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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Anti-Semitism A Christian Thing? Holocaust Memorial Day Shut Down in British Neighborhood

(Hat-Tip: LGF)
Oh, don't worry. You'll see that both articles go very nicely together.
(Reprinted from e-mail)
Anti-Semitism a Christian disease? Not so fast.
David A. Harris
January 25, 2007

The recent Holocaust denial conference in Iran was beyond the pale, or so any thoughtful person might conclude. After all, the Holocaust is among the most documented events in human history.

Yet, to conclude that this macabre event was an isolated event would be a mistake. For example, in an editorial (December 14), the respected Financial Times declared that the Iranian president, who sponsored what the paper aptly called this "grotesque carnival," is out of step with the larger Muslim world. His blatantly anti-Semitic remarks, the editorial stated, "give the impression that anti-Jewish bigotry is widespread across the Muslim world," when "in historical reality, anti-Semitism is a Christian disease."

Not so fast.

The truth is far more complicated. While anti-Semitism historically has been more virulent in European Christendom, leading up to the Holocaust, it has not been absent in the Muslim world. Some Muslim spokesmen would like the world to believe that any hostility is recent and linked to Israel, not Jews. But that is disingenuous in the extreme.

As Hebrew University professor Robert Wistrich noted in a study entitled Muslim Anti-Semitism: A Clear and Present Danger, "The most basic anti-Jewish stereotype fostered by the Koran remains the charge that the Jews have stubbornly and willfully rejected Allah's truth¦. There are some notably harsh passages in which Muhammad brands the Jews as enemies of Islam." These deeply entrenched images of the Jews have caused much grief over the centuries. READ THE REST...

Rather than debate the past, however, let's focus on the present.

A 2003 American Jewish Committee study revealed widespread anti-Semitism in the Saudi educational system. As a ninth-grade language textbook typically asserted, "The Jews are wickedness in its very essence."

Similarly, an eighth-grade grammar textbook, reflecting on the fate of the Jewish people, states, "Their end, by God's will, is perdition."

An entire generation of Saudis - not to mention pupils in Saudi-funded schools elsewhere in the world, including, reportedly, some in the United States - is being taught this unvarnished hatred and contempt.

In his widely-covered valedictory speech before the Tenth Islamic Summit Conference, outgoing Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad raged about the Jews who "rule this world by proxy."

What was the reaction of the hundreds of leaders in attendance? Did any walk out? To the contrary, Mahathir received a standing ovation.

Today, Hitler's Mein Kampf, the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion (the century-old tsarist forgery asserting a secret Jewish plot to control the world), and Der StÃrmer-like cartoons depicting Jews in the most grotesquely obscene manner enjoy widespread popularity and resonance in large swaths of the Arab and greater Muslim world.

Fiery sermons in some major mosques rail against the Jews as the "sons of monkeys and pigs," and bizarre conspiratorial theories link Jews to every known calamity from 9/11 to the spread of communicable diseases.

An important new documentary, "Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century: The Resurgence," was aired on PBS on January 8. It presented excerpts from Egyptian and Syrian television programs that propagate myths of Jews scheming to assert their rule and kidnapping non-Jewish children in a modern-day reenactment of the "blood libel." When the Egyptian producers were asked on camera if their work was anti-Semitic, with straight faces they claimed it was about history, not Jews, while a Syrian professor, with great solemnity, insisted that, yes, the portrayal of the Jews was accurate.

To be sure, there are other Muslim voices urging mutual respect and interfaith harmony, reflecting an entirely different perspective. And while ancient Jewish communities that long predate the arrival of Islam have been driven out of most Arab countries, there remain small but significant Jewish populations in Morocco and Tunisia, and Jews in predominantly Muslim Turkey maintain an active communal life.

The demonization and dehumanization of Jews has become a prominent feature of life in too many Arab and other majority-Muslim countries such as Iran. Yes, there is a long-standing conflict with Israel. But for the leaders of these tightly run governments to permit unvarnished anti-Semitism to become part of the daily fare of media broadcasts, school textbooks and Holocaust-denial conferences - whatever the denials or rationalizations - must be deemed unacceptable by the international community.

Leaders and governments must be held accountable for their actions. And Western nations that have close contact with offending countries should raise concerns in bilateral and multilateral settings. Can it really be, for instance, that the US is prepared to turn a blind eye to what is being taught in Saudi textbooks about Jews (and Christians) because of our need for energy and export markets? Or that European nations will continue to deal with Iran in a business-as-usual fashion while its leaders deny the Holocaust and, for that matter, pursue nuclear weapons that they might one day use?

Anti-Semitism, it should be recalled, is not only an assault on Jews, but on our common democratic values of mutual respect and pluralism.

The writer is executive director of the American Jewish Committee.

Now, read on to what is going in Great Britain.
Bolton bans Holocaust Day
IN A move widely seen to be bowing to Muslim pressure, Bolton Council has scrapped its Holocaust Memorial Day event.

The council is to replace it with a Genocide Memorial Day in June. This is in line with the policy of the Muslim Council of Britain, which continues to boycott HMD and is asking for a Genocide Day, which will also mark "the ongoing genocide and human rights abuses of Palestinians" by Israelis.

The council decision was made in consultation with the town's Interfaith Council.

But Rabbi Joseph Lever of United Synagogue who has participated in the Bolton event for around three years was not consulted on the decision. He said: "I mourn the fact that the Holocaust Memorial Day event will not take place in Bolton this year."

Louis Rapaport, president of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester, was equally disappointed that the Jewish community was not consulted.

