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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Friday, February 29, 2008

Israeli Official Threatens Palestinians of a "bigger holocaust"

I was shocked when I read yesterday in the news that an Israeli government minister is threatening Palestinians that Israel would unleash on them "a bigger holocaust". An Israeli news website (among many others) carried this Reuters story, on 2/29/2008:

Israeli minister warns Palestinians of 'holocaust'
By stepping up Qassam rocket attacks on Israel 'Palestinians will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves,' says Deputy Defense Minister Vilnai says. Hamas in response: We are facing new Nazis

The British Sky News added:

Mr Vilnai's comments are likely to cause controversy, as the term "holocaust" is rarely used in Israel other than in discussions about the Nazi genocide in the Second World War.

Many Israelis are reluctant to countenance using the word to describe other contemporary events.

The story was also carried on FOX News, Al-Jazeera, ...

As someone who has repeatedly and strongly repudiated those who belittle or question the Nazi Holocaust against Jews, I find it reprehensible that an Israeli official, of Jewish background, would even consider subjecting any group of people to a holocaust.

Of all the people in the world, aren’t the Jewish people supposed to be among the most cognizant of such terrible inhumanity? Shouldn’t a nation that survived a past holocaust be the first to protect others from any form of holocaust or genocide? Where are the condemnations from the ADL, the Holocaust Museum, the Wiesenthal Center, the AJC, and all other Jewish organizations of those Israeli threats? Where is the outrage? (For the record, Jewish peace and human rights activists have always courageously spoken against Israel’s brutal practices in Palestine)

Denying the Nazi Holocaust against Jews and others is an offensive and immoral act that deserves to be strongly condemned, out of respect for all its victims and as an affirmation of our humanity.

Similarly, threatening Palestinians with an Israeli holocaust is an offensive and immoral act, in fact alarming, that deserves to be strongly condemned, out of concern for Palestinians and as an affirmation of our humanity.

Spanish philosopher and poet George Santayana wisely said:
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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