” on the way to taking all of the ,and from East Jordan to the Mediterranean. This is simply fact. There has never ever been a Palestinian leader since the formation of the national movement of Palestinian Arabs that has endorsed a negotiated end, a FINAL end to century old conflict. So cohen can keep wringing his hands about the dangers of remembering while the based in reality (not the far left media) will continue about their lives with common sense and an eye towards those who truly distort history for their old, tired and FAILED political ideology. Talk about dinosaurs.
    Cohen must understand that there is not one single Arab body that is willing to negotiate an end to the conflict without guaranteed outcomes based on absolutely nothing but violence
    Hatred and lies. Sure, it’s a reciprocal conflict with bad blood to go around both sides. But only one side is constantly rejecting anything close to reality. And the Palestinian leadership has known for decades that the ‘facts on the ground’ were only going to make their rejection that much more meaningless. The Arabs don’t need a ‘MLK’. They need a Palestinian Sitting Bull. A Native American general and hero to his people but in the end, a pragmatist. He recognized the fact that the time was not right to continue the wars and opted for the survival of his remaining tribes. A century later they are reclaiming lost rights, treaties and land in the US courts. Is it as idyllic as a military victory? But then surely this is all just whataboutism in the far lefts worldview where no analogies can be made with regards to Israel unless they are to the legally apartheid South Africa or the ww2 nazi regime. Got it. No analogies that don’t paint Israel as evil as If that will accomplish what over 100 of violent attacks won’t- the denial of Jewish national rights in Israel.

    • bcg on January 28, 2020, 1:40 pm

      “… A century later they are reclaiming lost rights, treaties and land in the US courts. ”

      So you’ve got no objection to the Palestinians reclaiming lost rights and land through various international courts, or possibly even in U.S. courts (since the U.S. is Israel’s main enabler)?

    • RoHa on January 28, 2020, 9:41 pm

      “He recognized the fact that the time was not right to continue the wars …”

      The Palestinians did pretty much the same thing when they accepted the two state solution. They agreed to give up 78% of their land, but the Israeli Jews wanted it all.

  10. Misterioso on January 28, 2020, 11:06 am


    Another mountain of bafflegab.
    To be brief:

    You state: “Notice almost zero complaints about the actual ‘western system’ they fled to from the oppressive Muslim/arab regimes they were forced to flee.”

    The late Yehouda Shenhav, of Iraqi Jewish heritage and professor of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University: “Any reasonable person, Zionist or non-Zionist, must acknowledge that the analogy drawn between Palestinians and Mizrahi [Arab] Jews is unfounded. Palestinian refugees did not want to leave Palestine….Those who left did not do so of their own volition. In contrast, Jews from Arab lands came to this country under the initiative of the State of Israel and Jewish organizations.” (Ha’aretz, 8 October 2004.)

    Avi Shlaim, born into an affluent and influential family in Baghdad: “We are not refugees, nobody expelled us from Iraq, nobody told us that we were unwanted. But we are the victims of the Israeli-Arab conflict.” (Ha’aretz, August 11, 2005.) Shlaim is referring to the well documented acts of terror, including bombings of synagogues and Jewish owned businesses, carried out by “The Movement,” a Jewish/Zionist terrorist group controlled by “Israel,” whose purpose was to instil fear in Iraqi Jews and motivate them to immigrate to Israel. Several books and articles have been written by Jews of Iraqi origin about this little known chapter of history and an award winning documentary has also been produced and viewed around the world. Throughout the Arab world, especially in the Magreb, recruiters from Israel pressured Arab Jews to immigrate to “Israel.”

    Regarding the emigration of Iraqi Jews, American diplomat, Wilbur Crane Eveland, from his book, Ropes of Sand: “In attempts to portray the Iraqis as anti-American and to terrorize the Jews, the Zionists planted bombs in the U.S. Information Service library and in synagogues. Soon leaflets began to appear urging Jews to flee to Israel…. Although the Iraqi police later provided our embassy with evidence to show that the synagogue and library bombings, as well as the anti-Jewish and anti-American leaflet campaigns, had been the work of an underground Zionist organization, most of the world believed reports that Arab terrorism had motivated the flight of the Iraqi Jews whom the Zionists had ‘rescued’ really just in order to increase Israel’s Jewish population.”

    The U.S. State Department was also well aware of what Israeli agents had done in Iraq to precipitate Jewish emigration: “When [in August 1951] Israel undertook a campaign to get Iranian Jews to immigrate to Israel, the director of the office of Near Eastern affairs in the U.S. Department of State, G. Lewis Jones, told Teddy Kolleck, of Israel’s embassy in Washington, that the United States ‘would not favour a deliberately generated exodus there,’ as he put it, ‘along the lines of the ingathering from Iraq.’ Kolleck justified Israel’s Iraq operation as beneficial for Iraq, stating it was ‘better for a country to be homogeneous.'” (“Memorandum of Conversation by the Director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs (Jones),” August 2, 1951, Foreign Relations of the United States 1951, vol. 6 p. 813, at p. 815 (1982)

    While the situation for Jews in Arab countries did unsurprisingly deteriorate as a consequence of “Israel’s” expulsion of about 1,250,000 Palestinians (1948-67) and its ongoing territorial expansion, their immigration to “Israel” was prompted for the most part by Israeli recruiters sent to Iraq, Yemen, throughout North Africa and else where along with terror attacks by Israeli agents (e.g., the aforementioned bombing of Jewish synagogues and businesses by “The Movement” in Iraq, the Lavon affair in Egypt during which Israeli agents bombed US and British concerns in Cairo to prompt Jewish immigration to “Israel”, and the Cohen spy affair in Syria.

