Global, Israel, Politics

The Second Holocaust

Benny Morris is pathetic.
The once crowned prince of The New Historians, Morris is in no small way responsible for the advent of post-Zionism — a movement which Nobel Prize Laureate Robert J. Aumann said at last week’s Herzliya Conference is an even greater threat to the continued existence of the Jewish state than Iranian nuclear capabilities.
With rhetoric like that being chucked around, it of course makes perfect sense that Morris — seeing that the post-Zionist trip leads nowhere other than to marginalization and disenfranchisement — would do a 180 and come out all David Horowitz in order to win back the favor of American and Israeli money-power. Post-Zionism is a dead end for an Israeli academic: There’s no honor in being a “useful idiot.” There’s no money in it either. Not in the Jewish community at least. And shit, who wants to be in league with the likes of Ilan Pappé and Norman Finkelstein? I sure as hell don’t.
Thus Morris made his foray back into the good graces of “the dominant paradigm” in the beginnings of this decade, most notably recanting his supposed sins in a 2004 Haaretz interview, claiming ‘Hey, you got me all wrong! I don’t think Israeli ethnic cleansing went far enough!’
His latest act of crowd pleasing was a January 6 op-ed in Die Welt, called “The second Holocaust will not be like the first,” which Zionist hysterics jumped all over, proclaiming, ‘See, see, even the crazy Lefties think we should nuke Iran!’ And thus Morris has served his purpose, no longer a “useful idiot” for the powerless, but a “useful idiot” for those in whose hands rests the fate of humanity.

The second Holocaust will not be like the first. The Nazis, of course, industrialized mass murder. But still, the perpetrators had one-on-one contact with the victims. They may have dehumanized them, over months and years of appalling debasement and in their minds, before the actual killing. But, still, they were in eye- and ear-contact, sometimes in tactile contact, with their victims.
The second Holocaust will be quite different. One bright morning, in five or 10 years’ time, perhaps during a regional crisis, perhaps out of the blue, a day or a year or five years after Iran’s acquisition of the bomb, the mullahs in Qom will convoke in secret session, under a portrait of the steely-eyed Ayatollah Khomeini, and give President Ahmadinejad, by then in his second or third term, the go ahead.
The orders will go out, and the Shihab III and IV missiles will take off for Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa, and Jerusalem, and probably some military sites, including Israel’s half-dozen air and alleged nuclear missile bases. Some of the Shihabs will be nuclear-tipped, perhaps even with multiple warheads. Others will be dupes, packed merely with biological or chemical agents, or old newspapers, to draw off or confuse Israel’s anti-missile batteries and Home Guard units.
With a country the size and shape of Israel, an elongated 8,000 square miles, probably four or five hits will suffice: no more Israel. A million or more Israelis, in the greater Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem areas, will die immediately. Millions will be seriously irradiated. Israel has about 7 million inhabitants. No Iranian will see or touch an Israeli. It will be quite impersonal.

Are you fucking kidding me? What is this fear-mongering nonsense?
Yakov Rabkin, author of A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism, took a stab at Morris’ bloviatings in this morning’s Jerusalem Post, giving him, in my estimation, way more credit than he deserves for what seems so evidently the panderings of a man whose countrymen view him as the progenitor of an existential threat greater than the nuclear annihilation he prophesies.
In his exquisite response to Morris’s editorial, Rabkin writes:

Morris’s fatalism is explicable. Zionism has been a rebellion against Diaspora Judaism and its cult of submission, humility and appeasement. It has been a valiant attempt to transform the humble Jew relying on divine providence into a intrepid Hebrew relying on his own power. This transformation has been an impressive success. Israel has acquired the mightiest military in the region, but this has brought her neither peace nor tranquillity.
Morris could have concluded his essay by quoting a Bible prophet: for it is not by strength that man prevails (Samuel I 2:9). Intimately familiar with the history of the creation of modern Israel, he could have proposed ways to recognize the injustice done to the Palestinians for the sake of establishing and expanding the Zionist state. He could have called on his compatriots to seek ways to correct the injustice and thus assuage the grievances of the Palestinians that have plagued Israel throughout her history.
Morris would then be pointing a way out of the violent impasse. As it stands now, his prophecy may only legitimize military strikes against Iran and further escalation of violence in the region. Once again Israel may come out victorious, but the Israelis will continue to live in fear of the next enemy.

