Tag Archives: holocaust

Holocaust Day in Israel

Moments after a two-minute siren in memory of 6,000,000 stories, hopes, ashes, and smoke, it occurs to me that there are two paramount questions of our time that have yet to be adequately answered in the last 70 years and are unlikely to be adequately answered in the next 70 years:

  1. How could so many God-fearing family-loving normative people participate actively or passively in such a monumental evil? I have no interest in the few who instigated and whipped up that evil. They have been dealt with and are no longer among us.
  2. How could so many innocent victims have been blinded by hopes, beliefs, and an inability to see such evil when it was still small and distant? Now, 70 years later, we ask why they didn’t drop everything and run or hide for their lives. Then, over 70 years ago, they asked themselves why run or hide? We are professors, accomplished musicians, decorated war heroes, and proud citizens. They would never do to us what others are saying. They need us. It doesn’t make sense. It was this cognitive dissonance that paralyzed their legs until it was too late to run or hide.

Why?

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23,320

Next week we will commemorate our fallen soldiers and civilians who were killed in wars and acts of terrorism since the inception or the conception of the state of Israel. We do this immediately following the commemoration of the six million Jews who were killed in Europe. We prepare ourselves all week long by listening to stories on the radio and watching video clips of handsome young soldiers and beautiful young girlfriends, poems and letters, twisted metal and smoke plumes, blood, oil, and tears. Then we seem to shrug our shoulders of those unbearable weights and celebrate our Independence Day the very next day with such abandon and insane frivolity as though we received our country on a silver platter for free.

Obviously there is a linkage between those events, the holocaust, the wars and the terror, and the establishment of Israel. Israelis don’t like to dwell on that linkage. Jews went all too gently into the night of the holocaust. Israeli will not go so gently into that night.

23,320 is the number of our soldiers and civilians who have been killed in the current Promised Land. Last year at this time, I wrote another blog post entitled 23,169. This year we had Protective Edge in Gaza. 67 of our soldiers were killed. The rest were killed in incidents that have no names. The incidents seem endless. Sometimes they morph into wars and sometimes wars peter out into incidents. We come to expect these wars and incidents. They make us bitter, but there is no limit to our capacity for bitterness. We really don’t expect our sworn enemies to love us or to recognize us. We don’t expect anyone to beat their swords into plowshares. Neither do we expect to be able to do so ourselves.

We don’t expect to have any friends either. Even if our friends recognize us, they won’t love us. And if we do have a friend who likes us, we are surprised and we wonder whether they really know what we are and how long the friendship will last.

In the end, we depend only on our soldiers, our children. There is no number that can express their loss, only names.

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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The Roots of the Gazan Conflict on One Foot

As a guide to the perplexed, I have compiled a summary of the root causes of the current conflict between Israel and the Hamas in Gaza. I have tried to be as rational and objective as possible, adding only a bit of personal coloring where appropriate while making it clear which parts are objective and which are subjective. I believe this analysis may also prove useful in understanding the other conflicts involving Israel in the Middle East, such as the Lebanese-Hezbollah conflict, the Syrian conflict, and the Iranian-Ayatollah conflict. Without further ado, the Cliff Notes version. If you wish, you may read only the sixteen section titles.

Sixteen. Massive destruction of civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties in Gaza

Much of Gaza’s electricity, water, sewage, and other infrastructure have been devastated. Close to 2000 Gazans have been killed and many more wounded. Nobody besides Hamas really knows how many of the casualties are combatants (Hamas) and how many are non-combatants, although it may be safely assumed that old people, women, and children should be considered as non-combatants.

Subjective note: In a “normal” war, the number of combatant casualties should be significantly larger than the number of civilian casualties, which is the case on the Israeli side, 64:3. If, as Hamas claims, almost all the casualties are civilian, that would imply that Hamas hid underground in the safety of their tunnels and bunkers, while they left the civilians above ground to fend for themselves.

