International Bodies Fail to Understand the Middle East Crisis
Part II – Countering undue attention to the World War II Holocaust and false charges of anti-Semitism
Why is this being said, and what is the proof?
The genocide of the Native Americans and slavery of African Americans occurred on American soil and were due to the actions of the United States government and ancestors of present Americans. All Americans should be reminded of the misfortunes their government inflicted upon others as part of the course of the nation's development. Native Americans will never recover from the injustices inflicted upon them. African Americans still bear the scars of slavery - racism, unequal treatment before the law, exploitation - but do not contemplate a return to bondage. Until the wrongs are righted, these ethnicities have a right to be continually heard and demand justice and repair from their fellow Americans.
What is the purpose of the constant attention and references in the United States to the World War II Holocaust? Americans have no responsibility in that tragedy. It is not part of America's historical narrative. Nevertheless, the media, U.S. public schools, and universities engage in a plethora of publications, discussions, courses, and lectures, apart from standard curriculums, concerning the World War II Holocaust. After listening to the constant renditions of Nazi atrocities, questions remain - what needs to be done, and for whom must it be done - and these questions, other than hating Germans, giving preference to a particular genocide, and displaying man's inhumanity to man, are neither answered nor comprehended. If highlighting the World War II Holocaust served to prevent other genocides, then the excessive attention is worthwhile. However, this has not happened, and it is conceivable that it has been counterproductive - demeaning the memories of those who were killed, and, by giving too much attention to the past genocide, crowding out meaningful attention to present-day genocides.
Therefore, we are left with one possible answer to the questions, which was previously recited. "Refreshing the memory and establishing a relationship to the World War II Holocaust, more assures all generations will grant the Zionists status as the ultimate victims, which enables them to gain sympathy from others, and gives them a means to rationalize their own guilt." The thoughtlessness and irrationality of this approach is obvious.
Zionism began long before the World War II Holocaust, Jews all over the world do not live in circumstances that occurred in Nazi Germany, and the drive to secure an Israel would have occurred even if there were no Holocaust. Many civil wars, brutal as any Holocaust - United States, Vietnam, Cambodia, Syria, Russia, Korea - contradict the belief that uniting an ethnicity prevents their possible destruction. Nationalism, social and economic conflicts, regardless of ethnicity, provoke most conflagrations.
From observations, Israel's government unites the nation's children by attaching them to the World War II Holocaust, by having them carry anxiety and fear of the others all their life, and by having them bind to protect one another from perceived deadly threats that constantly face them. Beneath an outer calm, Israel smolders. Its constant conflict with others and its military dominance hide the resentments within its own citizens. Israelis will not remedy the resentments and obtain freedom for themselves unless they release themselves from the chains of the World War II Holocaust and grant freedom to others.
This is what is; which prompts the question, what can be done to offset Israel's use of the World War II Holocaust to gain sympathy without being electrocuted by the third rail?
By integrating memories and references to the World War II Holocaust with other genocides, the awareness of genocide and application of that awareness to present-day activities will be strengthened. Appointing leaders to the Holocaust memorial museum who have a universal outlook (President Carter's original intent), changing the museum perspectives to entirely historical, which includes past genocides, and presenting the World war II Holocaust as a part of the general discussions on genocide and not as "the genocide," are requisites for re-shaping the meaning of the World War II Holocaust. What rational, peace-loving, and social-minded person would be against that constructive proposal?
Six states have passed legislation mandating that the World War II Holocaust be taught in the classroom - Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, California and Florida, all states that have large pro-Israel populations, have the most immigration from Israel to the United States, and have highest electoral votes. Could there be a relation?
Does not special emphasis on a genocide that occurred in a foreign nation lessen the effects of the teachings of the genocide of the Native Americans and slavery of the African-Americans? Should not Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) and school administrations consider this contradiction in lesson plans?
Scattering the Diary of Anne Frank on school desks (as I had previously seen, but not in these last few years), and telling students to read biographies, and then giving them a choice of ten biographies of which seven pertain to individuals in the World War II Holocaust (as I have seen) are contrived and purposeful behavior to enlist support for the Zionist cause. Parents of public school students can carry the message, which is, history of genocides should be taught as part of the history curriculum, and excessive and purposeful attention to a particular genocide is racist, demeans other catastrophes, and is counter-productive in halting the tragedies.
