As we look back on the horrific atrocities commited by Nazi Germany on the European Jews 70 years ago, in camps like Auschwitz, Dachau, Sobibor etc, and we watch the deeply disturbing films that have been shown on Channel 4 like 'Night Will Fall' and other films taken at the period, some of them incorporated into later reports, it brings home the enormity of what barbarity and inhumaneness the Nazi regime dealt to the Jews and others, but mainly to the Jews.
I watched 'Night Will Fall' and found it a deeply disturbing and a monstrous piece of film, to think human beings are capable of inflicting such evil upon another group of human beings just because they are different. The line "Never again" is oft repeated, but, genocide continues to this day, in the shape of Islamic State for example, where Christians and Yazidis have been executed and driven from their lands and executed in the most barbaric fashion.
Israel is often compared to Nazi Germany by some scholars and historians. Is this a fair comparison?
Well, the Palestinians speak of the nachbar or their version of the holocaust perpertrated by Israeli forces, when thousands of Palestinians were killed or imprisoned and many fled what had been Palestine and is now the state of Israel. The West Bank has been illegally settled by Jewish settlers and Israel is building towns on occupied Palestinian land. There are thousands of Palestinians in Israeli jails. Palestinians face discrimination and persecution every day at the hands of Israeli forces. There are the check points operated by Israeli forces that Palestinians have to endure and finally the recent wars fought between Hamas and Israel, the latest one last year in Gaza, where many Palestinians were killed and injured, the difference in the casualites speaks for itself, 2000-plus Palestinians compared to 63 Israelis. Israel was deploying the might of American supplied weapons on the Gaza Strip from land, sea and air, where as Gaza was using homemade rockets that can kill and do damage in Israel, but, nothing like the destruction wrought on Gaza by the Israeli Defence Forces.
Is Israel guilty of genocide, a genocide of the Palestinians?
If we pursue this argument, are people like the current Israeli Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his Likud party fascists? But after what the Jews suffered in Europe, and when they say 'Never again', meaning themselves, when they are threatened by nations all around them that want to see the destruction of Israel, I can understand Israel being armed to the teeth. Israel is the only true democracy in the middle east, let us not forget also there are many Israeli Arabs of Muslim and Christian belief that live their lives unhindered in Israel.
My final view is this, Israel has the right to exist and defend itself, but at the same time the Palestinians need a homeland too, will peace break out any time soon, with Israel living in secure borders and Palestine becoming a viable state, unfortunately, not any time soon, sadly, I suspect.