He said: "Bolton, alone of all the local authorities in our area, is not having an HMD event which is a government recommendation." He added: "There may not be many Jews in Bolton but the day is supposed to have an educational message to the whole community.

"I can't help feeling the decision was influenced by Bolton's large Muslim community."

Holocaust educator David Arnold said: "It is more than unfortunate that Bolton has seen fit to trivialise the remembrance of the Shoah."

Mr Arnold regretted the intrusion of "politics" into the issue.

He said: "It is entirely inappropriate and stems from a failure to understand the issues."
I wonder how long it will be until this becomes a trend in the future Londonistan...?

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At 3:57 AM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Ugh, I'm so disgusted I don't even have anything to say.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

That's OK. Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing. It speaks for itself.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Gert said...

I agree that replacing Holocaust Memorial Day with Genocide Day is a bad move. I also disagree with the MCB's policy regarding HMD and GD and undoubtedly the MCB were behind Bolton's mistake.

But to be fair, the MCB's policy is often misrepresented as shown in the phrase below:

This is in line with the policy of the Muslim Council of Britain, which continues to boycott HMD and is asking for a Genocide Day, which will also mark "the ongoing genocide and human rights abuses of Palestinians" by Israelis.

The MCB's proposal calls for a Genocide Day that is all-inclusive of the many atrocities that have been committed throughout history, including the Holocaust. It would however be much more effective to have such a commemoration, in parallel (on a separate, dedicated date) with the existing Holocaust Memorial Day. The MCB is of course politically motivated, hence their boycotting (they call it "not attending") of HMD.

Rest assured though that overwhelming resistance to replacing HMD with GD continues in the vast majority of areas of "Londonistan" (assuming you mean Great Britain, of course and not just the capital).

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Gert, let's get this out of the way now, so there's no misunderstanding. The MCB wants a Genocide Day to commemorate, among other things, "the ongoing genocide and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people". Is there an ongoing genocide against the Palestinians???

If there isn't, don't you think just for a tiny moment that this whole move is simply political and not some humanitarian gesture to make the topic of genocide a national educational focus? It has become a classic political strategy to trivialize the Holocaust or deny its existence and then immediately say after-ward that in any case Israel is committing a Holocaust against the Palestinians. This way, you demean the meaning of Holocaust and put its definition to the Palestinian people. Get with the program.

At 8:41 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Wow, wow, wow, not so fast! Where do I "demean the meaning of the Holocaust"? Nowhere do I do this. N-O-W-H-E-RE, understood?

Also, there is no ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people but the MCB isn't calling for a Genocide day to include "the ongoing genocide and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people" either. They call for a commemoration that includes all genocides, as well as the Holocaust. Those who make out that the MCB is somehow emphasising the Palestinian cause are as guilty of politicising as the MCB. Think about it...

I'm opposed to the idea [of replacing HMD with GD], yet you tell me to get with the program!

At 3:33 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Gert, I never accused you of demeaning the Holocaust. I accused them of such things. Don't jump on the defensive so quickly. I'm not "out to get you" or something. Why do you always do that? In any case, THE MCB WERE THE ONES QUOTED AS SAYING THAT THEY WANTED THE GENOCIDE DAY TO COMMEMORATE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE "ONGOING GENOCIDE AGAINST THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE". Please, re-read the paragraph. Are you actually saying that the MCB is NOT political??? What reality do you live in? In any case, it is extremely naive to believe that the MCB is the only Arab or Muslim organization that does NOT politicize the Palestinian cause. They are nothing BUT political fodder to these types of organizations. But, please, with all do respect, please explain what their agenda or purpose or reason is for wanting to eradicate Holocaust Memorial Day other than for political purposes. I'd really like to hear this one. It's sure to be a doozy.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Gert said...

More selective reading on your part. I did actually write above that the MCB's plans for a more generic Genocide Day are politically motivated.

As regards the politication of the Palestinian cause, sure, but the Israelis do exactly the same: each time someone writes something that's critical of Israel a war of words is directed at that person or organisation, see also the Carter controversy.

Regards the MCB, the Palestinian cause a is but a minimal part of their programme, check out their website if you don't believe me.

At 9:18 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Gert, don't even get me started on the Carter "controversy". Why don't you do yourself, before you say anything, and read Ken Stein's article. I posted it. For Carter, the Palestinian issue is his political pet-peeve. He is the longest serving President of all time, and he still is determined to be the one that brings "peace" to the Middle East. He also believes that he is the #1 expert of all time on the matter. I'm sorry but Carter's affiliations and Center donors can't be ignored, but that is a minute factor in the accusations against him. The accusations against him have to do with his lies, distortions of facts, and exonerations of terrorists and terrorist actions. Furthermore, saying that other people politicize the issue doesn't diminish the fact that MCB does it, nor does it exonerate them. It's funny that you accuse me that the accusation that the MCB is politicizing the Palestinian cause is wrong, and then when I show that you're incorrect for saying so, you say, "well, every-one else does it, so it's not a big deal". Either, they politicize it, and you're wrong, or they don't. Don't fall back on, "well, everyone else is doing it, so when I accused you of accusing the MCB of being political, I was hoping you wouldn't prove me wrong".

How big the Palestinian cause plays a part in the MCB's agenda is completely irrelevant and moot. It has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Whatever minute part it plays, it has caused Holocaust Memorial Day to be eradicated from a British community. So, tell me, what does your last sentence have anything to do with anything? How is that relevant to this discussion or event? This "small part" has resulted in what is happening in Bolton, so what does it matter?

What selective reading was there on my part? Please specify where I've got my facts wrong. The quote is right there in plain site, and it belongs to the MCB. So, maybe, you just need to refresh your browser or something.


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