I, of course, believe Rabkin to be correct. To stay the present course is naught but insanity.
But truth be told, lately I tend to agree with Morris — in so far as I believe there will be another Holocaust. Yet I believe it will be the Holocaust we are least expecting, and one, incidentally, that Morris himself is helping bring about.
We have little to fear of Iran. I think it’s fairly clear by now that this whole thing is a setup: Ahmadinejad wants this war. He’s punching our buttons so that we’ll give him this war, counting on our propensity for post-Shoah hysteria to act irrationally. And in the end, we stand to gain nothing, and he stands to gain the world. Every time he says “The Zionists will be their own undoing,” he is simply revealing his hand. Lebanon was just a test run for his own “Nasrallah is the Muslim Che Guevara” moment.
No… We have much more to fear of ourselves — our own worst enemies.
It doesn’t matter whether it actually was, or it was not: At this point, it would appear that the accepted wisdom is that the war in Iraq was cooked up by Zionist neoconservatives willing to sacrifice American lives and American interests for the sake of Israel. It may not be the accepted rhetoric playing on the five o’clock news, but it’s only a matter of time.
You can talk ’til you’re blue in the face about all manner of economic interests which created the pretext for this failed war. Hell, I could go on about peak oil and the Project for a New American Century’s plans to secure “American global preeminence” for a week. I can provide all manner of evidence and legitimate, rational argument to support the contention that the Bush administration played the Jewish community to advance a war that simply wasn’t in our interests. It don’t matter. Because no matter how solid your case is, some smart-alecky Zionist turd will simply come along and throw a “George Bush is Israel’s best friend” monkey wrench into your whole defense, and in the process give legs to every crackpot antisemitic conspiracy theory within earshot.
So where are we at? AIPAC is in the dock. Congressional junkets to Israel have been nixed. The US is about to feed Israel a shit sandwich for deploying clusterbombs in Lebanon (which has already resulted in a suspension of arms shipments). Walt and Mearsheimer’s abortion of a working paper is making its rounds through the Pentagon, and retired military brass are penning op-eds about how Israel’s free ride needs to come to an end. The most high profile scandal to rock the administration thus far revolved around a visibly Orthodox Jew. Mel Gibson and David Irving are getting played up as heroic voices speaking truth to power. Antisemitism is on the rise, rise, rise. And the series of tubes is all abuzz with anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiments spanning from the far Left to the far Right, steadily creeping towards the center from the edges.
The canary gave its fatal gasp and its chirp went silent at least a year ago. But the Jewish community simply doesn’t know when to call it quits.
Bad enough 3,000 American soldiers have come home in boxes draped with stars and bars (something that’s not even our fault) and 30% of the Jewish community (including its wealthiest 1%) are out there cheerleading the shit. No… Now we’re asking for a war. Demanding a war. With who? An army infinitely more ruthless, more committed, and more resolute than any in the entire western world. (The Revolutionary Guard simply don’t fuck around. Plastic keys anyone?) You throw one more invasion of a sovereign Middle Eastern state into that mix, and you’ll see Sunnis and Shiites putting their differences far, far behind them, galvanizing a mass resistance that will shift the power balance in the Middle East in favor of Islamic fundamentalism ’til the end of eternity. And when that happens — when the war with Iran falls to utter shit and America gets its ass handed to it and the country collapses economically from a military debt it couldn’t repay with the next 100 years of projected GNP — guess who’s taking the fall?
Whereas the Iraq war may have the ambiguous appearance of being advanced in Israel’s interests, the American Jewish community and the Israeli government are taking the charge in driving America into yet another unwinnable and unsubstantiated war. And this time they will be held accountable. And there will be hell to pay.
Scott Ritter writes in The Nation:

