Pictured below: A Jewish Settler mom shows her son how to have fun at the local market in Hebron. Israeli Settlers are very good at stopping independent media outlets from filming them and what they do.
What is Israel’s relationship to the Holocaust?
Present-day Israel has few connections with the Holocaust, its professed Jewish heritage notwithstanding. Very few Holocaust survivors are still living. After the war, many survivors migrated into the West instead of going to Israel. Many more wanted to access the West, but a number of influential Zionist organizations supported harsh immigration quotas so as to obligate Holocaust surivivors to move to Palestine.
Israel has always been selective in its commemoration of the tragedy—often using it to score political points against the Palestinians, who live on land which it wants to acquire. Israel’s present leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, once even made the just-plain-crazy statement that the Holcaust was inspired by a Palestinian! Lots of Israeli politicans and advocates opportunistically exploit the tragedy for their own ends, thereby debasing its memory.
Psychology tells us that suffering evokes empathy. This is of course bunk. Collectively, Israelis are cruel to Palestinians (see the photos) as they ever-so-slowly drive them from their homes and take their land. The defining conviction of many Israelis and Jews is that they are the Chosen People of God (indeed, some believe that only they have endured suffering, and that the Holocaust is a unique genocide). This conviction does not produce empathy, it produces arrogance. It is used to justify marginalizing the Palestinians while taking their land.
But didn't God give Jews this 'Promised Land' in the Bible? If we're going to use the Bible as the basis for modern life, things are going to immediately get rather strange. The Bible also says that we should not touch pigskin (so you can forget football!). To someone who seriously contends that modern political and social life should be dictated by ancient religious scrpit, there is of course no answer. One can only point out that the Bible verse that says God "blesses those who bless Israel" does not dismiss the I Kings verse that says God will take the land away from Israel if they treat others unjustly. If Jews are entitled to take over Palestine because they were 'there first', do Americans need to return New York to the Indians?
Jewish Americans exert tremendous influence in the U.S. media and press. It is difficult to find out what is really happening in Palestine, short of actually going there. Information-wise, the only realistic news source on happenings in the West Bank is Maan News (and, facing pressure from the Israel-collaborating Palestinian Authority, even it is significantly compromised), online at https://www.maannews.com/ But nothing prepared me for what I saw when I roamed the West Bank for about ten days in 2014. If you are a U.S. citizen it is fairly easy to enter (past Israeli immmigration and security--though they do vigorously question you). The Palestinians are surprisingly friendly to foreigners, though they are clearly under political duress--with some signs of visible fear and reluctance to talk about their situation or anything relating to politics--a dynamic undoubtedly heightened today. In places like Hebron and Nabi Saleh, you can watch the IDF tear gas and abuse Palestinian kids. The IDF uses epic amounts of tear gas on the Palestinians. I experienced the Pennsylvania-made gas once, and woa! does it burn (much worse than the stuff I've wiffed in Latin America on a couple of occasions). They also use a U.S.-made concoction called "Skunk spray", which is actually rotting dead corpse spray. You can smell it days later after a village or refugee camp has been bombed with it--and even then it still makes you nauseous. To my surprise (being an English-speaking American), Israeli settlers on the West Bank were not very accessible. They live in compounds and generally don't seem to want to talk to visitors or outsiders. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem you can experience a religious Disneyland! I still remember watching a middle-aged Asian man loudly commanding his wife to "Kiss it! Kissi it!" as he took her picture while she knelt at the 'Stone of Unction', where (fat chance) Christ's body supposedly laid. It is indeed a fun and funny world, occupied by a highly irrational, remarkably banal, and wholly self-destructive human species. It will be quite a shame if the current President of the United States--with the mental development of an eight-year-old and the emotional development of a four-year-old--does something stupid that ends it all.
Pictured above: Israel has repeatedly used U.S.-supplied White Phosphorous on Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip—which is a good testing laboratory for military hardware.