Have we another Norman Finkelstein or Brother Nathanael Kapner on our hands? Not hardly. But the former Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Avraham Burg, has had enough of being "Holocausted", and believes his country is too obsessed with it.
He's also spoken out about this obsession in a Los Angeles Times column. Read the full column HERE. The most pertinent excerpt is produced below:
The constant presence of the Shoah is like a buzz in my ear. In Israel, children are always, it seems, preparing for their rite-of-passage "Auschwitz trip" to Poland. Not a day passes without a mention of the Holocaust in the only newspaper I read, Haaretz. The Shoah is like a hole in the ozone layer: unseen yet present, abstract yet powerful. It's more present in our lives than God.
It is the founding experience not just of our national consciousness but of more than that. Army generals discuss Israeli security doctrine as "Shoah-proof." Politicians use it as a central argument for their ethical manipulations.
The Shoah is so pervasive that a study conducted a few years ago in a Tel Aviv school for teachers found that more than 90% of those questioned view it as the most important experience of Jewish history. That means it is more important than the creation of the world, the exodus from Egypt, the delivering of the Torah on Mt. Sinai, the ruin of both Holy Temples, the exile, the birth of Zionism, the founding of the state or the 1967 Six-Day War.
The Shoah is woven, to varying degrees, into almost all of Israel's political arguments; over time, we have taken the Shoah from its position of sanctity and turned it into an instrument of common and even trite politics. It represents a past that is present, maintained, monitored, heard and represented. Our dead do not rest in peace. They are busy, active, always a part of our sad lives.
Of course, memory is essential to any nation's mental health. The Shoah must always have an important place in the nation's memorial mosaic. But the way things are done today -- the absolute monopoly and the dominance of the Shoah on every aspect of our lives -- transforms this holy memory into a ridiculous sacrilege and converts piercing pain into hollowness and kitsch. As time passes, the deeper we are stuck in our Auschwitz past, the more difficult it becomes to be free of it.
What does the primacy of the Shoah mean in terms of our politics and policy? For one thing, it becomes virtually impossible to find a conversation carried out with reason, patience, self-control or restraint. Take Iran as an example. With regard to Iran, as with any other security matter that has potentially existential consequences, we have no thoughts at all -- only instincts and trauma-driven impulses. Who has ever heard of alternative approaches to the Iranian issue, of strategic arguments underlying the passionate emotions, the old fears and violent rhetoric?
Few people in Israel are willing to try to perceive reality through a different set of conceptual lenses other than those of extermination and defensive isolation. Few are willing to try on the glasses of understanding and of hope for dialogue. Instead, the question is always: Is a second Shoah on the way?
Click HERE to read the rest of the column.
He hits the nail on the head. Shoah business isn't just big business - it's the only business for many Jews. This obsession with the Holocaust drove Avraham Burg from political life in Israel. To him, the Holocaust has become a God to be endlessly propitiated, rather than just another significant event in Jewish corporate existence. And it undoubtedly plays a role in Israel's "Samson Option", where if Israel ever fears that they face an all-out attack, they'll launch everything they've got - including nukes - and take down the Middle East with them.
Of course, he discusses the Holocaust obsession only in the Israeli context, making no reference to how the Holocaust has been politicized and weaponized in the United States. He also takes no interest in the fact that European countries, particularly Germany, are incarcerating people who publicly dispute the official account of the Holocaust.
But it does show that Jewish supremacism may be starting to wear thin among some prominent Jews. Burg's long-term vision of Israel is as the driving force behind a global peace process and worldwide reconciliation and as a society guided by a deep sense of responsibility to world justice. His hope is for a Jewish people that insists "never again" -- not only for Jewish victims but for anyone who suffers around the globe today. Perhaps this is why Dr. David Duke doesn't hate Jews as a people, but only takes issue with Jewish supremacism.
Avraham Burg is a businessman and author, most recently, of "The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From Its Ashes". I'll look forward to snooping through this book when it hits Barnes & Noble.