I would strongly urge Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate, to hold real hearings on Iran. Not the mealy-mouthed Joe Biden-led hearings we witnessed on Iraq in July-August 2002, where he and his colleagues rubber-stamped the President’s case for war, but genuine hearings that draw on all the lessons of Congressional failures when it came to Iraq. Summon all the President’s men (and women), and grill them on every phrase and word uttered about the Iranian “threat,” especially as it has been linked to nuclear weapons. Demand facts to back up the rhetoric.
Summon the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), or any other lobby promoting confrontation with Iran, to the forefront, so that the warnings they offer in whispers from a back room can be articulated before the American public. Hold these conjurers of doom accountable for their positions by demanding they back them up with hard fact. See if the US intelligence community concurs with the dire warnings put forward by these pro-war lobbyists, and if it doesn’t, ask who, then, is driving US policy toward Iran? Those mandated by public law and subjected to the oversight of Congress? Or others, operating outside any framework representative of the will of the American people?
If a real case, based on facts as they pertain to the genuine national security interests of the United States, can be made for a confrontation with Iran that leads to military conflict, so be it. America should never shy away from defending that which legitimately needs defending. The sacrifice expected of our military forces, while tragic, will be defensible. But if the case for war with Iran is revealed to be as illusory as was the case for war with Iraq, then Congress must take action to stop this conflict from occurring.

Keep pushing, kids. Keep pushing.
When the angel of death passes over the city next time around, at least my forehead gets a ‘ú’.

18 thoughts on “The Second Holocaust

  1. Pathetic? Wow, talk about being mean-spirited. Perhaps Morris has had a change of heart or, as he says, he was never a post-Zionist. He was a historian who was trying to speak the truth rather than share the Israeli national myth of its founding. Guess what? Every country has its founding myths but only Israelis would say “this means we need to end being a Jewish state.” I am a US citizen and have my doctorate in multicultural education. I spend every day teaching my students the truth about Columbus and other national myths we have. Have I ever stated that the US should end? No. I am glad we know the truth that the founding of Israel was not “perfect” but does this mean the state should end? No and onl;y someone who has sees the world in dichotomous terms would think that.
    Post-Zionists are full of hubris if they think that they are going to bring about the ending of the Jewish state. Will they end the myths of Zionism? Sure but that has happened everywhere that the truth has come out. But please, do not think you are that powerful or important.

  2. Right. So, what exactly are your recommendations for dealing with Iran’s threat to Israel? I’m assuming you at least acknowledge the existence of said threat (maybe I’m wrong?). And if you do acknowledge the (obvious) threat, then you have presented exactly half of an argument here in your post. I await the second half.

  3. “Morris . . . . could have proposed ways to recognize the injustice done to the Palestinians for the sake of establishing and expanding the Zionist state. He could have called on his compatriots to seek ways to correct the injustice and thus assuage the grievances of the Palestinians that have plagued Israel throughout her history. Morris would then be pointing a way out of the violent impasse. As it stands now, his prophecy may only legitimize military strikes against Iran and further escalation of violence in the region. Once again Israel may come out victorious, but the Israelis will continue to live in fear of the next enemy.”
    Wow. Is Rabkin actually saying, and are you actually agreeing with him, that Iran would stop threatening to annihilate Israel if only Israel would treat the Palestinians better? Do you really believe that?
    I thought one thing we learned from Hitler is that if someone threatens to destroy you, believe him. Have you read any of Ahmadinejad’s ranting? They have nothing to do with Palestine. And even if they did, you think someone who threatens genocide should be listened to at all? Why are you giving this genocidal nut any legitimacy at all? And you take him more seriously than you take Morris, who you don’t even give the basic courtesy of assuming he believes what he says (instead accusing him of sucking up to the Right or however you phrased it). So you respect Ahchmadinejad more than you respect Morris.
    That’s perverse.
    I sent you Morris’s article, Dan. (I’m sure others did too.) I almost sent you a follow up email saying that I thought his scenario was possible but not as overdetermined as he thinks. But I wrote about 10 paragraphs and decided to let it sit before I sent it. Still haven’t sent it. Somewhere in the last paragraph i pleaded with you to “have a little sechel.” You’re very smart but you have no sechel.
    If you wanted to acquire some, one way to start would be to take Morris at face value and learn why he changed his mind. You don’t have to agree with him, just walk with him far enough on his path to find out. Do you not think you owe your fellow Jew even this courtesy? It would be more mature than raging at him for betraying you. Denounce him if you think that’s warranted, but for his actual ideas.
    i will be pleasantly surprised if you let this be posted.

