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Germans Still Tone-Deaf Over Holocaust, Continue Offending Jews Through Ignorance or Worse

We’re now 70 years since the greatest act of genocide in the history of the human race and there are, alas, Germans who seem to have learned nothing.  Or, if they’ve learned any lessons, they’re largely the wrong ones.  This post begins with a tweet I published concerning an alarming poll of Polish public opinion regarding attitudes toward Jews.  The survey found anti-Semitism in anywhere from 65-80% of respondents, depending on the question.  I tweeted mordantly that the nation responsible in part for the murder of 3.3-million of its fellow citizens seems to have learned nothing in the interim:

A German law student and Huffington Post blogger (!), Matthäus Piksa, took offense at my characterization of Polish attitudes toward Jews and claimed I was overstating the case.  Piksa is not so much pro-Israel (though he is that), but rabidly Islamophobic.  In fact, he told me that it’s far more dangerous for Germany to sell Saudi Arabia than to sell Dolphin nuclear-armed submarines to Israel. Ignorant pro-Israel tweeps like him are a dime a dozen so I didn’t pay him much mind until our most recent interchange reverted back to the Holocaust.  He seemed to be claiming that his family were righteous because his great-uncle “worked and prayed” in a Polish hospital during World War II.  Knowing the history of anti-Semitism among Polish Catholics I sardonically asked how many Jews he saved. This is where things really went off the rails for poor P.  Here is his reply:


That’s right: because Hannah Arendt documented a history of Jewish collaboration with the Nazis, I should look to my own family history before criticizing his. There is only one small problem with Piksa’s deeply offensive tweet. Most of my known-family on both my mother’s and father’s side immigrated from Europe well before the Holocaust. My maternal grandmother did tell me about one of her brothers who came here and returned “home” shortly after, saying of America “dos iz a geneyvishe landt” (“a land of thieves”). While he was undoubtedly right, at least it wasn’t a land of murderers.

So in answer to this swinish ass, I said I only had one great-uncle remaining in Europe and he was likely incinerated in Auschwitz. The unmitigated gall! And to paraphrase Joseph Welch during the McCarthy hearings: “Have you no shame? At long last, have you no shame?”

Not to leave one foot firmly planted in his mouth, he decided to put the other in as well when he tweeted that I hate, not Israel, but the Jewish people.  In classic Kahanist fashion, he also called me a “betrayer.”  I told you he was ignorant–making a fatal mistake often made by classical Zionists and anti-Semites as well, conflating Israel and Judaism.

I would never make the mistake of conflating him with all Germans.  I’m hoping there are others who find him as distasteful and offensive as I.

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{ 47 comments… add one }
  • Kevin Herbert January 24, 2014, 12:19 AM

    Richard,

    The greatest act of genocide in human history was the slaughter of up to 14 million Congolese in the Belgian Congo between 1894 & 1905.

    Norman Finkelstein notes the fact that there has been one scholarly book in the 108 years since this slaughter, while there have been more than 10,000 books published on the Shoah since 1945.

    And to think there are still those who deny Zionist influence in modern media.

  • Elisabeth January 24, 2014, 2:04 AM

    I read King Leopold’s Ghost and the contents still haunt me. I was struck by the fact that there were almost no documents available in which the victims words could be heard: There are almost only white voices. There is a story though (if I remember correctly) by a woman who was forced to leave her baby by the side of the path during a grueling treck through the jungle where they have to carry heavy loads. Horrific.

  • tarak kauff January 24, 2014, 4:32 AM

    I am a Jew and I think this labeling of the Holocaust on the Jews as “the greatest act of genocide . . .” is a real mistake and it offends me. It was one among many. Most U.S. Americans also forget about the massive genocide of the Indian people in North America – from which the Indian people, those that have survived, are still living in the most dire poverty and oppressive conditions – their oppression continues, as opposed to the comparative wealth and well being of most Jews today. There are many genocides, let’s not single out one over the other. They’re all bad.

