Sunday Times

The Sunday Times, the Holocaust and Israel: Have the persecuted become the persecutors?

In 2013, David Ward (who was then a MP for Bradford East) “faced intense criticism from the CST and other anti-racist and Holocaust education campaigners when he wrote the following in reference to Holocaust Memorial Day.

Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.

A year later, John Prescott (former British Deputy Prime Minister), in an op-ed about the war between Israel and Hamas, wrote the following at the Daily Mirror:

What happened to the Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis is appalling. But you would think those atrocities would give Israelis a unique sense of perspective and empathy with the victims of a ghetto.

Whilst many condemned the parallels Ward and Prescott drew between Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews, the passage was compromised by another morally repellent trope – the suggestion that Jews, as a people, didn’t internalize the right lessons from the Holocaust, and have collectively forfeited any rights to sympathy by taking on the role of oppressor.

All of which brings us to an op-ed (Do the right thing – long shadow of the Holocaust demands resolve, Jan. 31) at The Sunday Times by Kevin Pringle, a Times columnist and former communications director for the Scottish National Party (SNP).

Pringle largely used his op-ed to praise education programs in Scotland’s schools by Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), but later pivoted to the creation of Israel which, he argued, became a moral imperative after the Nazi massacre of six million Jews.

Then, there was this:

After the Second World War and for many years thereafter, Israel was a cause and country supported by progressive opinion, which is hard to imagine now.

I deplore the Israeli state’s treatment of Palestinians — a tragic case of the persecuted become the persecutor — and wish to see an independent Palestine as part of a two-state solution. The suffering of Jews through history, however, gives me a sympathy for the people and state of Israel that I cannot, indeed do not want to, lose.

The Times columnist’s need to criticize (Israeli) Jews in an otherwise sober meditation on the tragedy of “the millions killed and many millions more unborn because of the Holocaust” reflects a common refrain suggesting that Israelis have ‘squandered’ sympathy due to their treatment of the Palestinians.

As Howard Jacobson characterized such critics who level the “you of all people” charge when lamenting Jews’ sub-par post-Shoah ethical performance:

“[to such critics] the Holocaust becomes an educational experience from which Jews were ethically obliged to graduate summa cum laude, Israel being the proof that they didn’t.”

In this extraordinarily misleading binary moral tale, reinforced continually in the UK media, not only are Israelis the oppressors and Palestinians the victims – erasing 67 years of Arab and Palestinian rejectionism, war, extremism, terror and endemic antisemitism – but Jews qua Jews have perversely assumed the role of their historic persecutors.

Of course, there’s an extremely important lesson about the Holocaust missed by Pringle.  

Israel’s right to exist is not justified by the Holocaust. Nor, should sympathy for the modern State of Israel be elicited by virtue of the suffering of previous generations of Jews.

Rather, Israel’s continued existence – its role as a safe haven for Jews in a dangerous region and an increasingly inhospitable world, its unique capacity to nurture Jewish life, culture and tradition, and to safeguard Jewish continuity – serves as the only real answer – the final act of resistance – to the Nazis efforts to annihilate the Jews.

Holocaust education demands resolve to honor the memory of six million murdered Jews by honoring the continued sacrifices of six million living Jews. 


51 replies »

  1. Absolute scum, all of them. This should be stated loud and clear by the bent-knee BoD, but we know they are incapable of growing a spine.
    It is instructive to look at the background and associations of these scum.

  2. Surely the real reading of the situation between Israelis and the Palestinians is precisely that Israel does not treat them, even though they are an enemy group with which it has been at war for decades, in any way nearly resembling the treatment of Jews by the Nazis?

    Once again, one can only come to the conclusion that those in the media drawing these false and lazy comparisons are driven by anti-Semitsm to make these odious comparisons.

    • It’s the only conclusion. And we know that these people have a very hazy grasp of reality. And/or they are very very thick, like that pillock and serial yob Prescott.

  3. I think that if we are going to compare-and-contrast, surely we should worry about the concentration camps in the UK – ooops, I mean reception centres for those refugees who actually managed to get into England, and the non-reception centre near Calais. Humane treatment of refugees by those humane Brits. Even worse, the original concentration camps were set up by the British in S. Afrika during the Boer war, designed to sap the spirit of resistance of the Boers by containing and starving their wives and children behind barbed wire. Now that’s what I call chutzpah.

    • Cameron’s policy ensures that we don’t take migrants we cannot absorb. If we did so in the sort of numbers that have been entering Germany and Sweden, for example, they would probably end up interned in the Isle of Man as happened in 1939….although these days I expect the Manxmen would have something to say about that.

      However there are now the embryos of concentration camps on the continent of Europe including Scandinavia. Suddenly these nations have discovered they have unwanted immigrants that their own citizens are rejecting. And so they have a huge migrant “problem”. In Italy there is the ‘reception centre’ at Lampedusa with 1200 inmates as of this time last year. In France there is the notorious Calais “jungle” with at least 6000 effective prisoners. In Denmark they have Sandholm (2 camps) and Kongelunden. Sweden has 17 “centres” that have been attacked recently by Swedes with the village of Tärnsjö made into such a centre. In Germany they solved a tiny proportion of their problem by housing migrants at a place called Dachau – well, why waste such excellent purpose-built facilities? I am confident they can find more.

