David Ward MP – Bradford East – is in trouble. His crime: the temerity to mention Palestinian suffering in a post on Holocaust Day… Who does he think he is? Jenny Tonge??*
“Holocaust Day” has parallels with the theology of November’s Remembrance Day. Free speech gets suspended… There are things you may not say… How terribly impolite to mention more died than just soldiers… Or Iraq, where British forces helped kill a million people… Or that in WW2, bombers killed 100,000 fire-bombing Dresden and were forbidden to receive medals because of the horror…
The Holocaust was a horror, in its millions… But that’s not why Britain fought… We fought because of our treaty with Poland! Only as the years progressed did we really realise the fate so many Jews had met. Now, most of us are not Jews, while still being horrified at Hitler’s horror. Most of us, these days, are very critical of the wars Britain’s leaders order us to fight.
To see Holocaust Day ONLY as the suffering of Jews, is to sentimentally identify with a nation, race or religion, which, for most of us, is not ours. Therefore it is untrue emotion. They weren’t ‘our’ victims, they were Hitler’s. British forces truly liberated them, in 1945. To celebrate that liberation surely cannot lead to supporting Israel, the state Jews founded, in its apartheid racist persecution of others…
To see Remembrance Day ONLY as a rightful commemoration of the sacrifice of British forces, is to sentimentally indentify with Britain, the armed forces, the wars we are commanded to fight…
It’s far more important what is missed out:
Because there, are the civilians, the women, the children, the elderly – all officially unremembered that day. There, are the rest of the 60 million who died in that war. There, ultimately, is peace, and criticism of the centralised power and nationalism that might prevent the next Hitler launching wars, or the next Bush or Blair from launching his.
And there, too, is a rejection of sentimentalism of the Holocaust, and a rededication to criticising any centralisation of power, any blinkered propaganda, any demonisation of some chosen so-called enemy… and this, of course, goes for Israel’s current treatment of the Palestinians, undergoing the longest military occupation in modern history.
*Jenny Tonge was a front bench Lib Dem MP, but removed because of comments around Palestinian suffering. She’s now a Lord, Baroness.
Lib Dems condemn MP’s criticism of Israel ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day: