The Lies Conflating the Holocaust and The Promised Land

The Holocaust decimated the Jewish population in Europe from 1939 to 1945. After the war, the vast majority of the remnant of European Jewry moved to either France, the United States or the Mandate of Palestine. Just three years after the end of the genocide of the Jews, the modern state of Israel was born.

Many people believe that the world endorsed the notion of a Jewish State because of the terrible tragedy which befell the Jews. While some countries may have indeed voted at the United Nations in favor of recognizing Israel because of the Holocaust, its reestablishment was sponsored by the global community years before World War II.

First by the British in the 1917 Balfour Declaration, then by the League of Nations in the 1920 San Remo Agreement and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine, the leading countries of the world supported Jews reestablishing their homeland. In the late 1930’s the British specifically called for creating a distinct Jewish State in Palestine. All of these actions were taken before the genocide of European Jewry.

Similarly, God’s promises of the land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob predated the Children of Israel becoming slaves in Egypt. The divine promises for a particular family to have a particular plot of land are found throughout the Book of Genesis and include:

  • The Lord appeared to Abram and said ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’” (Genesis 12:7)
  • For all the land which you see, I will give it to you and your descendants forever.” (Genesis 13:15)
  • To your descendants I have given this land.” (Genesis 15:18)
  • And I will give to you and your descendants after you, the land of your sojourning, the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:8)
  • To your offspring I will give this land” (Genesis 24:7)

The Promised Land is an integral part of Judaism. It is a unique dynamic among world religions that a particular people is tied to a specific parcel of land. The history of Jews in their holy land goes back thousands of years.

Yet people confuse the nature of the Jewish State and how it came to be reestablished in 1948. The global community did not create Israel as a safe haven for Jews after the Holocaust; it voted to reestablish the Jewish homeland years before the Holocaust. Further, Zionists do not aspire for a Greater Israel from “the Nile to the Euphrates” the way anti-Semites at the United Nations claim; they want to live, pray and have autonomy in their small patch of the world promised to them by God.

The relevance of the Holocaust to Israel today is about underscoring the absolute imperative of Israel’s security, which means ensuring that the country’s neighbors cannot threaten it. Critical features include: Israel having full control of its borders and airspace; no military for a possible future Palestinian State; no ability for terrorist groups like HAMAS in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon to attack Israel; and most significantly, no nuclear weapons for Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism which has threatened to wipe Israel off of the map.

The anti-Zionist false narrative connecting the Holocaust and the Promised Land spins a web of lies that European countries created a safe haven – a metaphorical “Promised Land” – for Jews as a gift to allay its guilt in permitting and participating in the Holocaust, an act of charity taken on the backs of Palestinian Arabs. The slander of original sin of the theft of “Arab Land” to create a Jewish State leads to noxious claims that Jews will continue to try to steal more land as “colonialists” as well as demands that the British apologize for the Balfour Declaration. It falsely inverts the indigenous Jews to invaders; those needing protection to aggressors who must be held in check.

The Promised Land of Israel is an eternal gift from God to the Jewish forefathers thousands of years ago and to their descendants in the present day, not from European nations in response to the Holocaust. The critical lesson of the Holocaust is to protect the Jews in Israel from neighbors who wish to do them harm, politically, economically, militarily and most definitely, journalistically.

Israeli soldiers prepare to enter Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Israel (photo: First One Through)


Related First One Through articles:

The Cultural Appropriation of the Jewish ‘Promised Land’

Seeing the Holocaust Through Nakba Eyes

The Holocaust and the Nakba

From Promised Land to Promised Home

The Shrinking Modern Jewish Homeland

Squeezing Zionism

The Calming Feeling of Palestinian Refugees: Rashida Tlaib in Her Own Words

Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies

Related First One Through video:

God is a Zionist (music by Joan Osborne)

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

The Building’s Auschwitz Tattoo

I came with my parents to Vienna on a heritage trip to see where my grandparents lived and my mother was born before they fled the city in December 1938, just after Kristallnacht.

My grandmother passed away twenty years before the trip when I was a young adult. I remember her telling me about her beautiful apartment just off of Ringstrasse, the famous street that looped through the center of town. She spoke of her governess, her walks in the mountains with her classmates at the edge of the city and the wonderful life the family had.

She had also spoken fondly of Kaiser Franz Josef, of whom I knew nothing. Only years after she died in preparing for the trip did I look him up to see that he was the emperor in Austria when she moved to Vienna as a young child. I audibly gasped when I saw that my grandmother had the same name as one of the emperor’s daughters, and was further shocked to see that my Grandma named my mother after the Archduchess’s daughter.

