Micha Danzig
Micha Danzig

327 Moral Idiots

This week 327 people demonstrated that having survived the Holocaust or being related to Holocaust survivors certainly does not mean you have any moral wisdom.

On August 23, 2014 43 alleged survivors of the Holocaust and 284 alleged descendants of Holocaust survivors, on behalf of the mendacious International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), placed an advertisement in the NY Times attacking Eli Wiesel for his, in their own words, “manipulation of the Nazi Genocide” and then went on, again in their own words, to express their alleged alarm at the “extreme, racist, dehumanization of Palestinians in Israel” and called for an end to the “ongoing genocide of Palestinian people.”

In addition to being an outrageous attack on one of the great literary and moral heroes of our time, Eli Wiesel (a recipient of Nobel Peace Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom), this letter demonstrates that surviving the Holocaust and (merely) being related to someone that survived the Holocaust grants you no moral wisdom and certainly does not make you a moral authority. What it does mean, or at least should mean, is that you are incredibly blessed to have survived or to have your ancestors survive one of the greatest crimes in the history of humanity and that you owe it to yourself and the world to live a life of moral clarity and integrity.  In that respect, these 327 people and their supporters at IJAN have failed grotesquely and despicably.

In terms of their attack on Eli Wiesel, what the 327 moral idiots objected to was Eli Wiesel taking out an ad in the NY Times and many other major newspapers decrying Hamas’s use of children as human shields and to Hamas raising children to believe that their greatest calling is to be suicide bombers or human shields for rockets. In Eli Wiesel’s ad he provided “Palestinian parents want a hopeful future for their children, just like Israeli parents do. And both should be joining together in peace. But before sleepless mothers in both Gaza City and Tel-Aviv can rest, the Hamas death cult must be confronted for what it is.”  Eli Wiesel, went on to call for “the American public to stand firmly with the people of Israel who are in yet another struggle for survival, and with the suffering people of Gaza who reject terror and embrace peace.”  Finally, Eli Wiesel prayed that we “return child sacrifice to the darkest corner of history, and work towards a brighter future with those who choose life, Arabs and Jews alike, all of us Abraham’s children.

Apparently, rather than applaud Eli Wiesel’s wise words, the morally obtuse at IJAN take issue with Mr. Wiesel referring to Hamas as a death cult that encourages the use of children as human shields and instead want people to believe that there is “extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israel.” Talk about deflection and projection.  In Gaza, and unfortunately throughout most of the dictatorships in the Arab world, Jews are regularly described and depicted in print and visual media as the “sons and daughters of apes and pigs,” and as people that kill Christian and Muslim children to use their blood for Passover Matzos.  Even though both Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) committed in the Oslo Accords in 1993 to “foster mutual understanding and tolerance” and “abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda” (though Israel was doing no such thing), the PA and Hamas in Gaza have gone out of their way to incite to violence and depict Jews in the most vile fashion.  There are so many examples of hideous racist propaganda directed at Jews in the Arab world and in particular by the PA and Hamas, that it would take a book to list them all.  Some examples, however, include a TV ad for a camp at Khan Yunis, Gaza where a camper sings “‘I came to you with my sword in hand. We will drive the Jews into the sea. Your day is coming, conqueror, then we will settle accounts. Our accounts are unending in stones and bullets.”  In a PA official newspaper (Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda), the commander of the Palestinian General Security Service made the allegation that Israel “brought Russian Jewish girls with AIDS to spread the disease among Palestinian youth.”  Despite the fact that Israel, at its inception, with only 600,000 people, survived the attack of 6 Arab armies vowing to “drive the Jews into the sea” (Arab dictators and terrorists seem to love that battle cry), and despite the fact that Israel has won every war it has fought against the much larger Arab countries that have attacked it, in the same PA newspaper, (Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda), there was an article that informed its readers “that the Israelis are not adventuresome because the Jewish brain is cowardly.” And while the IJAN ad tries to gain for itself moral authority by referencing that its signators are Holocaust survivors or their descendants, the PA and Hamas regularly deny that the Holocaust happened or that it was all that bad. One gem from a “cultural affairs program” broadcast on PA TV was the assertion that “it is well-known that every year the Jews exaggerate what the Nazis did to them. They claim there were 6 million killed, but precise scientific research demonstrates that there were no more than 400,000.”

As for Hamas itself, which IJAN apparently wants to protect with its despicable attack on Eli Wiesel, its official Charter is replete with vile anti-Semitism. The kind of Jew hatred that would make every card carrying Nazi proud.  Article 7 of the Hamas Charter provides: “The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him…” Article 22 provides: “[Jews] control of the world media [and use their] wealth to stir revolutions … They stood behind the French and the Communist Revolutions.” Article 22 also provides:  “There was no war that broke out anywhere without their [Jews] fingerprints on it.” And it does not stop with the Hamas Charter of course. Hamas clerics and officials regularly regale their people with racist messages of Jew hatred.  Hamas Cleric Muhsen Abu ‘Ita, on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV in July 2008 told his audience that “the annihilation of the Jews here in Palestine is one of the most splendid blessings for Palestine.”  Even viler is the Jew hatred regularly taught by Hamas to young children.  One children’s show on Al-Aqsa TV has featured a cute mouse character called “Farfur.” In one episode Farfur asks the cute little kids on the show: “Sanabel, what do you want to do to help the Al-Aqsa Mosque?” The response he gets is “We want to fight.” Plainly not satisfied with that response, Farfur then asks the child “And what else?” The response from the child: “Wipe out the Jews.” With that response, Farfur is obviously satisfied. And Hamas spokesperson, Osama Hamdan, just this past month explained to his audience on a Lebanese TV station that Israelis like to kill children because “the Jews used to slaughter Christians, in order to mix their blood in their holy matzos. This is not a figment of imagination or something taken from a film. It is a fact, acknowledged by their own books and by historical evidence. It happened everywhere, here and there.”