    • Siusaidh January 24, 2014, 7:01 AM

      Thank you, Tarak, for that recognition. That we can never know the full extent of the ‘rolling genocide’ that was a direct result of the conquest of the western hemisphere must not prevent us from trying and also constantly reminding people that the Indigenous population was reduced by some 90%. Although subsequent books may be as good, I rely on Russell Thornton’s ‘American Indian Holocaust and Survival’.

      Clearly the Euro-supremist notion of the doctrine of ‘discovery’ is still with us, still doing its poisonous work.

    • Richard Silverstein January 24, 2014, 12:35 PM

      @ tarak kauff:

      let’s not single out one over the other.

      I do not deny other genocides and nothing I wrote did. But I certainly do single out the Nazi genocide since it murdered 6 million Jews. I strongly doubt you are what you claim. If you are, you harbor very strange ideas. I do not appreciate commenters making personal claims about themselves when they are false. If I find that your claims are, you will be moderated or banned.

      However evil the injustice of Occupation and suffering of the Palestinians, it is NOT genocide. My comment rules demand great caution when making such claims. You are using rashness and imprecision, which I reject. I put you on notice.

      • Deïr Yassin January 24, 2014, 6:43 PM

        @ Richard
        Tarak Kauff is a well-known figure: former US para-trooper, member of Veterans for Peace, has been to Palestine more than once, and has been speaking round the US with Yonathan Shapira recently.

        Concerning genocide: the Palestinian situation does not exactly fit the UN-definition adopted in 1948 but it fits Raphael Lemkin’s own definition that wasn’t adopted entirely by the UN, i.e. genocide also as political, social or cultural destruction of a people in whole or in part. Still if one looks at the defintion adopted by the UN, it probably fits the situation in Gaza: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_the_Prevention_and_Punishment_of_the_Crime_of_Genocide
        Baruch Kimmerling coined it as Politicide, the title of a book he wrote about Ariel Sharon’s war on the Palestinians.
        Others call it sociocide.

        • Donald January 24, 2014, 7:44 PM

          The problem is that in common speech, “genocide” means the mass slaughter of a particular ethnic group, and that’s why it is regarded as the greatest of crimes. The broader definition that might include what is happening to the Palestinians isn’t what most people are thinking of when they use the term “genocide”. I know some activists like to use it and point to the broader definition, but the Holocaust and the other things we normally call genocide (like the Ukrainian famine or Rwanda etc) were much worse than what has happened in Gaza. Which is not to excuse what Israel has done in Gaza.

          Anyway, that’s why I don’t use “genocide” in connection with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but I know why others do.

          • SimoHurtta January 25, 2014, 4:23 AM

            What was the suitable term, which could have been used about the German’s “Jew situation” before let us say in the year 1941? Conflict? Or “genocide” with brackets? Maybe we should use the term “genocide in the making”. It is a bit absurd to compare a incomplete “process” like Palestine to what happened long ago and is a “finished” process like famine in Ukraine.

            Everybody who has been following the Israel/Palestine conflict can predict, that the probabilities to a peaceful solution are little above zero and probability of serious violence is near 100 percent. What is the term which should be used if Jews manage to drive 90 percent of Palestinians away to neighboring countries? What is the term if 20 percent of Palestinians are killed and the rest driven out? Etc. Anyway the obvious “genocide” or genocide is in future.

            Israel has been “carefully” educating and preparing the Jewish side with decades long political and religious propaganda to a stage where their masses are mentally ready to perform a genocide. The videos showing for example the Jerusalem day marches, where thousands of Jews scream death to Arabs, is a unbelievable (in modern age) outlook to organized mental preparing to perform a genocide. Also what (many) Rabbis and (most) Israeli politicians write and speak are seeking a “final solution”. Israel’s minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel just demanded replacing al-Aqsa mosque with a Jewish temple. What will happen if they really do that? Only a conflict? Or the start of a …

          • Deïr Yassin January 25, 2014, 5:42 AM

            @ Donald
            I do agree with you. I don’t use it either. There is actually a difference between a planned and industrialized extermination of a people (in whole or in part) and what’s happening in Palestine. I know that the Sabra and Shatila massacres have been classified as “acts of genocide” but that’s not exactly the same thing.
            Though Raphael Lemkin himself fought for the broader definition including social, cultural and political destruction, I think ‘politicide’, ‘sociocide’, ‘ethnocide’ – I’m even seen democide’ – are are much better. Still, the confinement in Gaza of 1,7 million people, with the psychological and physical impact it has, fits the UN-definition (some speak about slow genocide). According to specialists, such as the late Palestinian psychiatrist Eyad al-Serraj (died mid december) a majority of the children in Gaza are traumatized, I’ve read one-third in the West Bank need psychological help, this all can lead to the destruction of a society on the long run.

