Global, Israel

Genocide pulls us together

Some different news out of Palestine:

BETHLEHEM – Every Friday, the West Bank village of Ni’lin is home to some of the most violent clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian, Israeli and international demonstrators.
Each week, activists from the village’s Land Defence Committee stage demonstrations at the Separation Barrier which cuts off as much as half the village’s farmland and water from its inhabitants.
…[L]ast weekend beheld a spectacle perhaps more remarkable than these weekly Barrier protests: Villagers had set up an exhibition to coincide with the United Nations-declared International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January, an exhibition organised by Ni’lin’s Popular Committee Against the Wall.
Hassan Moussa, the exhibition’s organiser, spoke to me over the phone from Ni’lin. And despite the hot-headed rhetoric coming from both sides that weekend (a number of protesters were tear-gassed just hours before), Moussa explained that the exhibit was organised with the most noble of intentions.
“This is a way of extending our sympathy for the Jews,” and the Palestinians’ way of extending that sympathy “to the Israeli people, themselves,” he says.

Full story here.
(Hat tip to JAS)

22 thoughts on “Genocide pulls us together

  1. Aryeh Cohen, is the title of your post meant to be open to interpretation?
    I read stories about this when it happened about a month ago. There was an interesting quote by a Palestinian professor who said something along the lines of – the Palestinians need to understand that, because of the Holocaust, anytime Jews are attacked, they instinctively see it as an existential attack on their people and respond in kind.
    He said it more eloquently, but I hope I’ve conveyed the basic message. I was stunned by that statement, because he described exactly how I feel anytime Jews are attacked, anywhere. Whether in Israel, or Venezuela or the streets of Paris, whenever a Jew is attacked my first instinct is to fight back. I didn’t grow up with the whole “Shoah” burned into my consciousness by relentless movies, museum exhibits and university study programs, like people are here in the West.
    Although most of my family was killed there, and my own grandparents came out of (Italian, not German) concentration camps, we never discussed it, and in the Soviet Union everyone lost everything – it was just framed as the brutality of the Nazis, not a unique experience.
    But that is exactly how I feel – an attack on Jews anywhere is an attack on Jews everywhere, not in a nationalist pride sense, but an existential one.

  2. Actually, this seems to me like an exploitative way to grab international attention, but it’s a good a way as any to remind Jews that they weren’t the only victims of genocide.

  3. I guess I’m not quite getting this…. Do you mean to say that the Holocaust “pulls people together”? Or that genocide in general “pulls people together”? I admit that I find either claim kind of bizarre. Is there a genocide exclusive of the Holocaust that’s relevant to the article you cited?
    It is interesting that a group of Palestinians is willing to acknowledge and give a memorial to Holocaust victims. Certainly noteworthy on a personal level. It doesn’t seem to have any broader political or social meaning though. (Holocaust memorials almost never do.)

  4. “the palestinians have a growing population hello you call that a “genocide” such crap”
    They are growing as a population, but they are being destroyed as a nation, and the latter is genocide, though obviously it is being done with far more concern for public relations than previous examples.

  5. You hear that, everyone? Inflicting low self esteem is being equated to genocide. This is what happens when you want everyone to like you – you give them control to impose their twisted reality on you. And no matter how much you give, no matter how much you concede, this process of submission will not cease, because all they have to do is “not like you” anymore, and then you’ll be back to square one – feeling rejected and crying yourself to sleep.
    Israel has spent 60 years bending over backwards to NOT commit genocide – which is what any other civilized nation would have done by now – and what is it being accused of? Genocide, of course! Does no one else see the beautiful irony in all this?
    It’s insanity. We need to return to core Jewish values and core Jewish interests, and stop worrying whether adhering to them will make people like us or not. If someone wants to be on good terms with us, maybe they should be the ones to change, for once.

  6. “Israel has spent 60 years bending over backwards to NOT commit genocide – which is what any other civilized nation would have done by now – and what is it being accused of?”
    …Why the heck are you justifying genocide?
    No civilized state would engage in genocide, even under Israel’s conditions.
    That said, most countries in the world are not paralyzed by weak coalition governments and do not have a significant minority living in their borders that is hostile to the state’s existence… But I still think it’s hyperbole to suggest that they’d engage in genocide.

  7. “You hear that, everyone? Inflicting low self esteem is being equated to genocide.”
    You hear weird things in your head. Again, the destruction of a nation is genocide, be it by slaughter, dispossession, or any combination of the two, regardless of how much effort is put into public relations hide that reality.

