Friday, February 10, 2006

Stop With The Nazis Already

I'm sure by now everyone has heard of Amona. Everyone knows that a lot of violence broke out and whole bunch of people ended up in the hospital. So whose fault was it? I don't know, and while I usually trust the law enforcers over the law breakers, it seems that both sides went over the line.

But that's not the point. Two posts (here and here) I've seen recently comparing the Israeli policemen to the Nazis are really getting to me. One says this is the sickest thing he's seen since the Nazis. Apparently he needs to get out more. The other dubs them the "Israeli Gestapo" (but only the pre-1942 Gestapo). That makes me feel a whole lot better.

A few weeks ago I went to the Museum of the Jewish Heritage in Battery Park in The City (not a good date idea btw). I've been to a whole bunch of Holocaust museums in my life and have watched a whole bunch of movies, documentaries, and the like. But every time I see the pictures, watch the movies, or read the literature, I can't help but to feel this sickening feeling about man could be so completely brutal to his fellow man. How a modern civilization could use its superior knowledge to wipe out a whole group of people who they felt were inferior. The Nazi genocide is the worst act of human violence in history not just because of the scope of the horror, but also because of the intent behind it: to destroy a whole race of people.

We need to put things into perspective. Let's assume the settlers were right and the police came into Amona unprovoked and looking for blood. Let's say they beat completely defenseless people for no reason. Let's assume they did it happily, with glee.

How do we get from that to death camps? To forced marches through snow, rain, or blistering heat? To cattlecars? To forcing people to dig their own graves? To shooting babies for target practice?

I hear these comparisons from people all the time. The Palestinians have been using it for decades. But it hurts much more coming from people whose grandparents survived the Holocaust. I'd venture to guess most of the people making these obscene comparisons have grandparents who were affected in some way by the Holocaust. How would they think of their grandchildren trivializing their suffering?

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