          • Donald January 25, 2014, 12:25 PM

            The terms I’d use to describe what’s happened so far would be “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid”. What Israel might do in the future–well, obviously I don’t know.

        • Richard Silverstein January 25, 2014, 6:51 PM

          I know nothing about the guy. But someone who claims with no previous record or evidence that he’s Jewish & does so in order to score points in a political debate seems suspect to me.

          As for the issue of genocide in terms of Palestine, it seems an attempt to inflate the commonly accepted definition. Even more important, the oppression of Palestinians is certainly unjust, illegal & even criminal under international law. We have plenty of appropriate terms to use to describe this. Let’s use them before we cause rhetorical inflation & overstatement.

  • tarak kauff January 24, 2014, 4:40 AM

    P.S. I said most U.S. Americans “forget” about the genocide upon the native American Indians. CHange that. Even worse, most never even realized it was a genocide – and one that is still continuing. At least the Holocaust, as bad as it was – is over. Israel’s zionists constant use of the Holocaust to keep the specter of fear and anti-semitism alive while they perpetrate a slow genocide on the Palestinians is a greater problem than the Germans “forgetting” it. I am not worried about Germany. I am worried for the sake of world peace about the U.S. and Israel’s aggressiveness and militarism.

    • yankel January 24, 2014, 8:08 AM

      Zionism has been perpetrating many colonisation-style crimes against Palestinian individuals and collectives for many decades. Genocide — a deliberate attempt to physically exterminate all members of an ethnic group — is not and has never been one of them.

      • Siusaidh January 24, 2014, 8:10 AM

        Your understanding of what constitutes genocide is sadly deficient.

        • DavidL January 27, 2014, 2:46 PM

          @Siusaidh- If you are claiming that Zionism supports genocide then it is you who has a very deficient understanding of what constitutes Zionism.

  • Oui January 24, 2014, 5:51 AM

    My father, with an inquisitive mind, traveled by bike in 1933 from The Hague to the German Rhineland to witness the rise of Hitler and Nazis in the region. He collected post cards from the route Duisburg-Cologne-Koblenz-Mainz to Basel. It was shocking and terrifying.

    The same elements of Nazi fascism and anti-semitism can be seen in today’s Islamophobes and right-wing rhetoric. I find the developments in Hungary quite shocking – Condemnation for Statue of Nazi Ally Miklos Horthy.

  • Elisabeth January 24, 2014, 5:54 AM

    Piksa’s comment is like a southerner telling an African American that his ancestors were surely house slaves and snitches for the master. Worse actually.

  • William Burns January 24, 2014, 7:22 AM

    You would never conflate Piska with all Germans? Than why is this post titled “Germans still Tone-Deaf over Holocaust” and not “Pliska tone-deaf over Holocaust”?

    • Richard Silverstein January 24, 2014, 12:30 PM

      @ William Burns: Because I believe there are many Germans who agree with his general attitude. Or do you think he sprang ex nihilo, from nothing?

      • SimoHurtta January 25, 2014, 5:19 AM

        Well the anti-Semitism database search of Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University produces with the keyword Germany 7787 records and with Poland 1107. If we narrow the view in the database to year 2013 Germany has 75 records (130 in 2012) and Poland to 27 records. Most of the records are about discussion of anti-Semitism (like Bank of England helped the Nazis to sell plundered gold record 000246991) or extremely mild (like Rapper Posts Anti-Israeli Map record 000244257 and Do Asian readers know about the anti-Semitism in ’Mein Kampf’? record 000246003 ), or which have nothing to do with anti-Semitism like Every Second thinks the Islam is a Threat (record 000244634). It is “difficult” to find a record of serious physical attacks, arson, destroying houses, arrests, assassinations etc we can read daily done in West Bank.

