Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Perils of Commemoration

I have no problem memorializing the Holocaust. I do, however, have a big problem when the specificity of the Holocaust becomes subsumed into some squishy, "universal," Kumbaya-ish message about generalized hatred against generalized people. I think the Holocaust must be remembered as something that happened to the Jews at a specific time in history for very specific reasons, ones which cannot be equated with what happened in, say, Rwanda or Sudan. If we fail to emphasize the Holocaust's uniquely Jewish nature, the point we are trying to make about it--that it should serve as a warning to mankind to recognize when another Shoah is looming and do its utmost to put the brakes on it--will ultimately be lost.

But, hey, that's just me. And here in Canada, my home and native land, that way of looking at things puts me woefully out of step with those who speak for the Jewish community. For not only are they eager to universalize the Holocaust by having it take its place in the pantheon of genocides, they are so clueless, so hopelessly "multicultural," that they would freight it "human rights" baggage. As if those six million did not die in vain; as if they died so that our planet's and our country's cockamamie "human rights" apparatus could live.

This morning a friend send me a Ceej communique--a reprint of an editorial that appeared in the Halifax paper--in which the outfit pats itself furiously on the back for getting the feds to pony up big bucks (500 Gs, I believe) for a memorial to the St. Louis Jews. In case you haven't seen it, it looks like this and is described thus:
The gears turning on the memorial, called Wheels of Conscience, illustrate how hatred can beget racism, then xenophobia, and then widespread anti-Semitism.
As I commented to my friend, that is utter bollocks, a gross misunderstanding/over-simplification of Judenhass and why the Holocaust occurred. Framing it in this way will do nothing to save the Jews of today from another maelstrom and, in a horrible irony, will ensure that we here in Canada import tons more Jew-hate from the Arab/Muslim world (because to deny these poor people entry--as the Jews of the St. Louis were denied entry--would mean that we're the "racists" and "xenophobes").

Update: For sure let's import lots more Palestinians (they sing such lovely songs).

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