Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Lebanese civil war, the Ayatollah, and the holocaust. Now, him. Ayatollah Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah has added his voice to the silly notion that the Lebanese civil war was a war of "the others" on the Lebanese land. That was never the tenor of his discourse when I interviewed him more than 3 times in the past. He said that it was a war planned by Henry Kissinger. He added that there are "documents" that prove that. Even after Kissinger dies, there will be some Arab conspiracy theorists who will still argue that Kissinger is running the Middle East. On the stupid statements of the Iranian president, he expressed surprise and dismay that people can't dispute the number of the victims of the holocaust. This is what I have to say about this: aside from all the obvious reasons, why? I mean, why do you want to dispute the number of the victims of the holocaust? Don't we also condemn those Zionists who want to prove that Jenin was not a massacre because "only" 54 were killed--which was the line of the US government by the way? I know that it is difficult for many Arabs to address the issue of the holocaust because Israel has used, abused, and exploited the holocaust for cheap political reasons. But if that is true, and it is, why do we have to punish the victims of the holocaust? The victims of the holocaust are not responsible for Zionist exploitation. We should let them rest in peace, and be respectful of their memory, and leave the holocaust out of our polemical squabbles and ideological wars. We have to reach a point where we--as Arabs--can understand Jewish suffering in the holocaust, and even be sensitive to anti-Semitism in general without having to worry about Zionist political exploitations. The two are--or should be--separate. And when we engage in the hateful talk that seems to either denigrate Jewish suffering or question the magnitude of suffering of the victims of the horrors of the holocaust, we only supply Zionist exploitations with more weapons. And I wish I can make this point without references to the polemics of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Most importantly, those who engage in anti-Semitic questioning of the methods or numbers of the holocaust only reveal their ignorance, let alone their insensitivity, just as those who decide to "cite" the trash named The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as Hamas does in its charter, also reveal their ignorance. Having said that: this bothers me about Arab "liberals" like Hazim Saghiyyah and the crowd of Mulhaq An-Nahar. They show more outrage at the stupid talk of Middle East anti-Semites, than they do at actual Israeli killing of Palestinians. But then again, Arab "liberals" more than anything else, they write to impress Western readers. `Abdur-Rahman Ar-Rashid now has an English site just so that Thomas Friedman can read him and praise him, which he does, along with David Ignatius, with predictable regularity. But I notice that the English site of Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat does not carry this article by this columnist who does not accept the number of holocaust victims. (I notice that MEMRI tends to go easy on Middle East publications that are pro-US and anti-Palestinian like Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat). Supporters of Palestinian liberation, and I count myself as a fierce supporter of the Palestinian cause, should not hesitate from vehement rejection and denunciation of anti-Jewish trash talk. And let me say this, please end this cult of Roger Garaudy among some circles in the Arab world. He was a Stalinist fanatic as a communist; and became a fanatic crackpot as a Muslim. OK? Also, don't you hate it when Israel and Zionist organizations act sanctimonious about hate speech? I mean, what is Zionism if not an institutional practice of persecution and denigration of another people in order to uproot them, and justify the theft of their lands?