Hamas "spiritual advisor" damages the Palestinian cause by denying the Holocaust

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Ken Burch

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Would the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto have been eager to teach their children about Germany's shame at Versailles? Would we demand they did or claim they've sabotaged their cause because someone said they wouldn't?

That is a sickening comparison.  There is no way that what happened at Versailles is compable to what happened in Auschwitz or Belsen or Dachau.  Shmae on you for making that comparision.

Frustrated Mess wrote:

It is one thing to colour an entire people from a statement made by one guy, but to compound it by entirley ignoring the context of the realities is quite another. I'm not in such a generous mood and, really, Ken should have known better.

I said that the respnsibility for the statement lay with Hamas, not the entire Palestinian people.  There's a huge difference, and you know if, FM.

Frustrated Mess wrote:

I'm questioning why one Palestinian speaker is responsible for "sabotaging" the aspirations of the entire Palestinian people. He wrote the thread title so he should be prepared to defend it or ask that it be changed.

This man was speaking as part of the Hamas leadership.  This gave his words official weight.  And it gave the Israelis the chance to attack Hamas as Holocaust deniers and to use this(unfairly, yet effectively)as an implicit argument for why the Occupation is justified.

Were I to have accepted the argument that what this man said didn't matter, it would have meant I was accepting the argument that Churban denial doesn't matter.

Denying this event, or even looking like they are denying it, is the worst possible mistake the Hamas leadership could make.   It gives the Israeli propaganda machine a huge gift.  It's not comparable to demanding that FN's be taught about the suffering of theri European conquerors, because nothing as bad as that happened to any other groups in Europe.  It's carelessness and it's unnecssary carelessness.  And it's not solidarity to say that mistakes like this don't matter.  True solidarity is saying "because I support your cause deeply, I'll speak up when I see  someone doing something to damage it".  That's not being a bad cop and it's not giving aid and comfort to the oppressor.   And everyone here knows it.

This is the area that the leaders of the Palestinian resistance and their supporters have to be more careful about than any other, because this mistake does more damage than any other. 

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

On reflection, I am going to ease up. Ken Burch, my objection is to the thread title. I think it does a disservice to the issue. In a perfect world, Israeli and Palestinian children, all children for that matter, would be both taught about the holocaust and the nakba and the steep price innocent humans pay for politic systems where one group of people profit from the persecution of another.

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Meanwhile ...

Quote:

"The quotes attributed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to UNRWA's Commissioner General, Karen AbuZayd and UNRWA's Gaza Director, John Ging are false. We condemn Holocaust denial in all its forms and we reject the politicization of the Holocaust. UNRWA will remain focused on positive curriculum development in teaching children the human rights values enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

UNRWA is committed to human rights education. UNRWA rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event.

UNRWA implements a human rights, conflict resolution and tolerance programme in its schools in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza. In Gaza, UNRWA is strengthening this programme by developing a dedicated human rights curriculum anchored in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/LSGZ-7VKD2R?OpenDocument

Slumberjack

Bravo FM.  It doesn't take perfection though, just common decency and empathy for something other than ones own condition.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

 

It is disturbing that with all the evil and violence that permeates the occupation, it is this tiny footnote that rises to the top.

Why not this:

Quote:

Hareidi and national-religious rabbis will meet Monday in Jerusalem to discuss ways of dealing with the Arab influx into Jewish neighborhoods in northern Jerusalem, as well as the purchasing of agricultural land in the Galilee by wealthy foreign Arabs.

The rabbis are expected to call for an end to the phenomenon of sale of land and houses by Jews to Arabs. The organizer, Aryeh King, who heads the Israel Lands Fund, told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew service that he is hoping to see the rabbis issue a pronouncement that sale of land and houses to Arabs is forbidden.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/133178

Or this ...

Quote:

Over the summer, the Tarabin tribe, all of them Israeli citizens, have had the sole access road to their homes sealed off, while the dirt track they must use instead is regularly blocked by temporary checkpoints at which their papers and vehicles are inspected at length.

Coils of razor wire now surround much of the village, and children as young as eight have been arrested in a series of night-time raids.

http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090824/FOREIGN/70...

Or this ...

Quote:

When Canadian businessman Sam Ismail brought his wife and five children to visit his brother's family in Ramallah last week, he planned to stay for 10 days and tour both Israel and the Palestinian territories. They had flown into Amman, crossed over to the West Bank. Knowing that Palestinian Authority license plates are banned in Israel, Ismail reserved a car at an Israeli rental company. But, when he got to Israeli border control, he was shocked to discover that his Canadian passport was stamped "Palestinian Authority Only." "Last time they came, they visited Acre, Haifa, Jerusalem — the whole country," Ismail's brother Nedal, who lives in the West Bank, told TIME. "This time they packed up after 96 hours and spent the extra week in Jordan instead."