  8. >>”They are growing as a population, but they are being destroyed as a nation, and the latter is genocide, though obviously it is being done with far more concern for public relations than previous examples.”
    If growing in population yet “being destroyed as a nation” qualifies as genocide then genocide is obviously not a serious problem.

  9. Surely you would consider it serious if it were your nation being wiped off the map though colonization backed by overwhelming military force.

  10. I think that the issue here is that, especially to the descendants of the victims of genocide, the term has a sanctity that when applied erroneously waters down the power of it.
    While I agree with kyleb that the intent of the occupation is the colonization of Palestine in the hopes of its demise, I also believe that were the Palestinians to choose to leave on their own fruition and/or accept defeat and end their armed resistance, the IDF would not chase them into Jordan, Egypt or Syria to “finish the job.” However, in the case of the genocides of the 20th century, it would seem that those perpetrating genocide went to extreme and irrational ends to complete their goals (the Shoah is a great example, because some historians believe that the Nazis would have had a good chance at winning WW2 had resources been funneled away from the genocide toward the war effort).
    Therefore, while Israel may be guilty of willfully and intentionally destroying the Palestinian nation, to accuse it of genocide (and this may be a semantic argument) makes a parity between the occupation and genocides that is simply historically inaccurate. While there may be similarities in strategy, that seems to be to be by virtue of sharing the unfortunate status of occupier, rather than sharing the desire to annihilate completely another people based on their genes.

  11. Justin, are you saying Kyleb is too stupid to understand the difference between systematically exterminating millions of people in gas chambers and burning their bodies in ovens to a military occupation under which the occupied prosper and then launch terrorist war?
    Again, why bother trying to create these nuances? It’s not genocide. You don’t have to equivocate or debate with those who know it’s not genocide, but use the term to invent false moral superiority. You don’t have to reach a common ground with such people, who purposefully misuse language for their ends. You can just tell them, “Kyleb, you’re a propagandist, and I won’t meet your delusions half way.”

  12. “the destruction of a nation is genocide, be it by slaughter, dispossession, or any combination of the two”
    Whoa, nelly. I’m also against the occupation, but dispossession, as ugly as it may be, is NOT genocide. Genocide has a very specific meaning – the murder of an ethnic group. You can definitely say dispossession is wrong, but it’s not the same thing as genocide.

  13. Again, the the destruction of nations is genocide. The Native American genocide was largely one of dispossession too, as nations were pushed Westward, effectively being wiped off the map. I suppose some do argue that wasn’t genocide, but that seems like a rather cynical semantic argument to me.

  14. KRG, those things qualify as genocide under UN law, which encompasses not only targeted mass killings, but population transfer and CULTURAL genocide.

  15. “Cultural genocide”?
    So, Hollywood is committing “cultural genocide” by imposing a Western, liberal view of the world on the hapless, indigent brown masses?
    As I said, anyone who subscribes to such notions is beyond intellectually honest debate, and is operating in the arena of propaganda.

  16. Trying to bring Hollywood into this discussion is an absurd attempt to whitewash this conquest of Palestine.

  17. Your use of emotionally stirring language like “whitewash” and “conquest” does not ameliorate the fact that there exists no such thing as “cultural genocide”, and the use of such loaded terminology, along with equating “dispossession” with “genocide” is purely for propaganda purposes.
    If you have a problem with Palestinians losing their culture, take it up with the Islamists, who keep dumping tens of millions of Wahhabi mosques. Who ever thought Palestinian women would abandon the thob and wear a hijab!

  18. Many Palestinian women don’t wear anything of the sort, living under siege their entire lives has left others with little left to believe in but extremist conceptions of God.

  19. Victor-
    I did not in any way imply that kyleb was stupid, at all. You seem to be, however, and that is wrong. Kyleb and B.BN are right, cultural and national destruction by any means is deemed genocide by the UN. If you think Palestinians have ultimately prospered from being under Israeli occupation you need to spend more time in Palestine–find me the prosperity. The old trope that “compared to other Arabs” Palestinians do better because of Israel is just old and tired. pun intended, show me the money.
    I was merely making the distinction between the means, not the ends. If the occupation does not end now or soon, I fear the result of the shoah and occupation could be very much the same. And as kyleb has been trying to get across, when all is said and done, destruction of other nations to fit a different nation’s interest is ethically not really okay in my book.
    Your backhanded dismissals and patronization is rather a turn-off, to be frank.
    And, Eek, I’m really curious as to the motivation of your question. A) why does it matter, and B) what has kyleb said that you want to be told they are not Jewish. I’m having a hard time not being offended by the question you posed… Why would one’s religious matter in this regard?

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