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Jews 'ashamed' of Israeli Holocaust protest

The Local · 3 Jan 2012, 10:32

Published: 03 Jan 2012 10:32 GMT+01:00

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The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger regional daily the protests were all the more disturbing coming from Jews.

"The pictures shocked me. And I was even ashamed that Jews of all people should do such a thing, giving a distorted image of the Holocaust," he said.

"We Jews in Germany always say that one should never abuse the memory of the Holocaust. If now Jews are doing that, it is particularly disgraceful," added Graumann, whose own parents were interned in concentration camps.

The demonstration at the weekend in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighbourhood of Mea Shearim attracted hundreds of men and boys, some wearing yellow stars and others the striped uniforms of the Nazi death camps.

The rally was called to protest the jailing of a man who led vigilante attacks against a neighbourhood religious bookshop accused by community hardliners of selling non-religious books.

But ultra-Orthodox news website Kikar Hashabbat said the demonstration was a response to media criticism in recent weeks of the community and its attempts to enforce gender segregation.

Kikar Hashabbat said demonstrators donned yellow stars, which Jews in Germany and countries occupied by the Nazis were forced to wear to identify themselves in public, as "an exceptional protest measure."

However, Graumann stressed the protesters were "only a very small fraction of society in Israel, which is radical and is producing these abhorrent images."

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"This is not representative of Israeli society, which is generally characterised by a spirited love of life," added the president.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:34 January 3, 2012 by bartschaff
"Israeli society, which is generally characterised by a spirited love of life". Sure - unless it's a Palestinean life...
12:12 January 3, 2012 by raandy
This behavior is out of control.

The nation can not apologize to Turkey , Netanyahu is considered a big liar by world politicians.

They treat the Palestinian's like aliens and belittle them in their own lands.

Not surprising some Israelites find this disturbing.
16:42 January 3, 2012 by Navigator_B
It's all the more ironic that the demonstration was to support someone who led vigilante attacks against a shop that sold books that they did not approve of. They should have held a book-burning rally at the same time.
16:58 January 3, 2012 by Englishted

Where you burn books you end burning people and these nuts would do it I think.

Extremism is a danger in all its forms.
18:47 January 3, 2012 by DonQuixote
Another Israeli and Jewish paradox, Jews are abusing the memory of the Holocaust.

Wow, religion the sexism, racism, wars, the restrictions on books, freedom of speech and freedoms of expression.

Maybe next, the ultra-Orthodox will lobby for a cost of living increase in their reparation payments or the payments will expire in the next 500 years and they are seeking a 1,500-year extension? Yes, that was a joke, maybe?

The memory of the Holocaust for some is used as a tool and distraction and is distorted. Its a cash cow guilt gravy train, often used and abused by many.

Maybe it is not so distorted? There is the Catholic Church and purgatory Indulgence, the crusades and the Christian Church missionaries.

What happened to all the war victims during WWII and Holocaust was a human tragedy.

Over 60 million people were killed in WWII. WWII was a human being Holocaust and like all wars, was a stupid war.

There are now over 7 billion human beings on our planet.

In my opinion, what was the divine, all-knowing being thinking 4,000 years ago, when the selection of a tiny cult of peoples, Judaism, Christianity and Islam were annotated chosen peoples, the everlasting warriors and eternal victims?
19:07 January 3, 2012 by cheeba
There is no freedom of speech unless you protect the most repugnant forms of speech. Banal moderate forms of speech are opposed by nobody and require no protection. It is in protecting vile and radical expressions that a societ proves that it respects freedom.. Why should Nazis not be free to salute Hitler? Orthodox Jews to demonstrate for sex segregation in their neighborhoods? Muslim women to wear the burkah throughout Europe if they wish to? When we supress any of these views we prove that it is we who are the monster censors.
21:48 January 3, 2012 by JAMessersmith

The problem is when "Free Speech" starts to infringe upon the rights of other people. Gender segregation, for example, impugns the rights of those within the community who do not wish to be segregated. And the social pressure for women to wear burkhas in many sects of Islam is extreme, bordering on a threat (i.e. if you do not wear this, you are a whore, and we will disown you... so go ahead and make your "choice?").

Hitler worship, on the other hand, is a much more sketchy subject. So long as a neo-Nazi doesn't follow in the footsteps of Hitler and murder people, one can make a case that they have a right to salute their fuhrer, but we're talking about a very slippery slope. Once those Nazis take it upon themselves to violate the rights of other people, they've crossed the line from "Free Speech" into "criminal actions". And, I think it's logical to assume that someone who worships Hitler will want to emulate him (or else, why worship him?). And, one could make the case that the mere presence of neo-Nazis infringes upon the rights of traumatized Holocaust survivors, and anyone else they might target with their rhetoric, because it robs them of their sense of security, and forces them to live in fear. Should a Nazi be allowed to say he likes Hitler? Sure. Should a group of Nazis be allowed to demonstrate in front of your house, and threaten you every time you walk out the door? I think not.

So, yes, people have a right to "Free Speech", but that does not mean Charles Manson has a right to paint the walls with Sharon Tate's blood. You see what I'm saying? Free Speech is a great thing, so long as it's not being used to repress, or terrorize others.
22:02 January 4, 2012 by Vargaz
Israelis are an embarrassment to genuine, peace-loving, and compassionate Jews everywhere. Always with an agenda. always causing trouble for everyone around them.
14:50 January 5, 2012 by LSD
@ Vargaz: "only a very small fraction of society in Israel, which is radical and is producing these abhorrent images."

read the whole thing.

FYI, the majority of Israelis are very much against this extremist group of people and there's been a crazy media lynching of them going on - rightly so, as they're trying to impose segregation; that's why they're protesting in this way. they want the public opinion to shift in their favor, and that sure ain't happening!

and last - do you know any Israelis? those troublesome, war faring people? maybe if you did, you'd know that as in most cases there's a huge gap between media portrayal and reality.
15:38 January 5, 2012 by dbert4
@LSD - Do you know any Israelis? The ones that I know consider the Orthodox to be economic and social parasites who wield power beyond their numbers because conservatives need them to form coalition governments. Rather than work, they chose to instead breed in excessive numbers while living on payments from the Israeli State and contributions from wealthy American Jews. Their continuing efforts to segregate Israeli society by sex likewise doesn't win them any friends domestically or internationally. Otherwise they're great people, you should sponsor some.
18:02 January 6, 2012 by LSD
@ dbert4 - maybe you'd like to sponsor me, as a proud Israeli...

as i wrote, this is an extremist group of people trying to impose segregation. of course many of the secular population is against the extreme orthodox people who are, as you wrote, a burden to the state and its people.

there are many types of orthodox people, many of them serve in key positions and contribute more than many others; it's important to differentiate between the different 'streams' of orthodox Jews. (just for the record, i'm not orthodox)

i was against the statement: 'Israelis are an embarrassment to genuine, peace-loving, and compassionate Jews everywhere. Always with an agenda. always causing trouble for everyone around them.'

as usual, people should avoid generalizing.
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