re: #39 researchok
I almost don’t know how to respond to that. On the one hand, everything you have said is patently true to the extent of utter obviousness - though I am going to quibble a little with your Holocaust analysis (but not yet). On the other hand, I am a little hurt that you think you need to explain such obvious truths to me.
However, what you said is important enough and true enough that it bears repeating. I’m just taking a little umbrage that it is possible you think I don’t get that - or worse might be unsympathetic.
Of course, I have sympathy for it. I also have sympathy for every poor bastard who was ever marched off to war by evil leaders and had no real choice in the matter.
Let’s make it really concrete. Some poor 18 year old German kid with a head full of propaganda who got marched off to Normandy, and suffered all the hell the Allies gave him, is a tragedy. Under other circumstances, he was probably even a nice guy. He loved his family, loved his girl, and he would probably have been someone who you would have a beer with in later years.
If only his head wasn’t filled with lies… If only he was the sort to risk his life and buck a society that would have killed him for protesting… But he wasn’t that super-human sort of saint, he was just a kid.
The worst tragedy of war is that you still need to kill him, while knowing this.
Why? Because if he wins, and he is a good kid who will fight with all his heart, then the world plunges into darkness. I am perfectly willing to count that kid as another victim of Hitler. The nearly unspeakable tragedy is that none of it matters one bit once the shooting starts. It is him or you. Your blood is no less red, and letting your well meant, valid and nobly stated, sympathy prevent you from doing what is necessary in that situation, will get you killed.
Now that said, the Holocaust point…Israel would be the rightful homeland of the Jews whether or not there was a Holocaust and the majority of Jews to Israel were not Holocaust survivors. First off there was always a Jewish population that had been there since ever. The first and second alyot (large migrations from Europe) happened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and then there were close to one million Sephardi Jews who were expelled from Arab nations after 48. Those people had everything they had taken from them and they were turned into refugees. Funny how no one talks about their rights as refugees.
Another difference in this conflict is that the Jews took in those refugees, the Arabs pointedly and cynically did not take in a lesser number of Palestinians displaced in the conflict.
But I digress, the issue is that while the effect of the Holocaust on the Jewish national psyche is incalculable, the Zionist movement predates it by over 60 years and there were over a million Jews in situ already clamoring for a recognized state in their own homeland. Also, note that the Balfor declaration is almost two decades before the second world war. The reason for the quibble is that linking Israel to the Holocaust gets turned into anti-Israel propaganda really quickly, because it implicitly denies the people’s longstanding connection with the land and turns the state into a gift out of pity, rather than the rights of the indigenous people whose homeland it was.