Co-opting the Holocaust

Ashraf Ramelah’s latest article concerns the Palestinians’ selective and cynical use of the Jewish Holocaust to promote an Islamic anti-Israel agenda.

Holocaust message exploited for Palestinian cause
by Ashraf Ramelah

On April 27, I was honored to take part in Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Holocaust Memorial Park of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, to remember the victims of the Shoah. Hosted by the Stop Anti-Semitism Foundation, a variety of speakers participated prompted by a global increase in anti-Semitism and oppression of Christian minorities. The ceremony ended by the lighting of six candles — each representing one million of the six million lives lost to the genocide almost 70 years ago.

Threaded through speeches were hints of concern that humanity is already allowing similar persecution in a world of silence. Indeed, Christians joined together with Jews on a breezy morning to testify to the reality of present-day threats to Christians and Jews in the Middle East and elsewhere. I made reference to the voices in the Middle East that make a point of negating and denying the Holocaust to further an anti-Semitic agenda and, simultaneously, acknowledge the Holocaust to further an anti-Israel one.

Islamic regimes, which control their media, remain silent while allowing scholars and journalists to write denial papers, most significantly in Egypt. More than two million Arabic-language articles appear on this subject in Google today. In the 150 articles I reviewed, some proclaimed the Holocaust a make-believe story created out of thin air by Jews wanting to establish a Jewish state. These articles span every decade since World War II and represent the stance of Arab-Muslim nations. For example, one predominant viewpoint states that mass extermination by the Germans was necessary to stop a plague of sickness and disease carried by the Jews.

When Islamic spokespersons from governments and organizations make statements positing the horror of the Holocaust, it represents one of two possibilities — a radical change in the regime’s stance (and a reversal of 1,400 years of racial and religious prejudice against Jews and Christians) or a deliberate strategy to advance the anti-Israel position. With the broken silence last month of Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas on Holocaust Remembrance Day, it means the latter.

This year, in a public interfaith meeting among rabbis and Jews, Chairman Abbas spoke, “What happened to the Jews in the Holocaust is the most heinous crime known to mankind in the modern era.” (El Masri Youm, “Holocaust the worst genocide” April 27). Reaction to this by the Arabic press, in particular from Egypt, was disapproval and disappointment — calling it “absurd” from a man whose quotes regarding the Jews have always consisted of Hitler’s words. After all, Egypt gave safe haven to the Mufti of Jerusalem when he escaped from a French prison after seeking to broaden Hitler’s military operations into Arab-Muslim countries. The crime of the Holocaust was fueled by 200,000 Arab-Muslim soldiers assisting the German army — a well-known historic fact never denied by Arab-Muslim scholars or journalists.

The Palestinian leader’s next statement delineated Holocaust racism and projected Palestine’s role against such evil when he said, “the word Holocaust could be translated as a concept of racism on the basis of race, which is what we reject and fight against.” However, this valid and obvious point is perverted by Abbas in the same breath. “What we reject and fight against” justifies attacks on Jews and the Israeli state from the vantage of a moral high road — kill racist Jews and end racism in the Middle-East.

On the rare occasion when historically accurate terms are used by representatives of Arab-Muslim nations in reference to the Holocaust, it is done so in order to link it to Palestinian peril. A telling example of this is a 2012 scenario in Egypt consisting of a verbal exchange between a few Islamic voices exploiting the Holocaust in order to accuse Israel of revenge against Palestine. Pro-Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed ElBaradei, then president of the Al Dastor Party (Egypt’s Constitution Party) and a presidential candidate in the post-Mubarak election, made a statement in the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, condemning Islamists in the Constituent Assembly for denying the Holocaust. ElBaradei stated he feared that, “there are Islamists within the Constituent Assembly who are denying the Holocaust …”

