Islamic Human Rights Commission
26th June 2003
ALERT UPDATE: ‘PALESTINE-HOLOCAUST CONTROVERSY’
Two British MPs, Oona King (Labour MP for Bethanl Green and Bow) and Jenny Tonge (Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park), have been recently attacked by the Israeli-based Zionist organisation, Yad Vashem, for comparing Israel’s treatment of millions of Palestinian citizens in the occupied Gaza Strip to the Nazi occupation of the Warsaw ghetto during World War II.
The vitriolic attack by Yad Vashem, who had originally invited the two MPs to Jerusalem for the purposes of a pro-Israeli fact-finding mission, was prompted by an article by Oona King, herself Jewish, in The Guardian, ‘Israel can halt this now’ . In her analogy between Israeli treatment of the Palestinians and the Nazi treatment of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, Oona King observed:
”The original founders of the Jewish state could surely not imagine the irony facing Israel today: in escaping the ashes of the Holocaust, they have incarcerated another people in a hell similar in its nature – though not its extent – to the Warsaw ghetto”.
Jenny Tonge compared the situation in the Gaza to South African-style apartheid.
However, Yad Vashem vociferous attack on the two MPs and strenuous denial of the analogy between the Gaza strip and Warsaw conditions is appropriately adept, especially in light of Yad Vashem’s own history of confiscating civilian Palestinian land. The glaring irony is that Yad Vashem purports to be a Holocaust remembrance organisation, but there is no remembrance or memorial to the Palestinians displaced by Yad Vashem or by Israel’s aggression.
A comparison of Israeli treatment of the Palestinian populous in occupied Gaza and that of the Nazis towards the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto reveals startling similarities. These cannot be grossly dismissed as simple anti-Semitism or justified in the name of the defence of Israel.
The following brief comparisons reveal the following similarities:
1. The illegal Israeli confiscation of property formerly belonging to Palestinian refugees in Gaza is directly comparable to the confiscation of the Jewish property in Warsaw (see: ‘The Steps Leading to the Establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto’, Jewish Virtual Library )
2. The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians under the guise of ‘population exchange’, including those who fled to Gaza, is comparable to the resettlement programme to transfer Jews to the Warsaw ghetto (see: ‘The Steps Leading to the Establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto’, Jewish Virtual Library )
3. The system of racial classification used by the Israeli authorities to determine different rules and passes for Jewish and Arabs movements into and out of Gaza is similar to racial permits issued by the Nazis to differentiate between Germans, Poles and Jews entering and leaving the Warsaw ghetto (see: ‘The Steps Leading to the Establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto’, Jewish Virtual Library )
Oona King provides the final comment:
”I have visited Yad Vashem and was profoundly moved by the experience. That’s why it distresses me all the more that some of the policies used to control the Jewish population are similar in nature to the policies used to date to control the Palestinian population. Anyone who denies that is not addressing the facts honestly. ”
We urge our volunteers to express their support for the views expressed by Oona King and Jenny and raise the above points by letters, emails and faxes to your local MP (see below). Urge them to add their voice of support to the plight of the Palestinians:
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
For more information please contact us:
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
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