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Has the "Holocaust card" been pulled out of the game?

Over the last decades, it is obvious that the state of Israel alongside those with close tights with the Hebrew state and the zionist doctrine have used the "holocaust card" one too many times to justify the unjustifiable. In despite of what their intentions really are, it seems they have actually managed to foment the increasing gap between the Jewish community and the rest of the world. Combined with the over-misuse of the word "antisemitic", who has become synonymous of "Anti-Jew" instead of what it really means, many Jews feel like a dark chapter in their history has been hijacked to serve extremely powerful lobbies around the world. Perhaps something is happening, something we could call the 'Peter and the Wolf' effect.

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Closing Statement from Tony Sanchez

Certainly not the most popular topic to start a conversation, but a topic that needed to be conversed never the less.
Thanks to all for bringing your insights to the round table.

Tony

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    Jun 4 2011: Everyone should remember the Holocaust.
    It should be burned in human memory just as slavery should be.
    But these shameful episodes of human history should be a living monument that ensures the protection of everyone's human rights rather than a closed and dusty mausoleum to one group.
    It should be a reminder for everyone everywhere to say never again, to anyone.
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      Jun 7 2011: EA, Thanks so much for taking the time to share this information.
      I am not sure why the Holocaust has become synonymous with Jews when so many others suffered and died. It is important that we remember the events accurately if we are to draw the proper lessons from it and avoid its misuses.

      Great point!
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      Jun 8 2011: @ E A Mercer

      I'm completely in agreement with that. As far as I know, I've never heard of any other community, to claim and actually gain compensation for the horrible acts committed against them during WW2. The claims, however, have being and are being made by what we could call 'third party Lobbies' self-proclaimed the "defenders of the Jewish community", when in fact they have very little interest to protect the community's interest. This being said, and I relay entirely on what I've read or heard, I doubt the founds were actually intended to compensated the Jewish community and not to finance dubious "insidious state reasons".
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        Jun 8 2011: We have many Ukrainians in Canada and I have heard them express deep resentment about the Hollocaust espcially in light of the fixation the world has on the loss of one other group.
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        Jun 8 2011: There were so many Ukrainians in Canada after WW2 and the population had been so devasted that Canadian diplomats helped to get some of their culture re-established years later in the home country by facilitating exchanges! I vaguely remember that some universities from the prarie provinces were involved especially around language.

        *Corrections: I have exchanged Ukrainians for the word Canadians so that this makes sense.. I'm losing it and yet you're all still very kind!
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      Jun 8 2011: Eugenics, the basis of those statistics, was very popular world wide..even here in Maine where mixed race marriages wre illegal and in one notorious public action all peson sof mixed breedliving on an island quite near fashionable Phippsburgh Maine were deemed mentally unfit and incarcerated in the State Mental Hospital. Mandatory sterilization of persons with mental illness, especially downes syndrom was routine. Until the late 50's/ early 60's elegant hotels along the Maine coast would not take a booking from nayone with a jewish sounding name.

      Eugenics was hugely popular..all over the world.
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        Jun 8 2011: We had similar scandals in Canada, Lindsay (to our shame) but they mostly involved low IQ individuals.
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          Jun 8 2011: what do you mean? The people who subscribed to eugenics or the poulations they targeted? I shall assume the latter. And are you so sure?

          I was 19 before I realized how anti semitic Maine ( or my part o Miane..the blue bloods) were. I truly had no idea. I was "cautioned" my an elder dame in our circle that it was very "admirable" to be kind and inclusive..but essentally "don't bring them 'round here and this was a lady of high esteem..not just here but generally...of course I crossed her off my list of people I admited and kept right on ..but I was floored.. I had never in my life anywhere heard a single anti semitic word spoken..not even anti semitic joke so I was living in the moddle of it the whole time and had no idea.( Same with the policy at Maine's elegant ocean fron inns..learned that the same year from a montreal jewish freind whose family were well known phlianthropists). To this day there are no jews in the very prestigious Portland Country Club. Do you suppose it might also have been around you all the time too and you just didn't bump into it?
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        Jun 8 2011: An Act was passed in Alberta in 1928 and such decisions were made under the 'Eugenics board'.