Immediate response came from Facebook postings by MB members mocking ElBaradei’s statement. Attorney Essam Sultan, MB member of the Constituent Assembly, also reacted, stating, “The only thing that we could not include in [Egypt’s] constitution is the requirement to acknowledge the Holocaust, apology to Dr. ElBaradei.” Months after the Facebook attack, knowing well that ElBaradei holds the same views as the Muslim Brotherhood but has publicly stated the opposite, Dr. Essam el-Erian (a high-ranking member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood) agrees but qualifies ElBaradei’s anti-Holocaust-denial statement to the American press in his interview with the Washington Post. El-Erian’s agreement manifests a link to Palestinian victimization. The MB leader said, “Yes, the ethnic and religious Holocaust massacre is real and a great crime … But why accuse us [Arab-Muslims] and why must the Palestinians pay the price for the crimes of Nazis?” (Arabic El Masri Youm, April 27).

Keep in mind that the integrity of such messaging and its calculated banter is strategically dependent upon delivery by the Western press. What amounts to a pro-Palestinian diatribe in this case fits nicely into the daily fixture of a Palestinian advocacy in the West with little to counter it. Irrational rants for the Palestinian cause have no limit of publishers and present a danger for the preservation of the Jewish state.

Now, more than ever, Christians and Jews must pray and advocate for the existence and longevity of the sovereign Israeli state, as well as for human rights and equality for religious minorities in Arab-Muslim countries. This obligation precludes unwitting agreement with proponents of supremacy who deliberately and deviously shroud their beliefs in liberal statements.

Dr. Ashraf Ramelah is founder and president of Voice of the Copts, a human rights organization, and a board member of Stop Islamization of Nations (SION).

Previous posts:

2014   Jan   21   Western Media Distort Egypt’s Constitutional Approval
    Apr   14   Did the Muslim Brotherhood Instigate the Clash in Upper Egypt?
        18   Holy Pascha in Jerusalem

11 thoughts on “Co-opting the Holocaust

  1. “Ashraf Ramelah’s latest article concerns the Palestinians’ selective and cynical use of the Jewish Holocaust to promote an Islamic anti-Israel agenda. ”

    It wouldn’t be so bad if it were only the “Palestinians” who trafficked in this meme. Unfortunately, its use (and abuse) is common throughout the mainstream West. Indeed, it is one small but important cog in the PC MC machine, which is the sociopolitical framework for the dominant Weltanschauung of the entire West in our time.

    • What are you talking about? Holocaust denial is illegal in a lot of European countries, and you’ll be basically crucified by the media in a country where it isn’t illegal if you say anything questioning it.

      Unless you meant the West’s use of the Holocaust to encourage immigration so everyone mixes, removes national/ethnic/cultural differences to avoid another Holocaust, then yes I agree with you, it is being abused.

      • I’m not talking about Holocaust denial nor immigrants in general — I’m talking about one particular population: Muslims, who have over the past couple of decades become the “New Jews” about whom the entire West must anxiously fret lest it treat them like Hitler did the Jews; and in order to avoid such a preposterous scenario, must bend over backwards in deference to Muslims and turn a blind eye to the daily atrocities they churn out around the world, directly tied to the terror jihad they fanatically want to increase in the West if they can.

  2. Dr Ramelah’s legitimate concern over the cynical co-opting of the Holocaust by the so-called Palestinian people extends also to Palestinianists – a term I employ to describe the ubiquitous Western cheer squads for the Palestinian cause that dominate public discourse over the Arab-Israeli conflict. Most gallingly Palestinianists, especially in Norway and Sweden but also in other countries of the West, use the Holocaust and their ostensible anti-anti-Semitism, as a bludgeon to silence critics of mass immigration of Muslims into the West.

    Their rationale is superficially coherent it goes: remember what happened last time in modern European history a minority religious group was disdained and persecuted? Thus if one criticizes Islam or Muslims one therefore possesses an equivalent (or even equal) mindset to Nazi Germans and are therefore by extension encouraging some form of repetition of the Holocaust only this time with Muslims substituted for Jews.

