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Published:April 15th, 2007 04:14 EST
Send Ahmadinejad to Auschwitz

Send Ahmadinejad to Auschwitz

By Krzys Wasilewski

The quaint city of Weimar is located in the very heart of Germany. Until the first half of the 20th century it was also the heart of European cultural life with such poets as Goethe and Schiller adapting the city as their home and workplace. It was here that the first truly democratic German constitution was drafted after the Great War had turned the once powerful empire into an impoverished rural state. Within 20 years, however, the name Weimar became the symbol of the fallen nation while the city quickly reinvented itself as the stronghold of Nazism. When, in 1944, American forces conquered the city and liberated a nearby concentration camp in Buchenwald, one of the first decrees issued by the occupying authorities ordered all citizens of Weimer to visit the camp. Walking through the narrow alleys among hundreds of thousands of human skeletons and feeling the heat of the still hot crematories must have been an unforgettable lesson for every man, woman and child who only a year ago would obediently raise their Aryan hands straight to salute their beloved Fuhrer. The American experiment worked. The once ardent Nazis became law-abiding citizens, participating in reestablished democracy. In 1999, The European Council of Europe chose Weimar as the European Capital of Culture.

What worked in the past, could work now. Take Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for example. Mr. Ahmadinejad began his tenure solely declaring to wipe Israel off of the face of the earth. According to this terrorist-turned statesman (it is said that one of the thugs who seized the US embassy in Tehran in 1981, was the Iranian incumbent president) the Holocaust never happened. Only due to extensive Zionist black propaganda, he says, Western powers agreed on carving out some of Palestinian land and creating the Jewish state. Not so long ago, Mr. Ahmadinejad organized a conference which gathered dozens of historians, fascists, Klansmen and basically anyone who was willing to neglect the death of six million Jews during World War II. At the same time, the Iranian president along with an army of his followers bluntly admitted that they had visited neither Auschwitz nor any other concentration camp which Europe of the 1940s was abundant in, and which serve now as a dire warning about what can happen if anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance sear into people's minds. How is it possible that every German, Polish and Israeli school child is bound to make a class trip to Auschwitz but those who consider themselves “experts” in the Holocaust do not even know such places exist? Why doesn't the European Union – the biggest trade partner of Iran – demand President Ahmadinejad walk through the “Arbeit macht frei” (Work makes one free) gate just as three millions of Jews, Poles, Gypsies and Russians did over 60 years ago and for whom the gate was to remain closed for ever? Although a great deal of time has passed and the horror of the place deteriorated, even a short trip around the huge complex of buildings made of cold, red brick with narrow, swampy streets leading to the ruins of the crematorium leaves a nagging idea in one's mind that God had once deserted this cursed land. Maybe it wouldn't impress President Ahmedinejad – in his case a trip to Hiroshima would be a better choice – but it certainly would make his anti-Semitic slurs less audible. If the Iranian president felt a bit lonely on his trip, he could pick a handful of ardent ecologists who churn out the word Holocaust at the speed of light. It's time someone told these weed lovers that grilled chicken mustn't be compared to millions of despaired people gassed or burned alive.

Such a history lesson might be useful for others as well. How many times do we hear the leaders of Hamas and other terrorist groups, now in the Palestinian government, accusing Israel of pursuing the policy of apartheid? Of course it's not true – building a wall which protects honest citizens from suicide bombers is a very reasonable thing to do and can hardly be considered an example of Israeli apartheid. Only blind and deaf liberals like former US President Jimmy Carter can claim that the wall will seriously derail the peace process in the Middle East. In his latest book, “Peace Not Apartheid,” the former president parrots statements of his old friends from the Palestinian Authority about wicked Israelis exploiting their poor and uneducated neighbor, being on the brink of collapse now since fewer suicide bombers means higher unemployment in the Palestinian Authority. Obviously Allah does not grant a place in heaven for hard work; it's much easier to get there by detonating yourself in a square full of Jewish women and children. Let's stop here and remind President Carter that apartheid was an official policy of the white South African minority and in free translation means living apart. The whites sensing their decreasing power enslaved the blacks in order to sustain their economic domination. Nothing nice but it catapulted South Africa (white South Africa) to the level of development comparable to Swedish. Fortunately, when in 1994 Nelson Mandela was elected the country's first black president, apartheid ended. Not for Jimmy Carter. The famous defender of freedom (including the freedom from thinking) traced apartheid to modern Israel where “forced segregation in the West Bank and terrible oppression of the Palestinians create a situation accurately described by the word [apartheid].” If the incumbent president of Iran mustered enough courage to visit Auschwitz, then maybe the former American president would find it smart to visit the prison on Robben Island, which is to black South Africans what concentration camps were to Jews. In the prison, there is a small cell where for almost half a century Nelson Mandela waited to breathe fresh air. I wonder how many innocent Palestinians Jimmy Carter can point in Israeli prisons who were arrested simply because they weren't Jews. Nelson Mandela didn't plan any suicide attack; Palestinian prisoners did, and this is the main and fundamental difference which makes any attempt to stick apartheid label to the situation in Israel and the Palestinian Authority look ludicrous. 

Since we are discussing the Palestinian Authority, let's eyeball its leaders. Apart from the word apartheid, which the Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniya and other Arafat's disciples have exploited to the full, their hate vocabulary also comprises the word genocide. It is not hard to guess that responsible for this genocide of the Palestinian people is Israel. First the Iranian President Ahmedinejad repudiates the Holocaust ever taking place, and then the Palestinian prime minister accuses Israel of doing exactly that. For the first time the term genocide was coined by a Polish lawyer who called on the League of Nations to recognize racial cleansing conducted by Turkey on its Armenian citizens between 1915 and 1917. Today, the world media usually use it when referring to the 1994 Rwandan civil war during which over 800,000 Tutsis were slashed with machetes by their Hutu neighbors in less than 100 days. To fully understand the enormity of the carnage, one needs to visit a small museum in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. There, in the center of the main room is a huge pile of human bones and skulls – the remains of the eviscerated victims – a painful lesson of history. If Ismail Haniya and his comrades are too occupied with exposing Israeli crimes to pay a visit to nearby Rwanda, they could certainly spare two hours to watch the frighteningly factual British movie, “The Shooting Dogs,” and stop using the words the meanings of which they obviously don't understand.

The leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniya received his degree in Arabic Literature. Jimmy Carter graduated in science. So did the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ignorance of law does not release one from being prosecuted if one breaks it. Similarly, ignorance of history and etymology should not allow people to abdicate responsibility for the words they pronounce.