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1917917,00.html?xid=rss-world

For really sickening, how about this:

Quote:

Arafat Hamdona, 20, has been confined to the cancer unit of As-Shifa, Gaza’s primary hospital, since he was diagnosed with maxillary skin tumours in June 2008. Red lesions protrude from his face, his features are distorted and his eyes swollen shut.

 

In April, Arafat was permitted to travel to Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem where he received three series of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment. He was scheduled to return for further treatment, but has not been granted permission by the Israeli authorities to leave Gaza.

 

“He is only given pain killers,” said Arafat’s father, Faraj Hamdona, explaining that that is all As-Shifa has to offer.

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=33824

On any given day attrocities take place in the occupied territories with Palestinians paying in blood, death, and enduring official crueltiies, humiliations, and brutalities one might have thought impossible in this age. And yet, here we have one Hamas functionary displacing all of the above with a single statement being ehoed well beyond his place in the world by those who prefer Palestinians only ever be viewed as enemies -- how nice that such crimes against humanity can be so swiftly swept aside.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Ken Burch, my objection is to the thread title.

How does the thread title not reflect accurately everything Ken Burch has been saying here?

ETA: For the record, just in case the thread title does get changed, it currently reads as follows:

"Hamas "spiritual advisor" sabotages the Palestinian cause by denying the Holocaust"

Ken Burch

I'll consider the thread title, FM.  And, for the record, I DO denounce everything you mentioned in post #52.  We aren't actually that far apart on these issues.  What I would say is that, when people in leading positions on the Palestinian side say the kind of things I was objecting to here, they make it easier for the Israelii oppressors to get away with the kind of shit FM was referenceing in post #52.  It shouldn't work that way, but it does.

Maybe it should be changed to "damages".  I'd be willing to accept that.

 

 

Ken Burch

The mods changed the title, at my request.  Happy now, FM?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

What a fucking joke!

Ken Burch

This was a real issue, M, and I demonstrated that my position was perfectly consistent with being staunchly pro-Palestinian.  These are the kinds of things people on this side of the discussion have to deal with before the Israeli right can misuse them.

 

George Victor

Thanks, KB.  That needed doing, and you are one stalwart fellow in the face of the bunched  defenders of "another perspective".

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

What a fucking joke!

I concur. Three out of three of the elements of the thread topic are still false or uncorroborated - and the underlying thesis of the thread remains, which is beating up on the victims and counselling them on how best to win the hearts of their abusers.

 

KenS

Because there has been a lot of personal slagging since, I thought it bore repeating this point.

Cueball wrote:
All that aside, the fact is that the most recent loyalty test being imposed on the people who Israel has been at war with for the last 70 years is what Palestinians "don't say" about the Holocaust. Before it was what they "didn't say" about "suicide bombers" and before that it was what they "didn't say" about the existance of Israel. Making people say things that they would not ordinarily have a reason to say is what loyalty tests are all about.

Your position, just like all the good cops before you is that all the Palestinians need to do is jump through just one more hoop and say what it is the Israeli's want them to say. In this case you want Palestinian teachers to say things about the Holocaust. This isn't about Hamas leaders, this is about teachers, and kids, and forcing them to learn the history of their opressors.

That is all well and fine, and I am a big fan of history and wish all Palestinians would learn as much as they can about WWII, the Holocaust and all of that stuff, I think it is important, but making them do it...

Try looking at it pragmatically- as to what you can reasonably expect from people.

And as far as it goes I don't think the Hamas guys point- that we don't want to teach the Holocaust because of the way that narrative is used against us- is a new point at all. Not new to me anyway. So there is also the question of why someone chose to feature it now. My guess is nothing to with now in particular, just the constant 'refreshing' of the propaganda war.

Unionist

KenS wrote:

And as far as it goes I don't think the Hamas guys point- that we don't want to teach the Holocaust because of the way that narrative is used against us- is a new point at all. Not new to me anyway. So there is also the question of why someone chose to feature it now. My guess is nothing to with now in particular, just the constant 'refreshing' of the propaganda war.

Exactly. Anyone who wants to wade through the cesspool of MEMRI (for example) can find non-stop truncated misleading examples of snippets from the Arab media to be used whenever it's convenient. This "story" was just one such snippet. There will be more. One day, when nukes need to be used, or Israel needs to attack Iran, or whatever, there will be a very big such provocation. Right now, the MSM are just rehearsing, keeping the flame smouldering.

