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Yad Vashem Condemned
Last uploaded : Friday 22nd Apr 2005 at 05:24
Contributed by : Carol Gould


In the same week that saw the world moved by the deaths of Terry Schiavo and Pope John Paul II, an article appeared in a Palestinian magazine condemning a ceremony that had been held to open a new museum at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, attended by many internationally renowned dignitaries.

As the world recalled the remarkable trip by the late Pope John Paul II to Israel and his stirring visit to the Western Wall, an event that acknowledged that the centuries-long schism between Judaism and Catholicism might be drawing to a close, Palestinian writer Tariq Shadid chose to pen a vituperative piece about Yad Vashem.

It has to be made clear that Yad Vashem is to Jews what no other memorial anywhere in the world can possibly equal in impact and significance to any group or nation. It is the world?s main memorial to six million Jews exterminated by the Nazis, including over one million children and babies. Yad Vashem is all the more meaningful because it sits in the ancient land of the Jewish people.

Tariq Shadid has decided that the portions of the Holy Land that Palestinians are asking to have returned to them after centuries of bloody wars against the small settlements of enlightened European Jews are not enough and that the worst crime of all is the snatching of Palestinian land to create Yad Vashem.

One does not have to be Jewish to recoil at such a concept. How would Americans react if the French decided that all 10,000 graves at Omaha Beach be disgorged and the remains of the soldiers of the Liberation be exhumed and sent elsewhere so that French people could have some extra beach space?

It beggars belief that anyone could even sit down at a keyboard and pen an article that suggests that the very existence of Yad Vashem is an affront to Palestinian dignity and that commemorations therein are an outrage and insult to their history.

Just what do the people of the Territories want? Shadid says he is outraged because Yad Vashem is situated 140 metres from Deir Yassin, where 254 Palestinians were ?brutally slaughtered by Zionist terror organisations? in 1948. He goes on to suggest that if this is not coincidence, it is the result of ?ideological pathology? and is reminiscent of ?symbolical sick acts of mass psychological violence.? Of course, he cannot go three paragraphs without referring to the founding of the State of Israel as ?ethnic cleansing.?

Something very sinister is afoot in the world?s media. I am tired of it and find it deeply offensive and downright frightening. Every day, in every corner of the world?s media, someone is trying to drive home the idea that greedy, rapacious and ruthlessly violent Jews set out to displace and massacre Arabs to make room for a Jewish State. Little is said about the efforts of the United Nations to establish a legitimate Jewish homeland after the European genocide that saw nearly all of European Jewry exterminated. Had the war gone on for years, African and other nations of Jews would have been wiped out by Eichmann?s meticulously engineered master plan to eradicate Jews from the face of the earth.

So, Mr Shadid thinks that a bunch of angry Jews got together in ?48 and decided to thump a bunch of Arabs just for pathological fun. No media today ever mention the violence and total malevolence shown to the Jews by the Arab nations. Not one had the decency to welcome their Semitic cousins but instead declared open season on continuing Hitler?s work. When Gamal Abdel Nasser called on the Arab world to rise up and exterminate Israel in the 1960s and the Six Day War ensued, the European and British media subsequently used the miraculous victory by the tiny Jewish nation against a brace of gigantic Arab dictatorships as a reason to condemn the Zionists as expansionists and genocidal fascists.

In his article Tariq Shadid says that the governments who send their representatives to Yad Vashem to take part in Holocaust-related commemorations ?owe the Palestinian people an apology for showing their contempt for the Palestinians.?

Many Jewish and Israeli people, including a prominent British rabbi attended a large gathering in London?s Westminster Cathedral to commemorate the ?Naqba? or ?Disaster? -- the word used by Palestinians for the events at Deir Yassin and for the concept of the establishment of a Jewish state. How many Arab and Palestinian attendees are there at Holocaust memorial events?

The ultimate outrage in Shadid?s article comes when he says that the Jews are ?granted the exclusive privilege of keeping their traumatic past alive.? This is bone-chilling.

Does Mr Shadid really think that any Jew born after 1945 can and will ever forget the atrocities of the Holocaust? If these events are forgotten then civilisation has no future. Had six million Arabs been put in torture cells and gas chambers would Mr Shadid have liked the world to forget? He is exercised about the 248 dead of Deir Yassin but suggests that the Jews are given some sort of international licence to grieve that should now be summarily withdrawn.

He reminds us that the respect shown at the Yad Vashem museum to the memory of the six million is part of the ?crooked? attitude of the world?s leaders and that ?the events surrounding the opening of the new Yad Vashem museum can barely illustrate this more clearly.?

Mr Shadid clearly illustrates his utter contempt for world Jewry and for the collective memories of every Jew alive today. No Jew anywhere in the world can ever pass a day without a thought for one?s dead relatives and for the unspeakable tortures and cruelties perpetrated against innocent Jewish citizens of every European country.

If peace is to be made between the Palestinians and the Israelis the Arab world has got to start showing compassion and understanding towards an industrious, civilised, intellectual and artistic people who have tried to live in peace alongside them in Arabia for a century but who have incurred nothing but their senseless wrath.

Mr Shadid?s wrath is one of the most heinous attacks on the Jewish soul to appear in print in recent years. That he can condemn anything related to Yad Vashem is a kind of spiritual poisoning . One can only pray for him to find some inner peace as the People of the Book, the Jews, prepare to celebrate the ancient festival of Passover.
The original Shadid article link:



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