Students of today need to be involved with the major events of today. Are not the story of Amira, a teenage Syrian refugee girl, described at https://www.tearfund.org/latest/2015/06/diary_of_a_teenage_refugee/ and the diary of Marah, 15 years old when the Syrian uprising began, who lived in a city under constant siege, https://diary.thesyriacampaign.org/diary-of-a-young-syrian-girl/ more meaningful?
Zionist related organizations, such as the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), provide trips for history teachers to visit the Holocaust memorial Museum in Washington, D.C, who return with these comments:
"If we don't remember what happened, all of those people died in vain," said a social studies teacher from Fergus Falls, who toured the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington with students last week. "If we remember them, we're honoring their lives and families and the suffering they endured."
"I've seen kids listen to a survivor relate their story and explode out of the desk at the end and want to give them a hug. I've seen kids openly cry in a high school classroom. It's just amazing what you see."
Who is the JCRC?
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community (ED: self-appointed), the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.
These efforts are meritorious and well related, except for the advocacy of Israel. What does that theme have to do with the others? How can advocacy of Israel be related to social justice? The JCRC shows its position regarding social justice by a post on its website:
Balfour Declaration Anniversary Commentary, By Steve Hunegs, November 2, 2017.
The 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the Balfour Declaration is an occasion worthy of the festive commemorative dinner to which Prime Minister Theresa May invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attend.
Indeed, all friends of Israel should express their ongoing gratitude to Great Britain's Prime Minister Lloyd George and Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour for their great act of historical imagination. To paraphrase David Ben Gurion and Israel's Declaration of Independence, the Balfour Declaration aligned one of this age's global powers with the Jewish people's 2000-year-old dream to return to the land from which we gave the world the Bible.
Is it advisable to take a trauma and repeatedly visit it on teen-age students? Sure way to give them trauma. What memory will these trips preserve for them? We know the deaths, but we do not know the lives. We know the numbers but we do not know the names. All that might be learned, but for each individual it is an impossible task.
The purpose of the visits is only to convey a subliminal association of the World War II Holocaust to Israel in the minds of another generation of America's children. Are these the lessons of a holocaust that we want teachers and students to have, emotional upheavals and not clear-minded proposals for preventing other genocides? Are people who died in a particular tragic circumstance worth more attention than those who died in other tragic circumstances during World War II (consider American soldiers and their families) and other conflagrations? Do the dead of World War II deserve more attention and consideration than those now dying in Yemen from inflicted disease and starvation? How many teachers are talking about the genocide in Yemen in their classrooms?
The Guardian, Iona Craig in Aden, Sana'a, Taiz and Hodeidah, Sun 12 Nov '17:
Seven million people are on the brink of famine in war-torn Yemen, which was already in the grip of the world's worst cholera outbreak when coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia tightened its blockade on the country last week, stemming vital aid flows.
Israel symbolizes the failure of honoring the lives of those who died in the World War II Holocaust and reshaping minds so genocide will not happen again. The nation that lives by the World War II Holocaust memories and claims closeness to it is a nation that has the most UN Security Council judgments against it, remains embattled, has severe racist practices, is considered the fourth most likely to disturb world peace (https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/6s604w/polls_us_is_the_greatest_threat_to_peace_in_the/), and is destroying the Palestinian community.
Get to work parents and really help your children understand the world.
Several universities have or have had Schools of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, which is admirable and worthwhile. A survey of these schools indicate many have dropped the study, either because of lack of interest, employment opportunities may be scarce, realization that the purpose may be vague, or they may have served an unintended purpose. More purposeful and not ubiquitous are Studies in War & Peace (University of Kent, Norwich University, Chapman University). Should there not be individuals and groups soliciting higher education to incorporate programs of War & Peace into their academics and motivate institutions, such as Uppsala University, to change a Master Programme in Holocaust and Genocide Studies to a Master Programme in War & Peace Studies, with the former a course in the Masters program?
Lastly, we have the media - film, books, and articles - that continue to present elements of the World War II Holocaust to the public. Many might feel the necessity for the continuous display of Man's inhumanity to Man, but an over kill has left others numb and disinterested. There are reasons to question the plethora of World War II Holocaust presentations. Primarily they compete in eyeballs with the crises of today - possible genocides, civil wars, refugee emergencies - all of which plead for contemporary solutions and are not, as is the World War II tragedy, part of an already failed past. For the media audiences, unlike history, the World War II Holocaust stories are intensely sorrowful and less captivating. They have protagonists who are mainly victims and not heroes; they have active forces that punish and passive forces unable to prevent the punishment, they have sadness with no retribution of gladness; they have misadventure and little adventure. This type of presentation does not gain commercial benefit or capture audiences.
