Today, Barack Obama made his required political stop at the Yad Vashem Museum to memorialize the six million victims of the Shoah. While there he recommitted himself to ensuring the survival of the State of Israel invoking the phrase “Never Again.”
It’s unfortunate that a slogan first popularized by Meir Kahane has been absorbed into the American political discourse and embraced by both McCain and Obama, but that’s a different story than the one I want to tell today.
John McCain’s campaign made the unpardonable gaffe of impugning Obama’s commitment to prevent genocide. But not genocide against Jews. Rather genocide against…Iraqis. That’s right. Here’s the McCain attack:
“Today he says ‘never again.’ A year ago stopping genocide wasn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces in Iraq. Doesn’t that strike you as inconsistent?”
Does anyone believe that a comparison of the six million killed in the Shoah compares to preventing Iraqi Shia, Sunni and Kurds from slitting each other’s throats? The respective causes of hostility and the magnitude of the suffering pale in the comparison. Besides, McCain is comparing a genocide that actually occurred with one that has not yet occurred, and which we’re not even sure would occur. This is a base, shallow and treif attack that abuses one of the central historical events of Jewish history to smear a presidential candidate.
The ADL makes a point of attacking (largely) liberals who abuse the Holocaust for political gain. But you won’t hear any geshrei‘s from Abe Foxman this time since he and McCain are likely on most excellent terms.
Jeremy Ben Ami of J Street had no such divided loyalty and accused McCain of:
shamelessly exploit[ing] the sacred memory of six million victims of the worst crime in human history to score political points in the heat of a partisan election campaign.
Richard, the more I hear about J Street, the more I like them. I’m really hoping they go from strength to strength and give the RW hardliners of AIPAC a run for their money….
1.2 million dead, with a fifth of the population homeless and the country permanently torn to pieces might satisfy some people’s definition of a holocaust.
Of course, McCain’s suggestion is akin to recommending that the Nazis be kept in Poland to save Jews.
As to shameful use of the holocaust for political gain, it’s pretty much de rigueur among members of both parties now.
..a fine article by the always astute gideon levy on Israel’s repulsive, phony victimhood can be read here: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1005639.html