Repost from the old site. Azmi Bishara, an Israeli Arab Parliamentarian and university professor, published an excellent article in the Egyptian paper Al Ahram Weekly in 2007. It’s dated, but it’s very much worth a read. It’s about Holocaust Denial and Zionism and the way that they intertwine.
If I am not mistaken, Bishara was charged with treason for visiting Syria on some sort of a peace mission during or around the time of the Lebanon War. The charges appear to be trumped up. He fled Israel in order not to be prosecuted, and I think he lives in Syria now.
It deals with some issues that continue to confuse many people to this day. What was the cause of the Holocaust?
Why did the Nazis and other Europeans kill the Jews – what made them so angry? What were the essential components of Nazism, and to a lesser extent fascism? What was the response of the Arab Left to the Holocaust? Why has Holocaust Denial taken such a baffling and disturbing root in the Arab and Muslim World?
This work by Bishara is a bit of a tough read in spots, but if you slow down and think about it as you read it, I think most will be able to glean the gist of it. My comments appear in bold. They deal with ultranationalism, ethnic nationalism and its German expression in Nazism, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, Zionism and the ways in which these things tangle together.
The Nazi Holocaust aimed to rid Europe of its “Jewish taint”. By this was meant banking capital as opposed to industrial capital and the moral degeneracy, lack of patriotism, scorn for national values, heritage and other such ills caused by the “worm” that ate away at all that was noble and pure in the Germanic people.
That worm was the racial strain that never belonged, that was intrinsically alien and that nevertheless insisted on remaining in order to wreak its pollution; it was European Jewry and its various manifestations including capitalism, communism and liberalism, and its mere presence, according to this diabolical system of thought, that were a scourge to racial purity.
[RL: These lines here are very important. The nationalism that arose in Central and Eastern Europe in the late 1800’s and married itself to emerging racial science was unique. Previously, nationalism had generally not been racial.
Often, anyone could marry into a tribe and become a full-fledged member – in fact, this has been a well-known norm of tribal societies.
The only nations were either tribes or empires, and empires were not racial. A Roman was anyone who lived in the Roman Empire. If you wanted to cross the Mediterranean and move to Rome and speak Latin, you could become a full-fledged Roman. It had nothing to do with any notion of an Italian race of people.
The Persian Empires were made up of individuals of a variety of ethnic groups, only one of which was Persian.
The new nationalism changed all of that. The nation was seen as being only made up of one ethnic group, organically linked to the land through blood, soil and religion, and, tragically, all other groups on the land, including those who had lived there for centuries, were said to be aliens, as they were not part of this organic whole.
The nation was now an area with lines on a map – a territory with borders. Within this area – the nation – a vision formed of the nation as being akin to a human body. Its rivers and lakes were akin to the blood and water in our bodies, and its solid parts were akin to our flesh. The nation had a mind, a soul and emotions, as a human body does.
As we alone – our pure selves – have lived in our human bodies our whole lives, a notion was created that only one ethnic group, a pure ethnic group without outside admixtures, had lived in the national territory for all of recorded history. This people was an organic part of the land, the same as the rivers, rocks and trees.
Indeed, this organic national race was seen, mystically, as almost as much a part of the geological features of the land as the features were likewise seen as a part of the people. A religion and a set of cultural values, always glorious and perfect, was married to this pure people. Their religion and culture was obviously superior to those of their neighbors, if not of everyone else.
The pure people had died and fertilized the soil with their blood, flesh and bones, often in defense of the sacred land. Hence the dirt itself was impregnated with the glorious ancestors of the people.
From this blood-drenched soil sprang the plants and the animals that fed on them. And the soil sprouted crops, and the crops provided food for the animals, and the crops and animals sustained the life of this pure people.
As we prefer our bodies not to be contaminated by poisons, viruses and other unnatural interlopers, so the pure people tended to see the other ethnic groups on the land as akin to viruses coursing through the bloodstream of our bodies.
As we take medicine to rid our bodies of harmful contaminants, so the nation-race suggested “medicine” to rid the “body politic” of those “contaminating” peoples resident on the land who were not part of the pure people.
I have striven to paint a rather elaborate picture here, but if you will try to picture this word-painting in your mind, you will begin to understand the essence of Nazism, and indeed all ultranationalism.
In this way, Jews who had lived in German lands for centuries were still defined as aliens.