The contemporary refugee crisis has protagonists who are heroes, active forces who fight against impossible odds, adventures beyond imagination, and expressions of joy as each step brings the refugee away from their dilemmas. These real life stories of the human condition engross audiences and are media favorites. Nevertheless, despite the thousands of stories of the despair, heartbreak, courage, fortitude and, at times, eventual victory, shown by Syrian children and other refugees, media commercialization of their exciting lives has been relatively subdued.
Why do media give much more attention to stories that do not captivate audiences and are part of an irretrievable past than to stories that captivate audiences and are part of the present, demand immediate attention, and can assist in relieving horrible crises? The reason is that a small and well-organized group benefits by supporting stories of the deceased, and a mass of the population is nonchalant about lives other than their own.
In the cinema listings of the February 2017 edition of Diplomat, a Washington D.C. journal that presents embassy news, 32 out of 56 posted films were related to the World War II Holocaust, Israel, or Jewish themes. This was partly due to Washington's Jewish Community Center (JCC) featuring some of the films, but most appeared in other theaters. During the same month, the Washington D.C. Palestine Center had films each week on the Palestinian experience, and not one of the films was listed in the Diplomat. This was due to the failure of the Palestine Center to take advantage of the free advertising, and it shows the intensity with which Israel's followers behave in the interests of Israel.
Public Broadcast (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) channels are diverse in their programming and outlook, and give attention to present-day crises, but Pacifica Radio channels, which are more narrow in programming, deserve funding to gain wider audiences and combat subtle manipulations of world events that appear on PBS and NPR.
One example of the many manipulations - A February 2016 PBS program, Nova's Memory Hackers, interviewed Dr. Eric R. Kandel, one of several neuroscientists who appeared on the program. When Dr. Kandel, who was born in Vienna, Austria, spoke, a flashback to the 1938 Kristallnacht with storm troopers appeared on the screen and commentary on Dr. Kandel's leaving his home after the Nazi annexation of Austria was detailed. What did these events have to do with the Memory Hacker program? Nothing. Should not PBS be criticized for this lack of judgment?
Time for a passive world to actively support media that gives attention to the crises of today and less to those for which there is no longer much reason to capture audiences. This is easily is done by preferred use of the pocketbook, close regard to viewing and listening habits, and properly directed contributions.
Anti-Israel is Anti-Semitism
Use of anti-Semitism to silence opponents is the other important essential to Israel's strategy of confuse and conquer.
Sometime, during the 1980s, while I was attending a seminar in biblical archaeology at a Jewish Community Center, the class was interrupted to present a Rabbi, who had flown in from Boston, and wanted to relay a question, which was, "Is Anti-Israel the same as Anti-Semitism? The question was actually a declaration and did not solicit an answer. The Rabbi's remarks told me that arrangements for countering Israel's antagonists with use of the branding iron of anti-Semite had been carefully planned for decades. We were among the first to test the deception.
Anti-Semitism has received a broad brush in its definition. It cannot be the same as anti-Jewish; if it were, why the different term? It is not either for or against. Anti-Semitism is a more severe form of prejudice, in which the Jewish person is not allowed rights granted to other citizens or to be anything else but a Jewish person. In contemporary times, anti-Semitism has been mixed with less severe prejudices endemic to all ethnicities, such as a disapproval of different habits, real and imagined. Anti-Israel, which is better stated as being against the policies of Israel, which many Israelis are, is no more a form of prejudice than being against U.S. policies, which many Americans are. By augmenting its definition, invoking the term anti-Semitism denotes rabid hatred, and can be used to stigmatize those who criticize Israel. I have witnessed Israel supporters when confronted with an argument against Israel policies that they could not answer, look at the person, smile, and shout anti-Semite.
The Anti-defamation League (ADL), headquartered in California, reports everything as an anti-Semitic incident, without acknowledging that anti-Semitism is a specific type of extreme hatred. Reports contain mostly passive and non-violent attacks.
