USA, January 28,2010 (Pal Telegraph) -Today is UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day, but why do we only remember this one event, when so many other holocausts have taken place? Think Armenia, Rwanda, the Congo, Cambodia, Sudan, Iraq, etc. Why such a high-profile focus on this one holocaust, while the many other holocausts never get a mention?
I myself have always held great respect for the suffering of the Jewish people during the war, and many times have reflected on some of the locations where they were publically executed. I also allocated a special time to visit the Ann Frank house in Amsterdam on one of my many trips to the Netherlands.
But it seems that whenever there is any incident or conflict concerning Israel, we are almost forcibly reminded of the sad events that took place those many years ago. It is used as a sort of diversionary tactic, as if to say "hey, listen we are only protecting our existence after what happened to our people during the Holocaust." It's as if this is an excuse for the Israelis to do whatever they want today, because they were the victims of such a terrible crime during WW2. This mindset is terribly wrong and it is time to bring some logic back into the world.
It's perfectly natural for every nation to remember its dead or to have a day of remembrance for such events. But to have this particular Holocaust rammed down our throats, continuously, day after day, is not only an abuse of the very principal of remembrance, but also a manipulation of current politics, economics and military actions throughout the world.
Let's take a closer look at some facts: As we all know, around 6 million Jews died during the Holocaust -- not just by direct execution, but also from malnutrition, hypothermia, diseases,etc. Compare those numbers to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where around 5.4 million have died as of 2006. And the conflict there is still ongoing. In other countries in the region, the numbers of dead due to conflict (directly or indirectly) also are high: Rwanda, about 1 million; Sudan, 2-3 million; Somalia, at least 1 million; Cambodia, almost 2 million; Vietnam, 2 million; and, more recently, in Iraq, more than 1 million. Afghanistan is showing the same trend.
Let's also reflect on the two world wars. An estimated 1 million people were killed in Russia during WW!, and 10 million more in WW2. In total, the number of people killed in WW2 was 60 million. Obviously, we could spend every day, every week, every month creating a Holocaust theme and remembrance day for those countries, but we don't. However, for some strange reason we are told repeatedly about "The Holocaust" as if the one that occurred for the Jews is the only one that counts.
One must ask the Israelis if their holocaust justifies the genocide they are visiting on the Palestinian people?
While talking of genocide, I would also wish to point out that the US, UK, NATO and IOF forces are using WMDs -- weapons that contain uranium components. They were first used by the IOF in the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, and they have been used on a regular basis since that time. They have been used extensively in the Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon and Gaza, and I believed they are now being used in Somalia and Yemen.
In using these weapons, we are inflicting another, indirect genocide on millions of people -- not only in the areas of conflict but also in adjacent countries. It is a genocide that will reveal itself slowly, through the contamination from radioactive materials carried via the wind. Our own troops have been exposed as well. The respective leaders and governments that allow their usage must also be classified as war criminals.
What I also find fascinating is my discovery of a poster outside an Islamic NGO promoting this special day, along with an exhibition inside that remembers the victims of the Holocaust. I know that pressure was applied to this NGO to participate in this remembrance. This is very wrong.
So, on this UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I would hope that people all over the world also give some thought to those millions of others who have died under similar conditions who do not receive the same global attention. They also under terrible oppression and in some cases just as brutally. I would urge all Israelis or any Jewish citizen to visit the DRC, Rwanda or Cambodia, etc. and try to understand that what happened in Europe has been repeated all over the world. In fact, it is still going on today, to the Palestinians. Is there really any difference?
Peter Eyre - Middle East Consultant