 

mahmud

Surely the Associated press and Yahoo could have referred to an Arabic written text of what Sheikh Younis Al-Astal said. This Hamas official is known for his criticism of Al-Qaida, its idelogy and its means and has been criticized by AL-Qaida for his stand. He is no dumb to deny the holocaust much less to do that publicly, if such is his inner thinking, says  I !

I wonder if the Associated Press makes it a habit to fill in blanks and improvise. The picture beside the "news" depicts a mural. The Associated Press kindly volunteered to translate the Arabic text in the mural as "It is my right to learn". In reality the text reads "It is my right to". Period. It could well be "to live free" or "to go back from my school and find out that my home hasnt been bulldozed" or whatever comes to mind for anyone with a minimum knowledge of the Palestinians' struggle and who is wataching the picture.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

The mods changed the title, at my request.  Happy now, FM?

Sorry, no. M. Spector sums it up nicely for me. To be totally fair, I never read the entire thread. I came in on the thread title alone. And I still do not accept that a single person, spokesperson, spirtitual leaser, follower, hanger-on, wannabe, or president, can be responsible for the fate of an entire people for a single utterance.

And aside from that, again, I would argue the only reason this person, no one in the West even knew existed until now, is elevated to such a status as to imperil, sabotage, damage, scratch'n'dent, the Palestinian cause is because it suits the Israeli propaganda machine to do so.

My objection to the thread title was the inclusion of Palestinians as an extension of this one fellow and Palestinian self-determination as the price of his individual comments, right or wrong.

Ken Burch

I said "The Palestinian cause", by which I clearly meant that this guy's verbal recklessness was hurting the Palestinian people.  I  never said that those people were responsible for what he said, or that what he said justified Israeli policies.  But it's simply political reality that things what this guy said and the curriculum decision are gifts to the Israeli Occupation regime.  In saying that, I made it clear that what he said wasn't a REAL excuse for anything the Israeli government did.  And by the time I posted this thread, the story was already all over the world, so it's not like I spread it to anyone who hadn't heard of it.

Unionist

Ken B., is it conceivable that you could stop defending yourself for one tiny fraction of a moment and understand that some of us are attacking the way the media concocts, provokes, and presents these stories? It gets rather tiresome when we have to constantly take your feelings into account, when the real target isn't you at all.

 

George Victor

Sorry again (hell, what a sorry word sorry can become) but perhaps if that single utterance about the historical event stood alone as an example of the culture of revenge - and of course, the average peron on a  Palestinian street wants justice, revenge, maybe a reckoning?

But any watcher of Al Jazeera knows that declaration was not made in a heavenly setting, FM. 

And now even the local Waterloo Region Record is starting to use the editorial smear line about the purity of purpose of the Conservative Party of Canada in its treatment of Muslim people , resident and "non-resident" here.  My running battle with an editor there  falls on deaf ears given the political ignorance of the extremist political faction in Palestine.

But maybe you've also found that intransigence in your appeals to published opinion locally, FM?  Or have you given it a shot, lately?

George Victor

And Ken, don't for a moment be put off by the appeal to "pure, disembodied reason".  That comes from the purely moral position of those who do not take this issue to the public ourside of the narrow, safe confines of this secret world of opinion.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
But any watcher of Al Jazeera knows that declaration was not made in a heavenly setting, FM.

It is a rather small audience in Southern Ontario, George. But here is the problem, even if we could provide every Palestinians with Media 101 and ensure not one spoke out of turn to become a propaganda tool for the Israelis, then the Israelis would have to invent one. And of course, there is the converse, why isn't every utterance by an Israeli racist, of which there is no shortage, given the same level of exposure and condemnation? Well, therein, lies the racism of the media which provides the cover for a racist, and brutal colonial regime.

We don't have to play the game of the media by trumpeting the racism it presents as news and information. We could, rather, deconstruct it. How could this have been a better thread if it was instead used as a platform to examine why this obscure fellow could rise to the top of the headlines while an open racist like the Israeli foreign minister is feted by our own government?

Threads like this demonstrate the power of the media over our perceptions and the weakness of our own skill at analyzing and criticizing it. And if we are the media watchers, then what power does it hold over those who consume it without analysis?

George Victor

Tell me more about the power of the media and the effect this event has had on those layabout observers, FM>

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I think it is obvious, George. And do remember, "layabout" is your word. Cool

George Victor

What! It doesn't "fit" some politically correct profile?Laughing

Fisherwoman

The real obstacle for finding peace in Israel/Palestine is not Holocaust denial but Nakba denial, according to Isaelis such as Prof. Ilan Pappe and Oren Ben Dor.  Since Israel has such a great democracy and freedom, why were they looking at legislation that could have put people in prison for up to three years for describing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948?