Yet, with all of this well documented vile racism and hatred stemming from Israel’s enemies, the folks at IJAN pay for an ad expressing their concern about alleged “extreme, racist, dehumanization of Palestinians in Israel.”  However, unlike its enemies, and all of the countries that surround it (where literally millions of Arabs have been murdered by other Arabs and Iranians over the last 50 years), Israel is a democracy where it citizens are free to say and write almost anything and Israel cannot control whether its citizens publish or say racist things about Arabs, Jews, or anyone else. Nevertheless, Israel is one of the freest and least racist countries on Earth.  Arabs in Israel certainly have more freedom and rights than Arabs in any other country in the Middle East, and you have to search for a long long time to find anything in Israeli media that encourages racism against Arabs or any other group for that matter. To the contrary, Israeli media, like most of the media in the USA, encourages tolerance and acceptance.  Yet, IJAN is worried about racism in Israel and apparently has no concerns with the racism of Hamas and the PA.  Talk about moral idiocy.

But the moral idiocy of the IJAN folks does not, unfortunately, stop with them allegedly worrying about supposed Jewish racism and ignoring the vehement Arab racism and rejection of the Jewish right to sovereignty in any part of the land of Israel, which lies at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict. No, they double-down on their idiocy or worse yet, intentional slander, by repeating the big lie of this conflict – the supposed “ongoing genocide of Palestinian people.”  No lie is more despicable, and for it to come from supposed survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants is simply horrific.

In the Holocaust, 6 million of Europe’s 9.5 million Jews were killed within 5 years. They were killed simply because they were Jewish. Just like Hamas and the PA today, the Nazi’s relied on existing anti-Semitism in the places they controlled and also expressly and aggressively taught their people that Jews were inherently evil and despicable people. They thereby received “buy-in” from enough Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, Ukrainians etc. to round up and murder 6 million out of 9.5 million people in 5 short years.  That is “genocide.”  Notably, the Jews of Europe had never attacked Germany, never threatened to “throw the Germans into the sea,” or blew themselves up in German cafes or fired rockets at Germany.  All the Jews did to the Germans, was be Jewish. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein and his cousin “Chemical Ali” in 1988 killed approximately 180,000 Kurds in a series of attacks called the “al-Anfal.” This may credibly be referred to as a “genocide.”  In Rwanda, during 100 days in 1994 an estimated 700,000 to 1,000,000 Tutsis, constituting approximately 70% of the Tutsi population in Rwanda were massacred, purely because they were Tutsi and not Hutu. That is “genocide.”  Starting in 1915, when most of the world was focusing on WWI, the Ottoman Empire began slaughtering the Armenians, a Christian minority, and while the final death count from this slaughter is not known, estimates are that between 1 and 1.5 million of the 3 million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire at the start of WWI were massacred. That is certainly “genocide.”  Recently, ISIL, ISIS or the “Islamic State” has been killing ethnic Kurds and Yazidis in Iraq with the stated and clear goal to rid Iraq of all non-Muslims.  Again, that can safely and without hyperbole be referred to as attempted “genocide” by ISIS.

In the face of all of these attempts at actual genocide, including some as recently as this month, the IJAN ad accusing Israel of engaging in the “ongoing genocide of Palestinian people” is as big a lie as any told against the Jewish people (and there have been many). There are no words to describe how despicable and morally bankrupt this is, especially coming from people that either suffered from the Holocaust or are related to Holocaust survivors.  When the State of Israel declared its independence in 1948, after the UN voted to partition the British Mandate for Palestine (which had never in history even been an independent Arab country), into an independent Jewish State and an independent Arab State (which the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected) there were approximately 600,000 Jews in the area and 1,000,000 Arabs. Today, according to the estimates of the PA itself, there are over 11,000,000 Palestinians in the world! And when Israel took over the Gaza Strip from Egypt in the 6 Day War in 1967 the population of Gaza was 280,000. Today it is estimated at 1,800,000.  This is genocide? Population growth of over 6X in less than 50 years!?

The reality is that approximately 11,000 Palestinian Arabs have been killed in armed conflicts with Israel since Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. Every Palestinian killed in the Arab-Israeli conflict, however, has been killed in combat operations and/or in Israeli responses to attacks on its citizens. Notably, approximately 4000 Israelis have been killed since 1948 by Palestinian terrorism alone, and over 2000 Palestinians, including 18 just this past week in Gaza, have been killed by the Palestinian dictators in the PA and Hamas.  This is not genocide by any stretch of the imagination.  It is war; and it is a war that has been caused by the Arab rejection of the right of Jews to have an independent state anywhere in the land of Israel, a place where Jews have always lived for over 3000 years.  To call it “genocide” is simply reprehensible, particularly when the only ones in this conflict openly and often calling for genocide (of the Jews) are the PA and Hamas.  I would say that IJAN and the people that signed on to their mendacious ad should be ashamed of themselves, but given their gross lies in their ad and their attack on one of the truly great men of our time, Eli Wiesel, it is clear that they have no shame.

About the Author
Micha Danzig is a practicing attorney in San Diego and board member of T.E.A.M. (Training & Education About the Middle East). He is also active with Stand With Us and a former soldier in the IDF.
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