A guest post by Lewisham Councillor Michael Harris on Bob From Brockley relates how, on Holocaust Memorial Day, John Hamilton of Lewisham People Before Profit heckled a rabbi to include Gaza in a list of genocides he was commemorating. Comparing what is endured by Gazans to the systematic attempt to kill off an entire people is blatantly wrong. And, as Bob From Brockley comments, we can “seriously doubt Hamilton would shout out “Gaza” if the speaker had been an Imam talking about genocides”. It is an appalling thing to have suggested, intolerable on Holocaust memorial day.
And if this was simply inept advocacy for Palestinians, it’s also an indication of how far the prejudiced idea that Jews in general are culpable for the circumstances of Palestinians has infused this good cause with antisemitism.
- In the comments below Absolute Observer refers to other examples of British Jews being confronted with Gaza on Holocaust Memorial Day.
- Modernity – symptomatic of a much wider trend.
February 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm
Apparently, Jews are not allowed to mourn their dead in peace.
Rather, they have to be dug up and, if innocent of the “crimes” used as a pretext of their murders, have to be dug up and reanimated and found guilty of the alleged crimes of their descendants. Disgusting!
I say “alleged” not because Israel may well be guilty of many crimes in Gaza, but because the one they are not guilty of is “genocide”.
Of course, the question remains why some people are so quick to find an equality between the Shoah and Gaza?
Indeed, why the specific circumstances of the Holocaust seem to stick so much in the throat of others, especially when measuring the conduct of contemporary Jews; the conduct of Jews not alive then, the conduct of Jews who may never have set foot in Europe; in fact, Jews per se?
As I have mentioned before, and as someone noted before, when will the world forgive the Jews for the Holocaust or, in a newer version of the same sentiments, when will Europe forgive Israel for the Holocaust?
February 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm
Maybe some people think it is ok to go to a shiva (a service following the death of a Jewish person) in, say North West London or North Manchester) and during Kaddish (prayers said for the dead) shout out a list of everything Jews in general are said to have done and are apparently doing now.
After all, why should any Jew be allowed to lay in peace when other Jews are guilty, guilty, guilty.
Thinking about it, the behaviour of this John Hamilton is really no different that those b*******rds who, in the US, go to the funerals of gay men and scream abuse at the mourners.
Hamilton must be feeling real good with himself at the moment (which I assume he does)
February 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm
I would also like to acknowledge the response of the rabbi who acted with the dignity that the occasion demanded. Despite Hamilton’s almost unimaginable disrespect he did not allow Hamilton to drag the event down to his level.
February 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm
What is the difference between Hamilton shouting “Gaza” and another loony shouting “Christ Killer”?
After all, Jews, even the dead one, did not kill Christ and, after all, even the live ones (well, the Israeli ones) are not committing genocide in Gaza. And even if they did and even if they were, what has it to do with memorializing the victims of Nazism?
February 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm
Mira, thanks for posting this. I was depressed enough about it already, but following Absolute Observer’s links to the JC I am even more depressed…
February 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm
Bob, it was ever thus. Please don’t get depressed, just remember that the only rational response is the one ascribed to (heavens, a sign of age, I’ve forgotten the name) the writer of “Pie in the sky when you die”, the IWW (Wobbly) anthem, as he about to be executed for a murder he probably didn’t commit: “Don’t mourn, organise!”
That should be on every trade unionist’s and (anti-racist) lefty’s gravestone – I hope they put it on mine.
February 6, 2011 at 11:41 am
And talking about gravestone’s and following from “Anonymous’ comment, how is Hamilton’s behaviour any different from daubing graffiti on a (physical) Holocaust Memorial or a Jewish gravestone for that matter? As someone said after Carpentras, attacking Jewish cemetries is a reminder to Jews that even their dead have no place on this earth (or in this case, even the Jewish dead are to be tried and found guilty for crimes that not only they did not commit, but also like most “crimes” of which Jews have been accused, have not been committed at all (in this case,genocide).
February 7, 2011 at 9:45 am
Thanks Brian! It’s Joe Hill – wise words.