Fifteen. Massive rocket attack on Southern and Central regions of Israel and building a massive infrastructure of offensive tunnels rendering Israel’s border with Gaza ineffectual

Since 2001 Gaza has fired over 15,200 rockets into Israel. In 2014, 450 rockets were fired into Israel preceding Israel’s military response. Up to now, over 1000 rockets have been fired at Israel since the start of 2014.

After Hamas terrorists were seen coming out of piers on the Israeli side from tunnels extending underground from Gazan towns, Israel sought out and destroyed 32 separate attack tunnels with entrances underneath residential buildings, mosques, schools, and hospitals.

Fourteen. Naval, land, and air blockade of Gaza

Israel blocks all imports to and exports from Gaza, whether by land, sea, or air. Israel confiscates any military or dual-use (military-civilian) materials, letting through only items that only have civilian use (food, medicine, clothes, etc).

Subjective note: I agree with Hamas that a blockage constitutes a casus belli (an act of war), but following the Hamas declaration that they would destroy Israel and their apparent actions to do so, Israel believed that a blockade was not only justified, it was required.

Thirteen. Hamas charter calling for the destruction of Israel and massive armament and buildup of offensive military capacity to carry out the charter

Article 7 of the Hamas Charter, written in 1988, ends thus: “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim).” Read the whole charter in English at http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/www.thejerusalemfund.org/carryover/documents/charter.html?chocaid=397.

Twelve. Massive number of Palestinians displaced to refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank from their homes in Israel

The War for the Independence of Israel in 1948 was a monumental catastrophe for the 700,000 Palestinians living in the newly declared state of Israel. The Arab nations surrounding Israel responded to the unanimous decision of the UN for partition of Palestine into the independent states of Jordan and Israel by immediately declaring war on Israel. The Arabs believed the Jews, still weak from barely surviving the Holocaust would be easy prey and called to Palestinians via radio broadcasts to leave their homes, cross the borders into the safety of the surrounding Arab countries, and after a quick and easy victory, they would return to live in the homes of the vanquished Jews. Unfortunately for the Palestinians, Israel somehow managed to survive against all odds and all military logic. In every ensuing conflict in the coming years, Israel grew stronger and the displaced Palestinians gazed longingly at their lost homeland from the refugee camps across the borders until today.

To be fair, Palestinians claim that they were forcibly expelled from their homes by Israelis or hoodwinked into leaving their homes by Israelis, rather than the Israeli version of history as I wrote that Arabs had broadcast over radio that they should leave and later return after an Arab victory.

Eleven. 5 Arab countries declare war on Israel and Israel fights for its existence

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Arab%E2%80%93Israeli_War.

Ten. The UN calls for the creation of the states of Jordan and Israel from former British Palestinian mandate

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UN_Partition_Plan.

Nine. Jews who survived the Holocaust seek refuge in Palestine under British UN mandate

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Exodus.

Eight. German Nazis embark on the Final Solution to exterminate European Jews

See http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/holocaust/timeline.html.

Seven. Rampant unbridled antisemitism, pogroms, and persecution of Jews by Christians and Moslems throughout the Christian and Moslem world

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_antisemitism and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_the_Arab_world.

Six. Eight Crusades and extensive persecution of Moslems by Christians throughout the Christian and Moslem world

See http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/the_crusades.htm and  http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/archives/2005/christian-persecution-against-muslims/.

Five. Mohammed preaches a new religion based on Christianity and Judaism but calling into question the right of non-believers (Infidels) not to believe.

The Holy Quran (Koran) 9:29 states “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

Quran 9:30 states “The Jews say, ‘Ezra is the son of Allah’; and the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the son of Allah.’ That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?

For the whole book see http://quran.com/.

Four. Suspected Jewish involvement in the Roman crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_deicide.

 

Three. Jesus preaches a new religion based on Judaism but calling into question the legitimacy and authority of the Orthodox Jewish theology

See http://www.truegospel.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/basics.tour/ID/2/What-Did-Jesus-Preach.htm.

Two. God promised the Jews the land of Canaan from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Jordan

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Israel.

One. Abraham preaches monotheism and engenders the Jewish people

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotheism.