I was both excited and curious to see her city.

My parents, sisters and I stayed at a hotel on Taborstrasse where my grandmother’s eldest sister had a shoe store before the war. That side of the canal had wide buildings but narrow streets which made it feel more residential than the more regal side of the canal which had the Ringstrasse, the opera house and famous hotels. This neighborhood continues to house most of the city’s Jews – about 8,000 today – and kosher restaurants. It was also around the corner from my grandmother’s first apartment where she lived until her marriage.

We walked to the building, entered the open front door and climbed the stairs of the very wide and somewhat worn large building. In the 1910’s and 1920’s, this building housed many of my grandmother’s relatives, as she was the youngest of thirteen and many siblings married and got apartments right next to the family.

We knocked on the apartment door and explained to the older couple living there why we had come to visit. They were very welcoming and showed us around the small apartment and balcony which had views of the surrounding buildings.

We then continued across the canal to the more affluent side of central Vienna where my grandparents moved after they were married. The stories I heard in my youth led me to believe that my grandparents lived along the Danube River, but the address made clear that their home was actually along a canal which weaved through the city center. At first we walked on the grand Ringstrasse to get to the apartment but it was clear from a map that walking along the canal would be more direct and switched course.

We were all very excited to find the apartment. It was a large corner building with floors which must have been at least twenty feet tall. The first floor of the building on the canal front had a restaurant and retail stores, while the side street was completely residential.

We located the buzzer to her apartment and saw that it was now a law firm. The receptionist seemed nonplussed by our request to come up and buzzed us in.

It was at that moment when we saw the etching in the large wooden double-doors: Jew.

Our excitement melted. The fabricated images of my grandmother’s happy years living in Vienna were washed away by the reason she left.

I rubbed my fingers along each letter to consider whether the vandalism was recent or historic. The engraving was deeper than the surface but not deep through the wood. There was no sawdust or sharp edge to the ‘J’ which was carved the deepest.

Did my grandparents see this? Did my grandmother come home one day after pushing my mother in a stroller along the canal in mid-1938, just after the Nazis were welcomed into Austria in the Anschluss to see that someone was watching her? This fancy apartment was only a quarter of a mile away as the crow flies from her first apartment in the Jewish section of town: was it the local Viennese people who didn’t want her in the neighborhood?

We pushed the thoughts away, entered the building and rode the ornate elevator to the third floor.

The receptionist let us into the apartment and allowed us to roam. The apartment took up most of the floor including the whole front of the building overlooking the canal. We checked out each room, now reconfigured from a very large apartment for four people to a law firm to handle twenty, almost none of whom were present. While many of the walls were original, I could not imagine where or how my grandparents, mother and uncle lived in the space. Only the dining room which served as a large board room provided a seamless setting for the ghosts of my grandparents.

We thanked the receptionist and left.

I stopped at the front door of the building again and took a picture. And then a few more.

Was antisemitism still breathing in Vienna? Was it embedded into the fabric of the city, to emerge as pogroms now and again? In the 1420’s the city’s residents confiscated the Jews’ possessions, burned 200 Jewish adults at the stake and converted the children to Christianity. Under the guide of the cross or orders of the Fuhrer, the city seemed ripe for a match to incinerate its Jews.

My grandparents survived the Holocaust by fleeing Europe a few weeks after the Nazis burned their city’s synagogues and Jewish stores in November 1938. While some of my grandmother’s siblings did not leave and died in the Holocaust, I had never considered my mother or grandparents “Survivors” as they did not go into the concentration camps or have numbers tattooed on their arms like some of my friend’s parents. My grandmother spoke with such love of Vienna, not of pain and torture.

But indeed there was a tattoo. Not on her body, but on the place that she loved.

While the Nazis stole the humanity from Jews tattooing their bodies with numbers, they also marked her home and city. She was not Viennese at all. She was a Jew.

That is the heritage of the Jews of Europe.

More than the government-placed plaque marking the place where the city burned its Jews 600 years ago and the commissioned sculpture of a Jew on his knees scrubbing the streets 80 years ago, the markings on the walls by the people of Vienna reveal the hatred that enabled the slaughters to take place.

I came to Vienna excited to see my grandmother’s city, only to discover it was never hers at all.


Related First One Through articles:

Austria’s View of Kristallnacht

Wearing Our Beliefs

Watching Jewish Ghosts

The Termination Shock of Survivors

The Holocaust Will Not Be Colorized. The Holocaust Will Be Live.

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

Pakistan’s Muslim Leader Cannot Address Fellow Muslim Leaders

The leader of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan, took to the floor of the United Nations for almost an hour in September 2019. He covered four principle areas, including “Islamophobia” and the conflict in Kashmir. He shared his thoughts and observations and asked the western world and the United Nations to take particular actions; actions he did not consider for fellow Muslim leaders.

Pakistani President Imran Khan at United Nations, September 2019
(photo: AFP)
Consider his remarks about Islamophobia which he claimed came into being after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. At 23:27 of the speech he said:

In the western society, and quite rightly, the Holocaust is treated with sensitivity, because it gives the Jewish community pain. That’s all we ask. Do not use freedom of speech to cause us pain by insulting our holy prophet.”

Nazi Germany’s butchering of one-third of the world’s Jews is “rightly… treated with sensitivity” in the western world. But it is not treated with any sensitivity in the Muslim world.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has been hosting Holocaust cartoon contests since 2005, shortly after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s inauguration as president. The contests have continued after he left office, including a contest in 2016 which awarded $50,000 towards the top three winners.

Palestinian Arabs elected Mahmoud Abbas to the presidency of the Palestinian Authority in 2005. Abbas wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial. For its part, Abbas’s rival political party Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization, has a charter lifted from the anti-Semitic forgery the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In Hamas’s enclave in Gaza, it refuses to allow the United Nations to teach about the Holocaust in UNRWA schools.

And while Pakistan’s leader was asking the western world to use the same care in talking about the Islamic prophet as it does in talking about the Holocaust, the Prime Minister of Malaysia was spitting Holocaust denial uptown at Columbia University.

Khan did not care about reciprocal respect, common courtesies or similar sensitivities. He knew that Muslim leaders would never insult the Islamic prophet, and narrowly addressed his remarks to the non-Muslim world, even when he fully understood that the Muslim world offered no comparable concern for Jews.

The hajj of hypocrisy at the United Nations would continue.

The main focus of Khan’s remarks were about the disputed territory of Kashmir. At 47:47 he said:

What is the world community going to do? Is it to appease the market of 1.2 billion [people in India] or is it going to stand up for justice and humanity? If this goes wrong – you hope for the best but be prepared for the worst – if a conventional war starts between the two countries, anything could happen. But supposing, a country seven times smaller than its neighbor is faced with a choice: either you surrender or you fight for your freedom until death, what would we do? I ask myself this question. And my belief is that there is no God but one. And we will fight. And when a nuclear armed country fights to the end, it will have consequences far beyond the borders. It will have consequences for the world… This is a test for the United Nations. You are the ones who guaranteed the people of Kashmir the rights of self-determination.”

The words were unmistakable: the Pakistani leader urged the United Nations to take action to protect the people of Kashmir, or the outnumbered people of Pakistan would resort to using nuclear weapons against India, and maybe elsewhere.

But how did Pakistan and the United Nations react in early 1967, when the leaders of the Arab Muslim world threatened to wipe Israel off of the map? The population in Egypt was 32.5 million, in Syria 5.7 million, and in Jordan 1.4 million, a combined total that was 14 times the Israeli population of 2.75 million, or twice the disparity between India and Pakistan today.

During the Six Day War, Pakistan sent members of its air force to fight alongside its Muslim brothers, despite its overwhelming numerical superiority. To clear a pathway for the genocide of the Jews, the United Nations pulled its UNEF observer force from the Sinai peninsula and Gaza in May 1967 at the urging and direction of Egypt. Both the UN and Pakistan participated in the stated goal of destroying the nascent Jewish State, not two decade post the Holocaust.

The leader of Pakistan was no doubt sincere about his long-winded requests and warnings before the United Nations. His hypocrisy was equally as true.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Mahmoud Abbas’s Particular Anti-Zionist Holocaust Denial

Seeing the Holocaust Through Nakba Eyes

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

Pick Your Jihad; Choose Your Infidel

Abbas’ European Audience for His Rantings

Considering Nazis and Radical Islam on the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Both Israel and Jerusalem are Beyond Recognition for Muslim Nations

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

Blasphemy OR Terrorism

Reuters Can’t Spare Ink on Iranian Anti-Semitism

Active and Reactive Provocations: Charlie Hebdo and the Temple Mount

Blessing Islamophobia

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

The Ultimate Chutzpah: A New Form of Holocaust Denial

A curious thing is unfolding in the world of intersectionality and Muslim antisemitism: the migration from the status of victims to saviors.

