Tag Archives: Holocaust

Turkish PM Compares Former President As A Hitler!

There is a propensity among Middle Eastern Arab leaders to throw around the word, Hitler, at anyone or anything that do not like. Of course, when “Hitler” is not used, there is always the old reliable, “Holocaust” to depict anything from a car accident to a gun exchange in which five people died. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan does not like the man who became the second president of Turkey in 1938 following the death of Kemal Ataturk. Erdogan blasted actions of Ismet Inonu for removing pictures of Ataturk from public institutions and for returning 158 Turkish refugees back to Russian authorities. Erdogan warned anyone who disagreed with his interpretation of Inonu that he had access to even worse examples of the Hitlerian approach to this man who was once president of Turkey.

Israel forces invade Gaza and kill several hundred innocent people and this becomes a “Holocaust” in the eyes of Arab leaders. Over 500,000 Tutus are killed in Rwanda but that never receives the name of “Holocaust.” Israel builds a wall which is part of discriminatory actions against Palestinians and this is an example of “Holocaust” but the death of FIVE MILLION IN THE CONGO is just some killing.

Oh, just try saying the murder of over a million Armenians was an example of “genocide” and Turkish fury erupts. On the other hand, Israel arrest of innocent Palestinians is a horror beyond comparison, certainly nothing like murdering five million!

Arab League Publishes Insulting Cartoon

Thousands of Muslims throughout the world rush to the streets in order to denounce cartoons that appear in European newspapers which depict the Prophet Muhammad in what is viewed as insulting ways. The Dutch branch of the European Arab League published a cartoon which implied Jews made up the entire story of the Holocaust in order to gain sympathy. Dutch officials decided to fine the Arab League branch. In response, they argue it is a double standard in which anti-Muslim cartoons are not fined while those lying about Jews face prosecution.

The entire idea of fining anyone for publishing a stupid cartoon is ridiculous. Of course, just about every day in the world Muslim press at least one cartoon or other insult is directed at Jews, but I do not see any Jewish groups denouncing such silliness. Anyway, there is some truth to the Dutch Arab League cartoon. According to my sources, six million Jews departed for Argentine and the sunny beaches of Florida. Another few million went to Iraq where they were welcomed by Saddam Hussein and married into the family. Another million of so departed planet Earth for another planet where there are no Muslims who publish stupid stories about the Holocaust.

For the record, the cartoons were published by Christians and no Jew had anything to do with them. Naturally, Jews are then attacked for something they never did.

Pope And Holocaust Denier

It remains unclear when the Pope learned about the priest who was a Holocaust denier and what he did, if anything, about this knowledge. A Swedish TV program claims that Vatican officials knew that an ultraconservative British bishop was a Holocaust denier when he received news that his excommunication from the Catholic Church had been lifted. Jews and many Catholics throughout the world were shocked when Pope Benefict XVI lifted the ban on Bishop Robert Wiliamson. After a controversy raged in the world, Pope Benedict insisted he never knew that Williamson was a Holocaust denier.

Naturally, the Vatican proclaimed it was absolutely without foundation to claim the Pope knew about the views of Wiliamson about the Holocaust. Methinks, the Vatican protest too much. Pope Benedict blundered, after all, he is not God, he is only human.

The Jews In WWII According To Ahmadinjead!

Gather around, little children, while Uncle Mahmoud tells the story of what happened to the Jews in Europe during the 1940s. “Once upon a time, there were some people we will call Jews who lived in Europe. Well, at night their leaders, the rabbis, got a wonderful idea. What if we Jews in Europe went someplace where no one would know who we are. Then, we could claim the Germans under this nice man named Adolf Hitler had killed us. The people of Europe would feel sorry for us and make certain we received land in Palestine which was filled with Arabs and no one cared for them. Anyway, the Jews all went to Argentine and Miami Beach and Hollywood in order to hide out during the war.

Well, the nice man named Adolf Hitler really loved the Jews and he was so, so upset they had gone away. So, when he began to lose the war against the Russians, and British and Americans, he told everyone that he had killed the Jews. And, believe it or not, the world believed him. Once he died, no one could ever find out the truth.

