“Don’t read the comments”, I was told by Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, as I walked out of Sadiq Khan’s Shoah Memorial Day event on Monday.
This is in reference to the cesspit of hatred that was spewed onto The Mayor of London’s Facebook page, after he live streamed his Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration.
I can’t say I was surprised at the hatred. Rabbi Debbie was trying to prevent my poignant morning being soured into an afternoon full of anger.
There was denial, dilution of the Holocaust, and an insistence that everything apart from the Holocaust should have priority… at an HMD commemoration event.
When I say Holocaust, the Facebook cesspit says: “The Holocaust was an awful reminder of absolute hatred and genocide…. BUT..[insert something bad here]”
“it wasn’t just against the Jewish people….”
“How about the two million middle easterners killed by your ex-master Tony Blair?…”
And lastly, “U still believe in it?”
But of course.
The Holocaust was bad, but not as bad as everything else, now get over it, and get over yourself and move on.
It’s not all about you Jews, don’t you know?!
What kind of agenda do these people have?
To go out their way to dilute the significance of the genocide of the majority of European Jewry, and blur the lines of history?
It’s a very special form of historical revisionism.
Their attitude is let’s talk about anything other than the thing we’re all here to talk about.
See some of the hate, here:
Well I won’t move on. I was there to listen to Mala Tribich give her testimony, to hear how she was ghettoised, separated from her family, transported in cattle carts, housed in concentration camps, and liberated, before rebuilding her life.
I wanted to hear her, and other survivors, because soon I won’t be able too.
It’s a generation that won’t be around forever, and the day there are no more, the cesspit of Facebook will have nobody to answer them back, other than those who’ve heard testimony, or who’ve seen the evidence.
After a spate of denial and diluting of the Shoah, comments inevitably turned to Israel-Palestine…. Because Jews.
“Palestine is experiencing the same” one said. Another said “Remember the Palestinians being killed 24/7”.
This is both the distorting of history and reality, by inverting the victim (Jews in the Holocaust) to be the perpetrator (Israel apparently); saying ‘the Jews’ have become Nazis.
It’s also anti-Semitic to apply collective responsibility on Jews for Israel’s actions.
Whilst showing a total disregard for what happened during the Holocaust, and what’s happening now to the Palestinians, what’s clear for anyone at City Hall on Monday, is that these idiotic trolls weren’t paying attention.
Whereas in years gone by, Holocaust denial was overt, the David Irvings’ of the world dominated the scene; now it’s more subtle. It’s now done through blurring history with reality and making crass comparisons to remove any nuanced debate.
Mala said during her speech at the commemoration, “What we survivors have been able to show, is that the human capacity for resilience can prevail.”
Survivors showed us that good can triumph over evil. But the real test of their message, will be whether survivors’ messages can be as resilient as they have shown to be, standing in front of audiences relaying their haunting experiences over and over again.
If it is to be passed on correctly, the dismissive cynical ignorance displayed during the commemoration must be challenged. I appreciate why rabbi Debbie said, “don’t read the comments”.
They’re hard to read. But in a new age of the web, we need to. We all need to fight back, and make sure the correct message gets passed on.