Thu May 2nd, 2019 at 12:17:18 PM EST
All wars of choice are horrible episodes in terms of human suffering and devastation of lives lost.
The 20th century was one of the ugliest with many genocides and the first unleashing of massive destruction by use of the atom bomb.
The European Union was founded on the principle of the Four Freedoms and to build a union of peace, not accepting devastation of war. In the new century, the lessons of history seem to be lost as the production and spread of arms is seen as economic well being. I strongly disagree ... and will resist thru my writing and voice at the ballot box.
Raphael Lemkin (June 24, 1900-August 28, 1959) was a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent. Before World War II, Lemkin was interested in the Armenian genocide and campaigned in the League of Nations to ban what he called 'barbarity' and 'vandalism.' He is best known for his work against genocide, a word he coined in 1943 from the root words genos (Greek for 'family,' 'tribe,' or 'race') and -cide (Latin for 'killing'). He first used the word in print in Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation - Analysis of Government - Proposals for Redress (1944)
More below the fold ...
Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger
Destruction during the Vietnam War and the use of Agent Orange - a war crime no one was held responsible in a court of international law.
Yom HaShoah and Its False Premises | Tikun Olam |
Today is Yom HaShoah, an international day of mourning for victims of the Holocaust. I have written often here on this subject.
When I was a graduate student I compiled the oral history of an Auschwitz survivor, publishing it in the Los Angeles Times on Yom Hashoah 1977. In the 1990s, I visited Theresienstadt while leading a New York Jewish Federation mission to central Europe. In the 1930s, one of my grandmother's brothers left this country disillusioned because, as he said in Yiddish, t'iz a g'nayvishe land ("it's a land of thieves"). He later perished in Poland.
GIven all this, how can one justify the mockery that is made of the day by Israel and many who exploit it for political purposes? Israel has turned it into a national spectacle. Somber speeches are made. Lessons are offered and learned. But they are largely the wrong ones.
I was deeply disturbed during my visit to Theresienstadt to see Israeli flags draping every possible historical artifact there. As if Israel was the only possible answer to this horror. I'm also disgusted that the Polish government permits IAF F-16s to flyover the Auschwitz site, as if Israeli military might is the only proper response to this indelible historic suffering. Let's not forget the prophet's admonition: "Not by might and not by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord."
I'm deeply troubled by the parochialism of Jewish attitudes toward the Holocaust: it is a unique event in the history of the world. It is our tragedy. No one else's. No one can plumb the depths of our suffering. And no one may question or doubt any act that we take as long as we invoke the Holocaust to justify it.
No, the only thing unique about the Holocaust is the number of dead and perhaps the methodical industrial organization of the killing. There have never been 6-million killed in any previous or subsequent genocide (yet). But that does not mean that there have not been other genocides or that there will not be genocides in future. Genocides are not unique to Jews. Tribes, religions and ethnic groups of all stripes have shared in such suffering throughout human history: the Tutsi of Rwanda, the Rohingya of Burma, Cambodia under Pol Pot, and finally the first modern genocide, of the Armenians, perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks (an event Israel refuses to officially recognize). The ancient Israelites even exterminated some of the tribes which occupied the land when they first entered it.