Today, in the Holy Land, the Zionist government, with the support of the majority of Israel’s population are themselves perpetuating a holocaust against the Palestinian people.
The Israeli government repeatedly denies that its treatment of the Palestinians is anything like the treatment suffered by the Jews under the Nazi regime. But the Nazis too denied that they were engaging in genocide and war crimes.
It may be a different conflict but there are striking similarities between the historical Jewish Holocaust and the current Palestinian Holocaust, which has been going on since the inception of the State of Israel.
The Palestinian Holocaust has the all the hallmarks of the Jewish Holocaust;
- the long-term use of state terror including the dispossession of 90% of the land
- forcing of over four million Palestinians into ghettos with a Nazi style encirclement
- ethnic segregation and ethnic cleansing forcing some five million Palestinians to live in exile
- the geographically constrained movement of Palestinians between Gaza and the West Bank
- the continuous expansion of Jewish only settlements in the West Bank and the confiscation of Palestinian homes by Jews
- the Jewish only roads and plethora of military check points and starving the people of Gaza.
Israel’s ultimate aim, is the “systematic destruction” of the Palestinians as a national group and no doubt is quite deliberate.
What we are witnessing today is a living holocaust, that is being carried out under the eyes of the United Nations, European, Arab and Western World Governments. Some would say that their silence is deafening.
Martin Luther King said “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
The Israeli regime uses similar methods as the Nazi oppressors did, which included practises of collective punishment, racially based legislation, legalised mass torture and ethnic cleansing (distinguished human rights lawyer Raji Sourani, and director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights calls this the “Gaza Doctrine”). All are unequivocally illegal but unfortunately all too real in the Occupied Territories.
Israel has imprisoned the 1.8 million people of Gaza by surrounding them with a 7-9 metre wall over 360 square kilometres of land where they cannot escape the bombardments – referred to by many as the “largest concentration camp in the world”. This makes the former East German, Berlin “Wall of Shame” seem mediocre in comparison to the Israeli “Wall of Terror”.
The situation in Gaza is not unlike that faced by Europe’s Jews under Hitler. The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of all the Jewish ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. It was established in the Polish capital between October and November 16, 1940, in the territory of the General Government of German-occupied Poland, with over 400,000 Jews from the vicinity residing in an area of 3.4 km2 (1.3 sq mi)
The Israeli government has converted the Gaza territory into the world’s largest concentration camp, sealed off and subjected to periodic and murderous bombardment. For the people of Gaza, there is no place to shelter their children; no friendly countryside that could provide refuge.
And if this mass imprisonment and torture of the Palestinians was not enough, Israel has become even more despicable through its economic blockade where it has rationed food supplies and calculated the calories allowable per person in Gaza to survive – exactly like what the German civilian authorities do to the inhabitants of Warsaw the Ghetto. Food allotments rationed to the people were not sufficient to sustain life. In 1941 the average Jew in the ghetto subsisted on 1,125 calories a day and tens of thousands died of starvation.
The only word that can describe this inhumane suffering and terror faced on a daily basis by the Palestinian people is HOLOCAUST.
The word “holocaust” was used in English to denote “great massacres”. In 1943 it was the lawyer Raphael Lemkin who invented the term “genocide,” by combining “genos” (race, people) and “cide” (to kill). He campaigned for a legal definition which is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, where genocide is “the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group”. But since the 1960s, the term holocaust came to be used and abused by scholars and popular writers to refer exclusively to the genocide of Jews in Europe during the 2nd World War.
It was reported last week, that almost 250 Jewish Survivors and Descendents of Survivors of Nazi Genocide Condemn the Massacre on Gaza and are calling for an end to the genocide of the Palestinian people. They urged people who are survivors of the genocide or a descendent of survivors, to add their name to the letter.
The tragedy is that although the Palestinians were not part of the anti-Semitism of Europe and the West they are the final victims of Hitler’s Holocaust.
The following juxtaposed images show Jewish life in Germany and Poland over 70 years ago and Palestinian life today in the occupied territories.
And these pictures speak more than words ever could.
Warning – Disturbing and graphic images
Military checkpoints to prevent freedom of movement to civilians
Arrests and Harassments
Destroying Homes and Livelihoods