        Here is further reading:

        http://www.jstor.org/pss/825049
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    Jun 4 2011: Germany has paid an estimated $25 billion in reparations to Israeli Holocaust survivors, who Factor said numbered 350,000 to 400,000 at their peak. Germany also provided more than $700 million in goods and services to the Israeli government. But recently Israel seeks fresh Holocaust reparations deal with Germany as its Finance Minister demanded fresh reparation for Jews forced into slave labor during the Holocaust.

    The term ‘holocaust’ seems ambiguous – under which description would it be unfitting to develop a theory of Palestinian Holocaust.

    Yes, there is an ongoing holocaust and its called the 'Invisible Palestinian Holocaust'
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    Jun 4 2011: How can anyone mention anything about forgetting the holocaust? How could we? There are movies, documentaries, books, talks every single year on the subject. There is, and that is a fact, a huge profit being made out of this. And it isn't to serve the ones that really suffered from it.

    You don't see the same incentive for Native Americans do you? Actually, in 95% of the movies made about Native tribes, they are actually the villains. How could people not me outraged about that?
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      Jun 10 2011: good policy..the guy's not very creditable..he's like our tea party guys..a whacko
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        Jun 10 2011: Even eye witness accounts by our own government representatives of what is happening in Palestine do not change official policy. It is really disturbing.

        Thanks EA. Its not the first time.
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    Jun 6 2011: @James Walker.

    This is really speculative, I know, but I'm curious how you envision the future Jewish state of Israel. Just give your guess at how things might evolve. Will they control the West Bank and Gaza indefinitely? Will they expand farther? Will they demographically remain a Jewish state? Just give it a shot.
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      Jun 6 2011: Guess - status quo exactly as is for a generation plus.
      I am guessing, post-revolution Syria (hey, I'm guessing) won't want to get involved; the Lebanese want to get on with their lives I sense from my friends. I hate to say this, but I wonder if the Palestinians might end up a but deserted?
      Is this helpful... not sure it is... but, yep, I still think it is OK for Israel to play the Holocaust card. Btw, I am not at all pro-Israeli, and I disapprove of the harshness of much that happens, but that is not the question. Question was, is it still ok to play the Holocaust card? Answer yes. The Exodus card has been played for far longer ;)
  • Jun 6 2011: any comment on this movie?

    Mr Death The Rise and Fall of Fred A Leuchter Jr.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=654178281151939378
  • Jun 4 2011: Frederick A. (Fred) Leuchter, Jr. (born 1944) is an American Federal Court qualified expert in execution technology and author of forensic Holocaust denial material. He claims to have improved the design of instruments for capital punishment and had execution equipment contracts with several states.[2] Subsequently, Leuchter became known for his testimony in defense of Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel in 1988.[3] His study for Zündel's trial is referred to as the Leuchter report after it was published by Zündel as such[1][4] and is often framed as a scientifically based work of Holocaust denial, though his research methods and findings have been refuted. An Errol Morris documentary on the controversy, entitled Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., was released in 1999.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_A._Leuchter


    Please watch this movie:

    Mr Death The Rise and Fall of Fred A Leuchter Jr.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=654178281151939378
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      Jun 8 2011: S.R. Ahmadi: Finally got around to watching the video. It is a fascinating documentary from a number of perspectives:
      . it illustrates the dynamics behind holocaust denial.
      . it brings forward the dilemma of freedom of speech vs. misrepresentation of the holocaust.
      . it highlights the fact that history is written by the victors.

      I don't think it presented any credible evidence for denying the holocaust though.