… in the first quarter of 2017, preliminary reports of the 541 anti-Semitic incidents included: 380 harassment incidents, including 161 bomb threats, an increase of 127 percent over the same quarter in 2016; 155 vandalism incidents, including three cemetery desecrations, an increase of 36 percent; 6 physical assault incidents, a decrease of 40 percent.
The ADL misrepresented the statistics:
(1) Many of the bomb threats were due to two persons and copycats. Some news reports
CNN World at http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/23/middleeast/israeli-american-teen-arrested-jcc-bomb-threats/index.html
A Jewish teenager was arrested Thursday in connection with a series of bomb threats that have rattled Jewish institutions and community centers across the United States and other countries, Israeli police said.
A New York police official said earlier this month he believes most of the bomb threats were made by one person using technology to disguise his voice to sound like a woman's; the other attacks were likely made by copycats.
Huff Post at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/arrest-suspect-jcc-bomb-threats_us_58b97d1be4b0b9989416d265
On March 3, a fired reporter was arrested and accused of making at least eight of the bomb threats. Juan Thompson, who was fired from the online news site The Intercept for fabricating quotes, made the threats in an attempt to intimidate someone after their romantic relationship ended, authorities said.
(2) Tombstone vandalism is mainly performed by teenagers and rarely has a direct link to a specific prejudice.
CNN at http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/05/us/brooklyn-jewish-cemetery-tombstones-overturned/index.html
(CNN)Authorities have determined that tombstones disturbed at a historic Jewish cemetery in New York this weekend were damaged by environmental causes and not by vandalism.
WJLA, Washington, DC at http://wjla.com/news/local/nearly-100-headstones-overturned-at-warrenton-cemetery
WARRENTON, Va. (ABC7) - The Warrenton Cemetery is a place of rest and a piece of history. "It is part of the fabric of the community," says Jeff Michael, a neighbor. "This is old Virginia in a lot of ways." The desecration of 93 gravestones has left many in the town stunned and upset. The stones, toppled over, some of them broken.
(3) If the ADL's charter is to expose anti-Semitism, it may want to report the happenings in the world's most anti-Semitic nation, which is Israel.
Two of many examples of discrimination against Jews in Israel.
Newsweek at http://www.newsweek.com/2016/10/07/why-ethiopian-jews-israel-face-discrimination-racism-police-brutality-502697.html
For five years, Avishai Baruch served proudly as an officer in the Israeli military. But following comments from Israeli Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich-who said at a conference of the Israeli Bar Association in August that it was "natural" to suspect members of Israel's 140,000-strong Ethiopian community of criminality - Baruch says he will now refuse to serve if he's called up. "We have just had enough," says Baruch, an Ethiopian-born filmmaker who lives in the central Israeli city of Ramla. "If the Israeli government wants to ask us to do reserve duty, we refuse to do that. If you give us our rights, we will do the obligation."
Alsheich's comments-for which he has since apologized-brought into public view what many Ethiopian Israelis already feel is an institutional racism directed at their community. They complain of police brutality, a lack of good jobs and discrimination from employers. Even Ethiopian-born model Tahounia Rubel, who won Israel's version of the Big Brother reality-TV show by public vote in 2013, recently described the country as "one of the most racist in the world."
The Huff Post at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-shasha/sephardim-ashkenazim-and_b_615692.html
The Israeli media this week is all abuzz about the Ultra-Orthodox community protesting the sentencing of parents who refused a court order to integrate a religious school where Sephardi and Ashkenazi students were separated. The situation in the West Bank settlement of Immanuel exposes the deeply complex ethno-religious relations between European Jews and Middle Eastern Jews in Israel. Middle Eastern Jews have for many decades lived as stigmatized citizens of Israel; their traditional Arabic culture and form of Jewish religiosity frequently objects of scorn and prejudice.
Discrimination in Israel of North African, Ethiopian, Yemenite, and, to a lesser extent more recently, Iraqi Jews is well known. "Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox are unwilling to mingle with the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox. They may share a common belief in the word of the Torah, but the Ashkenazi Jews won't even consider the possibility of living together."
Read more at: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/06/ashkenazi-sephardic-ultra-orthodox-discrimination-school.html#ixzz53RpGdShf
(4) Prejudiced behavior against Jews is often done by those who resent an oppressive Israel. Because they represent an element that supports policies that antagonize a major part of the world's populations, Jews have become more open to abuse. If the ADL honestly cared to reduce attacks on Jews, it might consider combatting the promoter of the attacks, which are Israel and its oppressive policies.