        Let us remember that in Germany now live at least 110,000 Jews and the Jewish population there is growing fast. Many Israeli Jews seem to favor Berlin as place to live. They would hardly move and live there if the level of hostility would be very hostile and anti-Semitic. If the 80 million Germans can produce only a couple of anti-Semitic incidents in a year, blaming Germans of rising Antisemitism is not very fair. A small Israeli Jewish settlement creates more serious incidents in a month than the whole Europe during several years. Imagine if Palestinians would have an equal database like Kantor Center has.

  • yankel January 24, 2014, 8:50 AM

    I take exception to more than one point in this post.

    1. The Poles were not the perpetrators of the holocaust. The fact that Polish Jews — my parents included — didn’t enjoy general public support from their non-Jewish compatriots is a bad enough, well deserved stain on Polish Honour, but blaming the holocaust on the Polish people is a slander.

    2. The Germans committed the most horrendous crime of a premeditated, well-engineered, highly successful, industrial genocide. Through the decades following their defeat the Germans took the unprecedented undertaking of accepting collective guilt, owning up unreservedly to their crimes and doing their very best to try and make amends. Talking to many people, in different parts of the world, Germans are generally better informed about the crime and more indignant to anything resembling Nazism than any comparable group, young Israelis included.

    • Richard Silverstein January 24, 2014, 12:28 PM

      @ Yankel: Your comment shows you didn’t bother to read my post. Or if you read it, you didn’t understand it. I never accused the Poles of perpetrating the Holocaust. I said they were ‘in part responsible,’ as indeed they were. Blaming the Holocaust in part on the Poles is not a slander. Only a country in which anti Semitism has taken root in fertile ground could be a host for such evil, even if the main authors were the Nazis themselves. The Nazis could not have achieved what they did without local help & support. To claim otherwise is pure ignorance.

      Could you, for example, show me the support offered by native Poles for the 1942 Warsaw Ghetto uprising? There was a strong Polish resistance in exile. Did they order their supporters inside Poland to offer any military or logistical support? Or were the Jews left entirely to their own devices?

      As for how indignant Germans are about the Holocuast and how sensitive they are to the nuances of the crimes and the aftermath, clearly Piksa is not an anomaly nor an aberration. Of course I wouldn’t make any generalizations from him to all Germans. But nor would I grant your claim that Germany is free of blame or guilt. Nor is Germany by any means free of anti-Semitism, even today as evidenced by continuing neo-Nazi activity.

      • polish dna? January 30, 2014, 4:30 PM

        It seems offensive to me to say someone’s grandfather didnt save any jews, or worked as a colloborator, or to assign racial guilt responsibility to the Polish, German, or Israeli people. Individuals do good or bad things, this dna obsession has to stop.

  • Oui January 24, 2014, 10:19 AM

    RS refers to a poll conducted in Poland, recent polls in Germany show a 20% level of anti-semitism. The East-German provinces are known for its neo-nazism which Berlin tries to counter. The German government is a friend of Israel but that may not be of a great help. I personally have a positive attitude towards the Germans and their fight against racism. In Europe data on hate crime is lacking – FRA speaks on hate crime in the European Union.

    • SimoHurtta January 26, 2014, 3:30 AM

      Recent polls in Germany??????? The link is to a story of a travelogue about Germany written by a “undercover” Israeli – US Jewish author born in Tel Aviv. That is not a poll, it is a successful attempt to make a popular travelogue. Imagine if a European “undercover” Palestinian would make an equal book about about the attitudes of US Jewish communities (or in Israel if it would be possible to him to get in there). Reporting only the juiciest racist opinions, intervening the worst rabbis, inviting himself to Jewish extremist’s clubs etc. We would hardly call that book as a poll or as a neutral attempt to report about the real situation.

      If the well funded and active Jewish organizations and Israeli or German media do not manage to report of the anti-Semitic attacks and crimes in Germany, where is that severe raising anti-Semitism? The reality is that the media especially in Israel has a very low threshold in reporting of anti-Semitic events around the world. If Jews would be beaten and/or their properties destroyed in today’s Germany we would be able to read about it in hours after each incident.

