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Red Rag column: Holocaust-denial, settler style
By: Gideon Spiro

18 February 2015 (English translation 28 February 2015)

Holocaust-denial, settler-style

An outcry in Israel. A group calling itself the “Samaria Settlers’ Committee”,
based in the Occupied Territories, has produced a video comparing the Left and
human rights organizations in Israel to a bunch of Nazis, allies of the Nazi
organ Der Stürmer, who receive their budgets from the worst of the
antisemites with the objective of slandering Israel. [1]

The gatekeepers immediately raised a hue and cry that the video is incitement
to murder, that the lessons of the Rabin assassination have not been learned
and that it is forbidden to compare anything to the Holocaust. Sorry, I do not
share this view. The Holocaust was not a cosmic event in outer space but a
political event here on our own planet Earth and we must learn from it and
draw from it political conclusions, and the conclusions will never be
homogenous. Comparisons should be made where the writer feels they are
relevant, and we must hope that they will be based on reliable and provable
facts.

The words of retired Supreme Court Judge Edna Arbel, who has had some moments
of enlightenment, are apt in this context: “It would not be appropriate to
promulgate a general rule according to which certain oral or written
statements have no place in the public discourse and the use of which is
effectively forbidden. Such a rule in a democratic state cannot live alongside
the value of freedom of expression.”

She added that “a blanket ban on making any comparison or allusion to the Nazi
regime and the Nazi ideology raises another difficulty, which the respondents
mention in their submissions. The rise to power of the National-Socialist
movement in Germany, the Nazi regime and the its ideology, the Jewish
Holocaust and other events related to the period of the Second World War and
the period that preceded it are all subjects that have highly significant
historical social, political and other aspects. It is a phenomenon that has
been – and we must hope that it will remain – unique.” (Civil Appeal 2572/04).

Once and for all we must do away with the myth that Rabin was assassinated
because an image of him in an SS uniform was displayed at right-wing
demonstrations. That myth has taken root in Israel, but the truth is that
Rabin was assassinated because influential rabbis issued a din rodef
against him, which is a death-sentence. [2] The assassin translated their
ruling into action. He pulled the trigger but it was not he who decided on the
murder. The Israeli government, not of the Likud but of the Labour Party,
decided to excuse the rabbinical murderers from standing trial, unlike the
standard procedure where Palestinians are concerned. There, the whole cell is
held responsible: the one who pulled the trigger, those who sent him, those
who planned it, the driver and the imam who gave the authorization in
religious law – all of them are charged with murder, convicted and sent to
prison for life. The rabbis of the Occupied Territories received exemption
from responsibility even though they were the predominant component in the
murder cell. [3]

Back to the video: the settlers are worried. They hear and read experts and
academics, including experts on the history of Germany, pointing to lines of
similarity and overlap between the Nazi ideology and that of the settlers. The
uprooting of thousands of olive trees and the burning of mosques and holy
books is essentially no different the Krystallnacht pogroms that were
accompanied by burning synagogues, books and the plunder of Jewish property.
In their distress the settlers decided that the human rights organizations and
all their members and activists in Israel are “Nazi organizations”, allies of
the Nazi German media flagship Der Stürmer. Nazi Germany thereby gets a
whitewashing, for if human rights organizations like Physicians for Human
Rights, which struggles for the right of all people everywhere to equal
medical care, B’Tselem, which exposes human rights violations and war crimes,
the Yesh Gvul movement, whose members refuse to serve in the army that rules
over another people, the women of Machsom Watch, whose members act to protect
the human dignity of the occupied population and prevent abuse of by the
occupier – if those organizations and many others enjoy the support of Der
Stürmer
as the settlers claim, then they are presenting Nazi Germany in a
new light: as a liberal and humane state that respects human rights activists.
From there the path to Holocaust-denial is a short one, for it does not stand
to reason that a tolerant state like Nazi Germany would commit genocide.

That same twisted, some would say pathological, settler logic also applies to
the issue of donations and grants from the European Union to human-rights
organizations. The settler video calls the leaders of the European Union the
biggest antisemites. The leaders of the European Union, which constitutes the
main market for Israeli exports, which channels billions in economic aid to
Israel, which supplies Israel with super-modern arms and bestows generous
research grants on Israeli institutions of higher education, are condemned as
the worst of the antisemites because a small trickle from those billions that
flow to Israel filters down to human-rights organizations. This confirms what
was already known: that the settlements are a hothouse for institutional
madness. In the deranged reality that the settlers have created for
themselves, the casino magnates and pimps who send vast sums to the settlers
are the righteous of the world.

The settler video is a stage in the terror campaign that is being conducted
against human-rights activists with the support of the Netanyahu government.
Our response should be to adopt the motto from Rabbi Nachman’s famous poem:
not to be afraid at all, to continue to expose the dangers inherent in the
settler movement and the government that supports it and to make the
appropriate comparisons in the relevant contexts. In the medium or long run
they will be overthrown, just as Nazi Germany was defeated, just as Franco’s
Spain was brought down, just as the dictator Salazar’s fascist Portugal was
laid low, as Apartheid in South Africa was defeated and the military dictators
in South America fell one by one. Sooner or later – in any case before the
coming of the Messiah – that will also be fate of the state of the settlers.
It will be defeated and eliminated in any future solution, whether one state
or two states. The reserves in the Holocaust Bank are depleting, and when the
balance-sheet shows zero Israel will begin to receive the treatment it
deserves as a recalcitrant state. Just have patience, my friends, hopefully
accompanied by mobilization for the struggle, which will hasten the arrival of
the turning-point.


Medal inflation

Operation “Solid Cliff” (called “Protective Edge” in English) was a conflict
between the Israeli Goliath, armed with the most modern weapons, who invaded
the territory of his neighbour and pounded it cruelly great from land, sea and
air. Israel used everything except nuclear weapons. Facing Israel stood the
Palestinian David, part army, part militia, armed by with primitive weapons.
To its rear, two million hungry, unemployed and humiliated people.

After fifty days in Gaza, with heavy bombardment of a civilian population that
generated hundreds of thousands of refugees whose homes were blown up, and
thousands of killed and wounded, mostly civilians, the Palestinian David was
wounded but not subjugated or defeated. The operation was pointless because it
did not solve the problems at the base of the conflict, above all the
protracted siege of the Gaza Strip and its separation from the West Bank. So
we must assume that it only is a matter of time until the shooting starts
again.

That operation will not be recorded as a brilliant success, and it will be
stored in Israel’s cellar of shame. The army felt it was necessary to upgrade
Solid Cliff from an operation to destroy Gaza to a war of heroism and so they
handed out 53 medals. Medal-inflation. Fewer Chief-of-Staff medals were
distributed in the 18 years of the First Lebanon War than in the fifty days of
the operation. Pictures of medal-recipients were published in the press, as if
they were national heroes. It was really pathetic.

What would we say about giving a citation for distinguished service to a
German soldier who participated in the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto
uprising? I am not speaking of the degree of justice on the respective sides –
the Warsaw Ghetto and the Gaza Ghetto; but of the imbalance in armament that
made the outcome clear at the outset. A regular army does not distribute
medals in such situations, certainly not in such quantities. The real heroes
are those who refused to participate in the operation. The refusers are a true
solid cliff in the face of the moral flaccidity of the Israeli army of
invasion.


Translator’s notes

1. http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.643011

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodef

3. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/rabin-s-murderers-are-still-
free-and-happy-1.394703


Translated from Hebrew for Occupation Magazine by George Malent

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