A numerical analysis of the root causes above shows that the first seven causes (1 – 7) are founded in religion, to be specific monotheism. This “trialectic religionism” (to coin a phrase) is probably responsible for this civilization destroying whirlwind of hatred.

In the last eight causes (9 – 16), Muslims are only capable of seeing the even-numbered events as sufficient causes, while Jews are only capable of seeing the odd-numbered events as sufficient causes. See my explanation for this interesting phenomenon in https://uncollectedworks.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/hypothetically-speaking/.

Event number eight is the only event that doesn’t fit the numerical analysis. The Holocaust was a black hole, a singleton that only Jews are capable of seeing as sufficient cause for everything that followed. Many Muslims believe the Holocaust was a fiction invented by the Jews for their gain (for example the state of Israel). Some Muslims call Israel Nazis in their treatment of Muslims (even though they don’t believe the Nazis did anything untoward to the Jews – subjective note: this demonstrates an inconsistency in their thought processes). Some Muslims say that if there were a Holocaust for the Jews, they (the Muslims) would show the world how it should be done.

Oh and one final explanation: why “on one foot”? A heathen asked Rabbi Hillel to teach him the entire Torah while he stands on one foot. Hillel answered him “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah while the rest is commentary.” I’m just saying that the roots of the Gazan conflict would fill volumes of books, supporting one side or another, while I thought it might be beneficial to some to see the pattern of causes and effects that seemed to have baffled most scholars and well-intentioned diplomats, and rendered the conflict intractable.

From my point of view I would first advise everybody to renounce religion, to look inward for their spirituality, if that is their predilection. Secondly, I would advise everyone to renounce history, in favor of their future. People who are guided only by their history will never escape it. If you want to study history, study your enemy’s history and you will see the limits of his capacity to act.

To free yourself of history, turn to the future.

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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6 Million Memories

“6 Million Memories” was the headline on today’s paper. Today was Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. It started last night at 8 p.m. and ended tonight same time, as do most Jewish religious occurrences. The newspapers are filled with pictures and stories of the survivors and those who honor them. The radio stations and television channels trade their 24-hour news cycles and programming to story after story after story, each one sadder and more heart-rending than the one that preceded it. How can one listen to more than three or four or five stories? Yet how can you change the station or channel or turn it off?

6 million memories: they can’t be the memories of the dead. Their memories are dead with them. Besides, each of the dead had many more memories than just the last one before he or she died. There were also the memories of the infinite cruelty of the guards, the soldiers, the police, the officials, the neighbors, and those who turned a cold shoulder. That would be 6 billion memories at least. No, 6 million memories are the memories of the survivors, living people who remember their murdered parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, and children, people who knew someone who shared a crust of bread or a blanket or a smile, someone who knew a name or a number. These memories are also dying because the numbers of survivors is dwindling, but also because the people who didn’t know someone are running out of interest or compassion.

Some professor was being interviewed on the radio last night while I was driving home from work. He spoke Hebrew in a high shaky voice in a heavy European accent, slowly, haltingly. I don’t remember his name. He told of a rabbi who had said there were non-Jewish people who envied us our holocaust. They wanted to take it from us. The rabbi said, “You know what? They are right … I’d much rather be killed than be a killer.” Maybe that explains why so many Jews walked inexplicably like lambs into the gas chambers without putting up a fight.

Another thing the professor said about the impact of the holocaust on Jewish belief in God: there were those who believed in God before the holocaust but stopped believing in Him after it, there were those who did not believe in God before the holocaust and started believing in Him after it, and there were those who believed before and after the holocaust. I don’t believe God had anything at all to do with the holocaust. He couldn’t have prevented the death of a single infant from the hands of evil. There is no weaker force in nature or physics than the Will of God.

At 10 a.m. the sirens sounded for two minutes around the country. Everybody stopped what he or she was doing, stopped talking, and stood up, heads bowed, arms by their sides. The siren goes through you, resonates in you, until you become this wailing, this music.

I know I would not have survived one day of the holocaust, or maybe I would have.

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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