Jun 5, 2009

Misusing the Memory of the Murdered

By Stan Goodenough

I almost dare not write this. But I feel I dare not not. What I see is vivid as daylight. I have to let it out.

Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has an ability shared by surely very few if any other men: to invoke with words the deep pain that has etched itself forever on his face.

Friday, he stood beside US President Barack Obama at Buchenwald, recalling how his father had died in that very same Nazi camp, just below him, and yet all alone. For nearly a year, father and son had been through hell together. And then, three months before liberation, it ended for his dad. After enduring the unendurable, his life had slipped away.
“The day he died was one of the darkest in my life. He became sick, weak, and I was there. I was there when he suffered. I was there when he asked for help, for water. I was there to receive his last words. But I was not there when he called for me, although we were in the same block; he on the upper bed and I on the lower bed. He called my name, and I was too afraid to move. All of us were. And then he died. I was there, but I was not there.”
As Wiesel spoke, his voice breaking, the sides of his mouth downturned in the anguish that clearly yet eats away inside him 64 years after that loss, tears must have been flowing in a million or more households where the moment was watched on TV. They surely flowed here.

Even more fell, as I watched Wiesel turn and appeal to Obama; pleading with him:
“Mr. President, we have such high hopes for you because you, with your moral vision of history, will be able and compelled to change this world into a better place, where people will stop waging war…

“And of course this hope includes so many of what now would be your vision for the future, Mr. President. A sense of security for Israel, a sense of security for its neighbors, to bring peace in that place. The time must come. It’s enough — enough to go to cemeteries, enough to weep for oceans. It’s enough”
He sounded so despairing, so trusting, at the same time, so without any real hope.

And this thought knifed through my mind, almost blasphemous, too quick to stop, too piercing to pretend away, too terrible to ignore. My heart felt squeezed, crushed. How awful, how wicked, that the memory of the mass murder of Jews be used to pave the way for the mass murder of more.

I don’t want to believe it, but it won’t go away. The evidence of history - the history of the Jews, the history of the last century, the history of the last 20 years - it’s inescapable for me. Undeniable.

President Obama has set his course to propel Israel by pressure into the death trap of “two-states-for-two-peoples.” Positioning himself as a visionary, as a man of peace, as a man who really cares, he is seducing the world with lies about Islam, seducing Israel with lies about American friendship, and even seducing Elie Wiesel into putting his hope in the new American administration.

Before the survivor spoke, Obama scored Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Holocaust deniers:
“We are here today because we know this work is not yet finished. To this day, there are those who insist that the Holocaust never happened — a denial of fact and truth that is baseless and ignorant and hateful. This place is the ultimate rebuke to such thoughts; a reminder of our duty to confront those who would tell lies about our history.

“Also to this day, there are those who perpetuate every form of intolerance — racism, anti-Semitism, … hatred that degrades its victims and diminishes us all. … This place teaches us that we must be ever vigilant about the spread of evil in our own time, that we must reject the false comfort that others’ suffering is not our problem and commit ourselves to resisting those who would subjugate others to serve their own interests.”
What breath stealing hypocrisy. The president’s condemnation of Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust comes just days after he hosted at the White House a man who chose Holocaust denial for his doctoral thesis and who heads up an organization that consistently lauds Holocaust deniers: Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA).

Abbas denies the Holocaust even as his PA works - as clearly documented by the Palestinian Media Watch (http://www.pmw.org.il/) and even acknowledged two years ago by Hillary Clinton - to poison the minds of their children against the Jews, to brainwash them into believing that they must and will destroy Israel, and to prepare the way to accomplish exactly that, using the two-state-solution as the jumping off point for their final solution.

Friday’s stint with Wiesel must have been very precisely planned - so carefully choreographed. It took to a whole new level Obama’s recent and increasingly high-profile speeches about America’s determination to “help bring peace to the Middle East” - coating them in the oil of compassion; and presenting them as the heartfelt wishes of a world leader moved to the depths of his soul.

How can Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his already divided government hope to resist and withstand such an overwhelming wave of sentiment and emotion?

How will Israel now be able to refuse Obama’s wish, the wish of the world, that it embrace the “solution” mandating the cutting in half of the Jews’ tiny, historic homeland; the suicide of the Jewish state?

This seems so useless; trying to write about it. Yes, I see these things clear as the daylight, but feel pathetically powerless to do anything about it at all.

If only what I put down would pierce, spear, rivet those who read it, drive them to act.

But it dribbles out; ineffectual, embarrassing, weak. Unable to make a difference. Unable to change a thing.

God alone can turn this around. God alone.

Without Him, the Jewish people would never have survived. Without Him, Israel will not survive.

May we indeed see Him act, speedily coming to the rescue of His Chosen People and their Promised Land.

Related News

Obama: Buchenwald "rebuke" to Holocaust denial - AP
Clinton dismisses Israeli argument on settlements - Reuters
Mitchell to visit Middle East, may go to Syria - Reuters
Iran in major nuclear expansion, U.N. oversight harder - Washington Post