In pictures: The world’s forgotten refugees

Was trying to work on something productive while most of the time just browsing the net. My plans to travel to bangladesh and other south asian / countries in the sub continent has been postponed briefly.
Last night it was a hell of a dark experience watching all the genocides and reading of the victims. It really felt like theres no hell elsewhere but here and its we that make it, not some higher being or something.

The jews have been my favourite, the palestine people have been some kind of a villians and after watching the jewish holocaust films esp schlidlers list on youtube (its some kinda rare pool of docus n films that amazes me on youtube) i was moved and at the same time i donot know what w happening to me when i was watching the palestine victims of camera and it was no less pain then why have not the jews understood the pain ?

I ws reading this famous article (I liked it) from a blog and i was thinking and thinking and thinking………

Having endured a remarkable 2 hours in room ten at the UN today listening to Jon Voight, Alan Dershowitz and others explain how Hamas, Hezbollah and the Nazis are the same; Achmadinejad and Hitler are the same, and that we are now confronting a new Holocaust (I’ll need to write this out in pieces, it was that painful), I have been struggling to find the words for the pathology that has helped unleash this tsunami here at the Review Conference. Far from boycotting, the Israeli proxies have taken over.

Before, I called the pathological denial of Palestinian humanity, let alone Palestinian suffering, “moral schizophrenia”, to borrow the term from IF Stone. But after today’s display from Dershowitz, Wiesel, Sharansky and others, I’ve decided we need a stronger term for this sickness. My friend Susie used the term “Shoahism” meaning the holocaust as your religion. But there’s more.

The mere mention of Palestinian suffering sends these people into paroxysms of defensiveness and even rage. They go on and on about Holocaust denial, but this phenomenon is cut of the same cloth. It is virtually impossible for them to hold both the narrative of their own suffering, and the narrative of Palestinian suffering. It’s as if they did, they might break in two right there in front of us.

Jewish Peace News’ Judith Norman and Alistair Welch offer this:

Antony Lerman, former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, addresses the question of why so many Jews, in Israel and around the world, seem blind to Palestinian suffering. The answer he gives – that many Jews see themselves as permanent victims – is not particularly new, but this article gives a particularly lucid account of this sense of victimhood and the effect it has in legitimating policies that lead to great suffering for Palestinians.

Not only do many Jews view themselves as victims, the nature of Jewish suffering is thought to be uniquely profound and intense. Jewish suffering is given a quasi- (or even downright) religious character; it transcends experience and is therefore irrefutable. Every anti-Semitic incident is regarded as far more sinister than it seems – it is a symptom of a smoldering global epidemic of Jew-hatred. Given this reasoning, it is impossible for Israel to over-react to any act of Palestinian hostility, because every Palestinian attack is a symptom of the same global existential threat that the Jews have (supposedly) faced for millennia.

Needless to say, this mindset has done enormous harm, not least to Israeli Jews, who are unable (even unwilling) to contextualize current events or sympathize with Palestinian suffering (Lerman cites empirical evidence for this), and are thus led to support a belligerent agenda that ultimately blocks any solution to the conflict.

The antidote Lerman offers is the very courageous and basic act of empathy: there is nothing unique about Jewish suffering, and it should be used as the key to understanding Palestinian suffering, not a justification for increasing it.

Roger Cohen at the NYT, who is on a roll, writes:

Closure is the overcoming of horror. It is the achievement of normality through responsibility. It cannot be attained through the inflation of threats, the perpetuation of fears, or retreat into the victimhood that sees every act, however violent, as defensive.

Phil Weiss has a few choice thinkers on the topic

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