      When our liberal democracies are faced with such problems they find solutions, and then condemn a Jewish state 2200 miles to deflect criticism of themselves. This is breathtaking arrogance and hypocrisy.

  4. The world has turned upside down. It is lost on so many that Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is a best-seller in many Arab/Palestinian areas for good reason. The institutional anti-Semitic underpinning in Palestinian areas lauds those who pursued the Holocaust of the Jews, including the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. Such even threatening to “finish what Hitler started.”

    When the nation of Israel was proclaimed on 15th May 1948, the Arab armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq attacked the Jewish state with the intention of “driving the Jews into the sea”.

    The following is a direct quotation during 1948 of the public declaration of Jamal Al-Hussein, the Vice-president of the A.H.C. (Arab High Committee – the effective Palestinian-Arab `government’);-

    “We are sadly and PERMANENTLY determined to fight to the last man against the existence in our country of ANY Jewish state, no matter how small it is…”

    A general public circular of the same Arab High Committee at that time also publicly declared, just three years after the Holocaust;-

    “The Arabs have taken into their own hands, the FINAL SOLUTION of the Jewish problem. The problem will be solved only in blood and fire. The Jews will be driven out.”

    The charters of both Fatah, Hamas and the PLO Phased Plan have NOT been rescinded, and ALL still include the pursuit of Israel’s demise. Even those Arab leaders who seek a Palestinian state demand that such be at the cost of ethnically cleansing the entire Jewish population.

    The politically correct Western media and left-wing politicians avoid like the plague any reference to the above.

  5. it is time that Israel stopped saying it came into existence because of the Shoah. Israel was the final act in the anticolonialist movement (excepting Black Africa which is a separate chapter to the story). The first anti-colonialist revolution was Greece throwing off Islamic colonialism with its declaration of separation in 1821, Israel in 1948 was throwing off Islamic colonialism also (Ottoman) the fact that Britain interceded was catastrophic but also temporary. The only concession to this terrible tragedy that is the Shoah is that it may have expedited Jewish self determination turnign into independence. The other point is that it is fundamentally racist to assume that Jews somehow become virtuous and tolerant of hatred from their enemies because of the Shoah. I ma uaware of a single case in history when this demand was made of an entire people who have suffered persecution. Ha anyone ever been stupid or racist enough to tell African Americans that they must be holier than white people because they suffered from slavery? It is time we attacked these intellectually demented bigots for the pathetic excuses they provide for antisemitsm.

  6. Pal-e-SWINIANS are as much of a victim as the Nazis were in WW2.

    Sad to see British Socialists siding with anti-democratic forces in the Islamofascist world as Lord Haw Haw, Edward VII, Oswald Mosely did in WW2.

      • SORRY. It’s Edward VIII. I’m American and the pedigree of the British royal family is not my forte.

        • Edward I don’t want to be unkind and point out that not only are you American but so is the woman shaking Hitler’s hand, but I will.
          On the serious point you are right that Edward VIII was a sympathizer of the Nazis but there were others in high positions as well.
          You don’t really think that the reason he was forced to abdicate was because he wanted to marry an American?
          Or that he was exiled from Britain to Bermuda during WW2 for any reason other than he would have been put back on the throne by Hitler if they had invaded Britain.

          • I thought the story was that he couldn’t marry her and keep the throne because she was a divorcee.

            • Jeff as you write in your post it was a story.
              Think of.what would have happened if it was made public that the head of state, and therefore head of the Church, the Police, and the Armed Forces, was a Nazi sympathiser?
              Think of the boost to those inside the UK who were covert Nazi sympathisers?

              Far better to get rid of him with a manufactured constitutional crisis. Think of some of the more recent shenanigans by a potential King who has also married a divorcee and could end up as the next King.

          • LOL! I will be unkind and point out that you are British and living in a Queendom that is being overrun by Socialists and Islamists.

            Who had more power over Britain? That dumb American nazi or her dumb British nazi Edward VIII?

            The dethroned Edward VIII spent WW2 in Bermuda – out of the public eye where he could not do more damage to the royal family by traitorous behavior.

              • Johnny yob, You live in a Queendom misgoverned by Socialists, bureaucrats, propagandized by a Left and Right Wing Socialist infested media, a BBC that demands the Public ublic support its biased, dishonest programming, that released the convicted bomber of Pan Am 103 for “compassionate” reasons – the “compassion” for Libyan oil contracts, that hates Jews and Israel for defying smug British expectations that it would be destroyed and the Jews experience a new Holocaust just 3 years after the end of WW2 – that hates Jews despite Muslims who are 10 times more numerous than Jews and who bomb London transport, behead British soldiers on the streets of London.

                You want to see an “arsehole”? Stand over a mirror while standing on your hands.

