The UK Methodist Church has stooped to a new low with this document, whose ignorance is only matched by its malice. Elder of Ziyon has a good post challenging the Methodists' assumption that Sephardi Jews did not suffer in the Holocaust: (with thanks: Amie)
"One of its authors chastises Yad Vashem, Jerusalem's Holocaust museum: "'Israel is the only real answer to the Holocaust' is the message ... This perspective is transmitted to young Israelis through visits to Yad Vashem organised by schools and other groups. When I visited the Centre ... I noticed that many visitors were not of European Jewish descent. As Michael Ipgrave, then Secretary of the Churches' Commission for Inter Faith Relations, wrote in his report of the visit: 'The Holocaust has come to serve as a national story embracing also Oriental Jews for whom this was not part of their family history.' (my emphasis - ed) Peace groups in Israel have to work against this backdrop."
Rabbi Abraham Cooper sets the record straight in the Huffpost:
"Want peace? Decouple Israel from the Holocaust. Curiously, the Methodists' narrative goes beyond Palestinian chutzpah, whose historic revisionism ignores three millennia of continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land, and insists that the Allies manufactured the State of Israel to provide a home for survivors of the WWII Holocaust that these Methodists now want Jews to forget.
"Want peace? Forget the collective memory of losing a third of your people, including 1.5 million children. For it's the "collective memory of the Holocaust [that] also feeds into an ethos of victimhood." Israelis should also turn the other cheek when rockets rain down on their children's school buses; turn a deaf ear when Palestinian imams promise the faithful a day when the rocks will call out to kill the Jews hiding behind them; turn a blind eye when the "moderate" Palestine Authority names streets for martyrs who murdered Israeli civilians; when one third of that same "moderate" population supports the savage butchering of a sleeping Israeli family in Itamar, including the all-but beheading of a 3-month-old baby.
"Forget collective memory. For these religious leaders, only selective memory will set you free:
"Take their reference to "Oriental" -- meaning Sephardic -- Jews. These experts must have forgotten the Sephardic Jews of Greece, 87 percent of whom were murdered by the Nazis. Never mind the Jews of the Maghreb were on Hitler's hit-list. These leaders also remembered to forget that it was Christian countries who slammed their gates shut before desperate European Jews, and that millions could have been saved had there been a State of Israel in the 1930s and 40s."
A couple of points beyond what Cooper said specifically about the Sephardim, Elder of Ziyon adds.
One is that there was a massacre of Jews in Iraq - the Farhud - during the Holocaust that was inspired by the infamous, Nazi sympathizing Mufti of Jerusalem. Here is a direct link between Arab anti-semitism and the Holocaust for Sephardic Jews. But in a broader sense, the outrage that the Methodists feel about how Sephardic Jews are being taught about the Holocaust betrays their own anti-semitism. By mentioning it, the authors indicate that they do not believe that the Jewish people are a nation - the Sephardim, to them, have nothing in common with Jews who lived in some European countries. It is beyond their comprehension that Sephardim might actually care about their fellow Jews on their own, without being indoctrinated by the Zionists!
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My comment: Well said, Rabbi Cooper and Elder.
You might have added that 4,000 Jews were sent to Nazi Labour camps during the German occupation of Tunisia in 1942 and that dozens died. In Libya, 600 Jews died of disease and starvation in the Giado camp and a few Jews were sent to the death camps in Europe . All Jews suffered anti-Jewish quotas and restrictions. Recently Moroccan Jews became eligible for compensation payments for discrimination under Vichy rule. Hundreds of North African Jews were deported from France to the death camps. Even Iraqi Jews living in France were exterminated: My father's uncle was denounced and deported to Auschwitz, while a second uncle witnessed his wife and step-daughter being taken away to their deaths.