Monday, January 5, 2009

Roseanne Barr

As reported in the Jerusalem Post
In response to Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza, Roseanne Barr in a recent post on her blog, compared Israel to the Nazis as well as to the apartheid state of South Africa.
Ms. Barr is certainly entitled to her opinions about Israel’s actions in Gaza, but her comparisons are not only disturbing, but also downright indefensible. Nazis by definition were primarily Germans, under the leadership of Adolph Hitler, who sought total domination of Europe and the extermination of an entire people. 11 million people died in Nazi death camps. This included six million Jews as well as millions of handicapped individuals, communists, members of opposition parties, gypsies, homosexuals, as well as countless others. Thus even to bring up the term Nazi when looking at the Middle East conflict is not only deliberately inflammatory, but incredibly bad use of analogy. Nazis engaged in genocide.
So, Ms. Barr, if you wish to mention the term 'Nazi', please use it in reference to Darfur or Rwanda, not to Israel. By doing so, you are only denigrating the struggle for security and peace and adding nothing new or helpful to the conversation. And worse than that, you are denigrating the memory of those 11 million who died at the hands of the Nazis simply because of who they were and for no other reason.
Israel is nothing like the Nazis. They are not seeking to slaughter millions of Palestinians. Israel gave up Gaza and has been targeting Hamas leadership, who by the way hides among civilians like cowards in schools, hospitals, and mosques.
Israel is also not like the apartheid state of South Africa. South Africans were viewed as inferior by the former British Empire and subjugated at every turn. Palestinians in many ways have only to look at themselves in the mirror to understand their plight, as any person who has studied history would understand.
True Israel has made many imperfect policy decisions, and will most likely continue to do so in the future. And we as a Jews and as concerned citizens of the world certainly have every right to question her decisions, but what we should not do in good conscience is call her either a “Nazi State” or an “Apartheid State,” because both of these statements are simply put: false, misleading, incorrect, and down right wrong.
My recommendation is to come up with a new analogy. How about: Israel is the only democracy in the middle east and is doing what it thinks is right to defend her citizens from unwarranted attacks by a group of terrorists who want nothing more than to drive all Israelis into the sea. Oh wait, that is what is actually going on and not analogous at all.

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