Over 300 academics associated with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum have written an open letter in the New York Review of Books protesting the museum’s rejection of the analogy between the Nazi holocaust & the US refugee concentration camps for children. This is actually an old issue with the museum going back to its foundations as a bastion of Zionism & support for Israel as a Jewish-only state. Elie Wiesel, who died three years ago today, was instrumental in setting up the museum to promote the idea that the Nazi holocaust of Jews was a unique atrocity for which there is no equivalent in human history. Not even the WWII atomic bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki nor the Atlantic slave trade where millions of Africans died.
In “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering.” Norman Finkelstein did a brilliant excoriation of how Zionists exploit the holocaust to advance support for Israel’s colonialism, apartheid, & genocide of Palestinians. Wiesel was so corrupted by Zionist supremacy that in 2014, while Israel was targeting children in its seven-week bombing assault on Gaza, he took out full-age ads in several major newspapers claiming Palestinians used their children as human shields.
Many of the academics who signed this open letter will remain committed Zionists. Many are undoubtedly sincere in their objections to the museum’s insular racism toward refugee children. But there are likely some who signed to counter the damage the museum is doing to Zionism with such boldfaced racism toward children. It isn’t cynical to question motives but an expression of hope that these professors & researchers will come to terms with the supremacy inherent to Zionism & to how the Nazi holocaust is taught & that in doing so they will make the analogy between the Nazi holocaust, the US concentration camps, & Israel’s colonial & genocidal policies which target Palestinian children.
US taxpayers paid $58 million this year to support the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Speaking of holocausts, how much did the US Congress allocate to memorial museums educating about the extermination of Native Americans, the history of slavery & Black Lives Matter, or Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people of Palestine? No one can object to educating about the Nazi holocaust of Jews. It’s imperative, but only as part of educating about the entire human history of colonialism, racism, white supremacy, genocide, war.
This photo is Palestinians in Gaza during funeral prayers for baby Saba Abu Arar who was killed along with her pregnant aunt Filastin Abu Shihma on May 5th, 2019.
(Photo by Ashraf Amra/APA images)