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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Muslims protest Holocaust survivor talk, flirt with denial

From the Gorey (Ireland) Guardian:

A MUSLIM GROUP is calling for a mass protest at Gorey Community School later this month when a Jewish Holocaust survivor comes to talk about his experiences in a World War II concentration camp.

MPAC, which describes itself as a non-profit organisation that 'helps Muslims to help themselves', is objecting to the visit by Slovakian native Tomi Reichental as he subsequently went on to serve with the Israeli defence forces during the 1950s.

The Islamic group maintains this made him part of a 'Jewish Zionist Army' which systematically persecuted Palestinians.

'How a man who had allegedly survived the Belsen concentration camp, witnessed its supposed horrors and lived to tell the tale could then, as part of the IDF, enact the same terror upon an innocent Palestinian population beggars belief,' reads a statement from the group.

'Reichental is due to speak in Gorey Community School this November. We urge all concered individuals to protest,' it continues.

The MPAC-IE page is sarcastic in its description of Reichental and dismissive of his story. It even casts doubts on the Holocaust itself:

Holocaust Industry Rolls out its Irish Survivor

He’d never spoken about his alleged time in Belsen until recently, but after being ‘discovered’ by the Holocaust Educational Trust, he apparently changed his mind because as Katie Roche says, “he has realised that he must speak out so that this horrific event will never be forgotten,” – it seems the hundreds of films, books, magazines and museum displays simply aren’t enough.

And so the tours of Irish schools began, and the name Tomi Reichental cropped up in newspapers and even a short film was made about his story. Yet, it seems we were only told part of the story. In a happy ending story, we’d like to be able to say Reichental learned from his ordeal and that his alleged suffering made him a better person. We’d like to be able to say that, but we can’t, for in 1956 Reichental, then living in Occupied Palestine since 1949, fought with the Zionist state’s army in the Sinai Campaign. ...

How a man who had allegedly survived the Belsan concentration camp, witnessed its supposed horrors and lived to tell the tale could then, as part of the IDF, enact the same terror upon an innocent Palestinian population beggars belief. Even more astounding perhaps is that he’s given a platform to tell of his woes yet remains silent regarding his own actions.

While we believe that the horrible event that saw not only Jews but millions of Gypsies and other minorities slaughtered simply because they were different, should be remembered. We must ask if Reichental is the right person to remind us?

As far as we’re concerned inviting Reichental into any Irish school to talk about suffering is akin to inviting Mad Dog Adair to give a talk about loyalist torment in Northern Ireland, or the butcher of Belsen to discuss morality. This is nothing short of shameful and disingenuous exploitation of the good nature of Irish people.

Reichental is due to speak in Gorey Community School this November. We urge all concerned individuals to protest this exploitation of what Finkelstein calls the Holocaust Industry.
MPAC-IE, despite its lukewarm paragraph saying that a "horrible event" should be remembered, also casts doubt on the Holocaust by saying that the horrors at Bergen-Belsen were "alleged."

An even worse form of Holocaust denial is the equation of Israel's War of Independence with the Holocaust ("the same terror.") This is, simply, a sickening perversion and MPAC-IE should be ashamed.

Of course, no one in the Muslim community will stand up and shame them.