      What do you think?
  • Jun 4 2011: Mel Gibson Developing Holocaust Mini-Series
    By DAVID M. HALBFINGER

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 6 - Mel Gibson, whose "Passion of the Christ" was criticized by some as anti-Semitic - and whose father has said that the Holocaust did not happen - is developing a nonfiction mini-series about the Holocaust.

    Mr. Gibson's television production company will base the four-hour miniseries for ABC on the self-published memoir of Flory A. Van Beek, a Dutch Jew whose gentile neighbors hid her from the Nazis but who lost several relatives in concentration camps.

    The project is in its early stages, so there is no guarantee that it will be completed. Mr. Gibson is not expected to act in the mini-series, nor is it certain that his name, rather than his company's, will be publicly attached to the final product, according to several people involved in developing it.

    But Quinn Taylor, ABC's senior vice president for movies for television, acknowledged that the attention-getting value of having Mr. Gibson attached to a Holocaust project was a factor.

    "Controversy's publicity, and vice versa," Mr. Taylor said.

    Mr. Gibson's father, Hutton Gibson, has repeatedly denied that the Holocaust happened. Before the release of "The Passion of the Christ," Hutton Gibson said that accounts of the Holocaust were mostly "fiction" and asserted that there were more Jews in Europe after World War II than before.



    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/07/arts/television/07gibson.html?ei=5089&en=08b7f9b4e7da92fe&ex=1291611600&adxnnl=1&partner=rssyahoo&emc=rss&pagewanted=print&adxnnlx=1143961571-S4jDv9qaiinC+w4xBtn+ww
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      Jun 8 2011: Mel Gibson's father also believes that "Second Vatican Council was "a Masonic plot backed by the Jews"."

      The guy gives conspiracy theorists a bad name.
  • Jun 4 2011: Gibson

    In a 2003 interview Hutton Gibson questioned how the Nazis could have disposed of six million bodies during the Holocaust and claimed that the September 11, 2001 attacks were perpetrated by remote control.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/09/magazine/is-the-pope-catholic-enough.html
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    Jun 4 2011: The Holocaust was probably the largest extermination attempt in history. That was an abomination and should not be forgotten. However the Jews were not the only people to suffer genocide. There were many others and if memory serves me right, the Jews committed this themselves on other people and in the name of God and his request that this be done under His protection. Why don't we constantly hear about these others ?
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      Jun 4 2011: "The Holocaust was probably the largest extermination attempt in history"

      The holocaust was not an extermination attempt on Jews - but German Jews. There are cases of worst extermination in history . . .
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        Jun 4 2011: @EO .....................You are right in correcting me. I guess I said that because "The Holocaust" is constantly referred to in every kind of media as a huge injustice. Which it was but the American Indian has suffered more and for longer than any group I have seen. They were driven from their land, killed when it was expedient and given almost nothing but relegated to reservations with no opportunities. And as for the Bureau of Land and Minerals................did they ever give the Indians their share of the vast monies due them from profits derived from their lands. I was so glad to see Marlon Brando take up their cause.
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        Jun 4 2011: @Ehis "The holocaust was not an extermination attempt on Jews - but German Jews."

        Correction not German Jews but European Jews. Jews were killed from every country from France to Russia and the Ukraine. Also non German people - Poles, Russians, Serbs, Romani, Homosexuals, people with disabilities.

        "Some scholars maintain that the definition of the Holocaust should also include the Nazis' genocide of millions of people in other groups, including Romani (more commonly known in English by the exonym "Gypsies"), Soviet prisoners of war, Polish and Soviet civilians, homosexuals, people with disabilities, Jehovah's Witnesses and other political and religious opponents, which occurred regardless of whether they were of German or non-German ethnic origin.[6] Using this definition, the total number of Holocaust victims is between 11 million and 17 million people."
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust

        @ Ehis "There are cases of worst extermination in history" This must be among the worst. 90% of the Jewish population of Germany and Austria, Poland and the Baltic countries were exterminated and 67 % of the total Jewish population of Europe.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust#Victims_and_death_toll
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          Jun 4 2011: Jews were not killed in France. During Vichy and the German occupation, they were indeed deported to the East, but not killed like you implied. The biggest deportation took place in the summer of 1942 and is remembered as "La rafle du vélodrome d'hiver" or "Rafle du vel d'hiv". It is believed that approximately 40000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz from France.