      In Kantor Center’s database (which is a basis of many of these anti-Semitism studies) are with keyword Finland 6 records from the year 2013. They are:
      Rise in attacks on Muslims in Europe
      2013 – Council of Europe – 00 – Reports – Racism – Finland
      Finnish Police Find ’Jew List’ at Neo-Nazi’s Home
      ECRI REPORT ON FINLAND (again)
      Finland’s Cause Is Ours [article]
      Nazis Attacked Lecture in Finland [article]

      Could we based on that data make conclusions about anti-Semitism in Finland? The data collected from Germany and other countries is in many ways equal “quality”. It is 100 % certain that the if severe incidents would exist they would be included in this anti-Semitism database. In 2011 as categorized as Anti-Semitic Activities – Violent Incidents – Harassment in Finland is record 000232629: A Person Peed on the Fence of the Jewish Community.

      • Oui January 26, 2014, 7:01 AM

        As a comment is limited in hyperlinks to avoid delay of moderation, I used The Forward article as a stepping stone to four related articles. One of them is …

        Anti-Semitism Still High in Germany

        (Feb. 2012) – Some 20% of residents in the country that gave rise to the Holocaust still harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, according to a recent study sponsored by Germany’s own government. The study, “Anti-Semitism in Germany,” which consolidates available information from previous surveys, was authored by a commission of nine academics and released on January 23. The report is now considered an official government finding.

        In the very current EU study, you can read that the individual countries are lacking in statistics about hate crime. Also anti-semitism data may be corrupted with anti-Israel expressions after offensive and retaliatory bombing raids or illegal assassinations by Israel’s IAF. The Lebanon War in 2006, the Gaza Raid 2008/2009 in Nov. 2012 are periods with anti-Israel sentiments run high. Hatred and frustration lead easily towards a lasting anti-semitism. I spoke of views and attitudes, you list acts of anti-semitism.

        • SimoHurtta January 26, 2014, 2:19 PM

          The hate crimes are under many different categories of crimes and are often ambiguous in how they are seen. In the same hate crime category are verbal disputes, arson attempts (=murder attempts if people are inside), physical attacks, nameless letters, graffities on graveyards etc. The total numeric sum of hate crimes does not tell “anything”. Are 100 nameless letter incidents equal to one arson attempt or murder?

          Anyway if hate crimes would be put to statistics today in Europe the hate crimes against Muslims would be 1000 against one anti-Semitic crime. And “we” know who create much of the antipathy against Muslims.

          Kantor Institute anti-Semitism database with the keyword Germany
          2005 171 records
          2006 215
          2007 279
          2008 360
          2009 231
          2010 232
          2011 267
          2012 130
          2013 75

          I recommend to readers to inspect closer that anti-Semitism database in question and make their own conclusions. Any way the notion that much of anti-Semitic crimes are unreported is rather absurd. Every anti-Semitic action is small victory for Israel and for local Jewish community and they make the maximum in exploiting that in the media. Any physical attack against an Israeli Jew or “domestic” Jew is front page “class” even if the attack is mild and leads no physical harm. Mostly what are now reported as violent anti-Semitic attacks are verbal insults in soccer games, other heated debates and name calling in messaging. Without doubt the level of equal verbal insults toward Arabs and gentiles is manifold worse and common in Israel than the anti-Semitic name calling in Europe. It is a bit absurd that a Jew who has participated in Jerusalem Day marches and in “price tags” is very thin-skinned if somebody had made a angry look at a Jew in Europe. The old wisdom is to behave as you want others to behave against you.

          • Oui January 26, 2014, 3:06 PM

            I don’t believe we’ll agree on the numbers and reports published. One fact stands out, the Jewish State of Israel is viewed in a very negative way by Europeans. This by itself is not anti-semitism. It does mean Netanyahu, Likud and partners are losing the PR or propaganda war in the media. A discussion I don’t quite agree with, but covers some bases in our debate.