    The above analogy is of course grossly flawed for a host of reasons GoV readers need not have explained to them, but several should be mentioned:

    – Judaism, unlike Islam, is not a socio-political creed that mandates submission of the world to its theological dictates. Less importantly not only does Judaism eschew proselytising, it positively discourages converts;

    – Judaism, unlike Islam, doesn’t demonize and mandate the murder of non-Jews or the relegation of them to Jizya-paying second-class citizens, pardon, subjects;

    – There aren’t and weren’t scores of millions of Jews from socio-economically backward countries trying to immigrate by hook or by crook into the West to become disproportionately welfare-dependent and violently criminal.

    One day I hope to read some Jewish leader calling out those Westerners that cry crocodile tears over the Holocaust and cynically appropriate historical anti-Semitism for their own nefarious agendas: spare us your sympathy we don’t care for it. Unfortunately, for Jews and non-Jews in the West, mainstream Jewish organisations and Jewish communal leaders, eg Bernie Farber in Canada, seem to be at the forefront of supressing the voices of anti-Islamization in the woefully mistaken belief that anti-Muslim “bigotry” is some kind of cousin to anti-Jewish sentiment. (How CAIR and similar organisations must laugh behind the backs of those Jews and Christians who engage in ludicrous “interfaith dialogues” with Muslims.)

    I long for the day when Western Jewish organisations and Jewish communal leadership, indeed Israel itself, invests some energy into highlighting the appalling treatment of Copts in Egypt. And other Christian minorities in Muslim-dominated Middle Eastern and other countries. In fact I don’t understand why Israel doesn’t launch a PR campaign pointing out how badly Copts fare in Egypt compared to how well Christians (and Bahai’s – their world headquarters are in Haifa and a beautiful institution it is) as well as Arab-Muslim citizens (nearly 20% of the total population) are treated in Israel – it would or should certainly take some of the heat off Israel for its supposed mistreatment of the “Palestinians”.

    Every year, at least until 2011 when I last witnessed it and went to the sidewalk to talk to the participants and cheer them on, the Copts of Sydney, Australia, dressed in orange, march peacefully in their thousands down the main street protesting with placards, chants and prayers the systematic mistreatment of their brethren in Egypt. I am unaware of any Christian or Jewish organisation joining in solidarity with them. Worse still, this annual Coptic demonstration/rally is never reported in the MSM, at least there has never been any televised coverage of it. Utterly shameful. It must be completely mystifying to the Copts that their plight is ignored in and by the West, whilst the unruly, hate-filled pro-Palestinian demonstrations always get maximum sympathetic MSM coverage.

    • Jewish leaders and Jewish organisations have always been, to the utmost degree, absolutely useless at best and actively destructive at worst. I’m not only saying this because they almost invariably support the Left, even when the Left opposes their interests. Even during the Holocaust, Jewish leaders did everything possible to obey the orders of the Germans by cataloging every last Jew so they could be easily rounded up into ghettos.

      This was while resistance movements around Europe were actively sabotaging German operations and citizens were refusing to cooperate with German orders.

      The only exceptions are some of the Zionist groups that campaign strongly for Israel. The non-Zionist Jewish groups, however, are almost invariably terrible, and would no doubt work to transition their members to a dhimmi existence under Muslim rule, just as they did under the Nazis and just as they do under the Left.

      • “I’m not only saying this because they almost invariably support the Left, even when the Left opposes their interests.”

        Its a (semi) paradox isn’t it? In every Western country the Jewish community overwhelmingly votes Left, eg USA 80-85%. Our former Foreign Minister noted in his recent memoirs that at least 25% of private donations to our Labor Party comes from Jewish donors and also claimed that a Zionist cabal controls Australia’s foreign policy; notwithstanding that during his tenure Australia under Labor voted to admit “Palestine” to the UN. A wonderful outcome for the Zionist cabal and rolled gold proof of their control.