The notion of the Jew as representative of banking capital – or “parasitic” capitalism was an old one, but it was married to new organic notions of nationhood that defined industrial capital with “national” capitalists. That is, industrial capital was of the land and the soil; i.e., it was “organic” and “natural” (see above) and was run by true Germans (the pure people).
Industrial capital could not migrate at a whim to other lands, and hence was rooted in the land as a plant is rooted in the soil (this was before outsourcing and offshoring). The Jew was seen as a “rootless cosmopolitan”, having no real (“organic”) ties to the land, and hence, a sort of a suspect traitor by default.
The connection of Jews with lack of patriotism, moral degeneracy, scorn for national values, etc. is another long-standing charge. Diaspora Jews tended to be rebels and were often hostile to their host nations, regarding such nations, often rightly so, as hostile to Jews.
Furthermore, Jews regarded societies with strong national values, especially religious values, as bad for the Jews, again often rightly so.
The connection with Nazism refers to 1920’s Germany, when many liberal Germans were questioning the nation’s values, which they felt had led them into a disastrous war that had ruined the land. Amongst this group were a number of prominent Jewish comedians, actors, filmmakers, play directors, authors, etc.
As Jews were only 1% of the population, Jews could not have dominated this group, but they were prominent enough that the mindset elaborated above, shared by many liberal German Gentiles, became associated with Jewry.
Many German Jews had actually fought bravely for Germany in World War 1, and even in the US, US Jewry largely supported the Germans until the US got into the war, because so many US Jews had German roots, and because Germany was regarded as the cultural center of World Jewry.
Those questioning German values were de facto defined as being unpatriotic. Actually, they were the finest of their generation, and their questioning spirit was right and proper.
Moral degeneracy refers mostly to 1920’s Berlin, teeming with artists, writers, actors, playwrights, directors, drug users, drinkers, prostitutes, and especially homosexuals and bisexuals. Christopher Isherwood comes to mind.
Surely most of these folks were Gentiles, but once again, Jews being prominent in the arts, they were overrepresented among this group, and it came to be associated with Jews. Most Germans were still quite conservative, and the antics of the Berlin crowd outraged a traditional population.
The association of Jews with both capitalism and Communism is one of the mysteries of Nazism. Yet Nazism promised to transcend both capitalism and Communism. The newly emerging capitalism was vicious and brutal and seemed to lack all morals, and traditional people regarded it with alarm.
Communism was regarded by the German middle class as a direct threat. In particular, Communism, being explicitly opposed to ethnic nationalism, was regarded as Enemy Number One by nationalists of every stripe – and still is to this day.
Jews were prominent in both German capitalism and Communism, and in the early development of both systems in general. The rational explanation for this is that “Jews lead movements.”
But the Nazis looked at the Jewish factory owner locked in savage conflict with the radicalized Leftist union currently striking his plant and concluded that the owner and his workers must be in cahoots, part of a conspiracy to tear the land apart in order to seize power for the Jews.]
Late capitalism, as forcefully imposed by the centralised bureaucratic state, converged with a fanatical and rabidly xenophobic and very ideological late nationalism of the “vesrspaeteten Nationen” with a history of religious anti-Semitism dating back to the Middle Ages and the crusader expeditions that attacked Jewish villages in central Europe en route to Palestine, a religious exclusionism that targeted both Muslims and Jews in Andalusian Spain and that shaped part of European identity in terms of both an external determinant — the Muslims — and an internal determinant — the Jews.
But the Nazis’ obsession with the annihilation of the Jews was also fired by an ideology that incorporated totalitarian social engineering, founded upon social Darwinism and assorted recent biological discoveries that were applied to human beings, together with a populist romantic socialism that was hostile to communism, democratic socialism and liberalism, all regarded as alien to the “Volksgeist”, “the spirit of the people”.
[RL: This explains how Nazism could have espoused a strange fake socialism “rooted in the land” while opposing everything on the Left as being de facto unpatriotic. The fact that the Nazis targeted the entire Left shows how bizarre the notion that Nazism is a leftwing movement really is.]
This form of pseudo-scientifically justified and coldly carried out mass extermination would not have been possible without a strong ability to compartmentalise between the bureaucratic functionary and the duty to obey orders, on the one hand, and the individual and his private moral sphere on the other, a phenomenon that is one of the characteristics of the modern state apparatus.