          The Roms, widely known as Tziganes, were persecuted and are still persecuted in Europe. They are one of the only remaining true Nomad community on earth. They were also exterminated during WW2, pleasing many "neutral nations" like Sweden, Switzerland and Spain (who also got rid of Jews, Roms, liberals and critics of General Franco).
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          Jun 6 2011: Thanks Tony - i could not have said that any better. . @Richard at least you can agree with me that the holocaust should not be used to excuse Palestine’s suffering .
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      Jun 4 2011: and will there be anymore? the jewish peoples of europe have been persecuted longer than you have stated?
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          Jun 4 2011: No i don't think the planet will ever forget but god did say he will bring his people home,i don't think there will ever be another pogrom in europe ever again.why i mentioned 55 years it's the given time to allow for the cessation of general public animosity? to cool down and i suppose to wait out the generations that went through it to die off,ugly as it seems one of my previous governments cast a 55 year moratorium on a archeological site that could possibly upset known history here in nz,that gets me angry as i won't be around before we get access.
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      Jun 4 2011: @ E A Mercer

      When you refer to repeated antisemitic events, do you mean acts again all semitic cultures or only Jews only ?

      Antisemitic events are currently happening in Palestine, since Arabs are part of the semitic family. It is wrong to attribute the monopole of that word to only Jews.

      And I would also like to point that 'History' is always written by the triumphant in order to serve the established power. Since we never have both sides of the story in history books, it is quiet hard to have an objective opinion on any historical event since they are presented to us as facts. Sure I'm glad we have great historians, but I believe it is a mistake than to absorb any and all information given in history books without intelligent questioning. So many books have been written on the holocaust while so little researches have been conducted.

      Perhaps there could be no zionism without pogroms. I don't think the world is against Jews, I actually believe the over mediatization of the suffering of only one group of human beings, as if you could rank suffering, is getting to the point where most people feel it is unjust to be forced into constant repenting while being completely oblivious to the suffering currently being inflicted upon others.

      @ Helen

      I disagree. I believe the extermination of the Americans, you might call them 'Native Americans', wasn't an attempt at all. And since we are ranking genocides, I believe this one should top the chart. it is in fact in the hundreds of millions that were massacred.
    • Jun 4 2011: there are many critics about Six million

      The key claims of Holocaust deniers are:[3][4]

      The Nazis had no official policy or intention of exterminating Jews.
      Nazis did not use gas chambers to mass murder Jews.
      The figure of 5 to 6 million Jewish deaths is a gross exaggeration, and the actual number is an order of magnitude lower.

      Other claims include the following:

      Stories of the Holocaust were a myth initially created by the Allies of World War II to demonize Germans.[4] Jews spread this myth as part of a grander plot intended to enable the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, and now to garner continuing support for the state of Israel.[15]
      Documentary evidence of the Holocaust, from photographs to the Diary of Anne Frank, is fabricated.[4]
      Survivor testimonies are filled with errors and inconsistencies, and are thus unreliable.[4]
      Interrogators obtained Nazi prisoners' confessions of war crimes through the use of torture.[4]
      The Nazi treatment of Jews was no different from what the Allies did to their enemies in World War II.[16]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial
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        Jun 4 2011: Dear SR,

        We have had some good discussions and found some common ground at the other question so I will challenge you here.

        I am sure that you would believe that my country Canada and my people were very backward and odd if we continued to live in igloos and ate whale blubber. You may see that as part of my culture or it might be a stereotype you hold.

        Equally, I see this denial of the holocaust to be a wilful religious blindness on your part based on your culture.

