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Right Intention: Mark Steyn

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Mark Steyn

Another brilliant op ed from Mark Steyn:

According to a poll by the University of Bielefeld, 62 per cent of Germans are "sick of all the harping on about German crimes against the Jews" - which is an unusually robust formulation for a multiple-choice questionnaire, but at least has the advantage of leaving us in no confusion as to how things stand in this week of panEuropean Holocaust "harping on". The old joke - that the Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz - gets truer every week...

..."Enforced" is the operative word. If most Germans don't feel guilty about the Holocaust, there's no point pretending they do. And that's the problem with all this week's Shoah business: it's largely a charade. The European establishment that has scheduled such lavish anniversary observances for this Thursday presides over a citizenry that, even if one discounts the synagogue-arsonists and cemetery-desecrators multiplying across the Continent, is either antipathetic to Jews, or "sick of all the harping on", or regards solemn Holocaust remembrance as a useful card to have in the hand of the slyer, suppler forms of anti-Semitism to which Europe is now prone...

...They ran a reminiscence by Anthony Lipmann, the Anglican son of an Auschwitz survivor, which contained the following sentence: "When on 27 January I take my mother's arm - tattoo number A-25466 - I will think not just of the crematoria and the cattle trucks but of Darfur, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Jenin, Fallujah."

Jenin? Would that be the notorious 2002 "Jenin massacre"? There was no such thing, as I pointed out in this space at the time, when Robert Fisk and the rest of Fleet Street's gullible sob-sisters were going around weepin' an' a-wailin' about Palestinian mass graves and Israeli war crimes. Twenty-three Israelis were killed in fighting at the Jenin camp. Fifty-two Palestinians died, according to the Israelis. According to Arafat's official investigators, it was 56 Palestinians. Even if one accepts the higher figure, that means every single deceased Palestinian could have his own mass grave and there'd still be room to inter the collected works of Robert Fisk. Yet, despite the fact that the Jenin massacre is an obvious hallucination of Fleet Street's Palestine groupies, its rise to historical fact is unstoppable. To Lipmann, those 52-56 dead Palestinians weigh in the scales of history as heavy as six million Jews. And what's Fallujah doing bringing up the rear in his catalogue of horrors? In rounding up a few hundred head-hackers, the Yanks perpetrated another Auschwitz? These comparisons are so absurd as to barely qualify as "moral equivalence"...

...But, if I were a European Jew, I would feel this week's observances bordered on cultural appropriation. The old defence against charges of anti-Semitism was: "But some of my best friends are Jewish." As the ancient hatreds rise again across the Continent, the political establishment's defence is: "But some of our best photo opportunities are Jewish."




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