For the last several years Palestinians sought to gain global succor for their situation through outrageous lies. The Palestinians sought to revise ancient history with claims that Jesus was a Palestinian Arab and not a Jew, and that the Jewish Temple never stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They also claimed that Palestinians were descendants of Canaanites, all in an attempt to make their historic claims to Israel and Jerusalem as much greater than the Jews. That the Arab invasion of the Jewish holy land happened thousands of years after the Jews had been living there was viewed an inconvenience to be dismissed.

Regarding modern history, the Arabs sought to invert cause-and-effect and claim the mantle of victimhood to appeal to the alt-left contingent in the western world. Jews were labeled as colonialist invaders who ethnically cleansed the indigenous Arabs, rather than a people who returned to their homeland and uniquely sacred land. The Arabs claim ongoing apartheid-like conditions, rather than acknowledge their own overt racism in demanding a state free of Jews, even to the extent of having a law sentencing an Arab to death for selling land to a Jew.

But in May 2019, the outright lies and inversion of facts took a curious turn. Instead of only manufacturing a narrative that Palestinian Arabs are victims of Jewish aggression and racism, a new voice directed the message that Palestinians were the saviors of Jews.

U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)
(photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

The new Palestinian-American Congresswomen from Michigan, Rashida Tlaib made the following public comment:

“There’s kind of a calming feeling I always tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, h⁷ave been wiped out, and some people’s passports.

“I mean, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time, and I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, right, and it was forced on them. And so when I think about a one-state, I think about the fact that, why couldn’t we do it in a better way?”

It’s not just that she lied about the gross antisemitism that pervaded her “ancestors” who actively lobbied the British government to STOP Jews from coming to Palestine and she ignored the role of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who supported the Nazis and Adolph Hitler. We get that: the Palestinians have perfected #FakeHistory like no people on the planet.

But at least people understood WHY the Palestinians lied. They wanted to look like victims to get support from the world. They sought to appear as indigenous so their claims should be validated. Complete lies, but understandable.

But Tlaib went in a new direction. She created a whole new lie for the purpose of trying to make Jews appreciate what Palestinians did for Jews! Palestinians gave up their homes, livelihood and dignity for you Jews, so be thankful! It gives Tlaib “comfort” that her ancestors “saved” Jews from the Holocaust, and you Jews should look at Palestinians as your benefactors.

Outrageous.

Let me make this clear: Tlaib, you can continue to manufacture lies to make yourself comfortable all you want. Your orientation of talking “Truth to Power” works only in Pathological Liarland. That’s your business and we all understand your sickness to make yourself feel better.

But to now go beyond inverting cause-and-effect and aggressor-and-victim, and to state that Palestinian Arabs were the saviors of European Jews is a whole new form of Holocaust denial. It is beyond chutzpah and beyond disgraceful.

It is vile and inexcusable. And to continue to stand behind such sentiments does not simply make the statement vile. It makes you evil.


Related First.One.through articles:

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

Mahmoud Abbas’s Particular Anti-Zionist Holocaust Denial

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Examining Ilhan Omar’s Point About Muslim Antisemitism

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

The Holocaust Will Not Be Colorized. The Holocaust Will Be Live.

The grainy black and white images of 75 years ago can trick the mind that the cruelty of mankind was from a different time.

When Holocaust educators make movies like Schindler’s List, they beautify the tragedy with haunting music and visuals.

When we light a candle in memory of one of the 6 million Jews who were slaughtered because they were Jews, our attention lasts for the length of the flame. We toss the candle into the garbage once its light has burned out.

When we enter a synagogue and look at a sculpture with the words “Yizkor,” meaning “remember” in Hebrew, we appreciate the effort to make the work of art, more than connecting to the horror.

Sculpture at the Mathausen Concentration Camp
(photo: First.One.Through)

But the Holocaust was not edited nor pretty nor momentary. It was raw and brutal. It lasted for years.

And the evil lasts still.

The hatred for Jews brews in the shouts of the alt-right, the “protests” of the alt-left and the killings by Islamic radicals.

The Jew hatred is blessed in the halls of a United Nations which cannot pause to question passing laws making it illegal for Jews to live in certain areas. No, not certain areas, illegal for them to live in their holiest city.

The Holocaust inches closer when anti-Semites are elected to governmental positions, anti-Zionists take over college campuses and murderers burst into synagogues. To silent echoes.

