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The new anti semitism and the moral casualties of the Gaza war

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THE NEW ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE MORAL CASUALTIES OF THE GAZA WAR

Ali A. Mazrui

 Director, Institute of Global Cultural Studies and

Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities, Binghamton University

 Who were the losers in the Gaza war on the eve of the changing of the guards in both Washington and Israel?  The most tragic casualties were of course the people of Gaza who were killed in their hundreds – men, women and children.

The next losers were the majority of Israelis who supported one of the most inhumane conflicts even by the standards of the Middle East.  The Israeli army took full advantage of its superiority in range of weapons and its capacity to destroy – and managed to give real meaning to the concept of “state terrorism”.  More than half of the Palestinians killed were innocent civilians, many of them women and children.

         

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Al jazeera interview jaswant singh

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Singh’s book has provoked a storm of reaction in his own country [EPA]  

Jaswant Singh, a former leader with India’s main opposition party, has sparked controversy in his own country with a book on Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expelled Singh over his book Jinnah: India-Partition Independence, which offered a sympathetic portrayal of Jinnah by an Indian writer.

The local government in Gujarat, a state controlled by the BJP, even moved to ban the book, saying it ran counter to public and national interests.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Singh, a former finance and foreign minister, gave his thoughts on the controversy sparked by his book, as well as on his former political party.

Al Jazeera: When you say that perhaps we need controversy to educate people, that seems to imply that there is some problem for India and Pakistan confronting that history.

Jaswant Singh: We have been manufacturing history, inventing history.

For example, India has demonised Mohammad Ali Jinnah just as Pakistan has demonised Mahatma Gandhi, or [Jawaharlal] Nehru or [Sardar Vallabhbhai] Patel.

They were all Indian. All of them were great Indians. Gandhi and Jinnah were really contemporaries … and Gandhi himself called Jinnah a great Indian.

In terms of the book that you have written, what is more important – that discussion takes place in India about that history or that Jinnah is viewed differently?

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The book has sparked controversy in India over its portrayal of Mohammed Ali Jinnah

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Auschwitz survivor i can identify with palestinian youth

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Auschwitz survivor: "I can identify with Palestinian youth"
Adri Nieuwhof, The Electronic Intifada,

 Hajo Meyer, author of the book The End of Judaism, was born in Bielefeld, in Germany, in 1924. In 1939, he fled on his own at age 14 to the Netherlands to escape the Nazi regime, and was unable to attend school. A year later, when the Germans occupied the Netherlands he lived in hiding with a poorly forged ID. Meyer was captured by the Gestapo in March 1944 and deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp a week later. He is one of the last survivors of Auschwitz.

Adri Nieuwhof:What would you like to say to introduce yourself to EI’s readers?

Hajo Meyer: I had to quit grammar school in Bielefeld after the Kristallnacht [the two-day pogrom against Jews in Nazi Germany], in November 1938. It was a terrible experience for an inquisitive boy and his parents. Therefore, I can fully identify with the Palestinian youth that are hampered in their education. And I can in no way identify with the criminals who make it impossible for Palestinian youth to be educated.

AN: What motivated you to write your book, The End of Judaism?

HM: In the past, the European media have written extensively about extreme right-wing politicians like Joerg Haider in Austria and Jean-Marie Le Pen in France. But when Ariel Sharon was elected [prime minister] in Israel in 2001, the media remained silent. But in the 1980s I understood the deeply fascist thinking of these politicians. With the book I wanted to distance myself from this. I was raised in Judaism with the equality of relationships among human beings as a core value. I only learned about nationalist Judaism when I heard settlers defend their harassment of Palestinians in interviews. When a publisher asked me to write about my past, I decided to write this book, in a way, to deal with my past. People of one group who dehumanize people who belong to another group can do this, because they either have learned to do so from their parents, or they have been brainwashed by their political leaders. This has happened for decades in Israel in that they manipulate the Holocaust for their political aims. In the long-run the country is destructing itself this way by inducing their Jewish citizens to become paranoid. In 2005 [then Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon illustrated this by saying in the Knesset [the Israeli parliament], we know we cannot trust anyone, we only can trust ourselves. This is the shortest possible definition of somebody who suffers from clinical paranoia. One of the major annoyances in my life is that Israel by means of trickery calls itself a Jewish state, while in fact it is Zionist. It wants the maximum territory with a minimum number of Palestinians. I have four Jewish grandparents. I am an atheist. I share the Jewish socio-cultural inheritance and I have learned about Jewish ethics. I don’t wish to be represented by a Zionist state. They have no idea about the Holocaust. They use the Holocaust to implant paranoia in their children.

 

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