A Comment from Israeli Nurse Which Merits Its Own Missive

Nursey is a regular commentator at Harry’s Place, and frequently regales readers with her anecdotes as having made aliyeh some thirty years ago and lived through two intifadas during which she has raised a wheen of weans. Now she works in the United Kingdom as some of the sprogs are at university there, whilst others complete their military service: all the while watching as, in the nightmare of the dark, the dogs of Europe bark; Smurfs for Jihad gathering on British street corners; and the cauldron battles of the stupid wars brewing.

A guest missive from HP reader Gabriel appeared to compare the taunting of Jews with Nazi imagery directly with the sonorous-sounding Binyamin Netanyahu’s referring to any evacuation of Pickled Cucumbers West Bank Settlements as pursuing a policy of Judenrein. It goes without saying that I consider those who engage in the former speech to be trash, plain and simple, and deserving only of being locked in a room with half a dozen members of Golani Brigade; I also find the latter to be egregious. Gabriel stated:

Now, attempting to draw the parallel between the persecution and murder of millions of Jews in the Holocaust with the removal of settlers who are illegal under international law a few kilometres away is simply disgusting and does nothing except further cheapen the experience of the Holocaust.

Setting aside the appeal to international law – if something is im/moral, it should be possible to argue as such without an appeal to such authority; plus, it is debatable that the pre-Wansee treatment of European Jews was against what structures of international law there were at the time – I did agree that the original coinage of Judenrein was egregious. This indicated the forcible removal of various Jewish populations *with* *a* *view* *to* *liquidation*: either in death-camps, or open-air killing centres.

So, perhaps it would have been less inappropriate to describe any evacuations as removing the inhabitants to “the Pale of Settlement”. Yet, the memories of the Nazi period and all who suffered – not all of them were Jews, but all Jews suffered – as with any similar event of monstrous barbarism belongs to the victims; and in this case, it is still well-within living memory (something Lauren Booth would do good to remember).

Now that the scene is set, here is Nursey’s saucy wisdom which requires no further explanation:

This is not a new discussion as far as I’m concerned – in my life it has been going on for years. For some time now there thas been an underlying and sporadic discussion going on in Israel as to the limitations of treatment of the Shoah. For instance, can it be a subject for art or even comedy? Can the word ’shoah’ with a small ’s’ be used for other things? Do we take Nazi with a big ‘N’ and confine that term to a certain group of people at a certain point in history or do we separate that from a political movement which has clearly not died out?

These are difficult and emotionally loaded questions to which I have no clear-cut answers. When one of my sons came home from a fierce and bloody battle and described it as a ’shoah’, my partner was furious with him. When another son who was assigned to removing the Gush Katif settlers from their homes told us in tears that he felt like a Nazi -not because any settler had told him so, but because of his own knowledge of history – we understood his emotions.

The point is that the way this article has been written indicates to me that in fact what we have here is ‘hafuch al hafuch’ – i.e. the author (and I’m very relieved it turned out not to be Terry Glavin because I was wondering what the hell had happened to him at first) is USING the issue of the use and misuse of Nazi related terminology to score political points for his very clear agenda.

I’m not a religious person by any means, and I count myself as a socialist, very much on the far Left of the Israeli political map, but I absolutely deplore the witch hunt instigated by the Israeli Left and backed up by others abroad upon those Israelis who live or lived in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. I hate the dismissal of these people as ‘religious nutters’ -a favourite phrase of David T. unfortunately. I detest the branding of them as THE obstacle to peace. I despise the efforts of the Left to demonise them and put into their mouths concepts like ‘greater Israel’. When did you last see a bunch of Jews blowing themselves (and others) up in the name of the Jewish Ummah? When did Jews try to set up settlements in Jordan or on the banks of the Euphrates?

This rift in society which the Left is doing its level best to propogate has occupied my thoughts a lot lately. They may see the ostracisation of the settlers as the path to peace, but I see it as the path to the destruction of the Israeli society. I see value in making peace with my Palestinian neighbours, but not at the expense of a particular (and by no means homogenous) group of my fellow countrymen.

Since the evacuation of Gaza, the people who left their homes and livelihoods there have been treated terribly. One would think that these people would have been embraced by the Israeli Left -after all, they did, albeit reluctantly, what the Left wanted them to do. Instead they have been abandoned and ignored and the Left is now intent upon ensuring that many more people suffer the same, if not worse, indignities.

I am not saying that J&S should remain as they are today; it is quite obvious to me that someday an evacuation on some scale will take place, but the question at the forefront of my mind is how we as a nation will wake up the day after. If the evacuation is brought about by witch-hunt and demonisation, we will potentialy be in a much worse position as a society than we are now.

I saw and felt the terrible rifts 4 years ago when Gaza was evacuated. I do not think we have recovered from that yet and we should be very careful about making another incision on top of a wound that has not healed.

As a member of the Left, I expect better from it. I expect at least the same compassion and understanding for the kippah-wearing settler on Har Bracha as for the Palestinian child in Schem or the dead demonstrator in Iran or the Darfouri refugee. The Left seems to have forgotten that these are all human beings.

I think that Tisha B’Av is an ideal opportunity to carry out an inventory of our own society -a sort of collective Yom Kippur – and you don’t have to be religious to do that. We all need to stop and think sometimes about where our actions are leading.

Scoring cheap political points through the use of an article on Shoah terminology seems to me to be a new low. It would have been perfectly possible to address the main issue without the accompanying political one-upmanship.


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