  4. Post-Zionism is a dead end for an Israeli academic — that’s quite pointedly untrue, I think. Disagree with Morris all you like, but it seems a bit presumptuous to try and psychoanalyze him and divine his true motivation for changing his mind. What should be at issue are his ideas, not what one thinks his personal goals are.

  5. I read Morris and thought: if this is true it surely makes a mockery of Zionism. Wasn’t Israel established to serve as a permanent safe haven for Jews? Ha.
    Early anti-Zionists, secular, religious and socialist warned that the establishment of a Jewish state would ultimately do nothing to ‘save’ the Jews, for three reasons: first, it would provoke the ire of the world, second it undermines other ideas of what Jews are, and third no one is ultimately safe in this world unless peace and justice are enjoyed by all.
    A great many Jews would agree with all three points.

  6. wheres a yid gonna go?
    its not like all israelis can magically be accepted into other countries
    Its not like people can just start going back to Morocco and France and Poland

  7. You have got to be kidding me. I hardly know where to begin.
    Sadam’s rocket attacks against Israel, while ineffective militarily were otherwise ingenious. Any attack against Sadam could from that point forth, be viewed as a military action to benefit Israel. Forget the fact that Sadam attacked Kuwait, forget the fact that he controlled a huge and strategic reserve of oil necessary for the continued stability of Western economies. No. Mental midgets the word over will say that this was a Jewish war, started by a people who number less than 16 million, whose fabled neocons exerted pressure within a government overwhelmingly rejected by American Jews – a war started by an administration run by a bumbling fool pressured to put the interests of a shitty little war mongering country ahead of those of the most powerful nation on earth.
    Not only that, but these mental midgets are saying that this scenario is repeating itself all over again! Granted the situation in Iran is complex. But what isn’t complicated is that Iranian president Ahmadinejad has repeated over and over again his intentions vis-a-vis Israel. What is also clear is that Shiite Iran doesn’t now, nor has it ever given a shit about predominantly Sunni Palestinians – many of whom would suffer greatly from any nuclear attack against Israel. Another thing that’s clear is that Iran, especially with its recent deployment of 3000 centrifuges meant to enhance its ability to produce uranium, will soon have the ability to wage destructive non-conventional warfare against Israel or anyone else it chooses to. Solving the Palestinian problem will not change these basic facts.
    These developments are dangerous not just to Israel, but to the world at large. Hopefully domestic pressure or international sanctions will help to eliminate the danger that Ahmadinejad poses. But if it doesn’t, the world and the Iranian people should know, in no uncertain terms, that any attack on Israel will end very, very badly for the perpetrator of such an attack. Iran will be reduced to smoldering ruins. Its oil reserves will be rendered useless. Tens of millions of people will die horrible, horrible deaths.
    Sure, we can succumb to the defeatist sentiments echoed by this post. We can all simply call an end to our little Zionist experiment – pack up and move to the Lower East Side and have endless Klezmer-hip-hop nights in the relative safety of various hipster hang outs. Or we can allow the Palestinians to exercise their “right of return” and watch as Israel implodes. But I for one am not willing to allow that to happen. These possibilities are simply not on the table. I trust that whatever forces aligned to bring us to where we are will allow us to stay and be safe and prosper.
    Your post is simply ridiculous.

  8. “Congressional junkets to Israel have been nixed.”
    I don’t think so.
    “Although some criticised the measure for not going far enough – for example it exempted from the travel ban lawmakers who visit Israel as guests of the American-Israeli Political Action Committee and it declined to set up an independent ethics oversight body – the vote marked a Democratic public relations victory over the record of the previous Congress.”