The discussion demonstrates that charges of Anti-Semitism are not only a means to counter bias; they are also a long-planned and well-developed tool to silence those who criticize Israel, and they have been effective. The Israeli government quickly takes advantage of every anti-Semitic act, real or supposed, to promote Jewish immigration to Israel.
By being unfairly labeled anti-Semitic, innocent persons have lost their livelihood, positions, jobs, voice, and community standing. False charges of anti-Semitism are vicious acts, libelous, as dangerous as any criminal behavior, and should be treated as criminal acts. Unfortunately, few persons are willing to assist the victims, just the opposite occurs -- the attacker is viewed as the victim. Awareness of the personal destructive force of this scarlet letter has silenced many critics. Considering its effects, why have not spurious charges of anti-Semitism been totally rebutted, and, in a manner that the charges become counterproductive - harming the instigator and helping the victim?
A major problem in combatting spurious charges of anti-Semitism is that those who proffer the charges are well organized and have substantial resources, while those who feel the whip of the charges are usually singular and insufficiently equipped to rebut them. Some suggestions:
(1) Organize - Construct a quick reaction organization that has complete resources and is able to combat blatantly unfair charges of anti-Semitism. If it takes $5 billion, then raise $5 billion, whatever it takes to accomplish the job. If the ADL can raise the money, why cannot a similar organization do the same? The group may walk on eggshells, but, if properly constituted, can perform an admirable service in the court of justice.
(2) Lawsuits - The ADL has been successfully sued and forced to pay fines in two prominent cases. Links to these cases are at:
(3) Redefine meaning - As mentioned previously, anti-Semitism has a more narrow and well-defined meaning than in the manner it is used. Vocal and written challenges should correct its misuse.
(4) Change its focus - Arabs are also Semites and suffer magnitudes more discrimination and serious attacks than Jewish Semites. In order not to have any group monopolize the term anti-Semitism it is preferable to use the term with more correct meanings.
Anti-SemitismA refers to discrimination against Arab Semites from non-Arabs.
Anti-SemitismAA refers to discrimination against Arab Semites from other Arabs, of which there is plenty.
Anti-SemitismJ refers to discrimination against Jewish Semites from non-Jews.
Anti-SemitismJJ refers to discrimination against Jewish Semites from other Jews, of which there is plenty.
A simple rewriting of the word, such as using anti-SemitismA (discrimination against Arab Semites from non-Arabs) when appropriate, can reshape a new generation's minds, and apply a more honest characterization to the word anti-Semite.
(5) Expose the deceit - Anti-Semitism deserves its challenges. However, when Israel's supporters pervert the message and behave as if they have the moral high ground, exposing their deceit will reverse their benefits. Drive home to all the world that modern anti-Semitism is primarily due to Israel's racist and oppressive actions, that, because anti-Semitism creates sympathy for Israel, the supporters of Israel welcome anti-Semitism, and Israel has more antagonism between its Jewish factions than almost all nations have between Jews and other ethnicities. Careful wording of articles, distribution of the articles, airing of the content, entrance into social media, constant, constant, constant, until the words are well understood can do the task.
Countering Israel's strategy of deception
Former Israel president Simon Peres, in response to a question of why Israel oppresses the Palestinians replied (ED: paraphrased): "We, who knew slavery in Egypt would surely not enslave or oppress others," revealed his nation's strategy for deceiving the world of its criminal actions - play up all hurts, biblical or historical, to the Jewish people, ally Israel with the Jewish people as if they were the same, and deflect the criticisms. Who me!
The terrible consequences of the intensive concentration on the World War II Holocaust and falsification of acts of anti-Semitism are more than the blinding of Israel's oppressive actions, which allow a slow and deliberate destruction of the Palestinian people. We have misdirection of the valuable lessons of the World War II Holocaust, and a misuse that denigrates the memories of those who died. We have the falsification of anti-Semitic acts harming innocent persons and creating a counter-reaction that encourages anti-Semitism. All, directly or indirectly, suffer from Israel's disgraceful use of tragedies that are inflicted upon others to further its interests. All should be doing something to counter Israel's deceptive practices. We owe it to one another.
january 15, 2018