        • Oui January 26, 2014, 11:27 PM

          Holocaust survivor and historian returns award to Hungary in protest

          (The Guardian) – The historian Randolph L Braham said he is returning a high state award to Hungary, in order to protest what he says are government efforts to rewrite history and exonerate the country from its role in the Holocaust.

          Braham, who is a Holocaust survivor, has also asked the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest to remove his name from the BrahamTheque Information Center, which collects his research results and publications.

          Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has also been criticized by Jewish groups for tolerating statues of Horthy being set up by far-right groups in several places. Braham said he was “stunned” by the “history-cleansing campaign of the past few years calculated to whitewash the historical record of the Horthy era”.

          From my post – Hungarian Whitewash of Nazi Era.

      • Oui January 26, 2014, 7:27 AM

        “… media especially in Israel has a very low threshold in reporting of anti-Semitic events around the world.”

        This statement just isn’t true as I have found in The Netherlands and recent issues with the ‘quenelle’ in France. The media coverage became nearly hysterical in France and went global. Remember the shirt of a Chilean soccer team with the land of Palestine as emblem?

        In Amsterdam there are two Jewish groups reporting on any act of anti-semitism. These reports are covered in the media every year. At first there was just one group Centre Information and Documentation Israel (CIDI), considered moderate by Likud standards. The recently retired director Ronny Naftaniel was a remarkable and kind person. He has been replaced by a hardliner. A few years ago, a group was established “Likoed Nderland” with a more aggressive approach especially towards the minority Muslim population here.

        What I find most hurtful, the Holocaust theme is used in a propaganda war. I agree with above comments, there are many nations where war crimes are committed as we speak and many genocides have passed. Ever since the 9/11 attacks, Israel with Ariel Sharon and Benyamin Netanyahu have promoted hatred of Arabs by equating Palestinian terror to Al Qaeda terror. This is sickening, especially as Islamophobes are funded by Israel and NGO’s supportive of right-wing policy of political parties like Likud and the Jewish Home.

        • DavidL January 27, 2014, 3:05 PM

          OUI… so you feel there is a difference between Al Qaeda terror and Palestinian terror? As far as I can tell, terror is terror. A suicide bomber is a suicide bomber and has carried out a terrorist attack when he/she kills civilians whether they be in Ramallah, Cairo, Jerusalem, England or New York. That is- a terrorist attack is a terrorist attack no matter WHO carries it out.

          I agree that the hatred towards Arabs (Muslims) is wrong… it is not Arabs (Muslims) who carry out these attacks, but misguided (in my opinion) fanatics hiding in “religious” clothing.

          There are ALL sorts of topics and items used in the propaganda war. What irkes me is when the opposite happens… when I hear statements like ” I’m tired of hearing about the Holocaust”… that’s an excuse to dismiss it and belittle the horrible reality it was.

          • Oui January 27, 2014, 8:40 PM

            “especially as Islamophobes are funded by Israel and NGO’s supportive of right-wing policy …”

            Political scavenger – 9/11 terror beneficial to Israel! Bush & Co went into Iraq trained in Israeli tactics for urban warfare with all its immoral, deficient treatment of civilians, prisoners and targeted assassinations.

            (Haaretz) Apr. 16, 2008 – The Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.

            “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” Ma’ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events “swung American public opinion in our favor.”

            Netanyahu reportedly made the comments during a conference at Bar-Ilan University on the division of Jerusalem as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

            Vanify Fair: Star of Zion (1996) – Netanyahu’s political ace is his 20-year obsession with terrorism.
            [Just months after Netanyahu's incitement for political hatred and Rabin's murder]

        • SimoHurtta January 28, 2014, 2:32 AM

          CIDI has on their front page following anti-Semitic “news”:
          – Bavaria puts brake on annotated version Mein Kampf
          – Marketplace cease selling Nazi stuff
          – Bruins Case closed: ‘the beast’ goes free
          – Chamber rejects anti-Semitism, but what to do?

          Othewise CIDI’s anti-Semitism information is like Kantor Center’s. Mostly records of discussions of history and events collected around the world where the word anti-Semitism was mentioned. Records of reports of real attacks against Jews and their assets are almost non-existent.