Rabbi axed to death in a synagogue in Jerusalem, Israel by Palestinian Arabs

The Holocaust has been remembered in that it was put in the past. Recalling the genocide of a defenseless people by their own government and fellow citizens was given a short window of time among the few who deliberately chose to remember the reality that evil left unchecked overwhelms a decent society.

The marches of the alt-right are becoming more frequent. The vitriol on college campuses is now at your child’s school. And the excuses made for murders has even penetrated the Jewish community.


Gil Scott-Heron wrote “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” in 1970, a decade which saw the United Nations headed by Kurt Waldheim, a former Nazi; a decade in which the U.N. manufactured laws that “Zionism is Racism” and only Palestinian Arabs have rights to the holy land; a decade which witnessed Palestinian terrorists murder Israeli athletes and hijack planes while the word only paused for a moment.

Gil Scott-Heron knew that enormous change in the social order did not happen with people sitting in front of a television, passively taking in a snippet of news interspersed with entertainment. A revolution happens when it knocks on everyone’s door and every man, woman and child is forced to take a stand on where they are in the fight for rights.

Jews around the world are slowly and reluctantly reaching that conclusion, that a momentary glance at a Holocaust sculpture does not prepare a person for the war against Jews today. The United Kingdom’s Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is as much of a wake-up as the leader of Iran. The hatred is much nearer in both time and space and you have no luxury of putting it behind you.

This Holocaust Remembrance Day, don’t throw out the candle of a child murdered 75 years ago after the candle is out. Bury it in your front yard.


Related First.One.Through articles:

In the Shadow of the Holocaust, The New York Times Fails to Flag Muslim Anti-Semitism

Mahmoud Abbas’s Particular Anti-Zionist Holocaust Denial

The Termination Shock of Survivors

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Related First.One.Through videos:

Remembering the 1972 Israeli Olympic Athletes (music by Evanescence)

1001 Years of Jewish Expulsions (music from Schindler’s List)

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

How Many Polacks Does it Take to Deny the Holocaust?

A satire.

The Polish government wanted to mark the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January 2018. After all, it was in Poland that loss of Jewish life was the greatest of any country in the world. The new popular right-wing party in charge, the Poland Law and Justice Party (PiSS), decided to put forward a multi-prong approach, similar to its retreat from Germany in 1939.

PiSS established several committees, including one to address the Polish educational system, one for the press and another for tourism. PiSS tasked each group with finding a new approach to commemorate the horrors that took place in the country during World War II.

The educational team hatched a novel idea that all students should be taught that the Polish people in Word War II were the only victims of Nazi atrocities and that no Poles participated in the rounding up and killing of Jews. It advised that the term “Polish Death Camps” should become illegal, and that the country should demand that all concentration camps be solely associated with Nazi Germany.

The PiSS parliament enthusiastically passed the proposal. It made the usage of the phrase punishable by up to three years in prison. The educational team was elated and quickly went to work.

A team of 400 people went into the libraries and book stores across the country and began to scour the contents for any mention of the phrase “Polish Death Camps.” Armed with white-out and scissors, the team seized upon the work like a German Shepherd on a fraulein in heat. They shouted “Arbeit Macht Frei” as they attempted to complete the cleanse by Labor Day on May 1.

The press team waited until parliament approved the Complicity Removal Proclamation, “CRaP,” as it was known within the halls of PiSS, to announce its contribution to Holocaust Remembrance Day. In addition to promoting the efforts put in place by the educational committee, the Holocaust press team developed a mascot for the public radio and TV broadcasters that was consistent with Poland’s new clean history: a bottle of white out capped with a crown.

The crowned white out bottle will be featured on all future government propaganda. “We originally wanted something that would recall the placards at our rallies ‘For a White and European Brotherhood,‘” said Jaroslaw Rasistowski, the Minister of Loud PiSS. “But thought that it would be too aggressive now that we’re in power. So we opted for a nail polish bottle as a play on the word ‘Polish.’ However, when the CRaP passed, we decided to modify the design into a white-out bottle. It really conveys everything we’re about.

The tourism committee is still convening. The current rumored plans are for the Polish government to assume greater control of the former Nazi concentration camps and put in place a few changes to “enhance” the sites for tourists:

  • Pokemon Go will be introduced to the camps with new characters sporting Nazi swastikas
  • Virtual reality goggles will be distributed to visitors and feature virtual straight white Christians in striped pajamas walking around the camp grounds
  • A new Carmelite convent will open at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp and feature free communion and lunch for all visitors

All in all, the PiSS government estimates that the new initiatives will employ a total of 3,000 Polaks, a tribute to the estimated 3 million Jewish citizens of Poland that were killed in the Holocaust.

