Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Shoah memorial visit by imams raises questions
The Jewish author and philosopher Professor Shmuel Trigano was perturbed by the visit by Muslim imams to the Shoah memorial at Drancy last month, whence thousands of French Jews were deported to their deaths. The visit, he argues, misses the main bone of contention between Jews and Muslims : the legitimacy of the state of Israel, called into question by 14 centuries of Muslim antisemitism. Trigano might have added that the visit also fails to address Arab and Muslim complicity with the Shoah. Article in JForum:
Superficially, the tour violated a taboo boldly ideological and political widespread in the Muslim world: the denial of the Holocaust is part of the worldwide Jewish conspiracy doctrine in favor of Zionism.
On the second level, a fundamental question arises: how would to "recognize" the Holocaust or sympathize with its memory be an act of reconciliation, "recognition" promoting Jewish-Arab brotherhood in France, an act against the antisemitism of the Muslim world? Is the Holocaust the central issue of hostility of the Arab-Muslim world towards the Jews?
This question has a "double bottom". The imams' gesture, after all, is determined with respect to a given reality, ie to what they hear Jews saying - their representatives, public opinion, the French State (represented by minister Valls ) who have suggested that this was the crux of the problem. But the pain in Muslim-Jewish relationships is not the Holocaust but the legitimacy of the State of Israel, the recognition of historical truth and the right of the Jewish people and Judaism to freedom. It is also the bone of contention resulting from the anti-Semitism that Jews have suffered for centuries under the rule of Islam. A million Jews were expelled from the Arab world in the twentieth century. The fact that 600,000 of them have found refuge in Israel has to be understood in the context of the permanent war of extermination being waged by the Arab world against Israel. (My emphasis - ed)
But this subject is generally obfuscated. To place recognition of that fear in the same basket as the Holocaust deepens the hatred of the (Muslim) "suburbs": it turns the Jews into absolute victims, while the Arab world, the post-colonial world, have engaged in competitive victimhood with them, even to the point of making Israel the epitome of the Nazi executioner or to the extreme left, to see in the sacred Holocaust a "colonial crime."
The Imams have not crossed that threshold. They kept to the script at the Memorial: they prayed, they exalted Islam as a "religion of peace", and the ceremony ended with an official dinner in honor of the birthday of the Prophet of Islam - at the cost of heavy blurring of its meaning on a symbolic level.The presence of Jews testified ipso facto that the bone of contention is the Arab-Jewish Holocaust.
The State's policy over the last 20 years, exploits religion for security and civil peace (..).
In this symbolic management of the Holocaust, moreover, the victim is "human" and "universal". He anonymous, so that real Jews can fade out and re-appear as Nazi executioners.
Here we have one of the mainsprings of the new anti-Semitism and the reasons why it is not recognized for what it is, a political fact, but narrowly addressed as right-wing racism or "ethno-religious " tension ", to be soothed by compassion for victims or community peacemaking ceremonies.
Read article in full (French)