Nor would it have been possible without all the business of documentation, recording and archiving, which is also a characteristic of the modern state.
The irony of all this pseudo-scientific human taxonomy and the obsessive documentation of the names, addresses, confiscated possessions and physical details of the people who were rounded up and freighted to the concentration camps and from there to the gas chambers is that this paperwork has become the most important primary historical source for the Holocaust and the most important instrument with which to refute the claims of those who deny it occurred or belittle its magnitude.
[RL: Yes, the Nazis, in their bureaucratic zeal and German thoroughness and work ethic, pretty much wrote everything down, even if only in code. Thus making Holocaust Denial an even more trying task and ultimately an exercise in absurdity in the face of the mountain of contrary documentation.]
It is not so much the sheer numbers of victims that distinguishes the Holocaust. As unique as it was in the 20th century, millions of native inhabitants were exterminated en masse in the Americas over the course of previous centuries.
Nor is it just a question of scale: many more millions died in the course of World War II, alone, than in the Nazi gas chambers and these included Russians, Germans, Poles, French, Italians and many other nationalities.
The true horror of the Holocaust resides not only in the deliberate singling out of entire peoples — Jews and Gypsies — for extermination and in the scale of this crime, but also in the totality of the target and the “rational” way in which it was carried out.
[RL: This is apparently accurate, but I am very wary of the typically-Jewish efforts to make the Holocaust into the ultimate massacre of all time, such that we cannot even use words like Holocaust for other genocides. To do so, according to perverse tribal-nationalistic Jews, is somehow…get this – anti-Semitism! Ridiculous.]
Jews were snatched from their homes amid the general silence of their neighbours, a silence interspersed by hatemongering by anti-Semitic groups and by the active complicity of informers. Most of the Jews who died in the concentration camps were not Zionists; in fact, many may not have even heard of Zionism.
[RL: This is an important point, and seeing as it is the case, how is it now that the super-racist Zionist state has appointed itself Ultimate Spokesman for these largely anti-Zionist Jews, anyway?]
Moreover, the role of the Zionist movement in saving Jews, or in conspiring with the Nazis, was very marginal, regardless of the number of studies that have been produced on both cases and regardless of the fact that most of their findings have been corroborated.
[RL: This is a good point. Zionism did collaborate with the Nazis in various ways. For the most part, they were only interested in saving those Jews who were Zionists and all the rest could just die. Zionists actively worked to keep Jews from fleeing to places other than Palestine.
Zionists believed that Jews should be cut off from all escape routes except for Palestine, thereby forcing the European Jewish refugees into Palestine, where they were surely not wanted. This history is almost unknown to the vast majority of Americans. Lenni Brenner’s books are a good place to start your digging into this sordid history.
Such was, and is, the insanity of the doctrine that undergirds the Jewish state. On the other hand, the anti-Israel crowd has made much too much of this collaboration. This group, many of whom are out and out Holocaust Deniers and sadly even Nazi sympathizers, make much of the fact that “evil Zionists worked with the Nazis.”
Worked with the Nazis to do what? Apparently to help kill Jews. Except the Nazi “good guys” never killed any Jews because the “Holohoax” is a gigantic fraud! The wildly ironic discrepancies of these mutually contradictory lines is embarrassingly clear.]
Zionism did, indeed, have two faces; it was the perspectives and aims of the researchers that were and remain at odds.
The Zionist movement began, and had set its sights on Palestine, long before the Holocaust.
[RL: Precisely! Let us chant this over and over, every time some misguided US liberal tells us that “Israel was created due to the Holocaust.” How many times have you heard that line?]
Zionists only used the Holocaust to justify their national project in hindsight, even if that justification is what drove some Arabs to deny the existence of the Holocaust.
Yet, while there are people who have felt that by minimising or even refuting the Holocaust they undermine Jewish claims to a state in Palestine, the majority of educated and informed Arab opinion has never denied the Holocaust or the existence of anti-Semitism in Europe.
[RL: This would be news to me, but I am not an Arab. Most of the Arabs that I have known were Holocaust Deniers, including, I am ashamed to say, Arab Communists.
In the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist movement, Holocaust Denial and Revisionism in its various insipid formations is spread out like ivy on an overgrown lawn. As a believer in the traditional Holocaust story, I have often felt like I was odd man out.]
