People have accused U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) of getting her facts wrong about her version of history as it related to the Holocaust, in stating that ‘Palestinian’ Arabs helped European Jewry when they did the exact opposite. Her defenders explained that her words were misconstrued and taken out of context and that she merely suggested that it was the ‘Palestinian’ Arabs who were the principle party who were left to deal with the “Jewish Problem” after Europe murdered its Jews.
The direct connection of the “Nakba” of ‘Palestinian’ Arabs to the Holocaust of European Jewry is not simply a falsification of history by a lone congressman. The connection is widely promoted in progressive circles.
The New York Times suggested that both Jews and ‘Palestinians’ have endured suffering, and the key to the parties living with each other is for the Palestinians to understand the Holocaust and for Jews to understand the Nakba.
Putting aside the fact that comparing the Holocaust and the Nakba is akin to a ten-car fatal accident relative to a parking ticket, the two parties comprehend each other’s narrative completely differently.
Jews understand the Nakba. They are a people consumed with guilt for anything and everything they may or may not have done. What other people could produce comedians plagued with anxiety like Woody Allen and Richard Lewis or psychologists like Sigmund Freud? This is a group of neurotic people who, upon accusation of doing something intentionally or not, real or imagined, will immediately ask for forgiveness before they even know the topic of discussion. While the Bible asked Jews to feel empathy, Jews contorted that message into always feeling guilty.
Israelis appreciate the Nakba from an ARAB POINT OF VIEW. They understand the Arabs’ grievance and position about Jews coming into Palestine and changing the demographics of the land. The Arabs were a majority and now they’re not; they were under Muslim control (Ottomans) and now they’re not; grandparents used to live in Israel and now they don’t.
Further, the ongoing situation of many Arabs being stateless is understood as a fact. While Jews might use different language – for example, not saying that they are “colonizers” since they are indigenous to the land – and have a wide variety of opinions regarding the methods of paving a path towards an enduring peace, the ‘Palestinian’ Arab perspective is not distorted by Jewish claims.
For Jews of all political leanings, the ‘Palestinian’ narrative has been heard and internalized.
However, the situation is not remotely the same for the Arabs regarding the Holocaust. ‘Palestinians’ have been taught that they cannot accept the Holocaust from a Jewish perspective, as IT MUST BE TIED TO AND SEEN THROUGH THE NAKBA.
- The Holocaust showed off the worst side of humanity: To acknowledge ‘Palestinian’ Arab participation would be to admit that your ancestors were evil antisemites. Maybe it would imply that current Arabs are as well, and their desire for a Jew-free country has nothing to do with ancestral claims, but naked antisemitism.
- The Holocaust was a uniquely European affair and it was the western world’s guilt that made them vote at the United Nations to create a Jewish State: Convincing the West that it made the ‘Palestinians’ pay the price for European crimes might change their behavior to favor ‘Palestinians’ in the Arab-Israel conflict today.
For ‘Palestinian’ Arabs, the Holocaust is used as a vehicle to undermine Israel today.
Just as over 3,000 years of Jewish history in the Jewish holy land is ignored because it undermines Arab claims that only they are indigenous to Palestine, rewriting the history of the Holocaust can burnish the Palestinian position.
Mahmoud Abbas wrote his doctoral dissertation on a particularly noxious form of Holocaust denial in which he claimed that Jews around the world had no interest in moving to Palestine in the 1920’s and the 1930’s. Therefore, to encourage immigration to Palestine, a number of leading Zionists conspired with the Nazi regime to make life unbearable for Jews so that they would flee to Palestine to create a viable Jewish State.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s recent comments are complements to the theme, claiming that not only did the Palestinians not conspire with the Nazis, it was the Palestinians who gave the Jews a state.
When Palestinians view the Holocaust, they think Jewish suffering literally CAUSED Arab suffering in losing the land, while they see Palestinian suffering of the Nakba as causing Jewish joy in creating Israel. This clouded vision leads Palestinians to believe that misery can yield a global reward, so they will continue to distort the actual history of the Holocaust and Nakba to get the outcome they desire today.
It is a sick by-product of ignoring the history of Jews, denying the rights of Jews, and refusing to accept Jews.