Thursday, May 26, 2022

'You Do to Us What the Nazis Did to You'

One of the central propaganda lines of the pro-Arab Palestine school of misleading misinformation is that the establishment of the state of Israel was made, and ageed to by Europe and America, as a form of an assuaging of their guilt for their responsibility for the Holocaust.

The line continues that the Arabs are being forced to pay for the sins of Europe which is unfair. Europe wants to placate their consciousness over the year 1939-1945, do it somewhere else.

Of course, that ignores 3000 years of Jewish national identity bound up with the Land of Israel - which the Arabs turned into 'Palestine" after conquering it and then occupying it.

But I have now found a pre-war claim on that theme in the Palestine Post's review on January 26, 1939 of Arnold Toynbee's volume Survey of nternational Affairs, 1937 in which he asserts the Mandate of Palestine "pays for Europe's sins".

Nothing new under the sun. Toynbee, of course, is infamous for this observation:

"There remains the case where victims of religious discrimination represent an extinct society which only survives as a fossil. .... by far the most notable is one of the fossil remnants of the Syriac Society, the Jews."

In fact, he continued this line and in 1955, Commentary Magazine published this in a review:

Under title of “The Modern West and the Jews,” A. J. Toynbee devotes a subsection of Volume VIII of the last four books of his Study of History to the fate of Jewry under the Nazis and to subsequent developments in Israel. His remarks therein about Zionism and Israel have, quite rightly, outraged Jews and other people. Mr. Toynbee equates the monstrous crimes perpetrated upon the Jews of Europe by the Germans with what the Israelis did to the Arabs of Palestine, and seems to find the Israelis as much at fault as the Nazis were! 

That year, he had a letter published which read, in part:

I do believe that, in the issue between the Palestinian Arabs and the Zionists, the Palestinian Arabs are in the right and the Zionists in the wrong...But the tragedy, as I see it, goes back far further than the date of the Balfour Declaration. I see earlier stages of it in the conversion of both the Zionists and the Arabs to a Western secular ideology, Nationalism. The fanatical spirit in Nationalism comes, as I see it, from Christianity; and Christian and Muslim fanaticism, as well as Christian and Muslim charity, comes, I believe, from Judaism...

...The tragedy of recent Jewish history is that, instead of learning through suffering, the Jews should have done to others, the Arabs, what had been done to them by others, the Nazis.

Though I was careful to bring out the Zionists’ innocence of the Nazis’ cold-blooded, systematic ‘genocide,’ and the disparity in numbers between the Jewish victims of the Nazis and the Arab victims of the Zionists, I am sure I am right in holding that degrees of sin and tragedy are not determined by the numbers of the souls concerned. Sin and tragedy are done and suffered by each of us individually; they are not, and cannot be, collective. Nor is the tragedy of the Palestinian Arabs’ sufferings at the hands of the Israelis a peculiarly Jewish tragedy; it is a common human tragedy, like the Jews’ own sufferings at the hands of the Nazis...

In 1961, JTA reported:

Arnold J. Toynbee, the British historian, in an address here last night, equated Zionism and anti-Semitism as representing “an identical point of view” and said that anti-Semitism will end and Judaism become “one of the great spiritual possessions of the whole human race” when Jews and non-Jews “abandon” their ethnic or national reservations” about Jews. Jewish leaders immediately took issue with his views charging him with making “distorted statements. “

Dr. Toynbee made-his statements as the principal speaker at the dinner of the 17th annual conference of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism. Both Zionism and anti-Semitism, he declared, assume “that it is impossible for Jews and non-Jews to grow together into a single community and that, therefore, a physical separation is the only way out. “

“The watchword of anti-Semitism,” Dr. Toynbee continued, “is back to medieval apartheid; the watchword of Zionism is back to the medieval ghetto. All the far-flung ghettos of the world are to be gathered into one patch of soil in Palestine, to create a single, consolidated ghetto.”

Asserting that Zionism “was born of a pessimism” about the prospects of Jewish emancipation, Dr. Toynbee held that “if the Jewish community in the West were to continue to be an ethnic–even if only a partly ethnic and partly religious–community, co-existing with the present State of Israel, it could hardly avoid falling, sooner or later, into the position of being a political dependency of Israel."

He manages to squeeze in a parallel to apartheid as well.


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