The Polish efforts were extensive. And many countries and organizations have taken notice.

Just last night, the US Olympic Committee demanded that any story that mentions the infamous doctor Larry Nassar who abused the USA Women’s Team gymnasts for years, may no longer say that he worked for the “USA Olympic team,” as it considers that the Olympic Committee was itself a victim of the attacks too.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Charlie Hebdo Will No Longer Sell Magazines to 20 Islamic Terrorist Groups

Michael Bloomberg Talks to America about Marrying a Prostitute

Netanyahu’s Doctoral Thesis on the Nakba

Palestinian Job Fair for Peace

The Joys of Iranian Pistachios and Caviar

Liar, Liar! Hillary’s Pant Suit’s on Fire!

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis

Failing to Mention the British White Paper of 1939 when Discussing Refugees

In article after article and Op-Ed after Op-Ed, writers have expressed their dismay about the United States ban on refugees fleeing from Muslim countries. Many of those articles described the US turning away the S.S. St. Louis, a boat full of Jews from Europe during World War II, sending the ship back to Europe where the Jews would be killed in the Holocaust, arguing that America closing its borders today would have similar ramifications for Muslim refugees.  Some journalists went so far to claim that Anne Frank is a Syrian girl today.

Many people called such comparisons outlandish, and a minimization of the atrocity and uniqueness of the Holocaust. They would point out that there are over 100 times more Muslims than Jews, and 50 Muslim-majority countries today while there were zero Jewish countries in World War II, so the Muslim refugees’ options for sanctuary countries today are not remotely comparable to the plight of Jews in the 1930s and 1940s.

Curiously, while journalists attempted to connect the Holocaust of the Jews in Europe to the plight of Muslim refugees from the Middle East today by referencing the S.S. St. Louis or Anne Frank, they declined to ever mention the British White Paper of 1939 when discussing the “Muslim ban.” The pundits wouldn’t even discuss the White Paper when reviewing the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

On November 9, 1938, as Kristallnacht was shattering the lives of Jews in Europe, the British would call upon the leaders of the Arabs in Palestine to assess how to quell the riots they had been waging against the Jews for the prior two years. The result of the multi-week consultations was the British White Paper of 1939.

As the flames of the Holocaust began to incinerate the Jews of Europe, the British White Paper undermined the basic principle laid out in international law to facilitate the immigration of Jews to Palestine. The document set a five-year cap of only 75,000 Jews to be admitted to Palestine, at a time when the Jews of Europe were desperately fleeing the Nazi regime. The British-Arab edict likely contributed to over 100,000 Jews perishing in the Holocaust.

Not just a single Jewish girl like Anne Frank.

Not the nearly 1,000 Jews who were returned on a ship to Nazi Europe to perish in concentration camps.

Over 100,000 Jews, who died because of the British White Paper of 1939.


Arab riots of 1936 fighting Jewish immigration

(source: American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise)

Yet the discussions about refugees fleeing for their lives from the carnage in the Middle East today never mention the cap on admitting Jewish refugees into Palestine during the Holocaust. Why?

Could it be because of the lectures from progressive professors and politicians that the narrow strip of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is “Arab land” and “Palestinian land,” so the Jews don’t really belong there at all? Has the Palestinian propaganda machine so cloaked itself in the the mantle of victimhood, that people cannot fathom the reality that the Palestinian Arabs were complicit in turning away desperate Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust?

November 9 has long been remembered as a Day of Infamy, when the slaughter of Jews began in Europe at the hands of the Nazis. It is time to also mark it as the day that the British and Palestinian Arabs helped seal the fate of thousands of those innocent Jews.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

Austria’s View of Kristallnacht

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

Mahmoud Abbas’s Particular Anti-Zionist Holocaust Denial

If you Only Loved Refugees as Much as you Hate Donald Trump

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

Ban Ki Moon Defecates on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

One of the basic laws established on December 10, 1948 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the ability to change one’s religion. Yet apostasy – converting from Islam – remains a capital offense in various countries including: Afghanistan; Brunei; Mauritania; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; United Arab Emirates; and Yemen.

So how did the outgoing Secretary General of the United Nations choose to recognize the basic rights of people? He rewarded one of those countries with a “humanitarian” post.

