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Oona King's History Comparison

New Republic, Charlotte West- Sunday 29th Jun 2003

Oona King, the London East representative of the governing Labour Party, returned from her brief trip to Gaza to proclaim that conditions there were the same in nature but not extent as Polands Warsaw Ghetto, where Jews were corralled and oppressed by Adolf Hitlers Nazis. King also acknowledged that it was different in intent.

What does that mean, the same in nature but not extent or intent? What made the Warsaw ghetto unique in nature was exactly the extent and the intent. The extent of the persecution and the intent to starve the inhabitants. They even had a name for the walking dead so thin and drawn that everyone knew their deaths were hours away - they were called musselmen. Do they have musselmen in Gaza? My father was so starved he and his friends tried to grow potatoes between the cracks of the sidewalk. Is anyone growing potatoes in the cracks of the sidewalks in Gaza? To get some sustenance he would throw something of value over the wall and on a good day back would come a brick of butter. Is anyone throwing away their belongings in Gaza in the hopes that a brick of butter will come hurtling back?

But even more important than how the Jews were treated, is the issue of what the Jews did to incur that treatment. Nothing. How many Polish babies had the Jews of Warsaw shot dead on sight? None. How many Polish children had the Jews of Warsaw mass-murdered in their beds, their buses, their schools, their churches or while they were celebrating holiday rituals? None. Were the Jews of Warsaw bombing Polish commercial enterprises, setting downtown squares ablaze, mass-murdering, maiming, and terrifying the Polish people, shooting at them as they drove by on their way to church and a family dinner, and deliberately damaging tourism, immigration, trade, and the entire economy? No. Were the Jews of Warsaw who had lived there six centuries demanding their own country in Poland? No. Were the Jews of Warsaw waiting until the Poles gathered for a wedding to throw a Molotov cocktail into the room? No. Were the Jews of Warsaw trying to stone the Poles to death? No. Lynching school kids hiking? No. Stealing their cars? No. Smuggling arms shipments? No. In short, the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto were victims. They were not demanding anything of the Poles, they were not harming the Poles, nor were they trying to take their lives or ruin their economy.

And exactly how many offers of a homeland had the Jews refused before being corralled? None.

The residents of Gaza have refused homeland offers many times, and are engaging in all of the above, smuggling in arms by tunnels and by sea and then using them to mass-murder Israelis completely at random. They hide behind the skirts of collective punishment when they are inconvenienced by a roadblock, yet they mass-murder people, taking forever the lives of those whose names they dont even know. Not all Germans were Nazis, just like not all Gaza Arabs are terrorists. But they are supporting them, just as the German people did. The residents of Gaza, in harboring terrorists, indeed, making heroes of them, have chosen their own destiny and they have chosen a path that requires they be restrained. So they are being restrained just as the Allies had to restrain the Nazis.

And Oona King is committing theft - trying to steal the pity and outrage rightly reserved for victims of extreme conditions, for people that are neither victims, nor by her own admission, do their conditions match the extreme ones with which she has chosen to compare them. In other words, the analogy doesnt fit at all. So why is she attempting to sell this particular analogy? Is it because Oona King is the same in nature if not extent or intent as Adolph Hitlers Nazi master of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels? Comparing Oona King to Joseph Goebbels seems ludicrous? It is. Counterproductive? It is. It is almost as ludicrous and counterproductive as Oona Kings comparing Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto. But the effect is infinitely less dangerous - because Oona King is slandering an entire people, not just an individual.

And we immediately see the effect of such dangerous Oona King propaganda in Britain - a society feeling awfully free and easy about indulging in ludicrous, counterproductive behavior against any Israeli, sight unseen, as evidenced barely a week later when the whole world witnessed Dr. Wilkie casually fling a similarly flawed Nazi analogy at Amit Duvshani, and deny him access to his chosen career path, Oxford, because of it. Would Dr. Andrew Wilkie mind if, by the same hyperbole, qualifying, and force fitting, one were to compare him to Dr. Josef Mengele - in nature, if not extent or intent - and then inform him that because of it, his services are no longer needed at Oxford, however he will surely find another suitable lab if he looks around?

Oona King's email



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