You are here:   Dialogue > Denying Israel's Deniers
 

Daniel Johnson: One of the points, Howard, you make in your recent article in the Independent is that the memory of the Holocaust has now become something that the critics of Israel want to take away from the Jewish people - it's as though you've forfeited the right to have this sacred remembrance. Where is this coming from, this extraordinary hostility, this attempt to deprive the Jewish people of its unique suffering?

Howard Jacobson: I can tell you what it is, but I'm not sure I can tell you where it comes from, because it comes from many sources; from outside Jews, and also very crucially from within Judaism. Lots of Jews are up to this trick, or whatever we call it. I see it as a new and much more sinister kind of Holocaust denial. Holocaust denial we can deal with now. Most of the world knows about it. We recognise the look of the people who do it and we know the nonsense of it, we just leave them alone and let them get on with it. But this is much more sinister and much more appealing, this one goes: "It was a terrible thing that happened to the Jews. We all know what a terrible thing Auschwitz was. Look, we concede it, you poor Jews." It's necessary that they demonstrate their degree of empathy for us. But what follows the sympathy is an analysis - a psychoanalysis - that is far from sympathetic: "You were traumatised by the Holocaust into visiting a Holocaust of your own upon the Palestinians." It's like the abused child who grows up and abuses the next child. We are now described as abusing the Palestinians in exactly the same terms as the Germans abused us - "abused" for God's sake! And in this way, we are actually made to pay for the Holocaust itself. I talk about it as a kind of retrospective guilt for the Holocaust. It's almost as if we've turned time the wrong way round, that because of what we are now doing to the Palestinians, we lose the right to the dignity of the Holocaust, if you can call it dignity.

This is a very sinister move. It's at the heart of the Caryl Churchill play [Seven Jewish Children, performed at the Royal Court Theatre] and you get a lot of it at the universities, because it's appealing in its neatness, it's vaguely post-modern, you can mention Freud, you can chase around the names of several fashionable intellectuals. It is also very sinister, because it begs the question of what Israel is in fact doing or not doing to the Palestinians. Jewish trauma elides into Palestinian trauma, the cruelty Jews suffered into the cruelty Jews now dispense. It is not only that unequal things are equalised, but that the equalising settles the question of what is happening between the waring parties. Accept that the done-to have become the doers and the issue is settled: Israelis are the new Nazis, the Holocaust in Europe becomes a new Holocaust in the Middle East, Gaza is new a Warsaw Ghetto - never mind that one side of Gaza was open to the world and it could never have been a Warsaw Ghetto, never mind that the Ghetto was exterminated and there is no sign whatsoever of any Israeli intention or desire to exterminate.

View Full Article
 
Share/Save
 
 
 
 
Michael Santomauro
July 4th, 2009
3:07 AM
FREE Chapters and Contents for New Book: http://www.DebatingTheHolocaust.com DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton, PhD Publisher's Note: This is a non-Revisionist title for Theses & Dissertations Press. It will be the first book on the Holocaust, in publishing history, that will not take a Traditionalist or a Revisionist point of view. http://www.amazon.com/Debating-Holocaust-Look-Both-Sides/dp/1591480051/ Founded in 2000 the publishing company Theses & Dissertations Press is at the center of a worldwide network of scholars and activists who are working -- often at great personal sacrifice -- to separate historical fact from propaganda fiction. The founder of Theses & Dissertations Press is Germar Rudolf. A scientist and historian, who is currently serving prison time for his published works and will be released on July 4, 2009. He will no longer be associated with Holocaust studies upon his release. As the new director of TADP.org, I wish to express my outrage that the Holocaust, unlike any other historical event, is not subject to critical examination. Furthermore I deplore the fact that many so-called democratic states have laws that criminalize an examination and understanding of the Holocaust. It is my position that the veracity of Holocaust assertions should be determined in the marketplace of scholarly discourse and not in our legislatures bodies and courthouses. Peace. Michael Santomauro Editorial Director Call: 917-974-6367 ReporterNotebook@Gmail.com

Post your comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.