  7. I believe the only message to absorb from the writers of the offensive remarks is that no amount of arguing, no amount of pointing out errors in facts, deeds or perverted ideas promoted as reality will soften the hearts of those who are determined to make Israel out to be the bad guy. No amount of anything … nothing – will cause a committed anti-isael/Jew to be more rational ,. Nothing. We can stamp our feet, we can shake them repeatedly, and still NOTHING will move then to See the Light!
    THEY never let facts get in the way…never allow visual proof to sway, never give Israel/Jews an iota of benefit of doubt IF they can make the Palestinians FIT into their scenario of victims – IF they can do so at the feet of Jews…Their wishful story is neatly wrapped up. We can continue to argue and hold our ground..which is appropriate…but, THEY will never change their stripes. NEVER. . Not in 5000 years! NEVER!

    • You’re 100% correct. No cleverly written book or article can overcome hate. I think the UK needs to unfortunately experience some mass casualty attack – by Muslims of course – so that the people rise up and kick the Socialists in government, media, academia OUT.

      Idiots in the UK want to ban Donald Trump. Meanwhile Islamofascists are pouring into the country and the rest of Eurabia.

  8. Adam, these supposed Gentlemen, Men of Letters just make me want to vomit on their empty, evill minded, heads. They’ve crafted their Anti-Semitism in such a way that they believe any ‘reasonable’ person would automatically agree with them. There couldn’t be any other conclusion UNLESS you actually lived through the lead up to the 6-Day War, the War and the Aftermath; September 67 Khartoum The Arab Council’s answer to Israel to negotiate a peace for recognition as a Jewish State In Return for almost ALL POST 67′ Land. That’s right. The Arabs answer? The now infamous 3-NOs NO RECOGNITION NO NEGOTIATION NO PEACE100% Unaminous including a young lad who didn’t represent any country but they thought he’d be useful, Yasser Arafat.
    The 3-Bozos if they don’t know should be ashamed and if they do know they are fully aware of the continued Arab intransigence and continuous offer by Left and Right governments in Israel to negotiate 1 on 1 without preconditions. They are bonafide Anti-Semites with trimmings. They stink

  9. Beyond obvious that people like David Wardwho write this type of terribly distorted and dishonest trash like David Ward are so off the market in their fax, history, the gallery etc. etc. the real motivation for these career Israel – bashers off the market in their fax, history, the Galleria etc. etc. the real motivation for these career Israel – bashers must be there do you feel better underline Jew hatred.

    Continue to believe that the only approach likely to be effective in combating blatant lifelong anti-Semites like Ward is to boldly and aggressively call them out repeatedly and as publicly as possible, using every legitimate available means to do so including various social media sites.
    Psychological research has shown that those espousing irrational anti-Semitic propaganda on a regular basis, like David Ward, are usually insecure little people with very poor self image and poor sense of personal worth. are usually insecure a little people with very poor self image and sense of personal worth. It makes them feel better about themselves to pick on & bully people who they think they can, generally those who historicallyhave been underdogs like the Jews.

    Unfortunately for Mr. Ward, this is a new era in which most Jews are no longer interested in just lying down and “taking it”. In case they hadn’t learned it adequately before, the Holocaust showed only too clearly how passivity and “going along” with those who hate you, isn’t likely to be an effective long-term strategy for survival.

    So small – minded bigots like Ward need to be taught that the Jews are no longer thepassive victims that many saw them to be historically, & that there will be very real and palpable personal consequences for his frequent episodes of anti-Semitic hate speech.

    One of the implications from previously mentioned research about the mindset of lifelong anti-Semites is that they are usually the kind of people who are very comfortable with the bullying role, as dishing out this kind of hostile material typically props up there very limited self-esteem.

    However, the same psychological research shows that these people, as is typical of bullies in general, usually wither very rapidlyin the face of any substantial criticism, particularly if it’s likely to embarrass them publicly.since they typically have such a fragile self – image.

    We need to get to work and actively go after haters like Ward with actions likely to change what they do (if not what they think), rather than continuing to just complain about such dangerous and recurring anti-Semitic hatespeech among ourselves.

  10. eu is a lieing machine a robot built to lie and lie and lie ! Not only Westzrn Palestine is not “occupied” by Israel since it was given to jews in 1923 as the 20 states were given to arabs by the treaty of San Remo/Sevres on top of which international law and article 80 of the UN recognized them all (few nations have such int’l law confirmations) but the other trick the medias use by accusing Israel of “occupying the people is also wrong SINCE THEY ARE NOT IN PRISON THEY CAN GO RPT THEY CAN GO WHEN THEY WANT. Israel is not the URSS Every argument used against Israelis a LIE. In fact what France which is responsible for all that political frenezy against Israel and the eu it draggedf with is when it saw France could not deliver Israel to arabs by itself alone as it promised wanted and still wants is to destroy Israel and return Jews to the ghettos. The rest ,is only lies.

    • The best is violence in particular against the medias. Blowing up a single media will stop them all.