From Warszaw to Gaza

This summer I started reading the horrific “The Boy” by Dan Porat, about the liquidation of the ghetto in Warszaw. It traces the story of three Germans that take part in the liquidation, and of a number of Jews that survive it. It is interesting by the way to see how the Nazi movement turned the social structures in Germany upside down – by joining the Party, someone from a poor and hounded background could take out their revenge on those that held them down before. The most prominent Nazi in the story is a man called Stroop, who compiles a report in triplicate to document his “achievement” as the main executor to of the ghetto – one copy is in the National Archives in Washington DC. In it he details the liquidation of 65.000 Jews, complete with pictures, including the famous one of the little boy with his hands in the air.

In a flash, while reading, I thought – this is why the Jews (of Israel) will never again place themselves at the mercy of others. This is why they have fought tooth and claw to create a safe haven. Since then I have thought about that again, and it is clear that many Jews are doing precisely that, by living in e.g the USA, France and for that matter, Norway. Probably the most dangerous place in the world to be a Jew today, is Israel.

Then the bombs started raining on Gaza (again), and my old devil turned up on my shoulder – why is the life of a Palestinian civilian less worth than say the life of a Jew in Warszaw? The suffering of the Jews was beyond adjectives. Yes. I knew that already, by the way. But why then are they killing people indiscriminately in Gaza, using the latest, most hideous weaponry (white phosphorous?), and shooting children with sniper rifles? It made me feel sick, and I just lost all desire to read Porat´s book.

Some years ago during the second Intifada, the spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Norway, presumably not speaking on behalf of the one million Palestinians in Israel, explained why it was perfectly OK to shoot dead children armed with rocks. I really struggle not to put into words analogies between this and the worst regimes the world has seen.

In my view, Israel is desecrating the memory of those that died in name of their Jewishness, and its moral position is utterly empty.

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