On Friday last week the Labour MP for Gorton, Sir Gerald Kaufman, made a statement in the House of Commons where he accused Israel of behaving like Nazis in its conduct of the operation against the Hamas terrorists in Gaza. He also uttered one of the most offensive and potentially damaging sentences I have ever heard come from the mouth of a fellow Jew: “The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt from Gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians.” This followed his description of his grandmother being shot dead in her sick bed by a German soldier during the Holocaust: “”My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.”
Sir Gerald thus aligns himself, by his use and careful choice of language, with every anti-Zionist, Holocaust denier or trivialiser, and every Jew-hater here and abroad. This is the latest in a long history of Kaufman’s outspoken attacks against Israel and its policies.
Sir Gerald, despite claiming to have “been a long-term supporter of Israel”, went virtually unchallenged by the media and the Jewish community. Louise Ellman MP, someone for whom I have immense admiration for her forthright defence of Israel and the Jewish people, could only find a somewhat vapid riposte: “”The Nazis were about rounding up and exterminating people because of their origins..” No, Ms Ellman, they were about a lot more than that. And this is why the invidious comparison places Sir Gerald firmly in the camp of Israel’s and the Jew’s enemies.
Let’s examine Sir Gerald’s claim that the Israeli government were behaving like Nazis, a claim for which he provides cover by revealing his authority on the subject since his own grandmother was a victim; so he should know Nazi behaviour when he sees it, right? A Jew knows what a Nazi is, surely? Well, in Kaufman’s case, decidedly not.
Kaufman was not specific about which particular aspect of the IDF’s behaviour was comparable to the Nazis. It is the use of these broad smears which are the hallmark of prejudice and ignorance. Let’s help him out here by providing a litany of Nazi policies, actions and atrocities and see if they stand up to comparison with the actions of the Israeli government and its armed forces in Gaza.
Did the IDF round up every man woman and child and send them without food, water or sanitation in a cattle truck for several days and then humiliate them, gas them and burn their bodies? No, Sir Gerald, they did not.
Did the IDF enter hospitals and old-age homes and throw Gazan’s from windows or shoot them and their doctors on the spot. No, Sir Gerald, they did not.
Did the IDF string anyone up from lampposts?
Did the IDF standby whilst hundreds of thousands of people died of starvation and disease?
Does the Israel government have a policy of exterminating every last Palestinian?
Did Israeli doctors carry out experiments on the living tissue of Palestinians without anaesthetic? Sir Gerald?
Were any Palestinians forced to dig trenches and then made to strip naked before being shot in the back of the head and dumped into the graves they had dug for themselves? No, no, NO!
When you compare anyone to a Nazi you have to understand fully what that means; it is not a term of abuse to be bandied about recklessly. To do so trivialises the actions of the Nazis and insults the memory of the millions who died, Jew and Gentile, at the hands of these murderous scum. How dare you, Sir Gerald compare Israel to its oppressors. How dare you trivialise the murderers of your own grandmother. How dare you give succour to our enemies by using the language of hate.
This is what Arutz Sheva reported today on its website: “15 Gazan children with cancer will be transferred to Israeli hospitals Monday. They will first go to the medical clinic at the Erez crossing before being transferred.” How many children did the Nazi’s treat for cancer, Sir Gerald? The report goes on: “Residents of Gaza routinely receive medical treatment as part of Israel’s humanitarian aid to Gaza. In addition, 200 trucks of humanitarian aid were transferred to Gaza Monday.” How much aid did the Nazi’s send into the ghettos or the shtetls, Sir Gerald?
Sir Gerald swallows whole the statistics which come from Hamas and the UN via Hamas. They are unverifiable, completely one-sided and do not tell the truth about what really happened in Gaza and why innocents were killed. An Israeli soldier reports: “..in Gaza, where there are bombs all over the place all the time, we’ve seen kindergartens filled with 150 or 200 children, and the kindergartens are boobytrapped! They even shoot rockets from inside mosques..”
The real Nazis are not the IDF, but Hamas. They are the ones who seek to exterminate the Jews with their openly genocidal policies. It is they who terrorise Gaza with murder and assassination. It is they who use their own citizens as human shields. It is they who forced their own people into areas the Israelis warned the Gazans to evacuate so that they would maximise casualties. It is their munitions which were placed in huge dumps within the centres of population which caused deaths and widespread destruction. It is Hamas that hijack aid convoys and then sell it to their own people. It is Hamas that fire from schools, hospitals, mosques and media centres to force the IDF into perceived atrocities. It is Hamas who have infiltrated UNWRA schools to teach hate by day and build rockets by night. And it is Hamas who take the Geneva Convention and laugh at it whilst firing rockets indiscriminately into urban areas to maximise civilian deaths and at a time when they know Israeli children will be going to school. Who are the Nazis, Sir Gerald? Who?
Israel estimates that the majority of casualties and deaths in the conflict were Hamas fighters. Yet the world just accepts 1300 dead as if they were ALL innocent. The world and Sir Gerald believe Hamas but ridicule Israeli claims.
There is no doubt that innocents were killed. There may well have been mistakes made. But consider if you will, Sir Gerald, if it were Hamas entering Tel Aviv. No doubt their actions would be seen as ‘understandable’ as a result of the ‘occupation’ and 60 years in ‘refugee camps’. No doubt, Sir Gerald, you would be the first to excuse them along with Jenny Tonge and the other enemies of truth and justice who crawl out the woodwork to spit hate and venom at Israel every time it dare defend itself. Where were your Nazi jibes against Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe or the Janjaweed in Sudan or the Taleban in Afghanistan. Instead Sir Gerald dismisses Hamas as a nasty group of ineffective insurgents. “We had an IRA bomb in Manchester which destroyed much of the centre – we didn’t send troops over to Belfast to murder 1,000 Catholics”. He thus makes another false analogy which his rhetorical brilliance covers. How absurd. The IRA did not send a barrage of rockets onto Manchester for 7 years. Manchester citizens did not have to live in shelters for fear of their lives. Belfast is part of the United Kingdom, Gaza is not part of Israel. Hamas are the rulers of Gaza, the IRA were not the rulers of Ulster. The IRA did not seek to exterminate every last British citizen. Israel did not murder 1000 innocents, it eliminated hundreds of terrorists bent on its destruction. Maybe if the Irish Republic was shelling Belfast everyday, Dublin and its citizens would not have escaped the wrath of the British Army.
Whilst Sir Gerald pours out his hatred on the Israeli government, the rest of us have to live under the increased threat of violence from the usual suspects in British society who can now point a finger at Sir Gerald Kaufman and say, “Look, even the Jews think Israel is a Nazi, apartheid, racist state”, and thus justify their attacks on synagogues, shops and British Jews going about their everyday business. Thanks to Sir Gerald Britain has become an even more uncomfortable place for Jews of all persuasions, even a Jew like him.