On December 8, 2016 – two days before the anniversary of the UDHR – Ban Ki Moon announced that Ahmed Al Meraikhi of Qatar would be his Humanitarian Envoy.  The press release included the role of that position:

“The Humanitarian Envoy will ensure stronger linkages between the United Nations and decision makers in Qatar and the broader region.  His overall objective will focus on supporting multilateral humanitarian response efforts by raising the profile of humanitarian crises with Governments and non-governmental organizations and increasing their engagement with the international humanitarian community.”

Imagine that a country that flagrantly defies the basic premise of human rights is awarded with a position by the same United Nations.

It underscores the current farce of the United Nations and its embarrassment to humanity.

ban-ki-moon-9-16
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon


Related First.One.Through articles:

An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

Al Jazeera (Qatar) Evicts Jews and Judaism from Jerusalem. Time to Return the Favor

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Goodbye Moon

The Termination Shock of Survivors

Elie Wiesel on Words

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

 

Elie Wiesel on Words

Most people think that shadows follow, precede or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories.”

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

Elie Wiesel
Author and Nobel Prize Winner, Elie Wiesel

The Holocaust of the Jews in Europe was one of the most brutal acts of inhumanity in the history of the world. Not only did an elected government murder its own defenseless citizens, it tortured them and enlisted other citizens to eradicate and humiliate the Jews.

The destructive actions of Nazi Germany led the United Nations to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10, 1948. It was designed to protect the basic human rights of all people, not just an elected majority. The opening article declares: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” and goes on to enumerate various human rights. Article 7 builds on that theme:

“All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”

Decades later, the United Nations looked for ways to combat the emergence of global terrorism, and on September 8, 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Similar to the UDHR, it recognized the threat of incitement:

work to adopt such measures as may be necessary and appropriate and in accordance with our obligations under international law to prohibit by law incitement to commit a terrorist act or acts and prevent such conduct.”

The United Nations advanced the position that actions do not live in a tight bubble. Words lead to actions, whether discrimination, terrorism, or even the Holocaust.

Elie Wiesel on Words

There have been many people who worked to place a spotlight in the shadow of the Holocaust, such as Simon Weisenthal (1908-2005), who fought to bring Nazis to justice. Elie Wiesel, who passed away yesterday, had a different path for combatting the horrors of the Holocaust. He wrote about it.

Over the course of dozens of books, Wiesel wrote about his personal experiences surviving concentration camps, as well as faith, God and humanity. He understood the power of his words to help create a better world, just as he understood and experienced how words can create a vicious, violent reality.

Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds.”

I’m a teacher and a writer; my life is words. When I see the denigration of language,
it hurts me, and it’s easy to denigrate a word by trivializing it.”

Elie Wiesel

Wiesel often spoke at conferences about his experiences, and sought to educate people about words, thoughts and ideas.  He believed that words could be creative agents for the speaker, as well as for those who heard the message.

In 1999, Wiesel recalled how American soldiers liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945, including himself as a young man. For that action, and years living in the United States, he would be forever grateful.  For him, the act of being grateful was not simply a byproduct of another’s action: it was an action in itself, and speaking about gratitude, was an important message:

“Gratitude is a word that I cherish.
Gratitude is what defines the humanity of the human being.”

Wiesel believed in the power of words to heal, but he also understood its destructive powers.  He felt that too often mankind hid from its responsibilities.

Human beings should be held accountable.
Leave God alone. He has enough problems.”

One of the greatest threats to humanity, according to Wiesel, was not just the negative incitement to violence that the United Nations addressed in 1948 and 2006, but the threat of the vast masses who say nothing; who are indifferent to the words and terrible actions of evil doers.

“The opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference.”

“Indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore,
indifference is always the friend of the enemy…
Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment.
And this is one of the most important lessons of this outgoing century’s
wide-ranging experiments in good and evil.”

The world appreciated the efforts of Wiesel, and awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for “his message …of peace, atonement and human dignity.”


The First.One.Through blog and channel are about Judaism, Israel and the United States of America.  The messages it conveys are that words matter: not just blatant incitement to violence, but even subtle forms of discrimination, as well as positive, constructive words.  The words and videos are not made so that the producer has a voice, but for those that read and watch the material, to be positive catalysts by forwarding the anonymous pieces on to others.

We mourn the loss of Elie Wiesel, an advocate who advanced the cause that words matter, whether negative, positive, or the bitter lack thereof.


Related First.One.Through articles:

“An anti-Semitic Tinge”

“Tinge” Two. Idioms for Idiots

The Termination Shock of Survivors

Names and Narrative: Genocide / Intifada

The Last Sounds of “Son of Saul”

The Holocaust movie “Son of Saul” is unlike every other movie ever made in the genre. While much has and will be written about the narrow focus on the principal actor’s face throughout the movie, words cannot properly convey the impact of the sounds infused in each scene.

