The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is extremely adept at keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive, but, sadly, not for memorialising or academic purposes.
Many a PSC event, or those held by other anti-Israel organisations, seem to start off by invoking the Holocaust.
And why not?
For sure, the very sound of the word “Holocaust” makes an audience’s ears prick up.
The Holocaust. Two simple but emotive words.
You would hope that the memory of 6,000,000 Jews (including 1,000,000 children) and 4,000,000 Communists, gypsies, homosexuals and the physically and mentally disabled would only be invoked when utterly necessary.
Maybe on Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January each year), a visit to Auschwitz or Dachau maybe or maybe an educational class about the Holocaust. This is appropriate.
But a talk presented by the PSC at the House of Commons entitled Ending the siege on Gaza – Eyewitness reports from the Viva Palestina convoy, Parliamentary delegations, and Westminster University Architects is an inappropriate place.
I doubt, somehow, that Gaza, Viva Palestina, Parliamentary delegations and Westminster University Architects have anything to do with Jews being gassed, hanged, shot, burned alive, having medical experiments performed on their genitals and having their corpses bulldozed into mass unmarked graves.
Holocaust denial is sickening enough (and there is plenty of it around in Iran and Arab countries) but gratuitously invoking the Holocaust, as Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury did at the PSC event on tuesday, is sickening in its own way.
Perhaps he should be forgiven as he is a Liberal Democrat peer. As we well know, the Liberal Democrats, wishing to entice the Muslim vote, are not well-disposed to Israel.
But being anti-Israel is no excuse to utilise the Holocaust just to get an audience’s attention. If Lord Phillips thinks he was being intelligent and authoritative, he wasn’t.
According to Jonathan Hoffman Lord Phillips was eager to tell everyone that his first visual memory was of the Holocaust (he was born in 1939) and he suggested that Israel was created only because of the guilt felt by the West after the Holocaust.
Lord Phillips, according to Hoffman, also said, “Europe cannot think straight about Israel because of the Holocaust and America is in the grip of the well-organised Jewish lobby.”
The sub-text to these comments seems to be that if six million Jews hadn’t died at the hands of those blinking Nazis there would be peace in the world today. There would be no need for Al Qaida, Hamas and Hizbollah. It’s all because of that blinking Holocaust, stupid.
Even from the grave Hitler is exerting his presence thanks to the likes of Lord Phillips.
Just for good measure Lord Phillips said he believes that Israel has a right to exist but no one who addresses a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting believes this and certainly wouldn’t be invited to give a talk if they did.
If he was pushed further he would state that Israel has a right to exist but that the Palestinians must have the have a right to return, which would extinguish the Jewish nature of Israel.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign supports Hamas (or, at least, doesn’t denounce it), a banned terrorist organisation. Hamas has sent many suicide bombers into packed Israeli restaurants and would continue to do so if it wasn’t for the security wall built, far too belatedly, by Israel.
Supporting Hamas is bad enough but the PSC and its speakers should leave those who have been tortured and murdered by the Nazis to rest in peace and not have their experiences raised for political point scoring or to grab an audience’s attention, especially when the topic at hand is totally unrelated to the Holocaust.