Rather, they have argued — correctly — that since this horror took place in Europe the Palestinians should not have to pay the price.
Although it vaguely existed as a blend between the residue of a religious culture and extremist nationalist ideas imported from Europe even in early stages,anti-Semitism in the sense of hostility towards the Jews only began to spread significantly in the Arab world in the form of cultural and intellectual output after 1967.
[RL: I don’t agree that anti-Semitism was a marginal factor in the Arab World before 1967, but I agree that it exploded after 1967. After 1967, also, many previously rather apathetic US Jews finally came around and starting supporting Israel full bore, and it was after that war that the Israeli Lobby in the US really exploded, as it was not really that powerful before.]
Clearly, the rise of this phenomenon coincided with the rise of a metaphysical attitude that sought to explain the overwhelming Arab defeat of that year in terms of the confrontation with an absolute evil bent on a global conspiracy of the nature of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, which has been proven to be an invention of the Russian secret service at the end of the 19th century but which nevertheless found many gullible ears in the Arab world in the wake of the 1967 defeat.
[RL: How tiresome is it to hear the line that The Protocols may indeed be a forgery but they still accurately describe the agenda of the Jews? The curious are urged to read the Protocols. Don’t worry, you won’t catch a disease from reading it. It’s a pretty short document and you can read it quickly online in a number of places.
Reading it, one is struck by how silly and paranoid this document really is. Nor does it have much relation to reality, except that I agree that various wealthy Jews have indeed conspired to control the media in various Western countries in the 1900’s, more to create an environment that is safe for the Jews in that country than for any nefarious means.]
Holocaust denial similarly emerged during this period and in the same spirit of a fantastic conspiracy theory that ascribed to an international Jewish cabal the power to invent and dupe the entire world into believing a stupendous set of lies.
I would like to suggest that there are two types of Holocaust denial. One, espoused by elements of the European traditional right and neo-ultra right, is to deny it happened. This form has not acquired sufficient roots to become a determinant of the behaviour of nations and societies.
The other form of denial is to ignore that the Holocaust occurred within a particular historic context and, hence, to deal with it as some fiendish aberration that somehow occurred outside the bounds of time and place.
[RL: I think this is very important. Jews and their allies have worked very hard at the mystification of the Holocaust, along with the mystification of anti-Semitism. In practice, the two are simply tied together. Why did the Holocaust happen?
According to the Jewish line, it was an outbreak of sheer evil that occurred for no reason at all, other than “pure hatred”. Why were these folks seized by such “pure hatred” anyway? Because they were simply evil.
How do we know they were evil? Because they were anti-Semites. How do we know anti-Semites are evil? Well, because Jews say they are. Starting to get the feel for the inane circularity of this approach?
Did Jews do anything to make any of these anti-Semitic nasties mad? Nope. Well then, why did the ugly little anti-Semite devils hate Jews, other than the fact that the were just lil’ balls of evil in human form and all that? A very typical Jewish response is…get this – no reason! Ok, now please, try to stop laughing. Jews actually believe that millions of folks hate Jews for absolutely no reason whatsoever . Does it make sense? Nope. Does it serve Jewish ego-defensive needs? Sure.
Or, sometimes, the truly ludicrous Jewish chauvinist argument is offered that because Jews represented good (with a capital G), this infuriated the anti-Semitic beasties so much that they tried to wipe out the Jews. This profoundly disturbed way of thinking is actually very common, especially amongst more militant Jews.
Well, other than being evil, why were these folks anti-Semites anyway? The answer given is…they were always that way. Or, is is said about the Poles, “The Poles learn anti-Semitism at their mothers’ breasts.”
This seriously depressing analysis offers us neither hope nor understanding and merely serves Jewish needs for ego-defensive theories about their history.
The truth is that the only fraud about the Holocaust is the Jewish mystification of it. The sad fact is that the Holocaust was rooted in normal human tendencies that lie within all of us, and if we do not work hard to nip these tendencies in the bud, Holocaust-like phenomena can occur over and over again.]
One major consequence of this approach is that it inhibits the study of the Holocaust as a historical phenomenon and as a sobering primer on the dangers of racism, extremist nationalist chauvinism and totalitarian social engineering in modern mass societies.
[RL: Exactly. See my comments directly above.]
