The abuse, both of Judaism and the Holocaust, by more extreme adherents of the fundamentally racist political philosophy of Zionism, continues. And the mainstream media, unthinkingly, and not only in South Africa, but elsewhere, continues blindly to use terminology that supports this particular ideological view.
But Judaism is a religion to which Jews of the political left, right and centre belong. And the Holocaust is one of the greatest human tragedies in which Jews were not the only victims. The fantasy is that Jews constituted the only national or racial category — an article of faith to both Nazis and Zionists — who were murdered in the death camps of Germany’s Third Reich. But, on exactly the same basis of being an inferior racial or national category, the Roma or Sinti, commonly known as Gypsies, were also slaughtered, along the “racially impure” offspring of World War I African-American soldiers and German women.
Then, of course, for mainly ideological reasons, there were the socialists, communists and trade unionists, among them people professing various religious beliefs and none. They too ended their lives in the death camps of a regime based on the ideology of race, nation and intolerance of diversity. Against this background, the mission statement of the South African Holocaust Foundation makes perfect sense. It states that the object is to “build a more caring and just society in which human rights and diversity are respected and valued”.
Zionists, because of their adherence to an ideology based on the fallacy of race and nationhood, do not quality. And, for Zionists to claim ownership of the Holocaust as well as to equate Israel with Judaism is not just false, it is an obscenity.
Yet it is an obscenity supported by such leading academics as Milton Shain of the University of Cape Town who has done himself a disservice by frankly crude propagandistic responses any who dare challenge the simplistic Judaism=Zionism=Israel equation. What I and others have pointed out is that the ideologies of both Nazism and Zionism use the fallacy of race and nation. And there are numerous other historical examples of this, ranging from apartheid South Africa to northern Ireland.
The same sort of thinking goes back to the time of the Christian crusades — to the time of the “Franqui” — who used the same religion-infused concept as Zionism to lay claim by Christians to the “Holy land”. In this context it should not be forgotten that the early Zionist attempts to establish a “homeland” for a proclaimed religious “nation” were in Argentina and Uganda.
Subsequently, the historic persecution of Jews in Europe was used as the justification to do a deal with imperialist powers to lay claim to what had been, up to Word War I, the Palestinian region of the Ottoman empire. Europeans of Jewish background — on the basis of Zionism — then displaced the people (who had perhaps lived as Jews, Christians and Muslims through the ages) of that region.
This was a hardly unique, although harmful, development in human progress. It is merely part of our sad, tragic history, history we should be dedicated to try never to repeat; to seriously mean it when we say: Never Again.