Friday, 23 January 2009

The Spineless Spanish and The Holocaust

Looks like there's a kitten among the pigeons. Glad to see that some people read this blog and that those who do have an opinion. It's a democracy. You're entitled to believe what you do but it would be nice if there was balance.

Balance. That's a good word. Don't see much of it in the media here, do we? Don't see much comprehension of facts and history and we certainly don't see an understanding of words. Semantics? Maybe not semantics, per se.

So many words have been thrown around recently. Like genocide and holocaust. It made me think. So far as I know, teaching The Holocaust is compulsory in this country. It has been for a number of years now. Children are taken on fact finding missions to Holocaust museums. They have Holocaust survivors come in and talk with them, explaining to them what it was like during The Holocaust. Movies have been made: 'Schindler's List', 'Life is Beautiful', 'Sophie's Choice', 'The Pianist.' Coincidentally, the BBC just ran a new dramatisation of 'The Diary of Anne Frank.' Indeed, that very same book is among the highest selling books in the world.

So if all the above is true and people are being educated, why is it that they don't really know what genocide means and, more specifically, what The Holocaust entailed? Can Gaza really be described as being analogous to the Warsaw Ghetto? Let me just give you an idea what Polish ghettos were really about:

"During Spring 1940, the Nazis plundered and isolated the 1.5 million Jews they ruled over, before herding them into 'ghettos'. The method was always the same. Jews were registered and their property was confiscated and the Jews were forced into Jewish designated areas. Crammed into these specially designated ghettos, the Jews were prey to disease and starvation. The old, sick and poor were hit first. From January 1941 to July 1942 about 500,000 Jews died of sickness or malnutrition in the Polish ghettos." [David Ceserani. 'The Holocaust']

Having been privy, therefore, to all this so-called education, many movies and copious television productions, why is it that no-one understands what a genocide really is? Or is it that they really do understand but that they have deluded themselves to these facts? Why is it that when the Sudanese blast the hell out of Darfur and kill hundreds and thousands of people, that everyone isn't out in the streets calling for the Sudanese government to do something? Or that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where men, women and children are being burned alive, that no one at the UN calls this a 'crime against humanity.'? Why these double-standards? It can only ever lead to one thing. And we all know what that is, don't we?

Yesterday, the Catalan government in Barcelona decided to cancel Holocaust Memorial Day. They felt, they said, that while a holocaust was taking place in Gaza, they could not commemorate the deaths of six million Jews. In Gaza there is now a dispute as to how many people - mostly gallant terrorists in their jeans and t-shirts, and the wretched women and children human shields - lost their lives in this latest conflict. The number has now been downsized to about five to six hundred. It's a bit different to six million. Isn't it?

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