A celebrity recently chose to revise and deny history on national TV during a daytime talk show that she hosts, and the outcry was swift and strong. Unlike others who deny that the Holocaust occurred or who shamefully claim that the number of Jews who were murdered is deliberately exaggerated, actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg stated that “race” had nothing to do with the slaughter, internment and persecution of millions upon millions of Jews. It was an outrageous and indecent statement, given that it is well-known and scrupulously documented that Hitler and the Nazis who executed his genocidal plan admitted they did so because they considered the Jewish people an inferior race.
Six million Jews were murdered. Millions more were physically maimed or suffered through a PTSD-plagued existence for the rest of their life—solely because of their race and their DNA.
Denying this, twisting the motive, downplaying what transpired, and trivializing the death and destruction by equating it with modern-day inconveniences and mandates are all repugnant and deserve reprimand by society.
Revisionism and support for revisionists trigger a tension among Jews about the past that bleeds into the present and causes a foreboding about the future.
When celebrities, pundits, academics, politicians, diplomats, world leaders and others deny or attempt to revise other well-documented aspects of Jewish history, however, there is barely any outcry from most Jews, and the offender is neither shunned nor opprobrium.
The what’s, how’s and why’s regarding the Jews of the Middle East for more than 30 centuries are as well-documented and verifiable as the what’s, how’s and why’s regarding the Jews of Europe during the 20th century. In religious works, in the annals of the victors and the defeated, in details depicted by cartographers, in the discoveries of archaeologists—it is established fact that Jews lived in and for a long time ruled over the land today known as Israel. All of this occurred more than a thousand years before the advent of Islam and the migration north by the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula.
It is the Jewish people who are the surviving indigenous people of that land—no one else.
In an earlier time, world consensus and world leaders recognized this, and they conferred legal status in international law on the association between the Jewish people and that land, and did not designate such status for any other people by name. It is enshrined in the San Remo Resolution passed in 1920 and the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, as well as in correspondence from Arab leaders.
Yet today, many claim falsely or due to ignorance that it is the Jews who are “occupiers” and “colonizers” of that land. These revisionists further and falsely claim that Arabs, who take their name from the Arabian Peninsula, are the indigenous people, and that that land is holy to Muslims though not to Jews. There is also wide denial and revision regarding Palestinian Arab terrorism and murder that placed their “cause” “on the map” and advances their goals of destroying Israel, abolishing Zionism and eliminating the Jews.
Instead of revulsion, these revisionists and deniers are portrayed as social-justice warriors and role models, given tenure and elected to office.
The Palestinian Arab leaders admit their motives and goals in their writings and rantings, just like those who planned and perpetrated the Holocaust.
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s original Palestinian National Charter of 1964 and the Hamas Covenant of 1988 spell out the objectives and ideology of the “Palestinian” movement. The PLO (today in the guise of the Palestinian Authority) controls the areas that are majority Palestinian Arab in Judea and Samaria (aka “the West Bank”) while Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.
As per the PLO (headed by Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the P.A.):
- “[H]oly war (al-jihad) until complete and final victory has been attained, … .”
- “The claims of historic and spiritual ties between Jews and Palestine are not in agreement with the facts of history … .”
- “Zionism is a colonialist movement in its inception, aggressive and expansionist in its goal, racist in its configurations, and fascist in its means and aims.”
- “ … [T]here can be no coexistence with aggression, nor can there be peace with occupation and colonialism.”
- “This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area.”
As per Hamas:
- “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
- “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realized.”
- “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, … .”
- “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.”
- “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad.”
The above proclamations, while readily available for those who seek them, are hidden and denied in U.S. classrooms, podiums, microphones, by news media and other forums.
Meanwhile, Jewish history is denied, Jews are dehumanized and Zionism is demonized. The deceptions reach the eyes and ears of Americans and the world.
That the liars get away with untruths about the Middle East—and that the reactions to these falsehoods about the Holocaust differ so dramatically from the reaction to the lies and revisions of what took place and what continues to take place in the Middle East—none of it makes sense.
Until the Jewish people, individually and collectively, speak out—and do so forcefully and persistently about our history and rights in the Land of Israel and what our tormentors have done and continue to do—and until other decent people the world over do likewise, the lessons of the Holocaust have not been fully learned because millions of Jews still face genocidal danger. We must not let the revisionists and liars win.
Steve Feldman is the executive director of the Zionist Organization of America’s Greater Philadelphia Chapter.