George Victor

Indeed. That is not democracy. Perhaps verging on theocracy?Frown

al-Qa'bong

Fisherwoman wrote:

The real obstacle for finding peace in Israel/Palestine is not Holocaust denial but Nakba denial, according to Isaelis such as Prof. Ilan Pappe and Oren Ben Dor.  Since Israel has such a great democracy and freedom, why were they looking at legislation that could have put people in prison for up to three years for describing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948?

 

Did the mainstream media even mention this point?

Unionist

Of course not. Everyone is allowed (nay, encouraged) to deny the Palestinian nakba. No one is allowed to question the Holocaust. There's no comparison.

Now Israel is going one step further. Not only are you allowed to deny the nakba - you will be prohibited from affirming it.

Fisherwoman's observation is well taken. This is a perfect time for the MSM to divert attention away from this fascist Israeli legislation by trying, yet again, to paint the Palestinian cause as anti-Jewish or even pro-Nazi.

 

George Victor

Only if given fuel and encouragement by the politically ignorant...well, perhaps Fox knows no decency.

Ken Burch

Nakba denial is just as wrong as Churban denial.  Don't assume that I disagree with that.   And I'm with you on the cynical motivations of the media.  Always have been. 

Unionist

Ken Burch wrote:
  Don't assume that I disagree with that.

Ken, believe it or not, and I'm repeating myself - I'm not talking about you and what you agree or disagree with. I'm talking about the motive behind these "news" stories and the role they play in smearing the struggle of the Palestinian people, and dividing their allies.

 

Ken Burch

OK.  I suppose I've had that response because it seems like have the posts in response to my OP were demanding that I prove what side I was on.   I know you weren't doing that, unionist, but a fair amount of others were.

 

kropotkin1951

Your statements start with a species of "I support the Palestinians BUT ..."

I treated them in the same vein as: I am not a racist BUT; I am not a homophobe BUT etc.

If you respond Ken please do not respond by using Nazi imagery against me personally.  This thread was a misguided attempt at commentary that when looked at logically did in fact blame the victim in the exact same way as women are told they should have walked on eggshells and been very quiet instead of pissing off the abusive asshole that beats them. That is victim blaming in my view no matter what your supposed intent was.  And your use of Nazi imagery to try to silence me tells me you have a double standard as to how the history of WWII can be used.  You vilify anyone who uses the holocaust as a comparison and then you use it as a sword against me.  You do your cause a great disservice by using Nazi imagery so blithely.

Ken Burch

I didn't use it as a sword against you.  Your response here is way over the top.  Everything I said in this thread made it clear that the Holocaust did NOT justify the Occupation.  This is the OPPOSITE of using Nazi imagery against you.  My intent was to refute your point, not to silence you.  Don't blame me because you have a completely unjustified persecution complex.

 

Ken Burch

And your use of domestic violence imagery is personally offensive to me, as my late wife was beaten by her previous husband.  Nothing I said was remotely comparable to telling an abused woman that she brought the abuse on herself. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Unionist wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

If you support a Palestinian state in any form, please don't get into digressions on the fine points of language or meaning.  This one is easy.  This one is simple.

You know, Ken, even though my family was the victim of Nazi genocide, I read the article carefully, and I can't see where this person denies that the Nazi murder of the Jews happened.

The thread ought to have ended at this point.

Ken Burch

The man denied it when he said that teaching it would be "spreading a lie". 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

"...marketing a lie and spreading it" is a mere fragment of a sentence. Have you seen the whole sentence? Have you read the whole written statement that al-Astal made?

Neither have I. It's not reported. It's not available to anyone on the web. All we have is an Associated Press writer's interpretation or spin on what al-Astal said. 

If this Hamas MP actually said that the Holocaust was a lie, or otherwise denied the historical fact of the Holocaust, why would that be mentioned for the first time in the fourth paragraph of the article - and even then, only by implication? If the reporter actually had the MP, in writing, denying the Holocaust, why would (s)he not at least quote the offending sentence in full and put it in paragraph one?

Instead, in paragraph one, the reporter leads with the Hamas MP calling the teaching of the proposed curriculum a "war crime". Is that holocaust-denial? I don't think so. 

We have to read down to paragraph four before we find the "offending" hybrid sentence consisting mostly of the reporter's own words:

Quote:
Adding the Holocaust to the curriculum would amount to "marketing a lie and spreading it."

