The Holocaust Used as a Camouflage (by Jihad el-Khazen)
Between September 29, 2000 and September 30, 2008, Israeli security forces killed 4,826 Palestinians, while Israeli civilians killed 47 Palestinians.
In contrast, Palestinians killed 726 Israelis and 335 Israeli security force personnel.
Thus, the number of Palestinians killed nears 5 thousand compared with more than one thousand among Israelis. Both figures show that Israel is five times more of a terrorist than all the Palestinian resistance factions, if the mutual violence is seen as terrorism – not a resistance to a 41-year old occupation.
These figures are not mine but those of the B’Tselem (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories). I have always relied on this center’s Israeli and detailed figures to avoid arguments. Here are the most important figures.
954 Palestinian minors were killed over the past eight years compared with 123 Israeli minors. In other words, Israel is eight times more of a terrorist than Palestinian factions in killing young ones.
I take a minute here to say that when I talk about Israel and the terrorism it commits, I do not mean all Jews or all Israelis even, but rather the government, army, settlers and Likudis everywhere. Undoubtedly, there is a Jewish majority that wants peace. Some of the best champions of the Palestinians and their rights are Jews.
I was waiting for the B’Tselem figures at the end of the eighth year of Intifada when newspapers in London published news about Dr. Frederic Toben arrested at Heathrow Airport by virtue of German subpoena. He was arrested because he is a revisionist historian who denies the size of the Holocaust. Toben published material about this topic between 2000 and 2004.
Personally, I do not deny the death of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. I have always criticized Arabs who doubted this figure, as well as the revisionist historian David Irving during his two trials in London and Vienna, and also President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
I do not understand why a crime committed 60 years ago is put under the spotlight, while Israel’s daily crimes against the Palestinians are ignored. I even feel sometimes that the Holocaust is used to cover up Israel’s crimes as it turned Gaza Strip into a Nazi concentration camp.
It is not just a historian who denies the Holocaust. Denial in itself is not a crime. It only means that the person who denies is an anti-Semite. In addition, admitting the death of 6 million will not bring anyone back to life. In the eyes of the Germans who killed the Jews, the Holocaust denial is a crime (it is not a crime in Britain for instance), as if that is enough to give penance for killing the Jews.
I read in newspapers about a TV show on the Holocaust, a section in the Imperial War Museum and another movie, even though every previous movie dealing with this subject was not popular among the audience, after decades of that crime.
There is also a movie about peace activist, Thomas Hurndall, who was shot by an Israeli sniper in Gaza Strip on April 11, 2003. Israel admitted the crime eventually.
There are many heroes of the likes of Hurndall. Let us not forget Rachel Corrie who was crushed under an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003. We can find movies about her life and death.
However, in parallel to the victims, the heroes of peace, the 5 thousand Palestinians killed in the second Intifada are merely figures. No one cries for them, because “we are not fond of consolation,” as the Palestinians say.
Extremism only begets counter extremism. The US Jewish minority represented by the AIPAC lobby may have controlled the foreign US policy, but it only prolongs the mutual killings and prevents a life-saving solution. It is firstly responsible for the newly emergent Palestinian armed groups. When Benjamin Netanyahu says he will divide the West Bank into three pieces, other voices will certainly call for all of Palestine, rejecting any exit or settlement to the ongoing conflict.
I do not understand how Nazi survivors and their descendants commit Nazi crimes or apartheid, like the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. They are so extremist that they attack Israeli peace activists. One settler attacked Professor Zeev Sternell, a peace activist and a Holocaust survivor. The UN recorded 222 attacks on Palestinians in the first 6 months of this year against 291 attacks throughout the year 2007.
The solution lies in two states living in peace side by side or a one state for all. Other than that, the mutual killing will go on for eight years and more, and the peaceful majority from both sides will pay for the extremism of the two minorities. “”” [published in the London-based AL HAYAT on October 10, 2008]