        The events are so well documented that even people who want to reach across the divide between our people just shake their head and do not know what to do with such an opinion.
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          Jun 4 2011: @ Debra

          I will only speak for myself, but questioning what I've been told about the holocaust doesn't mean I deny or reject anything. It simply means that I have the right to question the authenticity of the information given to me through education and pseudo historians.

          Everyone who intended to research in depth the facts, especially the figure of six millions, was tagged either a revisionist or, erroneously, an antisemitic. It would make sense to try to know more about what some people call "the worst tragedy in human history". The irony is when those very same people are the ones who furiously object any revision or deeper research of the presented facts.

          Some people don't just accept any information without a well performed source check. And the deeper you get into the untold history of Nazi Germany, the more ambiguous it gets.

          Who financed Nazi Germany? A nation that rises from depression to complete domination of Europe in only a few years, must have had some external benefactors.
        • Jun 4 2011: Dear Debra Smith,
          I do not deny Holocaust basically. actually I do not know what happened exact.
          I know it is abused to justify killing Palestinian people.
          in the first attack of Israel to Palestine in 1948 all people of near 500 city and village (near 1 million) including women and children were all killed and dispossessed from their homes and those cities and villages were completely erased from map.
          real holocaust is in Palestine.
          http://www.deiryassin.org/

          it should be free to revision the Holocaust.

          why it is banned to research and revision Holocaust?
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          Jun 4 2011: Denying the Holocaust shouldn't be a problem except the holocaust is been used for benefit, that way, denying the holocaust will threaten the benefit they gain from it. This is exactly the case. I think holocaust actually happened, I don’t exactly think the figures are accurate.
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          Jun 5 2011: SR - 6 million......5 million...... 4 million..... 3 million....... 2 million....... Pick a number.

          By any measure it was a human atrocity of the magnitude we seldom have seen in our existence on earth. I've been saying all along that trust and compromise are two crucial things that need to come into play in order to bring our cultures together.

          On this issue, I feel you need to compromise. It happened pretty much the way history books say it happened. Please acknowledge that fact. I want to trust you (not you personally, but those that I think your voice articulately represents) but can't do it without your acknowledgement that a large scale human atrocity took place during WW2 that we call "The Holocaust" and it caused the tragic death of millions of Jews.
        • Jun 5 2011: Dear Jim Moonan,
          "6 million......5 million...... 4 million..... 3 million....... 2 million....... Pick a number."
          my favorite food is not in your menu. ;)
          "Deniers float numbers anywhere between 300,000 and 1.5 million, as a general rule."
          although some completely deny its happening for killing Jews.
          I do not validate or deny any view about holocaust until I be ensured. so better to I say nothing about number because I have not enough time to personally do a deep research about it among very contradict references.
          although the number is not so important. some thing happened and finished like many other happenings in history. why today people should be responsible for people living in past? everyone should be responsible for himself not others.
          maybe may father do an evil deed. then I am responsible for him?
          why today people should pay the price of mistakes of past people?

          I clarify I am not history expert and I can not go back in history and I do not know what happened.

          I only want to pay attention of people to these points:
          1- Holocaust is happened in Germany.
          2- Palestinians are killed in the name of holocaust
          3- if holocaust happened in Germany why Palestinians should pay the price?
          4- why holocaust research is banned in some countries? is there any special reason? why research about other massacred are not banned?
          5- Zionism is abusing the Holocaust to justify itself.
          4- why holocaust is advertised so vast in media and schools? (about schools if I am false please correct me)

          "history books say it happened"
          when I see near all large scale media (TV, newspaper, Internet, cinema,...) are controlled by a group then it is not wonder they can manipulate books.
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          Jun 5 2011: @ S R Ahmadi

          To deny, and to demand full investigation are two very different, if not opposed, things.

          This is a stupid example but this is to make a point:

          In the motion picture, Titanic, the story is partially made up and many aspects of the historical event were blown out of proportion. You can reject some of the dubious aspects, but you cannot deny the Titanic did sink.

