Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Mark Steyn alert

If you surf over to the Telegraph you'll find another great Mark Steyn column:

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. I have some sympathy for that 62 per cent. Killing six million people is a moral stain on one's nation that surely ought to endure more than a couple of generations. But, on the other hand, almost everything else about the Germany of 60 years ago is gone - its great power status, its military machine, its aggressive nationalism, its need for lebens-raum. The past is another country, but rarely as foreign as the Third Reich. Why should Holocaust guilt be the only enforced link with an otherwise discarded heritage? *** From time to time, the late Diana Mosley used to tell me how "clever" she thought the Jews were. If you pressed her to expand on the remark, it usually meant how clever they were in always keeping "the thing" - the Holocaust, as she could never quite bring herself to say - in the public eye, unlike the millions killed in the name of Communism. This is a fair point, though not one most people are willing to entertain from a pal of Hitler. But "the thing" seems most useful these days to non-Jews as a means of demonstrating that the Israelis are new Nazis and the Palestinians their Jews. Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, has told the Home Secretary that his crowd will be boycotting Thursday's commemorations because it is racist and excludes any commemoration of the "holocaust" and "ongoing genocide" in Palestine. Ah, well. He's just some canny Muslim opportunist, can't blame the chap for trying it on. But look at how my colleagues at The Spectator chose to mark the anniversary. 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".
Read the whole thing. These samples don't do the whole article justice. UPDATE: BeefAlwaysWins has an interesting post about Koffi Annan's belated acknowledgment on the UN's behalf that the Holocaust was actually directed at Jews (although it ended up sweeping in many others, such as the handicapped, Gypsies and homosexuals). ~rich was nice enough to wonder what my take on the this is. I include my take on this subject in the context of this Mark Steyn post because I can only echo what Steyn has to say: the UN statement, like the European ceremonies commemorating the 60th anniversary of Auschwitz's liberation, are all so much window dressing, utterly devoid of content. As -rich himself notes, actions speak louder than words, and the incessant drumbeat of anti-Semitism (often dressed up as pro-Palestinian sentiment) is stronger and louder than any platitudes about an event 60 years ago. UPDATE II: In keeping with my statements in UPDATE I, I found the following at the New York Post:
Sixty years after the world learned that bored Germans flung Jewish babies into the air for target practice at the Auschwitz death camp, our oily pals at the United Nations have officially acknowledged the Holocaust. Enjoy it quickly, because if yesterday was any indication, the anti-American, anti-Semitic rats infesting the banks of the East River — a species alternately known as the "French," "Germans" and "Libyans," among others — will forget the lessons of Auschwitz, or just insist the camp didn't exist. Only one man spoke the truth about anti-Semitism. But that man was not Israeli or American, but Italian. Who knew? *** Seats in the General Assembly were half-full. Jordan and Afghanistan were the only Arab governments whose reps spoke. And then Marcello Pera, speaker of the Italian Senate, spoke up. "We have an obligation to admit that anti-Semitism is still with us," Pera said. "Today, it also feeds on such subtle and insidious distinctions as are often made between Israel and the Jewish state, Israel and its governments, Zionism and Semitism. Or, it crops up when the struggle for life led by the Israelis is labeled 'state terrorism.' " Even Europe's Constitutional Treaty cannot make reference to the continent's Judeo-Christian roots, he railed. "If we believe that our core values are no better than others; if we start thinking that the cost of defending them is too high; if we give in to the blackmail or fear, then we have no more instruments to counter the anti-Jewish racism which continues to poison us than we have to counter the fundamentalist and terrorist racism which puts peaceful co-existence at risk."