Racism of the “enlightened”
Dr. Ran Hacohen’s poisoned chalice is already overflowing even without attributing holocaust denial to him.
Ben-Dror Yemini, Maariv
Dr. Ran Hacohen, the same academic who wrote the disgusting article in which he claims that Israel applies Hitler’s theory of combat to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - that is - genocide, sent an angry letter to the newspaper. He demanded that they print the fact that “it should not be understood in any way” that he is “a denier of the holocaust”, and that “he has no connection or relationship whatsoever with the anti-Semitic holocaust denier David Irving”. This is an interesting request although with one small problem: It doesn’t say anywhere that Hacohen is a holocaust denier, or that he has any sort of connection with Irving (who, by the way, published a reference to one of Hacohen’s articles). Hacohen’s poisoned chalice is already overflowing even without attributing holocaust denial to him.
Hacohen posted an internal message in “Aleph”, an Internet forum for academics and scholars. There he writes, among other things, “while my family was being burned in the furnaces of Sobibor, Yemini’s family was chewing tobacco”.
I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. How can someone whose family was killed in the holocaust, who suffered from racism at the hands of those who considered themselves of the highest echelons of culture, dare to send out messages implying racism against Yemenites, whom according to Hacohen, were all tobacco-chewers? Well, just for the purposes of clarification, during the years when the holocaust raged in Europe, my parents were already old-timers in Israel. They never chewed tobacco, nor did their ancestors. And if they had been tobacco-chewers, it wouldn’t make them inferior in any way.
What’s even more interesting is that two of the participants in the forum, honorary members of the fraternity of anti-Israel poison disseminators, rose to Hacohen’s defense. They didn’t seem to think it was important to address his racist remark. After all, they are enlightened people. They are the avant-gardes of the “forces of progress”. The two are Baruch Kimmerling and Ilan Pepe.
I once wrote that there is something important in hypocrisy. It includes shame, for example, the shame in racism. Shame that is an integral part of its containment in every culture. But Hacohen, and apparently his fans as well, have lost their sense of shame. Like the last of the Kahanists - their “enlightenment” is just a pose.
And so writes Kimmerling in the same forum: “One of the principal goals of the war (against the Palestinians) is not just to systematically destroy the human and physical infrastructure of the Palestinian people, but also their identity as a nation that aspires to self-actualization. That exactly mimics the Nazi policies in the “territories” they conquered during World War II”. Kimmerling also bestows upon me the title of “right-wing demagogue”. When it comes from him, I take the label as a compliment.
Ilan Pepe also contributed his part to the party of insanity: “The deceased Arye Caspi was wrong when he said that the Palestinians are lucky in that the Zionists will not wrong them in the same way that the Nazis wronged the Zionists… But he was wrong. After reading Ran Hacohen and Lev Greenberg’s articles, and those of others whom the propaganda and indoctrination of Zionism has not blinded, it would appear that the Palestinian’s luck has run out”.
So here we have it, the club of equators of Israel and the Nazis does not just include one man. There are at least three who are out in the open. And since out and around the world it pays to be a Jewish-Israeli who equates Israel to the Nazis, the club was destined to grow. Offers to lecture from around the world are already on the way.
The good news is that most of the academia is not populated by people like Kimmerling and Pepe. Even in the academic forum there were those who bothered to put them in their place. A dovish scholar made it clear to me that he despises Hacohen’s views and blames himself and his friends entirely. “We remain silent in the face of this small but noisy bunch, and then afterwards we are surprised when we are also accused of being filled with self-loathing. Until we come out clearly against them, then the blame is ours as well”.
He’s right. The vast majority of members of the academia in Israel are far from the views of Hacohen-Pepe-Kimmerling et al. Very far. But they’re the ones who steal the show, with their statements which to us here in Israel may sound ridiculous, despicable and far fetched, but out in the world, they sometimes make it to the front page of widely-circulated media. For example, the most recent article by Lev Greenberg was published in Belgium. Its central claim was that Yassin’s assassination offers proof that the “Jewish nation, the ultimate victim of genocide, has not been able to recover from the trauma of the holocaust, and therefore it is now carrying out a symbolic genocide of the Palestinian people”.
So wake up members of the academia. The stain of this lot of madmen sticks to you as well, because you remain silent. Silence is not a confession. Silence is not concurrence. But in this war, against this madness, you are leaving a dear man, Prof. Amnon Rubinstein, almost entirely out on his own. Your silence, of the silent majority, is a silence that invites damage to the academia. If that happens, the responsibility will be yours.