December 31, 2010

Remembering the future?

Very lazy blogging this. I mean lazier than usual. I checked the tag for co-blogger, Gabriel Ash, and saw a post on Mondoweiss's take on Herzl. I went then to Mondoweiss where I saw a cross-post from Max Blumenthal's blog on how some Palestinian women were abused by Israelis as the former were visiting the holocaust circus, Yad Vashem.
This week, a group of elderly Palestinian women were escorted to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance musuem to learn about the Jewish genocide in Europe. At the entrance of the museum, they were surrounded by a group of Jewish Israeli youth who recognized them as Arabs. “Sharmouta!” the young Israelis shouted at them again and again, using the Arabic slang term for whores, or sluts. 
The Palestinians had been invited to attend a tour arranged by the Israeli Bereaved Families Forum, an organization founded by an Israeli whose son was killed in combat by Palestinians. They were joined by a group of Jewish Israeli women who, like them, had lost family members to violence related to the conflict. Presumably, both parties went on the tour in good faith, hoping to gain insight into the suffering of women on the other side of the conflict. 
Unfortunately, the Palestinian members (who unlike the Israelis live under occupation and almost certainly had to obtain special permits just to go to Yad Vashem) learned an unusual lesson of the Holocaust: A society that places the Holocaust at the center of its historical narrative — that stops traffic for two minutes each year on the national holiday known as Yom Ha’Shoah — could also raise up a generation of little fascists goose-stepping into the future full of irrational hatred.
Of course, it is not simply the placement of the holocaust "at the center of its historical narrative" that makes Israel as racist as it is.  The ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians began as soon as the Jewish National Fund began buying land from absentee landlords and the holocaust was not consciously placed "at the center of its historical narrative" until after the main bout of ethnic cleansing though the holocaust had happened.

No, Israel has always been a racist state and zionism has always been a racist project.   But why is Israel getting more explicitly racist now? What's all that about? I don't really know. I think appeasement has something to do with it but it doesn't explain everything. I'm going to wait until Gabriel comes out of his winter hibernation. He usually explains these things very well.

Oh, happy new year everyone!


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