The war ended and the Jews yelled that they had all been killed and the new United Nations felt sorry for them and said the ones remaining could go live in Palestine which belonged to the Arabs, but since they were Muslims, the Christians did not care. And, that is how the Jews who never got killed in World War II came to Palestine and took the land away from the Arabs. Now, go to sleep little children and thank God you are a Muslim.”

Israel Haters Smear Obama Speech

We define an “Israel Hater” as one who urges the nation of Israel to pursue policies that only reinforce isolation and prevent the Jewish people from uniting with their Palestinian brothers and sisters. President Obama made an eloquent explanation of the meaning of the Holocaust and anyone with an iota of brain power understood he was making clear to President Ahmadinejad of Iran and those in the Muslim world who deny the Holocaust that such thinking lacks an historical background. He also spoke of the plight of Palestinians who suffer under the rule of an Israel occupation army that denies people their right to self determination. Rush Limbaugh, the great defender of truth lashed out at Obama for comparing the Holocaust to the suffering of Palestinians. No such comparison was ever made in the speech, but to those who hate Israel and wish it to remain in an isolated position living in constant fear, the very mention that Palestinians have suffered is enough to prove a speaker hates the Jewish people.

In this blog I vigorously attacked Professor Robinson for specifically making a comparison between the Holocaust and the Gaza invasion. President Obama became the first American leader who has spoken out publicly against Israel policies which prevent the people of Gaza from enjoying freedom of movement and policies that illegally seize land of Palestinians. The Palestinian people have suffered, they have endured what Obama termed the indignities that any people under occupation must encounter. That does NOT mean the Israel government has a policy to kill Palestinians or to force them into starvation.

It is a sad day when any Jewish liberal or any supporter of Israel has to rely on the likes of Rush Limbaugh as a spokesman for truth. Barack Obama spoke honestly, he was critical of Muslim extremists and he was critical of certain policies of the Israel government. He made clear American ties with Israel were unbreakable. But, Republican smear artists seek to arouse fear and hate by claiming Obama connected the Holocaust to Israel actions toward Palestinians. These Republicans seek votes, not the truth. These Republicans seek to continue the current impasse in the Middle East, not to forge new bonds of friendship.

ON CLASSROOM “DISCUSSIONS” And Academic Freedom

I have been taken to task by some academics because I objected to Professor Robinson sending an email to his students in which he compared the Israel invasion of Gaza to the “Holocaust.” I have been told my comments infringe on the right to free speech by Professor Robinson and that subsequent comments by me that many students fear contradicting what professors say in class indicates that I am a vindictive educator who refuses to allow students to voice opposing viewpoints from my own.

Few who have commented actually examine the nature of what is termed a “classroom discussion.” Let me identify several versions of what is termed a “classroom discussion.”

1. Teacher Lecture With Discussion: In this form of “classroom discussion,” a professor presents a lesson and asks questions. Statistically, about 95% of the questions posed in this form of “discussion” consist of students recalling what the professor said in his lecture. A few questions ask for meaning, and unless the student is brain dead, the response is to repeat the point made by the professor.

2. Discussion About Readings: In this form, students are assigned a reading and the professor asks questions about what was read. Statistically, 95% of questions posed are for recall of what was read. Or, professors ask the ever famous, “what was the main point?” of course, the professor has his own idea as to what is the “main point” and students learn to give it back to him.

3. Present An Issue For Discussion: Ordinarily, the issue is related to what is being studied. However, teachers also pose an issue that may not directly be part of the curriculum. The quality of the discussion is related to student knowledge about the issue. Obviously, if they don’t know too much about the issue, students will struggle.

4. Present An Issue Arising From What Is Being Studied: This discussion arises from an issue that is linked to the course of what has been read or discussed in previous sessions.

5. Present An Issue That Is Controversial: “Should We Have The Death Penalty?” type of discussion in which students offer their views but do not have to support them with evidence.

Let’s examine what is meant by “discussion.”

The basis of a “classroom discussion” depends on willingness of students to voice opinions. But, if you examine time allocated between posing a question, waiting for a response, if none given, then posing the question to someone else, it comes to about five seconds. In other words, “discussions” favor students who are glib and speak quickly. A thoughtful student who needs time to reflect is punished by the system known as “discussion.”

Professor Robinson’s “discussion” centered around an issue that was not studied in class, students had no exposure to a multiple range of ideas, but were being asked to quickly respond. There is no doubt, the “discussion” awaiting Robinson would have involved a few students and would not be characterized by reflective thinking. I suspect there would have been emotional comments, and Robinson would have dominated and imposed his views due to greater knowledge of the subject. Please do not misinterpret my comment about “imposing views,” most professors do so because they know more than students.

Allow me to use a favorite classroom “discussion” topic: “Should the United States Have Dropped the A Bomb on Japan?” I have heard this “discussion” at least twenty five times. Students are asked their “opinion.” Of course, students have no knowledge of the military campaign in the Pacific, the deadly struggle to take the island of Okinawa which witnessed the introduction of Kamikaze pilots who killed five thousand, no information as to military estimates of casualties if an invasion occurred, and, no information as to the thinking of Japanese leaders even though we have English translations of Japanese Cabinet meetings. Teachers beam with pride as their students, “discuss.” Of course, the “discussion” is merely sharing of ignorance.

I suspect a “discussion” in the class of Professor Robinson as to whether the Israel invasion of Gaza was analogous to the Holocaust would have been analogous to the Atomic Bomb “discussion.” His students know nothing concerning Nazi plans for killing Jews, no knowledge of the stages of the Holocaust, etc.. I have been told students study the Holocaust and know about it. In most “study” of the Holocaust, students see a film, read Anne Frank and may have guest speaker who was a survivor of the Holocaust. They don’t know a damn thing about the process of the Holocaust. The remark by Professor Robinson has to do with the process of the Holocaust, not the experiences of those who endured it.

Is my complaint concerning the email a violation of academic freedom? I don’t believe Professor Robinson should be fired, I don’t disagree with his right to comment about anything under the sun. I believe he is guilty of poor teaching, lack of respect for his students, and allowing his emotions to take over in an academic setting. His remarks were flippant, he never offered his students an intellectual presentation, and took advantage of their lack of knowledge. There was absolutely no chance for an academic centered discussion concerning his remarks to occur in his class. He was emotional and was seeking emotional remarks from his students, not intellectual centered ones.

I have been a Dean, I have spent years as the head of our local chapter of the AAUP which guards the rights of faculty. Academic freedom also entails responsibility to the rights of students and to respect their right to an academic centered education. I have yet to read any comment from those who disagree with my views as to the rights of students to have professors who are engaged in the marketplace of ideas rather than emotional outbursts concerning the latest issue which arouses their concern.

I wonder if those who support Robinson would support a bigot who disparages blacks or Hispanics on ground he has a right to his opinion. Larry Summers, while president of Harvard, was blasted by the Harvard faculty because he made remarks they viewed as insulting to women. I disagreed with his views, but the Harvard faculty was furious and wanted him fired. I suspect when college faculty discuss “academic freedom” they mean there are ideas that can be expressed and their ideas that can not be expressed.

Pope Benedict Straddles Fence In Israel-Maybe?

Pope Benedict XVI did his best to straddle the fence on the touchy issue of an independent Palestinian state while visiting Israel. “I plead with all those responsible to explore every possible avenue in the search for a just resolution of the outstanding difficulties, so that both peoples may live in peace in a homeland of their own within secure and internationally recognized borders.” In reality, he was urging the creation of an independent Palestinian homeland which was not welcome music to the ears of the Netanyahu government. The Pope has been under attack from Muslim sources due to a comment he made three years ago when he quoted from a Medieval document which made disparaging references to Mohammed.

Benedict’s tour de force was valiant and most probably he will wind up getting someone angry at him. He visited the family of a captured Israel soldier which got Muslims upset because he did not visit the families of imprisoned Muslim leaders. One can only wonder if the Pope wishes he simply remained in Rome and stayed away from the certainty regardless of what he said or did, the only result would be anger on the part of someone over something. Now, as to the Holocaust and the role of Pope Pius XII, ……

Professor William Robinson Violated Academic Freedom

I have taught for 52 years and worked with 15,000 students but never in my career did I ever violate academic freedom in the manner displayed by Professor William Robinson, a Jewish professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Robinson, and his defender Noam Chomsky, have raised the banner of academic freedom. Unfortunately, it was Robinson who violated this concept, not those attacking him. Professor Robinson was teaching a course, “Sociology of Globalization” and during this course, he sent an email to all students in his class which claimed; “Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw- a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians, subjecting them to the slow death of malnutrition, disease, and despair, nearly two years before their subjection to the quick death of Israeli bombs. We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide.” He compared the Israel invasion of Gaza to the Holocaust.

Professor Robinson is either, (a) ignorant of the Holocaust, (b) stupid, (c) a malicious sick man. Let’s examine the manner in which he violated his role as a professor.

1. He sent an email to all students which meant his views impacted the entire class and it was impossible for a student to respond to the entire class.
2. This was not a class dealing with the Holocaust so Professor Robinson did not have any awareness of the knowledge base of his students regarding the Holocaust or even what they knew about what is meant by genocide. We can assume a high percent of his students did not have this knowledge and thus were unable to refute the professor’s ignorant statements.
3. A professor has the power of giving a “grade” which means there is no level playing field when he introduced a controversial issue. Students responding to him risked having grades lowered if they challenged their professor on a topic that was NOT part of the curriculum.
4. A professor with a sense of intellectual honesty should have provided students readings, videos or access to opposing views if he wanted to introduce this comparison. The majority of his students lacked knowledge and his responsibility was to ensure they would be in an intellectual position to respond in an informed manner.

I do not know if Professor Robinson is an anti-Semite. I do know in this incident he displayed poor teaching procedures and displayed an ignorance of the Holocaust that is inexcusable for a college professor.

Holocaust Denial Takes New Twist

The history of the Holocaust has been detailed in thousands of books, memoirs and films that make clear to any normal human that Nazi Germany was guilty of an unspeakable horror in its murderous campaign against innocent people. As one who helped found a Holocaust Museum, there was ongoing discussion concerning the need to make part of its content, the story of what happened to gays, Romas and millions of others who were murdered by German forces. No Holocaust Center ever attempts to present a version of the Holocaust in which only Jews are victims. Archbishop Dadeus Grings from Porto Alegre in southern Brazil only added to the problems of Pope Benedict by becoming the second Catholic bishop to create a Holocaust issue for the Church where none should exist. The bishop said: “The Jews talk about six million people killed. But, how many Catholics were victims of the Holocaust?” He went on to add: “Jews say they were the main victims of the Holocaust, the biggest victims were the gypsies, because they were exterminated.”

It insults those who died in the Holocaust or anyone who died as a result of German action to get into the “numbers game” as to who “suffered the most.” How does one measure “suffering?” This is a ridiculous discussion. Over thirty million Russians died, Jews as well as Christians. Millions of Catholics died as did Protestants and atheists. The only way to respond to the ignorance of this Catholic bishop is –silence. Pope Benedict has spoken eloquently about the Holocaust and it insults the Catholic Church and those who have worked for reconciliation to allow this ignorant man from Brazil to assume his comments have any worth or any standing in his church.

France Accepts Holocaust Resposibility

Many nations in Europe continue to twist and dodge concerning their behavior during World War Ii when six million Jews were sent to their deaths by the Germans. It is often ignored that Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria were allies of Nazi Germany and participated in the war as active participants. The French people have always found themselves divided since it was clear there were many collaborators with the Nazis and the Vichy regime worked closely with Germans in rounding up and deporting Jews to death camps. France’s highest judicial body finally recognized the French government’s responsibility for the deportation of Jews and made clear the Vichy government was fully “responsible” for these actions. The decision also stated that those who were deported had been compensated and therefore the claimants request for compensation was denied.

The judicial council called for a “solemn recognition of the state’s responsibility and of collective prejudice suffered” by those who were deported.