  9. Dan: You didn’t. But it’s the logical extension of what you’re saying. Jews in the US should stop exercising their democratic right to vigorously advocate on behalf of whatever it is they feel is important – namely, supporting a democratic ally in the middle east. They should also not criticize other Jews who advocate solutions that they disagree with. We don’t want to give fuel to the anti-Semites after all! Similarly, if we don’t want to lose Jewish lives in Israel, if we want to rob the grim reaper of his harvest, the simplest and most realistic thing to do is to advocate policies that would result in the end of the Jewish State. After all, Jews are safest in places like the US. If we all moved there, no problem. Also if we allow the Palestinian refugees to return and we form a secular, democratic bi-national state, that will effectively be the end of the Jewish state. Sounds to me like defeatism…
    That having been said, I think it’s a little shrill to brand any critic of Israel an anti-Semite. The same applies to Jews being called “self-hating” if they voice doubts about Zionism. People in Israel of all political persuasions do it all the time.
    But some lines ought not be crossed. Calling Israel and apartheid state is ignorant and when otherwise intelligent people voice such opinions, their motives ought to be suspect.
    When idiot non-entities like Norman Finkelstein are paraded around as experts, it’s not wrong to note that the only reason anyone pays any attention to them is because they are Jewish. I remember a younger Finkelstein who would bring his elderly holocaust survivor Mom to lectures. At the end of his speech she would be chosen from the audience during question period and she would declare “I am a Holocaust survivor and what the Zionists are doing to the Palestinians is worst than what the Nazis did to the Jews.” Yikes. Jewish self-hatred for fun and profit! If Finkelstein wasn’t Jewish I doubt he’d be able to command his $25,000 speaker’s fee.
    So yeah, just because some are a tad overzealous does not mean that there aren’t people motivated by anti-Semitism. Just because some are somewhat shrill doesn’t mean that there are no self-hating Jews.

  10. Call Finklestein all the names you want…. but his research is sound and his conclusions backed by well reasoned arguments.

  11. Thanks for the laugh Jew Guevara! I’ll give you this though – he really nailed Dershowitz, but that’s nothing a motivated undergrad couldn’t do.

  12. Finklestein is just publicity whore, a Chonsky wannabe, considered little more than a joke locally. He and Dershowitz make a lovely little couple.
    The Neo-Cons in our midst are far outnumbed by peacenik Moderates and Lefties supporting Obama/Clinton. AIPAC’s never ending BORG approach to the Jewish world has finally been undermined, and its a good thing. I don’t think we’re gonna see much backlash from that.
    You ignore the coming tidal-wave of young Persians coming of voting age in Iran who will be voting Achmedinajad out of office soon, not re-electing him. Also, the Walt Mearseimer paper is flawed and it doesn’t take much to see that. If realism is what we want, then our leaders, both US and Israeli should be dealing with what is inevitble: An Independent Kurdistan. Its not just for the PPK anymore.
    Taking Iran’s eye off the nuclear (and Iraqi) ball means taking a page from their playbook. Just as Tehran openned a front on Israel’s doorstep in the name of Sunni dominance in Lebanon, we need to support the national aspirations of the 30 Million Kurds living without a state in Northern Iraq, Northern Syria and throughout Northen and Western Iran.
    Iraq’s gonna fall apart anyways, so rather than for steaming warships into the Gulf we should be setting up Independent Kurdistan. An oil wealthy, democratic (they’re the most democratic in the Iraqi parliament) Kurdistan is a strategic win for US and Israel and Iran will suddenly find itself with a REAL US proxy on its doorstep whose ethnic members ALSO live within Iran itself.
    It gives the Syrians something to ponder, triangulates Iraqis amongst themselves and puts the Iranians on their heals without even bringing Isreal into the mix. Sure the Turks will howl, but without US arms, Turkish democracy is finished, so they have little to say about it.
    That’s the thing to watch for, and the Iranians will feel that squeeze much more directly. Add in a redeployment of US troops from Bagdad to Kirkuk and a quadrupling of Farsi VOA service and things will change. America’s not going to go to war with Iran- we don’t have the stomach or purse for it right now. Congress would impeach Bush for doing it anyways, if he weren’t assassinated first.

  13. there’s quite a difference between being a defeatist and having different thoughts about what’s a better survival strategy; your kind of plans don’t seem to be working out so well these days, or hadn’t you noticed?