          I agree with Jim Moonan. We know something terrible happened. This is why I believe someone like Dr. Norman G. Finkelstein chose the right way of truly paying homage to those who suffered.
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          Jun 5 2011: I agree that to question history is no crime. But if figures are to be disputed it requires research and scholastic work not political gatherings and announcements.

          One should not deny great atrocities, massacres lightly in the face of massive evidence.

          S.R. you did say that the Holocaust did not take place on the Palestine conversation but now you say I do not know what happened. But many other things of history (including your religious history), you are absolutely sure about with little or no evidence, or even evidence to the contrary.

          I agree that one atrocity cannot be used to justify another, but here is something that you say:

          "why today people should be responsible for people living in past?" - You seem to be saying that whatever happened in the past lets forget about it and carry on peacefully now?

          Israel exists today - so whatever happened in the past the world should accept its existence and right to exist and come to a peaceful solution of the problem.

          Or are you saying that only some people should forget the past and some pasts should be remembered?

          Should we remember Turkeys invasion and partition of Cyprus? The conquest of Constantinople? The expulsion and massacre of the Greeks and Armenians from Turkey? etc etc?
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          Jun 5 2011: The Jewish state of Israel was created both in response to the brutal fact that the Jewish people were nearly irradiated in front of the eyes of the world AND as a symbolic gesture to the world that, should something like that actually happen to a people, then the world will do all it can to insure it won't happen again to them.

          Because of this and other related conversations taking place here on TED, I now understand better how the same can be said for the Palestinian people. Ironically, they deserve their own place to call home because of the events relating to the creation of Israel after WW2. Life is strange....
          But we must keep going, fixing things so that they are better. Everyone needs to stop accusing each other and let the past stay in the past. Time to give Palestinians what they deserve. Time to re-assure the Israeli's that no one wishes them any harm or wants them wiped off thew face of the earth.

          Here is the thing when it comes to using the "Holocaust card" one too many times: the Jews will never feel that way. It is burned into their collective conscience. Others may say, "Oh, no! Not the Holocaust card again!" but what others say is immaterial to how the Jews see it. The Holocaust was their close brush with extinction.

          One more thing: God plays no part in this. God didn't drive the Nazi's to kill innocents any more than God drives the Al Qaeda to kill innocents. God didn't give Israel the land they now call home because they are the "chosen people" any more than God created the USA as "one nation under God". God didn't help the Boston Red Sox win the World Series of baseball in 2004 and God didn't help Spain win the World Cup in 2010. People did it. People do the good things and people do the bad things. Not God. If God exists, we've failed miserably so far at understanding how to show it.

          But we will evolve....
        • Jun 6 2011: Dear Tony,
          "To deny, and to demand full investigation are two very different, if not opposed, things."
          Deniers are not the same. Some deny generally. Some say numbers are not so much.

          I do not know details and certain about both Titanic and holocaust. The only thing I know is holocaust is being abused for political proposes.
          But now I think it happened but not in large scale (not sure, needs research).


          Dear Richard,
          "S.R. you did say that the Holocaust did not take place on the Palestine. conversation but now you say I do not know what happened "
          yes it is said by history books (that I not trust all of books) that holocaust happened in Germany and I do not understand what is its relation to Palestine people. I mean the claimed holocaust happened in Germany.

          "But many other things of history (including your religious history), you are absolutely sure about with little or no evidence, or even evidence to the contrary."
          what you mean? for example?

          "be saying that whatever happened in the past lets forget about it and carry on peacefully now?"
          Yes.

          "the world should accept its existence and right to exist and come to a peaceful solution of the problem."
          yes all agree it exist. This is clear. But problem is ideology of Zionism.
          Are you sure any peaceful solution exist? UN could not find any still.

          "Or are you saying that only some people should forget the past and some pasts should be remembered?"
          no. all are the same.

          Generally I believe any people in past or present should be responsible for its own behavior.