  3. Hello Julius,
    Arafat did one thing right. He picked the right enemy, the Jews. The Palestine groupies will continue on their merry way. Just today, Israeli president Shimon Peres ( and you don’t get more dovish and flexible than Peres) was refused the use of Swedish airspace en route to Norway an dwas greater by large anti-Israel demonstrations when he got to Oslo.

    I share your sympathy for the Copts, (as a matter of fact, I often thought it would be ideal to settle them in Judea and Samaria and teach them to defend themselves). But there are very good reasons Israel ‘doesn’t mount a massive PR campaign for the Copts’.

    The first and most important reason is Israel’s dicey relationship with Egypt. At present, the al-Sissi government, like the Mubarak government cannot be said to be hostile to Israel, but not they’re not exactly friendly either. Jew hatred is absolutely rife in Egypt, and the Mubarak regime used that frequently for its own political ends.

    The Egyptian government press and media features explicitly anti-semitic propaganda. And because, over General Sharon’s protests, the Egyptian 3rd Army Sharon had trapped in a ring of iron was allowed by Israel’s Labor government to march into Cairo with its weapons intact without surrendering, Egyptians are taught that they ‘defeated Israel’ in the 1973 war. And that Israel was forced to return Sinai to Egypt because of the Egyptian ‘victory’.

    At the same time, Egypt has maintained the peace, and both the Mubarak government and especially the al-Sissi government have done their part to keep heavy weapons out of Gaza, close down the tunnels and maintain the Hamas blockade. Al-Sissi has even had the Egyptian Army working with the IDF to fight al-Qaeda in Sinai, and because of al-Sissi’s stint in the U.S. War College, he has a personal relationship with a number of IDF officers who also attended at the same time.

    Frankly, keeping this relationship on an even keel is a lot more vital to Israel’s security than antagonizing the Egyptians when it would change nothing anyway….especially since a number of Copts in and outside of Egypt have sought to ingratiate themselves with various Egyptian regimes for decades by echoing the sort of vile anti-semitic nonsense as other Egyptians. I’ve certainly run into it myself.

    The problem of living as dhimmis in a Muslim country don’t change. OTOH, al-Sissi, unlike previous Egyptian leaders has made gestures to the Copts and acknowledged their suffering,which is new. Given Egypt’s other challenges at the moment, the Copts are probably not a top priority, but hopefully as things stabilize things will improve for them.

    Certainly we in the West need to keep them in our prayers and before the eyes of the world.


    • ” al-Sissi, unlike previous Egyptian leaders has made gestures to the Copts and acknowledged their suffering,which is new. ”

      Nothing new about the “protection” offered the People of the Dhimma under Islamic law. As Andrew Bostom has shown, al-Sissi is a jihadist like every other Muslim is.

    • Rob,

      I know you are, in the final analysis, correct that Israel’s priority is and should be to keep relations with Egypt on an even keel and thus outspoken support for the Copts could prove counterproductive. My PR proposal should have been embarked upon by Israel after 1957 when Nasser booted out all “foreigners” (see below*) and simultaneously things started getting ugly (or uglier) for the Copts.

      I too have had the, what I regard as bizarre, experience of encountering a Copt whose take on the 1973 war is exactly as you set out. The really troubling aspect was that he was Australian-born and well-educated, an architect, who has never spent any substantial time in Egypt. Being under 40 he was naturally too PC to be an open anti-Semite, but the subtext from his (and his wife’s) narrative on the Arab-Israeli conflict was clear. It was wryly amusing, if you have a dark sense of humour, to have listened to his historical narrative: Sadat launched the 73 war “knowing he couldn’t beat Israel … he only did it to bring them to the negotiating table”, Sadat and Hafez Assad didn’t launch the 73 war “in coordination, as Egypt and Syria had in 1967”, the implication being if they had been coordinated it might have turned out differently (logically negating Proposition No.1) and that it was the American resupply of Israel’s armaments and munitions that saved Israel (ditto). After I politely asked him was he aware that the Americans per made the decision to resupply Israel after learning that the Soviets were resupplying Egypt and Syria and he denied that Egypt in 1973 was armed by the Soviet Union at all I saw no further point in conversing with him on the subject. (His wife did ask me whether I was Jewish, evidently surprised to meet an informed pro-Israel interlocutor and needing some explanation that fitted her weltanschauung.)