If the written statement had said the Holocaust itself was a lie, don't you think the reporter would have quoted it directly?

The only sentence reported in full is this one: "I do not exaggerate when I say this issue is a war crime, because of how it serves the Zionist colonizers and deals with their hypocrisy and lies." And so it is clear that the writer considers that the UN-sponsored curriculum that teaches Palestinian kids about the Holocaust would be serving the ends of the Zionist colonizers in furtherance of their hypocrisy and lies. Not having read the whole statement and not having seen the UN's curriculum syllabus, I cannot say whether that position is correct, but I can at least recognize it has a distinct possibility of being true, and is not something to be immediately rejected out of hand as crude Holocaust-denial, without further information.

Because of the mainstream media's pro-Israel bias and what you yourself have called their "cynical motivations", it seems to me you ought to have been asking yourself who is it that is doing the real damage to the Palestinian cause here - the Hamas MP or the anti-Palestinian media? Surely a great deal of skepticism is justified.

I tried to find the MP's statement on the web by googling the quoted words, but all I got were right-wing blogs, zionist hate sites, and this thread on babble. Frankly, this thread is an embarrassment to babble.  

George Victor

"This thread", MS, is an example of people talking about what they want to believe, and not at all about the average Canadian's understanding of what is happening over there.

Try talking to your local newspaper editorial writer - you know, the one who "interprets" what is going on "over there", explains it to the "masses" over here. But your attempt to cleanse that sentence you have boldened is a work of editorializing in itself.

The political ignorance of the folks feeding the hatred over there is only matched by the theorists' wistful musings here.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Whatever that means.

George Victor

 

Cue: "Whatever that means."
Political ignorance.

Unionist

Ken Burch wrote:

The man denied it when he said that teaching it would be "spreading a lie". 

Your persistence in this claim, despite no actual evidence, is troubling, Ken. I said above that the original thread title had three false or unproven statements in it - now it has just two.

ETA: Sorry, my mistake - it still has three. I counted wrong. The whole thing is a concoction and a provocation by the MSM.

 

George Victor

"This thread", MS, is an example of people talking about what they want to believe, and not at all about the average Canadian's understanding of what is happening over there.

 

Sorry if you find this too hard to understand, Cue. Have another coffee and an anti-animosity pill.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Yours? Just what are you saying George? Spit it out.  In clear concise English.

Quote someone and make a response in regard to what someone actually said, as opposed to generalized aspertions against anyone.

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

I do find this hard to understand George. You are not being very clear.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

I don't get it either.

Geirge apparently has some point to make about the average Canadian's understanding, but it's unclear what that has to do with the topic of this thread.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I think George is saying the thread title reflects the understanding of the typical Canadian and  that, whether it is right or wrong, a Palestianian making a comment with regard to teaching the holocaust will never come through the MSM grinder without casting aspersions on the Palestinian people as a whole.

What I would say to George, and Ken, is that the very essence of racial stereotyping is ascribing the actions and/or characteristsics of an individual, whether the acts are real or imagined are of no consequence, to an entire people. This has been an integral part of the Zionist MO since the get-go and it has been used with much success. I would argue it is up to every one of us to call it racist when we see it and especially when it is repeated by those who ought to no better.

The fact that the reporting and the repeating represents a wider public perception means that we must be more vigilant when we see it, not less.

Unionist

Thank you, FM. I couldn't think of a cool and civilized way to respond. You encapsulated it perfectly.

 

George Victor

You are most perceptive, FM. I did not want to engage in a slanging match.

 

When you observe that "The fact that the reporting and the repeating represents a wider public perception means that we must be more vigilant when we see it, not less" however, you are saying that perhaps we can edit out the more vicious, racist rambliings of some of the people caught up in that monstrous ghetto created by the Israelis. Make it a reactionary act to breath a word. This, in my mind, is madness. The MSM are informing millions while we chatter about political ocrrectness in our lonely splendour.

 

Do you not think it possible that if the moderate Palestinians - who are very understanding of just what Ken and I are trying to put across, and practising that restraint - are on the right track?

 

And U, thanks for staying "cool and civilized" in your superior moral situation. Much appreciated. I understand restraint.

Cueball Cueball's picture

George Victor wrote:

You are most perceptive, FM. I did not want to engage in a slanging match.

If I were interested in "average Canadian understanding" I would read the papers that help formulate it through half-quotes and leading commentary. But I am not. I am interested in the truth. I see no reason to contribute to disinformation by giving a lot of credence to the crap written in the press and acting as if it is important here.

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