May 29, 2009
Can Holocaust Deniers Be Partners in Peace?By Lauri B. Regan
I spent the past week reading the novel Night by Elie Wiesel with my 7th grade son. Mr. Wiesel is a Holocaust survivor who chronicled his experience as a Jewish teenager who barely survived the German concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald during the Holocaust. The disturbing nature of Mr. Wiesel's tortuous reality made difficult reading for a thirteen year old; however, I am happy that my son had been assigned this novel.
The timing could not have been more fitting. President Obama had just met with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to discuss peace in the Mideast and the ultimate survival of the Jewish State of Israel.
What has been most disturbing to me since the election of Obama has been his outreach to Iran and the rest of the Muslim world and his disdain directed at Israel. The seemingly anti-Semitic think tank known as the Obama administration believes that it can solve the conflicts of the Mideast with the outreach of a hand to a man who wants to annihilate Israel and who denies the existence of the Holocaust -- the very reason that Jews now have a homeland. Obama and his advisors believe this notwithstanding the failures of the diplomatic efforts of past presidencies and the European Union prior to his star-studded arrival on the international stage.
Obama has made it clear to Israel that any cooperation in protecting it from the evil empire known as the Islamic Republic of Iran will be contingent upon Israel agreeing to cede land to the Palestinians in order to create another terrorist entity on its borders (the 22 Arab states surrounding Israel apparently aren't enough -- what's one more?)
There is a very strong possibility that Hamas, one of many terrorist arms of Iran, will play a role in the government of a future Palestinian state. (The US has admitted training Palestinian armed forces while negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas proceed.) Obama does not seem concerned.
What Obama, like his predecessors Clinton and Carter, does seem concerned with is his place in the history books even if it means selling Israel down the river. (Perhaps this should be called "the curse of the modern day Democrat.") After his meeting with Netanyahu, Obama stated:
What Obama does not understand is that Netanyahu is not concerned with his place in history. Netanyahu's job is to protect the future of Israel and in particular, the Jewish people (and their descendents) who emigrated there after they survived the genocidal tyranny of the Nazi regime and the anti-Semitism that overtook Europe.
Jews the world over have only one place in the world that they are welcome and that is Israel. While American and European Jews may feel comfortable in their present day homes, they are still faced with chants of "Go back to the ovens", "Hitler didn't do a good job," and "Hamas, Hamas! Jews to the gas!"
Aside from the anti-Semitic protests and demonstrations the world over, the most appalling trend that I see is the denial of the Holocaust. And at the forefront of the denial of these atrocities are Obama's new Muslim friends in the Mideast, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Palestinian people - friends that Obama has tied together in a nice neat package and delivered to Israel with the ultimatum of accept or else.
What world is Obama living in where he thinks it is possible to make peace with a dictator who blatantly ignores the historic record of the genocide that occurred in Germany during World War II and calls the Holocaust a myth? What people does Obama expect the Israeli's to negotiate with for a peaceful settlement when a recent study reflected that 40% of the Arab citizens living in Israel deny that the Holocaust ever happened and only 41% recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish, democratic state?
With whom does Obama expect the Israeli government to negotiate? Hamas which presently controls Gaza and whose charter includes the following:
Perhaps Obama buys into the "myth" that Fatah, which controls the West Bank, is more reasonable despite its Constitution which calls for "eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence" and further states:
Just as Ahmadinejad claims that the issue is not whether there was in fact a Holocaust but whether the Palestinian people have a homeland, Obama similarly claims that it is not whether Iran reaches the nuclear capacity to destroy Israel, but whether the Palestinian people have a homeland. They are like two peas in a pod. Yet what of Israelis right to a safe homeland? A recent poll indicates that 23% of Israelis would consider leaving their country if Iran acquires nuclear weapons.
Haven't Obama and his Ivy-educated advisors ever heard the phrase "Never Again?" Were they too busy organizing communities and hanging out with domestic terrorists the day the professors showed the films of the liberation from the Nazi concentration camps? What makes the Obama administration think that a peaceful settlement can come from negotiations with people that will not recognize the reason that the Jewish state exists - and who continue to proclaim the invalidity of Israel's existence?
There has been a debate among critics of the Obama administration with regard to many of his policies both implemented and proposed. Some would argue that he and his people are naïve and are operating based on politics and hope rather than reality - much like a think tank testing out theory in a controlled setting. Others would argue that Obama is simply arrogant, imposing his will on the country and the world on the assumption that he was given a mandate to gut the Constitution and govern as he wishes.
But is it just possible that Obama knows exactly what he is doing in a way that is not naïve or arrogant but simply dictatorial in nature. While I am not one for conspiracy theories, one need only look at Obama's past which includes a 20 year relationship with a pastor who continually denounced Israel and blamed it for the attacks of 9/11 to question whether Obama feels that with Israel out of the way, he, the great Messiah, will finally bring peace to the Mideast. Obama has shown no deference to the 78% of American Jews who voted for him. He has shown no respect to America's greatest ally and friend in the Mideast. On the other hand, he has bowed down to the Saudi king, telephoned the Palestinian leader to thank him for his support and reached out to the Iranian mullahs.
To what end? Will Obama continue to force a two-state solution on a country constantly under siege by its neighbors? Will he push for the Arab's own proposed "Final" solution which demands the right of return for the millions of displaced Palestinians thereby destroying the Jewish homeland before Iran ever completes its nuclear weapons program?
What makes this man, the leader of the free world think that individuals filled with as much hate for the Jewish people as the Nazis that perpetrated the Holocaust will suddenly become good neighbors and bring peace to a region that has historically only been filled with instability and violence? Is it naïveté? Is it arrogance? Or is it just plain anti-Semitic disregard for the Jewish people and their only safe haven in the world? Whatever the reason, it does not bode well for Israel.
Lauri B. Regan is an attorney at a global law firm in New York