    You state: “There has never ever been a Palestinian leader since the formation of the national movement of Palestinian Arabs that has endorsed a negotiated end, a FINAL end to century old conflict.”

    I remind you of the 2000 Camp David Summit and “Israel’s” so-called, “generous offer.” Suffice to quote Shlomo Ben-Ami, then Israel’s foreign minister and lead negotiator at Camp David: “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well.” (NPR, 14 February 2006.)

    “Clinton and his negotiators were so eager, in pursuit of Israel’s interests and of Clinton’s much-ballyhooed ‘legacy,’ to forge a peace agreement at all costs before the end of his term, and were so outraged when the Palestinians refused to relinquish their hope for true independence and sovereignty by complying with Israel’s inadequate offer at Camp David, that they quite deliberately shifted the entire onus for failure onto the Palestinians….” (Camp David Redux, by Kathleen Christison, a former CIA political analyst.(

    Re Hamas: On 16 June 2009, after meeting with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Ismail Haniya, prime minister of Hamas’s Gaza Strip government, announced that “If there is a real plan to resolve the Palestinian question on the basis of the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967 [i.e. 22% of historic Palestine] and with full sovereignty, we are in favour of it.” No response from “Israel.”

    “‘We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees,’ Haniyeh said, referring to the year of Middle East war in which Israel captured East Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories.” (Haaretz, December 1, 2010) No response from Israel. (By calling for a “resolution of the issue of refugees,” Haniyeh was in accordance with UNGA Res. 194, which calls for financial compensation as a possible option for the Palestinian refugees rather than their “inalienable Right of Return.”)

    In its revised Charter, April, 2017, Hamas again agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders. Unfortunately, “Israel” promptly rejected the Hamas overture instead of using it to open a dialogue.

    “Senior Hamas Official: ‘I Think We Can All Live Here in This Land – Muslims, Christians and Jews.’” By Nir Gontarz. March 28, 2018, Haaretz. No response from “Israel.”

    Unfortunately, “Israel’s” response to every peace overture from the Palestinians, including Hamas, and the Arab states (e.g., the US/EU/UN supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative), has been rapidly increasing illegal settlement construction along with escalating dispossession and violent oppression of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants.

    BTW, The “offer” made in 2008 by then Israeli PM Ehud Olmert was never seen as serious because it lacked cabinet approval, he was under indictment with only a few weeks left in office, had a 6% favorable rating, and, therefore, couldn’t have closed the deal, even if the Palestinians had accepted it. (Olmert was imprisoned.)

    As for Netanyahu and the Likud party, here’s a brief summation of their positions that are contrary to international law and explain why the conflict has continued:
    The Likud Party Platform:
    a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”
    b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”
    c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”
    d. “…. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

  11. Vera Gottlieb on January 28, 2020, 11:46 am

    And Palestinians, because of israel’s hateful behaviour, are also going through a holocaust. And so are many other religious/ethnic groups around the world. israel should be ashamed!!!

  12. Boomer on January 29, 2020, 7:07 am

    Amazing control over thought and language is demanded (and achieved) by Zionists.

    At some level, this reflects their awareness of their guilt.

  13. Ronald Johnson on February 1, 2020, 12:03 am

    To add to Misterioso’s references, I’ve seen a number of web entries c/o the Neturei Karta sect, about the effort of Rabbi Dov Weissmandel in 1944 to plead for money from the Zionists to ransom Slovakian Jews from the German camps, described in this link:

    Also covered by Lenni Brenner in “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators”, still available from Amazon.

    Response from the Zionist office in Switzerland:

    “We are writing to remind you of the one factor of which you must never lose sight: that ultimately, the Allies will win the war. After their victory, territorial boundaries will be reshaped as they were after the First World War. Then, the way will be clear for our purpose at this time, with the war drawing to a close, we must do everything in our power to change Eretz Yisrael to Medinat Yisrael and many steps have already been taken in this regard. Therefore, we must turn a deaf ear to the pleas and cries emanating from Eastern Europe. Remember this: all the allies have suffered many losses, and if we also do not offer human sacrifices, how can we gain the right to sit at the conference table when the territorial boundaries are reshaped? Accordingly, it is foolhardy and brazen for us to negotiate in terms of money or supplies in exchange for Jewish lives. How dare we ask of the allied powers to barter money for lives while they are sustaining heavy casualties daily? So, insofar as the masses are concerned: RAK B’DAM TIHJE LANU HAAREZ, (Eretz Yisroel will be ours only by paying with blood), but as far as our immediate circle is concerned, ATEM TAJLU. The messenger bearing this letter will supply you with funds for this purpose”.

    Weissmandel’s comment on the letter:

    “After I accustomed myself to the peculiar writing, I trembled when I realized the import of RAK B’DAM TIHJE LANU HAAREZ. But many weeks passed, and I was still confounded by the meaning of ATEM TAJLU. Until one day, it struck me. ATEM TAJLU meant “You escape”, for the word “tiyul” (walking trip) was used by them as a euphemistic code for “escape”. They meant to say – you fifteen or twenty “party members”, escape from Czechoslovakia and save your hides. The price of Eretz Yisroel is the blood of the men and women, hoary sages, and babes in arms – but not YOUR blood! Let us not spoil this plan by giving the Axis powers to save Jewish lives. But for you, comrades, I have enclosed carfare for your escape. What a nightmare! The Zionist agent “diplomat” comes to Czechoslovakia and says ‘Now is a very critical time. But comparatively speaking it is not at all critical for you trapped Jews. For there is an emergency of far greater proportions; namely, BINYAN HA-ARETZ (the prize of Medinat Yisrael). Shed your blood cheerfully, for your blood is cheap. But for your blood, the Land (of Israel) will be ours!”

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