Someone's Holiday, Another's Nakba, Our Shame!
Written by Zahir Ebrahim
Friday, 16 May 2008
by Zahir Ebrahim
Sunday April 06, 2008.
It is apropos to begin this brief observation in 2008, on a cloudy Sunday morning while sipping a nice hot cup of tea in the safety and comfort of my home in California, with a few words from the late Israeli scholar Baruch Kimmerling, professor of sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, from his 2002 essay "My Holiday, Their Tragedy":
As a Jew, an atheist and a Zionist, I have two memorial days in my country, Israel. One for the Holocaust and one for soldiers who fell in wars. I also have one day of celebration, the anniversary of the day Israel declared its statehood...
It is horrifying to realize that, despite the fact that the essence of the Holocaust was the genocide of the Jewish people, we tend to forget, induce oversight of, and even hide the fact that gypsies, the physically and mentally disabled, communists, priests, and Germans who opposed the Nazi regime were killed in extermination camps alongside Jews. The transformation of the Holocaust into a solely Jewish tragedy, as opposed to a universal event, only weakens its significance and its legitimacy, tarnishing us and the memory of the victims. Likewise, its unnecessary overuse by Jews in Israel and the rest of the world, particularly political bodies, has made the Holocaust banal. Above all, a provocative and dangerous approach has bought a place in our hearts: that Jews, as the victims of the Holocaust, are permitted to treat goyim however they want. Forceful and condescending, "anti-gentile-ism" is identical to criminal anti-Semitism...
The Jewish - Arab conflict, and the Jewish - Palestinian conflict in particular, has had many victims and caused great suffering. I admit that I am closer to the victims from my own people, for personal reasons and because of my familiarity and personal experience with many of them or members of their families. What can I do? A person is closer to his own friends, tribe, and people...
Independence Day is a holiday for me, but also an opportunity for intense self-introspection. A person needs a state and land, and this is my land, my homeland, despite the fact that I was not born here.
And it is also à propos to briefly juxtapose the underlined sentimental statements of Kimmerling's "My Holiday", with those a bit more poignantly expressive of "Their Tragedy" than simply " Jewish - Arab conflict, and the Jewish - Palestinian conflict in particular, has had many victims and caused great suffering", of the late Israeli scholar, Tanya Reinhart, professor of linguistics, also at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, from her 2002 book "How to end the war of 1948":
The state of Israel founded in 1948 following a war which the Israelis call the War of Independence, and the Palestinians call the Nakba - the catastrophe. A haunted, persecuted people sought to find a shelter and a state for itself, and did so at a horrible price to another people. During the war of 1948, more than half of the Palestinian population at the time - 1,380,000 people - were driven off their homeland by the Israeli army. Though Israel officially claimed that a majority of refugees fled and were not expelled, it still refused to allow them to return, as a UN resolution demanded shortly after 1948 war. Thus, the Israeli land was obtained through ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants. This is not a process unfamiliar in history. Israel's actions remain incomparable to the massive ethnic cleansing of Native Americans by the settlers and government of the United states. Had Israel stopped there, in 1948, I could probably live with it. As an Israeli, I grew up believing that this primal sin our state was founded on may be forgiven one day, because the founder's generation was driven by the faith that this was the only way to save the Jewish people from the danger of another holocaust.
So – which way to go? "My Holiday" celebrations, or "Their Tragedy" matams*? What do you think? What do the Jews think? More importantly, what do the Americans think?
Is it really true that "A person is closer to his own friends, tribe, and people."? If so, why should the world even give two hoots about the Holocaust or the Jews suffering? The Jews compose only a mere 20 to 30 million of the Earth's 6 billion population (0.5%), and most say number about 6 million among the United States' 200+ million peoples (3%) – a tiny minority. Thus if the Jews expect the world to sympathize with them, to remember their Holocaust and their suffering of two millennium in Diaspora, to allow them to have their own Holocaust museum in Washington D.C., to make national and global laws in sympathy with them making anti-Semitism illegal and a cause célèbre for condemning anyone among the majority, then surely, this statement must be false. Not only must it be false, but every Jew must surely hold it to be false in order for him or her to engage the world on their abhorrent Holocaust!
