Holocaust Remembrance cannot tolerate silence right now
Intro: Israel has been charged with genocide and the world is silent. But Germany decided to support them. But how about the government and parliament of the Netherlands? Was there a discussion in the week before the Holocaust commemoration?
On Friday, January 12, Steffen Hebestreit, as spokesperson for the German government, reported that Germany plans to intervene as a third party in South Africa’s complaint against Israel. As a signatory to the 1948 Genocide Convention, Germany has the right to present its arguments in this case. Germany is the first to break the terrifying silence of the Western states about the completely misplaced accusation that Israel is committing genocide. Who’s next?
Germany keeps sharp
This German action did not come out of the blue. The gruesome genocide, which we have called the Holocaust, has strongly marked Germany’s post-war policy. Even after 78 years, the German government has not forgotten this. The supervision of expressions of hatred of Jews (anti-Semitism) is very strict, much stricter than in other countries that lost Jewish citizens in the Holocaust. While in our own country no action has ever been taken against choirs in football stadiums shouting “Hamas, all Jews on the gas”, Germany has always remained alert to such expressions. Very recently, the slogan “From the river to the sea” was also banned, while in the Netherlands that slogan was even spoken in the House of Representatives after the Hamas invasion. After initially supporting a motion by the SGP against such statements in Parliament, PvdA-GroenLinks withdrew its support. Implicitly saying that the Israeli Jews should be driven into the sea is apparently no problem for Frans Timmermans and the members of his party.
The latest step by the German government is a ban (Betätigungsverbot) for Hamas and the BDS movement, which wants to Boycott Israel, encourage Divestments in Israel and Sanctions against this state.
Silence appears to be an option at Remembrance Day
On January 18, Don Ceder (CU) with the support of Stoffer (SGP) [both from small Christian parties] presented a motion in the Dutch Parliament to follow the German example in the trial against Israel. Tuinman (BBB) supported: “Israel is currently bearing the burden of being publicly pilloried for genocide.” But minister of Foreign Affairs Bruins Slot said: “As minister of the neutral host country of the International Court, I am not going to support a party at this time.” The motion did not achieve a majority. So the government and parliament decided to remain silent about the accusation of genocide!
But the fight against Hamas is, just as it was some years ago against IS, a necessity. On IS, the Western coalition fought the battle to the end. The sad thing is that Hamas uses its citizens as shields and even uses child soldiers. The statement of the number of deaths from Gaza also makes no distinction between Hamas fighters and civilians, but no one protests against this misleading presentation.
The date of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army (January 27) has been declared by the UN as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Hitler and his government had deliberately decided to kill all the Jews in Europe and the Middle East: a total of 11 million! In 1945 the counter came to a standstill at 6 million. It is our duty to commemorate this genocide. But what should the Jewish relatives think about our we commemoration without refuting South Africa’s terrible accusation at the International Court of Justice? During Kristallnacht in 1938, the Dutch government remained silent and built Camp Westerbork for ‘illegal’ Jewish refugees from Germany. Have we actually learned what a genocide is?
At the commemoration in Amsterdam prime minister Rutte condemned Hamas for its horrible crimes at October 7th but he kept silent about the accusation of South Africa against Israel.