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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Out of Hand II

A while back, I wrote critically about some settlers who were demonstrating against the disengagement by writing their identification numbers on their arms, `a la the tattoed numbers of holocaust victims. Seems they are still protesting in the same vein. According to this article, some settlers plan to wear concentration camp prisoner uniforms when they are evacuted. They also plan to sew yellow stars which will read "Jude" on to the uniforms. These settlers obviously think they're perfectly justified, from this comment made by one:
"I can't find any difference between what is happening to us now and what happened then [during the Holocaust]," said Gabai.
Oh, please. Are they being forced to cram into cattle cars with no food or water? Are they being transported to concentration camps, where they, if they are lucky, will be subjected to incredibly harsh working conditions or unimaginable torture? Not to mention the systematic killing of 6,000,000, many through horrific deaths in the gas chambers, by shooting, or from starvation or disease.
Chas Ve'Sholom.
Yes, these settlers are being evacuated from their homes, their livelihood, and their communities. The stress of that must be huge. But they are being forced to evacuate with their families intact and well. And to compare this situation to those of the previous generation who had to endure the horrors of the holocaust is an affront to their memory.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brava. I couldn't have said ti better myself. If anything, their actions reduce my sympathy for them.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

This makes me sick.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:12 AM  
Blogger BBJ said...

This stuff is just not appropriate. I also feel as though the more grandstanding that takes place, the less people are concerned for the actual human cost of this.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Thank you, Orthomom. During my visit to the Czech Republic I went to Terezin for a day - if one wishes to compare the evacuation of Jewish settlers from Gaza to the Holocaust, I suggest paying a visit to one of the sites of the concentration camps for a dose of reality. What the settlers in Gaza are going through is nothing like the Holocaust, and to say so is, in my opinion, very close to Holocaust denial.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, get a grip and stop making the Holocaust a religion.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ortho good post it is out of line to compare the two.
rebeca i was in aushwitz this winter let me tell you i am offended at the comparison.they are not being lied too .please these settlers look at life like it's some hollywood movie not evreything is cut and dry

1:20 AM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Sorry Orthomom and others, you're missing it. I guess it must be difficult to understand "connection" to a land.

Here's a letter from a friend on the topic who has more of a right to write on the subject, than most in this forum.

Letter of Elihu Schultz, Sho'a Survivor
Re: Prisoner's Numbers Tattooed on the Forearm

Last Friday (15.07.2005) I listened on the radio to an interview by Judy Moses [from the Moses media family and wife of Israel's foreign minister, Shalom]. The interviewee was a woman settler from Gush Katif who had written her identity card number with a pen on her forearm. She reported that on entering the Gush Katif area she refused on principle to show her identity card. Instead she demanded that she be permitted to proceed to her home that was located in Gush Katif, pointing out that not allowing her to do so would be discrimination only because she was a Jewess. Ms Moses condemned her attitude in general and in particular because she dared to make a comparison between those murdered in the Sho'a and those who will be transferred out of Gush Katif as part of the Disengagement Plan, a policy that had been democratically and legally adopted by all the relevant governing bodies.

I contacted the radio station in order to take part in the discussion. But when I was asked whom I would support, I answered honestly that supported the settlers. This answer resulted in a refusal to permit me to participate . . . .

I was a prisoner in the Nazi work camps. My prisoner number is tattooed on left forearm. This fact gives me the right, perhaps even the obligation, to participate since both the interviewer and interviewee did not correctly address the question under discussion.

Ms Moses claimed that it was a disgrace to place a "number" on the forearm. Tens of thousands of these Jews were killed in the gas chambers, but since the Gush Katif settlers face no such danger any use of symbols like the number-on-the-forearm is a desecration of their memory.

It is my obligation to correct a basic mistake. Those on whose forearms a number was tattooed were not the ones who were executed and gassed; they were the ones who were sentenced to remain among the living. You might ask what kind of a life was in the Nazi slave camps but for many it meant survival. The tens of thousands who were gassed and killed in other horrible ways did not have a number on their forearm. The Nazis were in such a hurry that they were sent to the gas chambers without their name being registered and without being given a number, let alone tattooed on the forearm. My mother and my sister, for example, were killed anonymously! At the selection place, only those who were sent to the right received a number on their forearm; they had been sentenced to a life of slavery and exploitation as long as they were fit to work.

