Published by The Freeman Center
The Maccabean Online
Political Analysis and Commentary
One Gas Chamber Short of a Holocaust
By Beth Goodtree
Every day now, one hears the outraged cries of the Expulsion proponents at the comparisons being made between the Disengagement plan, its supporters and their tactics, and the Holocaust. It\'s time to analyze what they are really saying and what they are really doing.
A recent news article on Arutz Sheva gave the following report: Minister (Likud) Danny Naveh joined other government officials, issuing a condemnatory statement regarding the planned use of concentration camp uniforms and yellow stars by residents of Alei Sinai in northern Gaza.
Naveh rejected any attempt to draw a comparison from the Holocaust and the Nazis to any Government ! of Israel, stating such actions are unjustifiable.
The attempt to compare a Jewish government in Israel to the murderous Nazis who systematically slaughtered victims in gas chambers is shameful and unacceptable stated Naveh. (1)
In essence, what Minister Naveh and others have said is that so long as Jews aren\'t marched into a gas chamber, there is no comparison.
Shamefully, Dr. Motti Shalem, who directs the International School for Holocaust Studies at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs\' and Heroes\' Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem said practically the same thing:
"has no historical basis," said. "With all due respect to their evacuation, they are not being sent to death camps." (2)
Sadly, both these people equate the Holocaust only with the gas chambers. But the Holocaust wasn\'t only about gas chambers. The Holocaust may have ended with gas chambers, but the entire Holocaust was much, much more. It was a series of behaviors and actions that destroyed people\'s lives because of their religion and ethnicity. Jews were expelled from their homes and their businesses taken away. This was part of the Holocaust too.
In actuality, the Holocaust has been acknowledged to have started not with the gas chambers, but long before. When Hitler was arrested and jailed in 1923, he wrote Mein Kampf. In it, he blamed the Jews for Germany\'s political and economic problems.
Is this not what is going on now, albeit with a slight variation? Ariel Sharon and his supporters in Likud, Labor and other parties are blaming an entire segment of observant Jews living in part of the aboriginal Jewish homeland for all of Israel\'s economic and political woes.
Sharon & Co. say that the Jews living in some of the towns of Judea, Gaza and Samaria are a drain on Israel. This despite the fact that they are the producers of 70% of the country\'s o! rganic produce and export 60% of the country\'s cherry tomatoes. In truth, the people living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are a vital part of Israel\'s economy and food supply. However, this tactic of Sharon\'s is exactly the same one as Adolf Hitler used in the 1920\'s and 30\'s -- denying that Jews contributed greatly t! o the society in which they lived. The only difference is that Hitler didn\'t single out one segment of the Jewish population. To him, all Jews were equally guilty. However, this demonization and outright lying about the value and contributions of a group of people with specific religious beliefs was part of the Holocaust.
Sharon & Co. also claim that protecting the Jews living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is too expensive. Again, he has deliberately twisted the reality. First and foremost, there is very little protection going on for those brave people, who sustain unending and unanswered rocket,! missile and shooting attacks day in and day out.
Then too is the buffer that the Jews living in these lands provide for the rest of Israel. They absorb the majority of attacks which would be directed at major population centers such as Tel Aviv and Ashkelon if the Arabs were to control the settlement areas. The cost of thwarting, defending and retaliating against such potential attacks, as well as the medical response needed and lives lost would far outweigh the comparatively minimal costs now.
But let us return to the tactics used by the Germans as part of the Holocaust. Free speech and dissent was stifled in Hitler\'s Germany. In Israel today, free speech and dissent to Sharon\'s expulsion plan is also stifled. In Hitler\'s Germany, children were arrested for trivial reasons having nothing to do with actual criminal acts. In Israel today, children as young as 12 are being arrested and taken away from their parents for the basic human instinct, nay, human right, of wanting to keep their homes, lives and communities. Free travel to Jewish areas was restricted in Hitler\'s Germany and special identification issued. The same is being done today to the Jews of Gaza, Judea and Samaria.
Demonization, blame for the country\'s woes, suppression of legitimate and peaceful protest, as well as suppression of dissent and specific identification cards were all tactics of the Holocaust and all are being used now by Sharon.
Most recent are some new tactics being planned by Sharon to threaten the very lives of the residents of Gaza, Judea and Samaria. According to an article by Rachel Saperstein entitled Roundups of Jews, the Sharon government plans on jeopardizing the health and continued existence of the people living in the areas planned for expulsion. Sharon\'s government has sporadically shut down their telephone and internet service so they cannot get word out about the atrocities being committed by him against his own citizens. Sharon is also planning to shut off their electricity! and water. Does Sharon ever do this to the murderous and genocidal Arabs who bomb and attack these same people mercilessly? No. He only does it to Jews. Again, just like the Holocaust events leading up to the final solution.
So in saying that the comparison of the Expulsion to the Holocaust is wrong, is, by default, to say that all the other actions done by the Nazis short of the gas chambers, was and still is, perfectly acceptable and legitimate. How sad.