But Holocaust denial can assume another face, which is to reduce it to an instrument for realising political ends. The Zionist movement has excelled in this, its rituals and rhetoric in commemoration of Holocaust victims far outstripping its concern for the victims and its activities to combat the phenomenon when it occurred.
[RL: See Norman Finkelstein’s “The Holocaust Industry” for more on the nauseating “Shoah Business” aspect of Jewish politics.]
In fact, the subject was not even on the agenda of the Jewish organised community, the “Yeshov”, in mandate Palestine during the war years and many Zionists at the time found it embarrassing to hear of Jews being dragged off to be slaughtered without putting up a resistance; it conflicted with the nationalist fighting spirit and the image of the new man they were trying to inculcate.
[RL: Exactly. And Holocaust survivors arriving in Israel were often regarded with open contempt and hostility by the abrasive “Jews with an attitude” Sabras.
To some extent, this line continues to this day, as bad-ass Sabras attack Diaspora Jews, especially those in the US, as some species of traitorous wimps. The friction between Israeli and non-Israeli Jews is little known outside of Jewish circles.]
It was not until the Eichmann trial that the embarrassed silence was broken and emotions suddenly gushed out.
In the course of Zionism’s attempts to portray the history of the entire Jewish people as one uninterrupted stream of oppression and persecution that culminated inevitably in the Holocaust,
[RL: I refer to this as the “false pogrom and persecution view of Jewish history”. It is extremely deeply rooted, even amongst liberal, secular, assimilated US Jews.
Actually, it is mostly associated with Ashkenazi Jews and was traditionally not part of the worldview of Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews, although many non-Ashkenazics inside Israel have sadly taken this up. Students of ultranationalism will note that there is nothing unique about the Jewish craving to be a victim. It is simply a component of ultranationalism.
There is even a perverse human need to be a victim, which can be observed as a psychopathological symptom in many people, including those you know. On the individual level, ultranationalism is represented as egocentrism, and ultranationalism is simply egocentrism writ large across the face of the nation, with the tribe standing in for the ego.
Students of psychology are aware that egocentrism is associated with feelings of persecution, and grandiosity (manifested as ultranationalism on the tribal level) is associated with paranoia. Hence we can see that psychological processes that work on the ego level also manifest in aggregations of humans, including entire tribes and nations.]
Holocaust history has been transformed into an exclusively Israeli property.
Victims of the Nazi gas chambers have been nationalised and converted, in spite of themselves, either into an episode in the Zionist struggle to create a state or into an instrument for blackmailing others into supporting Zionist aims or for justifying the crimes the Zionist state perpetrates against others.
It is as though the magnitude of the crime entitles Israel to play the victim par excellence or the victims’ sole proxy, placing it beyond accusations of wrongdoing because it is the victim by definition.
The Zionist casting of all Jews as victims of Nazi atrocities has given rise to two curious phenomena. The first is that any Israeli can speak and act as the victim even if he has more in common ideologically and psychologically with the offender or the “Capo” — the Jews who cooperated with the Nazis in the concentration camps.
In other words, the mere fact of being born to a Jewish mother somehow gives license to represent all victims, including in front of those who actually are more victims than he is and those who are more hostile to Nazism, racism and its offshoots.
The second phenomenon is the monopoly claimed by the Israeli ruling establishment to speak on behalf of Jews and Jewish history in general, which largely translates into soliciting, and pressuring for, political and financial support for Israel.
[RL: Feeling bad about the Holocaust? Sure you are. So fork over that donation to the Israeli Lobby today!]
In the first instance, the challenge of truly understanding and learning lessons from the Nazi phenomenon is reduced to something akin to a therapy session in which those in the role of victim help those in the role of perpetrator purge their guilt by satisfying the psychological and material demands of the former.
There is something morally repugnant in this passing of the sins, or innocence, of the fathers to the sons, as opposed to engaging in an objective process of historical investigation with the aim of combating racism in all forms and in all societies. After all, the main victims of European racism today are not Jews, and in Palestine Zionism is not the victim but the perpetrator.
Unfortunately, the Israeli-German therapy sessions ignore such stark realities and, in so doing, offer both the Israelis and the Germans carte blanche to vent their racism on others, as though the Holocaust were a purely German-Israeli concern and the greater phenomenon of racism something else entirely.