Thus the answer is clear by the simple logic of the argument – it is not just "Their Tragedy", it is a shared Tragedy of all humanity. And it is not only a Tragedy, it is a supreme monumental crime, still in progress.
Shame on humanity for our silent spectating of the ongoing Nakba of the Palestinian peoples in their own homelands - now into its despicable 60th criminal year and still unrecognized by the apathetically guilty world that swore 'never again'! And yet, we continue to accept the ongoing monumental crimes against humanity of devilishly orchestrated incremental faits accomplis that can be so trivially stopped by the world without firing even a single shot!
Then, as Kimmerling further amorally sentimentalized their Nakba, which he also referred to as merely "victims of this bloody conflict and feel deep empathy with those who have suffered and still suffer as a result of the fatal encounter between Jews and Arabs in this land" without apportioning any blame on "his own friends, tribe, and people" for the genocidal crimes against the "indigenous Palestinian inhabitants", "Their Tragedy" can finally be truly ended:
I hope that the day will come when we will commemorate together and mourn together, Jews and Arabs alike, for all of the victims of the conflict. Only then will we be able to live together in this place in safety ... every man and woman under their vine and under their fig tree.
What is that magic bullet that eluded Baruch Kimmerling to match his afore-stated hopes and aspirations? It isn't magical at all. Incredibly enough, it is quite commonsensical, and as blatant as any dancing trumpeting elephant on a newlywed's bed!
Put an end to Apartheid in the land of Canaan as the world once did in Apartheid South Africa!
The Western Jews are made no more holy due to their abhorrent Holocaust, and nor are the Eastern Palestinians made any less of a peoples on account of not being Jewish!
Why should the Palestinians be paying for the thousand-year crimes of the Europeans and the Western 'followers' of Christ against the Jews?
A new long-term monumental crime is once again being committed against the Jews themselves by the 'same followers' of Christ – of attempting to equate Judaism with Zionism, of brutishly displaying to the world what really terrible peoples the Zionist-Jews really are, that the moment they acquire the upper hand, they oppress everyone else! Wakeup Jewish peoples – stop supporting 'Der Judenstadt' and demand implementation of your own lofty Golden Rule 'do unto others as you have others do unto you', for that may soon transpire, and in spades(!) – the ultimate in patsy-setup in the great Anti-Semitic game of the 'same' Anglo-Saxon 'followers' of Christ!
Neither will work even in Armageddon - setting Jews and Muslims upon each others throats as ultimate in anti-Semitism, or setting Christians and Muslims upon each others throats as the ultimate in revenge for 2000 years of Christian persecution. Both shout-out the role of Zionist criminal masterminds in a convolution of superpower-Zionist mutual interests that is apparent to all outside of the Zionist dominated Western shores where the majority of humanity resides.
The Jews themselves must act before one more death is accrued upon their moral Jewish hands by their tacit or active support of criminal Zionism thinking it has anything to do with Judaism; of support of plans for Eretz Yisrael by being misled into supporting the imperial fiction of 'war on terrorism'; and of support for the dreams of a 'Zion that will light up all the world' – surely only in flames!
Yes – I too, as a non-Jew, as only a human being first, surely also do know which way I must go for the best interest of all the peoples in the Land of Canaan(!) for indeed, this is the shared shame of, and the shared blame upon, all humanity. My only question is – beyond lip service, what am I willing to do for it?
How about you?
*matams – Urdu word for inconsolable lamenting and crying, sometimes chest beating in abject grief; an ineffectual sorrowful mourning and remembrance of a great loss or injustice in an exaggerated outward display.
The author, an ordinary researcher and writer on contemporary geopolitics, a minor justice activist, grew up in Pakistan, studied EECS at MIT, engineered for a while in high-tech Silicon Valley (patents here), and retired early to pursue other responsible interests. His maiden 2003 book was rejected by six publishers and can be read on the web at http://PrisonersoftheCave.org. He may be reached at http://Humanbeingsfirst.org.