The readers of the Boston Globe sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn, for their paper sways dizzily from dhimmitude to anti-dhimmitude — attempting to be even-handed, I guess. When evening quickens faintly in the street, wakening the appetites of life in some and to others bringing the Boston Globe, mount the steps and ring the bell, turning wearily, as one would turn to nod good-bye to Hugh Fitzgerald, if the street were time and he at the end of the street, and tell Cousin Harriet to take solace in this piece: “Muslims and the Holocaust,” by Cathy Young in the Globe, with thanks to Scaramouche:
RECENTLY IN England, four Muslim-staffed committees appointed to advise Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Cabinet on issues related to Islam have come up with a recommendation: Get rid of an official event viewed as offensive to Muslims. What event would that be? A celebration of the Crusades, perhaps? No, Holocaust Memorial Day.
In the words of one committee member, ”The very name Holocaust Memorial Day sounds too exclusive to many young Muslims. It sends out the wrong signals: that the lives of one people are to be remembered more than others.”
That ”one people,” of course, are the Jews.
The committees aren’t exactly proposing that the Holocaust commemoration be scrapped outright. They want it to be folded into a ”Genocide Memorial Day” that will also include such crimes as the slaughter of the Tutsis in Rwanda and the massacres of Bosnian Muslims by the Milosevic regime.
Unfortunately, even against the bloody backdrop of the 20th century, there are strong reasons to regard the Nazi extermination of the Jews as a unique atrocity. It was the first, and so far the only time that, as Cornell University historian Stephen Katz put it in his 1994 book ”The Holocaust in Historical Context,” that ”a state set out, as a matter of intentional principle and actualized policy, to annihilate physically every man, woman, and child belonging to a specific people.”
But the problem with the proposal goes far deeper. The other ”genocides” for which they want recognition include the Israeli killings of Palestinians.
Clearly, Palestinians have suffered under the occupation. Over 4,000 have been killed since the renewal of violence five years ago. Some of these dead were completely innocent victims; others were fighters, violent protesters, or suicide bombers. (Nearly 1,000 Israelis have died as well.) This death toll is tragic; but to call it ”genocide” is to cheapen the word.
This is inadequate. It is true that some were fighters, violent protesters, and suicide bombers. It is also true that some were innocent victims. But the number of those innocents was inflated by the Palestinian Arabs themselves, by their deliberate practice of staging attacks from civilian areas, so that when the Israelis retaliated they would kill civilians — and thus provide useful propaganda.
But in any case, read it all.