          As said before the Jewish pro-Israeli communities and media plus Israeli media would not hesitate to make even the smallest threatening attacks public. From Austria one widely published recent anti-Semitic act was when a soccer fan had shouted to a Rabbi “Move, Jew – Jews out, Heil Hitler” The police refused to react when demanded saying ‘Come on, it’s a soccer night’ . This was published in all Israeli media and in widely in USA. This event is listed in ADL’s selected events of 2012 and US State departments report of Human rights in Austria. Compare this in today’s Austria very rare incident to the Jerusalem Day yearly marches where thousands of Jews demand openly killing Arabs and to what happens around “larger” Israel every day. If a Muslim immigrant in Europe would make a complain (and record to their “anti-Semitic” database) where some drunken Christian or Jewish red-neck commands him to “move back to their tent and camels” or calls him a “terrorist” that database of “hate-crimes” would be astronomic in size. Every Arab or Turkish immigrant with a somewhat darker “look” can list tens of such verbal insults made to them. However the US State department do not mention these countless events in their “Human rights reports”.

          • Oui January 28, 2014, 2:07 PM

            CIDI Annual Report – Incidents in 2012 [pdf]
            This report is presented to Dutch parliament. Inside report is a graph of incidents, peak of 167 events during 2009. Over 2011/2012 numbers are at 113/114. There is under-reporting of the real number of anti-semitic harassments according to CIDI. In the single month of Operation Cast Lead, the incidents peaked at 98!

            Website – Likoed Nederland.

      • Oui January 26, 2014, 9:27 AM

        Bennett: No ties between Israeli actions and rise of anti-Semitism

        (JPost) – There is no correlation between Israel’s actions and the rise of anti-Semitism, Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett said over the weekend. Bennett is scheduled to present a report on anti-Semitism to the cabinet [today] that will include a European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ Poll [pdf file – 80 pages] indicating that a quarter of European Jews refrain from visiting sites or wearing clothing and symbols that identify them as Jews, for fear of anti-Semites.

        Almost a third of European Jews are mulling emigration as a response to heightened anti-Jewish sentiment, according to the agency. “Despite what people might think, anti-Semitism does not strengthen our ties with Jews overseas,” Bennett said in a statement on Saturday evening. “For every Jew who makes aliya as a result of anti-Semitism, there are many others who cut ties with Judaism and the Jewish way of life.”

  • Howard Cort January 24, 2014, 12:26 PM

    I’m amazed to read of the immensity of the Belgium crimes in the Congo. What’s the book entitled?

    Meanwhile the Turkish murder of Armenians , the earlier attacks by Imperial Germany in Southwest Africa (Namibia), and the genocide of American Indians– were quite likely all known to Adolf Hitler, who voraciously read Karl May’s books on the American West. Somewhat similarly , those precedents may somehow, even if unconsciously, be related to persecutions in places like Tibet and Palestine.

    • Oui January 24, 2014, 3:53 PM

      Your avitar link has a typo, should be (dot)com.

    • Donald January 25, 2014, 12:29 PM

      Heart of Darkness is the fictionalized account of Leopold II’s private rule of the Congo. The nonfiction book came out around ten years ago I think and is called “King Leopold’s Ghost”. Estimates for the death toll range widely, from low millions to low tens of millions–at any rate, a huge fraction of people living in the Congo died, but AFAIK it’s impossible to obtain precise figures. They weren’t killed deliberately, so to speak, but died as a byproduct of an extraordinarily brutal form of forced labor. Think gulag, but in the jungle and in order to squeeze out as much work for rubber production as one could get out men.

  • Howard Cort January 24, 2014, 12:28 PM

    I’m amazed to read of the immensity of the Belgium crimes in the Congo. What’s the book entitled?

    Meanwhile the Turkish murder of Armenians , the earlier attacks by Imperial Germany in Southwest Africa (Namibia), and the genocide of American Indians– were also quite likely all known to Adolf Hitler, who voraciously read Karl May’s books on the American West. Somewhat similarly , those precedents may somehow, even if unconsciously, be related to persecutions in places like Tibet and Palestine.

