Concentration camp remark threatens Popes visit to Israel – Times OnlinePosted: January 9, 2009
“Israeli officials said that they were ‘deeply shocked that a man of religion is using the vocabulary of Hamas propaganda’. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which monitors antiSemitism and hunts down Nazi war criminals, said that Cardinal Martino had used the language of a ‘Holocaust denier’.”
It seems Denial works both ways.
What is certain is that politics-as-usual is playing a Denial-cum-cynicism game with earnest remarks assuming the contrary. When one theocracy criticizes another theocracy’s politics, the exposure of the lie hurts all the more. All forms of religious fundamentalism and ultra-nationalism have an auto-responder set of phrases for certain criticisms, so Zionists are not unique in this regard. But the Vatican is also a sovereign theocratic state, so the comparison hurts them all the more.
There are two lies that Zionist rhetoric auto-responds with.
The first is the Anti-Semitism lie.
Zionist theocratic discourse assumes any criticism via reference to concentration camps as being anti-Semitic. Concentration camps were used to incarcerate Poles, Roma, Communists and Homosexuals as well as Jews. The reference is not anti-Semitic but rather anti-Fascist. What is painful to Zionist ears is being called the very thing that caused them so much harm. But I’m sure Cardinal Martino understands this about them, so he was poking them rather deliberately with his use of the term, and understanding that discourse made the comparison necessary.
The concept that Palestinian civilians are being used as human shields is the other lie.
Considering that the Palestinians and their leadership have nowhere to go and no other means of creating military pressure, Israel’s continuous response with excessive military force, as it denies that their anti-Arab policies have caused harm to Palestinians, is hypocritical. There was never a time when Palestinian civilians were protected from Israel military force prior to the rise of Hamas, and there is no reason to assume that the elimination of Hamas will stop the military response to any Palestinian political expression as in their response to the two Intifadas.
Let’s try to bring this rhetoric back to reality.
Hamas is firing rockets to pressure Israel into finally talking honestly about the conditions they have forced Palestinians into for many years. This is the only military recourse they have in response to the blockade that Israel has imposed. Israel knows this, and has taken advantage of that response to escalate the conflict, so that when talk finally happens, they can make concessions that would not be there otherwise. States are like that; they use military force as pieces on a political chess board and the civilians are basically just in the way.
It may not happen but, since even the Vatican has expressed that Israel’s continued denial of years of anti-Arab policy is the root of the problem, there may be hope. Perhaps this criticism by one western theocracy will help convince another state with theocratic tendencies to threaten Israel with a removal of military aid that will finally bring about an honest discussion. It will have a new President in two weeks. There may be hope.