      Prior to that he had informed me that Israel’s destruction of the Egyptian Air Force on the ground in the 1967 was was due to “the Americans [giving] Israel the secret codes”. I ignored that, for fear of hearing what fantastic “secret codes” of the Egyptians the Americans might have possessed, rather I explained to him that Israeli intelligence had noted that the Egyptian air force at every one of its air bases undertook their morning practice flights at the same time every day so the Israelis simply timed their air attack for the moment that the Egyptian planes would have just landed and be on the tarmac being refuelled. This, apparently, was a revelation to him and actually caused him to pause and consider that this might be a plausible alternative explanation to the “secret codes” one.

      Yes, it was a huge mistake for Israel that Sharon was refused permission to tighten the ring on the encircled Egyptian 3rd Army and force their surrender in toto. Akin to, but infinitely worse than, cornering the neighbourhood bully, managing to disarm him and then kindly telling him “You be a good boy from now on, off you go!” instead of giving him a thrashing that he’d never forget.

      *Until I met a Greek in 1979 whose family had lived in Egypt for generations I had erroneously believed Nasser that had kicked out just the Jews. It was in fact the entirety of the substantial Greek, Italian, Armenian and Jewish communities, ie all non-Muslim minorities. I subsequently learned from an Egyptian-born Jewish man (son of an Egyptian-born Jewish man) that those four aforesaid communities of Cairo preponderantly lived together, very harmoniously, on a large island in the Nile River with a Coptic element also dwelling there. Like Idi Amin kicking the Ugandan-born Indians and Sri Lankans out of Uganda, Nasser’s Muslim-Nationalist action sent Egypt into a downward economic spiral. Egypt didn’t sink as low as Uganda economically, in large measure due to the industriousness of the Copts; not that Egyptian Muslims would ever acknowledge it as they are mired in resentment of the relative prosperity of the Copts. Like Idi Amin, Jomo Kenyatta (of Kenya) and Julius Nyrere [?] ( of Tanzania) in relation to the Indians and Sri Lankans they expelled en masse, they imagine that if you can simply appropriate the factories, hotels, businesses, shops, etc owned by the wealthy ethno-religious minorities all will be just dandy.

  4. Chairman Abbas spoke, “What happened to the Jews in the Holocaust is the most heinous crime known to mankind in the modern era.” (El Masri Youm, “Holocaust the worst genocide” April 27).

    This is not true. More German non-soldiers died than Jews did, more Russian non-soldiers died, etc. If you wanna talk about non-“casuatlies of war”, the Holomodor(the Bolshevik-led genocide in Ukraine), was much worse, even the Rwanda genocide combined with what happened in the eastern DRC around the same time is about the same casuatlies-wise as the Holocaust.

    There’s just too much propaganda on both sides of the spectrum.. If everyone told the truth this world would be a much better place.

    • I’ve checked a couple of websites, and German civilian deaths in WW2 appear to have been between 3-4 million; horrific enough, but fewer than Jewish losses due to the actions of the Nazis, let alone the many Roma, Slavs and other “Untermenschen”.

      One could go further into the justifications for the RAF’s mass night bombing of German cities (“they did it to us first”) and contrast this with the Americans’ attempts to precision-bomb strategic targets by day- a distinction the US didn’t make with Japan- but really, what’s the point today, when even the “neutrality” of journalists and medical workers in war zones is not respected?

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