Today is Holocaust Remembrance day. At 10am Israel came to a virtual standstill, sirens wailed across cities, traffic stopped as Jews here and abroad pause to reflect on the worst genocide in history.
Adolf Hitler’s evil plans started with discrimination against Jews based solely on their religion before moving them through mass deportations to concentration camps before finally seeking to exterminate them.
A total of 6 million Jewish men, women and children died in mankind’s darkest hour.
The world, and in particular Israel, rightly continues to remember these horrific events of 60years ago to ensure it never happens again. But there is increasing concern about whether the tragic lessons of the Holocaust were fully learned by Israel itself?
Tomorrow, April 13, 2010, a new Israeli military order comes into place allowing the mass deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank.
Any Palestinian or foreigner living in the West Bank without the appropriate id permit (receipt of which is controlled by Israel) can be deported within 72 hours or even jailed for up to 7 years.
Those Palestinians lucky enough to have escaped the open-air prison that is Gaza to now live in the West Bank maybe the first targeted and sent back.
The vague wording of the law has concerned Israeli human rights groups so much that 10 of them have signed a letter to Defence Minister Ehud Barak begging him to rescind it.
The left-leaning Israeli newspaper Haaretz first broke the story and its editorial today is compelling reading, saying:
“The right of all Palestinians to choose where to live in the West Bank or Gaza marks a very low threshold for defining their human rights. Implementing this new military order is not only likely to spark a new conflagration in the territories, it is liable to give the world clear-cut proof that Israel’s aim is a mass deportation of Palestinians from the West Bank.”
Palestinian leaders say the move is devoted to racism and “paves the way for an ethnic cleansing operation.”
As Israeli’s well know, the Holocaust started with human rights violations which turned into mass deportations and ended in genocide.
Is it not time that those who support a state born of the single most traumatic event of the 20th century do everything in their power to never impose anything that resembles their own suffering on another oppressed people?
No doubt those who love Israel so much they cannot see its faults will attack this blog as being anti-Semitic.
But hopefully on a day that remembers the horrors of the past, just maybe Israel can start to rectify the wrongs of the present.
Ref: Al Jazeera
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