Thursday, September 21, 2006

What an Asshole

So the Council for Foreign Relations invited Mahmoud to some kind of Q&A session:

“He is a master of counterpunch, deception, circumlocution,’’ Mr. Scowcroft said, shaking his head.
In other words: a liar and a cheat and a horror. He apparently spent 40 minutes arguing against the existence of the Holocaust.

“I think we should allow more impartial studies to be done on this,” he said after hearing an account of an 81-year-old member, the insurance mogul Maurice R. Greenberg, who saw the Dachau concentration camp as Germany fell.
Why, he asked, should the Palestinians be asked to “pay for an event they had nothing to do with’’ in World War II, saying that they had nothing to do with the systematic killing of Jews — if those killings, he added, had happened at all.
So, in his supremely arrogant and reductive wishful thinking, if somebody can prove there was no Holocaust, then there is no reason for Israel to exist. He is a man of hate.

Now, unfortunately, I've had this same argument with friends of mine, who do not deny the Holocaust at all, but ask the same dangerously naive question: why are the innocent Palestinians paying for the creation of Israel? So to answer both them and Mahmoud and the many who entertain this myopic question:

Even if I wasn't there at the end of the war, I can imagine that the reports and pictures that emerged from the camps were evidence enough at the time to convince the world that Jews needed a place where they could be safe from destruction. If we look at Rwanda or the Sudan or any of the hellholes where there is political evil on Earth today, we fail to recognize our own current myopia and our own indifference. And perhaps in hindsight we will think: why didn't we do something about it? So put yourself in the shoes of the world as the Americans and the Soviets liberated the camps in 1945. Nobody had ever seen anything like it, at least not in "modern" times. It must have been impossible to be indifferent, (plus what was Europe going to do with all those refugees it never liked in the first place?) so the world agreed to give Israel its State in the ancestral soil from where the millenary culture of the Jews sprang, not in Hawaii or some forlorn island in the Pacific, where it would have been less problematic.
The fate of the Palestinians was decided then by a combination of complicated historical circumstances, not only by sheer Jewish cunning and malevolence. It was decided by Britain, who was imperially minding the store at the time, Europe, the US and the Arab governments, (who have never done anything for the Palestinians, except keep them marginalized and impoverished to bolster their own case against Israel). Israel's terrible historical mistakes, such as the endless occupation, (brought about by a war provoked by its neighbors), is also to blame.

“In World War II about 60 million people were killed,’’ he (Mahmoud) said at one point, when pressed again on his refusal to accept that the Holocaust happened. “Two million were military. Why is such prominence given to a small portion of those 60 million?’’

Well, because one expects soldiers to die in wars, and, unfortunately, civilians as well, but one does not expect a lunatic to come up with a random plan to wipe an entire people from the face of earth, and then put it successfully in motion with the help of most of his countrymen and the gleeful participation of many others who were invaded by him (Poles, Ukranians, etc). That's why. It's as if Bush decided today to kill all the Iranians. Perhaps then Mahmoud would give this case the special consideration it deserves.

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