The extermination policy did not start immediately when Hitler and his party assumed power in 1933. Instead the situation of German Jews worsened gradually until the war broke out in 1939. The Nazis started with driving the Jews from their homes, depriving them of opportunities to earn a living, confiscation of their property and a general delegitimization of Jews. If we compare this process with what is happening here today, we get an entirely different point of view of what is usually presented in the media.

In Germany Jews were expelled from their homes and were forbidden to live in the center of towns. In Israel Jews/settlers expect to be expelled by force from the homes that they purchased or built legally.

In Germany Jews were expelled from their stores and their factories. In Israel we will be driving Jews from their hothouses and the workplaces where they earned an honorable living. Many raised produce which formed a significant part of our agricultural export, thus earning foreign exchange for the State. All are to be thrown out like dogs, without any chance for earning a living. Salaried employees, like local council employees, teachers, kindergarten teachers, doctors, etc., will not be dismissed from their jobs so that they cannot even file for unemployment compensation.

Synagogues, schools, cemeteries all are to be desecrated. We shall not mention Crystal Night in November 1938 when the Germans burnt down most of the synagogues. And all this is only the beginning.

As for observing the laws: everything that was done to the Jews in Germany and in the Nazi-conquered territories was done strictly according to law. The N├╝rnberg Laws were adopted with an overwhelming majority, more than 95%. Any one who opposed the anti-Jewish measures was considered as a law-violator and punished accordingly. Just as German laws were not legal because they were racially discriminatory from the very beginning, so must one oppose the laws on which the followers of the Disengagement Plan base their actions.

Every people in the world are entitled to have an object that they can hate. The Jews have played this role for many generations; the reasons for this hatred were manifold and varied. Our forefathers crucified their god and we slaughtered Christian children because we needed their blood to bake matzot. In Israel we searched for an object of our hate until we discovered the settlers. They are responsible for all the troubles that have befallen us. Even the murderer of Rabin grew up and was educated in the settlement of Herzeliya. We must follow the Russian example: hit the (Jewish) settler and save the democratic-Jewish state (Russia). The entire Disengagement Plan is not a rational plan or one developed to strengthen our military position. Everybody agrees to this because after the Disengagement our military situation will not be better just the opposite, it will be much worse. We are not expecting any compensations because this Disengagement is completely unilateral. There is only one reason for this plan: a blinding hatred of our fellow man, even if it leads to self-destruction!

The ancient Jewish kingdom was destroyed because free-floating hatred. The division among the people was one of the principal causes for its demise and this is what we can expect now. Let no one delude himself that after the Disengagement everything will return to its previous situation and we will all live in peace. This process will most definitely divide the people; it will divide the government, the army and the police force. And with the active aid of this government and the political parties which support it, the Arabs will be victorious and establish concentration camps in the Negev or in Sinai. I know already the names of those who will act as Kapos in the camps. Pay attention and beware.

Elihu Schultz
Birkenau Prisoner B-13421

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Mr. Schultz, my family memebers who went through the concentration camps would certainly find differences between the Gaza settler's situation and theirs. In fact, I'm sure that Mr. Schultz doesn't appreciate comparisons made between the Palestinians and the victims of the holocaust despite the similarities of discrimination. (Nevertheless, it was a finely written essay aside from the last paragraph where he goes off the deep end.)

"Let no one delude himself that after the Disengagement everything will return to its previous situation and we will all live in peace. This process will most definitely divide the people; it will divide the government, the army and the police force."

Funny. The right-wingers blabber on endlessly about the security problems disengagement will engender, never thinking that the rifts they encourage between the religious and secular in the army is a far worse security risk. And at least Sharon hopes that disengagement will bring a measure of peace; the settlers do their best to rip apart the army knowing full well that their cause is lost.

7:25 PM  
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3:21 AM  

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