  14. Mobius, I have to say I think you are a little too worried. Your scenario requires a thoroughgoing application of Murphy’s Law at every step: MAYBE (1) there would be a huge surge of American antisemitism, (2) IF the economy totally tanked as a result of another war, and IF (3) Jews and Israel stood out as clear scapegoats, and you left out (4) IF someone actually charismatic, like Hitler, and not like any of the most famous current antisemites, came along to demagogically take advantage of the situation.
    On the other hand, I am more sympathetic to your worrying about the perception of Israel and American Jews’ support of it, in the sense of its being a chillul hashem, than I am to people like CK who are really honestly worried about Ahmadinejad’s “threat.”
    If I see one more person make this “when people say they want to destroy you, believe them” point, I’m going to throw up OUT of my mouth, as opposed to just inside it. Some people are completely incapable of understanding that comments like that (a) have domestic audiences and serve political purposes, like distracting Iranians from their failing economy and from Ahmadinejad’s failure to do anything about it, (b) are frequently mistranslated (see the whole “the Zionist regime will vanish from the page of time” version of the translation, which while not pro-Israel by any means in no way advocates genocide, and (c) are just being spun by the same UTTER MORONS who supported the Iraq war from the beginning in order to brainwash them into thinking that a new war would be the thing that would really turn everything around.
    The very fact that the Iranian regime can “pay lip service” to the Palestinian cause, while not doing anything about it, is the reason they can’t nuke Israel. The government may not care about the Palestinians, but the population, to whom the comments are directed, does.

  15. Mobius wrote: there’s quite a difference between being a defeatist and having different thoughts about what’s a better survival strategy; your kind of plans don’t seem to be working out so well these days, or hadn’t you noticed?
    My kind of plans?? Read what I wrote Dan. I support negotiations with and sanctions against Iran. The last thing I want is conflict with Iran – I harbor no ill will towards the people of Iran at all and wish them only good lives free of pain, misery and violence. I know that Ahmadinejad’s support is crumbling and that even the Mullahs are tiring of him. he was elected by a populace tired of poverty and unemployment and instead he has delivered something entirely different. I feel his chances for re-election are slim. I know his incessant threats against Israel are probably just saber rattling. But still – I don’t see how it can hurt to let anyone who openly advocates for the destruction of Israel just what exactly the consequences will be.

  16. Today npr had a report that discussed the impending and inevitable end of the unified Iraqi State. It precipitates more mid-Eastern strife, bopth military and political, but none that directly involves Israel and does involve Iran, its neighbors and citizens…. mobius these things don’t happen in a vaccum. Have some faith, in spite of the embarrassing and stoopid “leadership” coming from crtainn quarters in the jewish community, Israel will be safer in a few years than it is now. The Jordanians and Egyptians will be custodians of Gaza and West Bank, Assad will have been outsed by coup, Achmedinejad will be out of office preplaced by a leader supported by the younger progressives that will negotiate with the US and recant the Holocaust denials. Iran will be further cowed by the violence to its west in Iraq that threatens to suck it in, a war which its young people will react similarly to young Americans to the same war) And Kurdistan will in the meantime have become a wealthy and populus trade and military ally of the US and Israel. I agree our leaders ahve the wrong idea and the wrong tactics, but they’re just one part of the puzzle.

  17. I agree with the second holocaust can come from few derictions
    1.The most unlikely in my opinion Iran…but somethingg coocked up there…its all poltics game
    2.I read some opinions that says USA using Israel,and now I read you writes Isreal’s using the USA…its pure bullshit that can lead to bad things.
    3.And the most real one…The Quezacks from russia.
    Russia is the greatest hoax of the 20th and 21st centuray,the democracy there is about to fall and the Quezacks can take controll and i think they’ve already took it over russia,becuase they have gathered lots of power after the comunist fall.
    And has it known people are coming from russia to Israel,there are already nazis in israel most of them or even all of them are from the russian they are only street gangs at least that what the media says,but who can trust them?
    It could be far worse by know and have the potentail to be worser in time.

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