Sounds of a Concentration Camp

The movie opens with the camera focused on a faraway subject, completely out-of-focus. The viewer struggles to make out the distant activity, and in a short time realizes that this is intentional, when the main protagonist of the film, Saul Ausländer, slowly walks into the middle of the image in sharp focus. He remains centered there for the remainder of the movie.

The close-up of Saul leaves the movie viewer with a sliver of background imagery. The war is mostly inferred by the rapidly passing images on the screen’s edges. The viewer’s mind is left to expand upon the brutality of the concentration camp where Saul works processing the dead for the Nazis.

The picture is further clouded by Saul. His face, which fills 70% of the frame, is expressionless. He is a walking dead, somewhere between the prisoners that arrive by train at the camp, and those “pieces” that he carts to the crematoria for burning. Saul shares no emotion and offers little in the way of dialogue with the other Sonderkommandos, those Jews tasked with helping the Nazis annihilate the Jews of Europe. The little dialogue that occurs, is choppy as the Sonerkommandos come from a variety of countries – Hungary, Poland, Germany, Ukraine – and do not speak the same language.

Devoid of strong visuals and dialogue, the movie provides rich sounds. There is no background music to direct our emotions.  The sounds are of the camp itself that fill the viewers’ ears. Sounds of babies crying. Mother’s screaming. Gun shots. Metal doors crashing closed. Rocks crunching under the feet of the Sonderkommandos. Papers scraping the floor, gathered for burning.

This is the dialogue of “Son of Saul.” These sounds transport the viewer from a modern movie theater to 1944 Nazi Europe. It is not surround sound; it is transportive sound.

The Last Sounds

Saul’s journey to an awakening begins when he sees a boy survive the gas chambers. While terminal, the child won a minor victory over the Nazis’ efficient killing machine. He beat the system.

This boy gives Saul some depth of vision. He gives Saul hope – not of his own survival – but that the humanity of the natural world can break through into the unnatural brutality where he exists. Saul’s mission is set, that with the help of a rabbi, the boy will not be incinerated like everyone else in the Nazi’s ovens, but will have a proper Jewish burial.

Saul risks his own life and those around him to fulfill this mission. He understands that he and the other Sonderkommandos are the unnatural walking dead who will soon die and be incinerated. However, the boy is nature’s dead, who must have a natural burial.

As Saul manages to get the boy, his “son”, out of the concentration camp ground, he loses the body in a river. The body is taken by nature and cleansed in water. Then, without the boy’s body, Saul’s mission and hope disappear and he almost drowns before being saved by another prisoner.

Saul sits with fellow Sonderkommando in a broken shed, all catching their breaths. The dialogue between them remains almost non-existent. As they sit, a new sound slowly is introduced that seems out of place.  The noise grows louder, but unclear. The viewer considers whether this is rain falling on the leaves of the trees in the forest. But the picture tells us that it is not raining. We see the men are damp, but it is from the swim across the river, not from raindrops.

Slowly the viewer becomes aware that the sound is not raindrops, but the crackle of the fire from the crematoria ovens.

The movie viewers witness Saul showing some expression at last, as the movie’s hero understands both his completed mission and fate: he helped his son escape to nature; his fate will be to burn with the other Sonderkommandos in the Nazi’s fire.

In the unnatural world where he exists, fire extinguishes water.  However, he achieved a moment of humanity, where the water was able to extinguish the Nazi fire.

Son of Saul
Géza Röhrig who played Saul Ausländer, talking to the audience at
screening of “Son of Saul” sponsored by the Claims Conference, December 2015
(photo: First.One.Through)

In December 2015, the Claims Conference put on a special showing of “Son of Saul” in New York City. The Claims Conference obtains money from Germany and other countries that participated in the slaughter of Jews during the Holocaust, and distributes that money to the Holocaust Survivors as well as educational projects like this movie.

The Executive Chairman of the Claims Conference, Greg Schneider, interviewed the film’s star Géza Röhrig who played Saul Ausländer at the end of the screening. Via Skype, Géza relayed that the sound editing of the movie took over five months, involving hundreds of man-hours to create the environment the writers and directors sought to convey.

It was a remarkable effort that helped create one of the great movies of our time.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Eyal Gilad Naftali Klinghoffer. The new Blood Libel.

Memory and Responsibility in Germany

Wearing Our Beliefs

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis