Alaa Kullab, writing in the Swedish newspaper, The Local, challenges a recent article which argued that Swedish protests against Israel actions in Gaza were simply a manifestation of anti-Semitism. He points out that those who protest against Iran are not being anti-Muslim but merely expressing concern regarding abuses of human rights or those who protest against any form of political oppression are telling the world what they do not like about a specific government’s actions and this has nothing to do with religion. He quotes the words of Richard Falk, a Jew, who argues Israel’s treatment of the people of Gaza is “a Holocaust in the making” as an example of someone who is angry at the Israel government and not at Jews. Mr. Kullab points out that Israel has violated the Geneva Convention in the West Bank where people are being mistreated.
The arguments of Mr. Kullab can not be challenged because the examples cited are clear violations of human rights on the part of the Israel government. Protesting against Israel actions are justified, but there is another question to be posed. Why has there been no open protest in Sweden about the death of five million people in the Congo, surely a real example not of a “Holocaust in the making” but of a Holocaust? Why have there been no protests against the brutality in Zimbabwe which has left thousands dead? Why no protest against the death, not of 1,300, but of over 60,000 in Uganda where brutality runs rampant?
There is NO “Holocaust in the making” in Gaza. To compare Israel actions in Gaza with the Holocaust violates any sense of decency and human behavior. I protest Israel actions in Gaza but I consistently protest about actions in Zimbabwe or Uganda or the Congo. The real question to pose is– why when there are more brutal events occurring in the world such as Darfur, do people in Sweden single out Israel actions and ignore the more brutal forms of oppression? Perhaps, Mr. Kullab can answer that question?