It is as if through their mutual catharsis with regard to the former they exonerate themselves from responsibility for the latter.
Meanwhile, Zionism’s unwarranted, illogical and historically unsubstantiated monopoly on the role of Holocaust victims’ spokesperson sits well with Europe. Most of Zionism’s aims and demands do not require Europe to engage in a serious process of introspection in order to uproot the deeper causes that gave rise to the Holocaust.
Contrary to what one may logically expect, this suits Zionism’s purposes because it keeps the monolithic discreteness of the Holocaust intact and diminishes, in comparison, the significance of Europe’s other crimes. The upshot is to toss the entire Jewish question outside Europe and dump it in the Middle East.
It may come as a relief to European officials to be able to exonerate themselves for the Holocaust by placating Israel with anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab and even anti-Muslim sympathies.
[RL: Have you ever wondered what is behind the Europeans’ curious support for Israel? This is it – Holocaust guilt, and Jewish Zionists never dare let them forget it.]
If anything, however, this form of behaviour confirms the continuation of the underlying syndrome, a syndrome that is nevertheless glossed over with a fresh bill of moral health, authorised and stamped by Israel after every visit of atonement a European leader makes to the “Yad Vashem” Museum in Jerusalem.
[RL: Surely it is a legitimate question to ask when radical, racist, nationalist and militant Jews will finally cease their never-ending demands for apologies from Europeans for this crime, even though those asked to apologize are typically now not those present at the scene of the crime, but their offspring.]
It is for this reason that all victims of racism across the world should campaign to break the Zionist hold over the role of spokesman for victims of the Holocaust. Conversely, the Arabs and Palestinians who deny the Holocaust offer European and Zionist racism no greater gift than this denial of the occurrence of the Holocaust.
[RL: I have always said that anti-Semites are the greatest gift that Zionists ever received.]
What possible Arab or Islamic interest can it serve to even offer to exonerate Europe of one of the blackest pages in its history?
To do so is not only to absolve Europe of a crime that was, in fact, committed, but also to earn its contempt and to wake up one day to find Europe and Israel joining forces against Arab or Muslim Holocaust deniers with such venom that one might imagine that the Holocaust had occurred in Egypt or Iran and that Holocaust denial is a far graver crime than the perpetration of the Holocaust itself.
Holocaust denial is just plain stupid, also as a political argument. But Israel will be no less expedient in turning the provocation against its regional adversaries who had nothing to do with the Holocaust.
On the other hand, the Holocaust is a phenomenon that merits proper scholastic study, the purpose of which is to sort fact from fiction, and myth form reality. No incident in history lies beyond the realm of historical research.
[RL: Here Bishara delves into the all-too-typical, and silly, line we hear so often these days – that the research into the Holocaust is somehow banned! The many diligent Holocaust scholars toiling for years and decades would be very interested to learn that their studies are forbidden.]
In fact, the entire corpus of the Holocaust story is up for grabs, including the incident itself. The fact that Revisionists are reviled is because they are historically illiterate or deliberate historical forgers, not because inquiry is somehow banned.]
This said, Tehran can hardly be said to have a tradition of Holocaust studies; the subject does not rate very high in Iranian academic priorities.
And a conference in Tehran that was proceeded by a political speech denying the Holocaust cannot be said to be an academic conference; it was a political demonstration, one that harms the Arabs and Muslims and serves only the ultra-right and neo-Nazi forces in Europe and the Zionist movement.
During World War II, when some Arabs and other Third World peoples were rooting for Germany because it was fighting the colonial powers France and Britain, the Arab and Third World left, which had allied with the Soviet Union, argued that it was wrong for the victims of racism to side with the racist Nazi regime. Their position was correct.
Today, there is not even a pragmatic immoral justification whatsoever for siding with European racism. Holocaust denial does not undermine the moral justifications for the existence of the state of Israel, as some imagine.
What it does, however, is hand the European right and Israel a convenient enemy upon which to unload their problems. This enemy comprises Palestinians and Arabs, specifically fundamentalist Muslims, those Bush is fond of calling “Islamic fascists”.
The initial Arab reaction to the Holocaust was simple and straightforward and much more rational. The Holocaust occurred, but it was a tragedy for which the Europeans, not the Arabs, should assume responsibility. This is the opinion that prevailed throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the sense of normalcy that survived in all of us continues to hold it.