Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Warsaw Uprising

I said in one of my recent postings that "I believe that the time has come for Israel to release itself from the shackles of a type of pseudo-morality that turns a blind eye to suffering elsewhere, and to the real causes of suffering in the Middle East, and perversely uses the Holocaust as a moral trump card to prevent us doing the unpleasant but necessary things we have to in ensuring our safety, whilst blaming the Holocaust for foisting Israel on the Arabs, and accusing us of using the Holocaust as a shield behind which we allegedly act inhumanely."

In the last few days, I have been sickened by the number of crass comparisons of Israeli actions in Lebanon to the behaviour of Nazi Germany. This has come from the Arab side, with analysts around the Middle East and local reporters in Lebanon repeating the canard that the tragic deaths of over 50 civilians, trapped under a building that collapsed in an Israeli air attack, were somehow "just like the Holocaust".

Is this is because Holocaust education in Arab countries consists of reducing its horror by number and method so that this seems a likely comparison (or perhaps told it never happened and is just a tool Jews beat the world with, hence it's neat to reverse the position), or are the interviewees fully cognisant of the enormity and nature of the Holocaust, and using snapshots of its imagery to slight the Jews and thus win world sympathy? They knowingly place us in a position of having to either belittle their own suffering by saying it is nothing like the Holocaust, or somehow morally equating the actions of Olmert with those of Hitler.

I would not want to try and compare their collective pain with ours. The deaths of those around us in any circumstance other than natural and in the order of generations, will always feel like a personal attack from someone or something, and part of the grieving process is to hit out at the most apparent culprit. In this case, bombs fall from the sky, turn out not to be as "smart" as they say on the package, and hence, the deaths are apparently the full responsibility of whoever dropped them. In the immediate shocking aftermath, where not just the loss of a loved one, but perhaps of a livelihood and a home, drives anger and despair, who would stop to rationalise?

But actually this is just what the so-called objective observers of the UN, journalists, and the international community must do. The shame of the Warsaw Uprising was that the Allies knew it was happening, and failed to support it in any real measure. If they had dropped meaningful supplies, or even volunteer reinforcements, or bombed the Nazi supply lines, there was a chance, small of course, that the war might have changed its course and the extermination of Jews lessened as a priority. At the very least, it would have shown Allied support for those who wished to fight their own obliteration, and would have represented much more of a moral victory.

Now the shame of this situation is that Israel is fighting with sophisticated machinery against a guerrilla enemy who uses civilian infrastructure to fight a dirty war, yet despite the UN, most of the world, journalists and opinion makers painting Israel as the Nazi, it is still the Jew in the ghetto. This Warsaw Uprising came about because of six years of rocket fire and attempts at terrorism, supported by Syria and Iran, with the acquiescence of the Lebanese government and the UN.

And the world's reaction every time Israel makes errors in hot pursuit of enemies publicly hell-bent on its destruction is to publish photos and cartoons drawing on the analogy of the Lebanese civilians as the Jews, and the Jews as the Nazis. Hizballah are somehow forgotten. So apart from the palpably absurd and morally bankrupt comparison, it conveniently absolves the world of its role in creating this mess and its responsibility in providing a lasting solution that does not reward terror and the wilful placing of civilians in harm's way.

The deaths of innocent people diminish all of us, and Israel weeps because it loves life, that of its own and its neighbours, whilst its enemies are proud to love death, be it of its own or the Jews. The world sees no distinction between the intentions of both sides; they just see the results and apportion blame according to a perverse statistical measure of the number of civilian deaths as the indicator of right or wrong.

This is the world's shame, just as sitting idly whilst the Nazis systematically crushed the Warsaw Uprising was the world's shame. The setting may change, but the world hates nothing more than a Jew standing up for himself. I am proud to stand by Israel, its leaders and soldiers, just as I would have been the first to stand by Mordechai Anielewicz. Be under no illusion - Hizballah, Hamas, Syria and Iran seek the murder of Jews everywhere, not just Israel - and once they have dealt with the Saturday People, they will come after the Sunday People.

You may continue to turn the other cheek, or perhaps a blind eye; we will fight for our survival, because nobody else will.

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