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Monday, April 20, 2009

A week too rich in bitter irony

During the night between Sunday and Monday, New Zealand and Germany joined Canada, Israel, Italy, the United States, Australia, Holland and Sweden in announcing that they would boycott the Durban II conference opening on Monday in Geneva. England and the Czech Republic announced that they would attend, but would only send low-level representatives. France is apparently still undecided.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, probably the world's most prominent Holocaust denier today, arrived in Geneva and met with Hans-Rudolf Merz, the President of Switzerland, a country that did as little as it could to save Jews during World War II so as to maintain it's 'neutrality.'
Ahmadinejad, who plans to address the gathering at its opening session Monday, was greeted by Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz on Sunday upon his arrival in Geneva, much to the chagrin of Israeli and Jewish leaders.

The Ahmadinejad visit to Switzerland amounts to "a pathetic meeting that embarrasses the host," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told The Jerusalem Post.

The respect accorded to the Iranian president "is harmful at a time when all the West is moving away from legitimizing an outright Holocaust denier who is busy planning the next Holocaust," Ayalon said.
Monday, the conference's opening day, and the day on which Ahmadinejad is to address its opening session, is the birthday of Ahmadinejad's idol, Adolph Hitler YMS"H (may his name be obliterated).

Monday night and Tuesday are Holocaust Remembrance Day. If in past years one could express skepticism about the date chosen by the Israeli government to remember Holocaust victims (the date chosen was the Hebrew date in 1953 that matched the Gregorian date on which the Warsaw Ghetto fell; for years the date has been controversial among religious Jewish Israelis because it falls in the month of Nissan - a month in which we do not mourn publicly), this year it adds to the bitter irony of the Durban II conference being held at the same time and could not be more appropriate.

But there is even more bitter irony connected with the Durban II hatefest. One of those present at Durban II is Jamal Zahalka. Jamal Zahalka is a member of the Israeli Knesset and the head of the Balad party. He replaced Azmi Bishara, who fled from Israel when he was about to be charged with treason for helping Hezbullah to aim rockets more accurately during the Second Lebanon War. Zahalka is not in Geneva to defend Israel. On Sunday, Zahalka addressed the crowd at the NGO Civil Society Forum March in Geneva, presenting himself as a 'Palestinian' victim of "Israeli racist apartheid" and concluding his speech by proclaiming: "No peace without justice." How Zahalka could be a member of the Knesset if Israel is such a 'racist apartheid' country, is left to the reader to contemplate.

The leader of the 'Palestinian Authority' - whom the United States and most of the other countries boycotting Durban II view as Israel's 'peace partner' - is the unrepentant Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen:
Abbas wrote his doctorate in 1982 in Moscow, at the Institute for Oriental Studies. The heading of his doctoral thesis was: "Zionist Leadership and the Nazis." The introduction dealt with, among other topics, "the secret ties between the Nazis and the Zionist movement leadership." It further raised doubts that gas chambers were used to kill the Jews. He argued that the gas chambers were not used to kill people, but only to disinfect them and burn bodies to prevent disease.

Abbas's dissertation was adapted into a book and published in Jordan in 1984. Journalist David Bedein noted that the book is currently in use in the Palestinian Authority education system, under the direct control of the PA chairman.

Abbas claimed in his work that the Zionist leadership was interested in convincing the world that a large number of Jews were killed during the war in order to "attain larger gains" after the war and to "divide the booty." His primary claim is that the Zionist movement and its various branches worked hand-in-hand with the Nazis against the Jewish people, collaborating with them for the Jews' destruction, because the Zionist leaders viewed "Palestine" as the only legitimate place for Jewish immigration.
And in the final bit of irony this week (for now), I leave you all to consider why the world continues to give Abu Mazen a free pass on this issue? Because Israel does....


France now says that it will attend, but foreign minister Bernard Kouchner says that he will walk out 'immediately' if the conference becomes a platform for racist comments against Israel. I'd like to start two sets of predictions. First, assuming that Kouchner (not a true friend of Israel) is true to his word, how long should it be before he decides that the conference has become a platform for racist comments against Israel and walks out? And second, how long do you think it will actually take Kouchner to walk out?

My predictions: Within ten minutes it should be clear that the conference is a platform for racist comments against Israel. And Kouchner won't walk out at all.

I hope I am proven wrong.


At 9:30 AM, Blogger Ashan said...

It's time for the Israeli government to get tough on treasonous MKs. Zahalka should be arrested on his return to Israel. If he calls himself a "Palestinian", then he such be expelled to the PA where, I'm sure, he'll be able to howl about his rights till he's blue in the face.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


You're right, but if I'm not mistaken all of the 'Israeli Arab' MK's are in Geneva to denigrate Israel. I singled out Zahalka because it was a short post and he is a party leader.

I'd like to send the rest of the group to the 'Palestinian Authority' along with him.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl... there's the irony of Ahmedinejad thinking the Jews control him. If only that was true, he wouldn't saying such insane and hateful things about them - or for that matter no one else in the world would feel envious towards them.

Then there's the irony of the people who have been on the receiving end of the most vicious hatred in history being falsely accused of hatred, racism and genocide.

It is a week full of bitter irony. And I live with the personal irony of a German face and a Jewish heart. As for the date, Orthodox Jews may have good reasons to want the Hebrew calendar to be unchanged but the only innovations to it are Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israel Independence Day. They are a poignant reminder that evil and good balance out in Jewish history and an aggrieved G-d also brought comfort to His people.

All we can do today is see to it all that happened in the past century never happens again.

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Update breaking headline at the JPost:

Report: Israel recalls ambassador from Switzerland

At 12:12 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Shy Guy, Kol Hakavod! Its the very least Israel could do to demonstrate its displeasure with the Swiss affront to the norms of morality and good taste. There are such things even pertaining to etiquette. One is not obliged to hold a welcome for a Holocaust Denier, racist, anti-Semite and would-be mass murderer.


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