Out of Hand?
One only needs to peruse my recent archives to read of my sympathy for those Israelis whose lives are going to be changed forever by the impending disengagement. And I am quick to defend the right of the evacuees to protest and make their opposition to the plan heard. But I really think the tattooing of identification numbers to simulate the numbers tatooed onto Jewish prisoners' arms by Nazis during the holocaust to be over the line of propriety. I posted a few months ago about an advertising campaign in a similar vein, using holocaust-era imagery of the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto to elicit feeling of outrage towards the disengagement plan. Frankly, it made me ill, as does this stunt. From the Jerusalem Post:
Avner Shalev, chairman of the Yad Vashem directorate, called the youths' action damaging to the memory of the Holocaust and a perversion of historical facts.Unfortunately, I think the use of holocaust imagery does not garner for these residents of Gaza the sympathy they so richly deserve and are looking for, but instead serves to anger their opponents to the point that they may lose sight of the most important fact. And that is that these people who are being forced to vacate their homes and their livelihoods are really heroes. And we should be treating them as such, no matter how inappropriate we find their tactics.
"As the public/political debate over the disengagement plan intensifies, Yad Vashem calls on all parties to refrain from using symbols and terminology taken from the Shoah," Shalev said in a statement. "In particular, people should refrain from unnecessary and wrong comparisons that cause a perversion of the memory of the victims and events, and may even be tainted with Holocaust denial."
"It is important that the memory of the Shoah remain a unifying factor in Israeli society, not the opposite," he added.