    • Peter D January 24, 2014, 3:15 PM

      Surely Hitler would also have heard of the fate of millions of Ukrainians under Stalin in the early 1930s. Estimates are that somewhere between 3 and 7 million Ukrainians were starved to death due to the communist’s policy of stripping them of their food. Search for “Holodomor”.

      And, “Heart of Darkness.” I must give it a read one day soon. Plus ca change.

  • Frederick Rhodes January 24, 2014, 5:18 PM

    [ed., Frankly, I don’t know how you published two earlier comments without being banned. This comment is so far over the line & violates so many different comment rules that you’re banned outright.

  • TMC January 25, 2014, 10:20 AM

    JFK said the greatest enemy to mankind was ignorance over and over again. Maybe he was on to something because someone thought it keen to shoot him in the face. Why are people, including Jews who don’t play along with fanatical Zionism, always the ones least confused, the most researched, but also the most insulted? It’s like, unless you play along with a lie based on an ideology that plays out to be pretty murderous and criminal (just look at the last 5 years alone), then you are evil, crazy, or to be rendered irrelevant. Actually, it’s not “like” that. Excuse me — that’s how it is.

  • Tarak kauff January 26, 2014, 3:52 AM

    Richard,

    Good discussion in general. Appreciate most of the comments, however Mr. Silverman, to be a bit clearer, I was not using the fact that I am Jewish to bolster my argument, which is anyway true, as you incorrectly assume it is not, but was only including it to demonstrate that Jews also can have opinions that may differ, especially regarding the way you referred to the Holocaust and went after today’s Germans. (BTW Original name of my grandfather, who came from Russia was Isakof) I know myself and many other Jews are tired of this reference to the Jewish Holocaust as being singular in history and of it often (not saying you were) being used to excuse much of what Israel is doing. As far as insinuating that I am lying about or misrepresenting myself, that kind of insult is quite easy to deliver from a distance in print, without knowing who you are talking to. Meanwhile you never answered my comment about defining the holocaust as the “greatest genocide in history” and the fact that singling it out like that is dismissive of the many other (if not exactly the same) horrors perpetrated on many other peoples – including as I mentioned, the Red Indian nations, who again, unlike most Jews today, after 500 years of genocidal war, are still being oppressed and living in the United States in a state of dire poverty that can only be compared to that of Palestinians in Gaza. I also didn’t care for your threat of removing my posts because of your erroneous assumption and unfounded suspicion that I was misrepresenting myself. Why don’t you instead of attacking me and assuming that I misrepresented myself, which I did not, answer my critique that your original statement “We’re now 70 years since the greatest act of genocide in the history of the human race and there are, alas, Germans who seem to have learned nothing,” was unfounded and also I may add just flat out wrong on both counts?

    • Oui January 26, 2014, 4:43 AM

      Your courageous stand as a Veteran for Peace is in a very broad movement. I too have taken a personal stand on war and peace during the last half century. Some bloggers are focused on imminent policy change in the I-P negotiations and push for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. The hasbarists simply try to deflect attention away from more Jewish housing extension, settlement building and oppression of Palestinians by talking about misconduct of other nations [historic or contemporary war crimes cq. genocide]. RS tries to keep comments focused on articles posted. Israel could be suspect of war crimes, etnic cleansing but not of genocide. I may have to change my view as I just read the definition: Article II and III in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. The collective punishment of the occupation may indeed add to the liability.

  • Iris Hefets January 27, 2014, 2:27 AM

    Richard,

    I believe, that we should note, as Jews, that the Genocide in our people is unfortunately one of many, although for us unique. The situation in Palestine, which Israel is responsible for, is bad enough and it does not matter, if we call it a Genocide or not…I guess you agree here.

    As for polish antisemites camoflaged as pro-israelis: we have many of them in Germany: Anti-Deutsche, and the have no shame…

    Another thing: poles show over many years, that there are antisemitic attitudes in Poland, much highr then in Germany. BUT: there are hardly antisemitic incidents there and in Germany much more…this should raise some questionmarks.

    regards
    iris

  • DavidL January 26, 2014, 3:29 AM

    Let me also clarify something… I am only discussing what
    Yankel said in relation to Zionism and Genocide.

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