Pointing to Holocaust should not justify rights abuse

Hundreds joined the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Cape Town as they march to Parliament, in Cape Town CBD, in condemnation of Israel's attacks on Palestinians. The writer says it's not appropriate to respond to widespread and well-founded accusations that Israel tortures Palestinian prisoners or confiscates Palestinian land by pointing to the Holocaust.
Hundreds joined the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Cape Town as they march to Parliament, in Cape Town CBD, in condemnation of Israel's attacks on Palestinians. The writer says it's not appropriate to respond to widespread and well-founded accusations that Israel tortures Palestinian prisoners or confiscates Palestinian land by pointing to the Holocaust.
Image: Esa Alexander

It is the height of irony that the SAJBD (SA Jewish Board of Deputies) tries to rightfully invoke the rights of Jewish people to dignity and freedom of speech and yet canvasses and supports and protects the actions of Zionist Israel to ethnically cleanse Palestinians.

Distorted media coverage of Israel has left the majority of Americans and many Europeans largely ignorant of Israel’s rights-abusive policies, helping to cast Israeli Jews as the eternal victims and Palestinians as aggressors. In his book Beyond Chutzpah, Norman Finkelstein comments that "The memories of the Holocaust are exploited to deflect criticism of Israel".

Finkelstein further cautions that we must be wary of ideologies of uniqueness, for they inevitably lead to ideologies of unique moral dispensation or immunity.

It is not appropriate to respond to widespread and well-founded accusations that Israel tortures Palestinian prisoners or confiscates Palestinian land by pointing to the Holocaust.

Tragedy should not abet tragedy.

Zaakir Said, Durban

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