          Dear Jim Moonan,
          Agree about God and people.
          People have free will and do good and evil

          Dear All,
          Please note Zionism is different of Jew.
          there are many Zionist not Jew and many Jew not Zionist like:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Jews
          Many Jew are good and respectable humans.
          Please do not say something generally about Jews.
          Its like that I see some behavior from bush and then say all western people are…
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          Jun 6 2011: @ S R Ahmadi

          Demanding a full investigation, and ignoring the distorted facts, is not a denial of the holocaust. If fact, it should be a top priority for fervent zionists to investigate, both historically and physically, all recorded facts of the holocaust to wash off any doubts in the minds of the skeptics or 'deniers'. Instead, a sinister game is being played, throwing more oil into the fire and fomenting even more skeptical positions regarding the concentration camps.
        • Jun 8 2011: "it should be a top priority for fervent zionists to investigate"
          do you think they do so while they are getting different privileges from world?
          doubts and false information has benefit for them.
          some other group should do that.
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          Jun 8 2011: ehis..on what possible basis could you opine "you don't think the numbers are accurate"???
        • Jun 8 2011: acceptance between community of historians and solving the claims of denials and reaching to common acceptance in community of historians based on enough research and evidences.
          now the number of deniers are not few:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Holocaust_deniers

          some of them are number one in field of history for example:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Faurisson

          although some of them are neo-Nazi. but it not means all things a neo-Nazi says is false.

          research and critics on holocaust should be free to reach a common acceptance in historians community.
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        Jun 4 2011: To Tony, SR and Ehis, Hi Gentlemen!

        So from your responses I gather that you are not denying that there was a holocaust but rather- you object to the way it is currently exploited, the lack of vertification of the numbers, the rejection of attempts to find that verification and the use of the events to justify what is happening in Palestine.

        These are all interesting and reasonable points.

        If you do not mind my advice: start there.

        Starting with the inflammatory stuff makes it easy for people not to listen. Your argument needs to be hyperrational to be heard. Think of how quietyly and clearly Noam Chomsky presents information that the world is determined to reject.
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          Jun 4 2011: @ Debra

          You should write separate replies to each post or at least precise to whom you are replying, as I do not think we all share the same discourse.

          And no, this post isn't about the Palestine/Israel conflict. The holocaust card is something that has been played over and over to serve to goals of those who profit from it. We could also talk about Israel's nuclear proliferation, and its illegitimacy. No matter how you approach this topic it will be inflammatory for some, regardless of how many flowers you throw around.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3Y3AO5AdBk&feature=related

          Debra: "Think of how quietly and clearly Noam Chomsky presents information that the world is determined to reject."

          Now, I don't know if you're aware that Chomsky did create tremendous amount of heat with his lectures about Israel and zionism. I'm not sure you could define his work as "quiet".

          @ E A Mercer

          The "holocaust card" could almost mainly be attributed to zionism, therefore it is within topic guidelines.

          Why would you say that the term antisemitic pertains largely to Jews? I know it is how it's been misused for a very long time, but don't you agree that there is indeed a ranking in suffering in our current society and that Jews get much more attention than any other community?
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        Jun 5 2011: I like Jim's point that any number is too many. I think that EA's point above that it is too many no matter what group the murdered were part of is fundamental.

        I take hope, though from Steven Pinker's TED talk and book which indicate that the world is becoming less violent that it has been in history. It is not happening fast enough. It is not happening publically enough.

        **********Wow! EA! Your list above justed shocked me. Can you share your example of what is happening in Quebec?
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          Jun 5 2011: I think EA has been mixing issues here. Genocides in Quebec? And what's with the Euskadi conflict in Nothern Spain? Those are very different issues that have nothing to do with persecution. They are isolated political issues, mostly regarding the wish that some provinces have to become independents. This would be off topic, but I might open (unless it is already) a debate on separatism, as I'm quiet close to both Quebec and Euskadi (the Pyrenees Basque country).

          The Armenian genocide by the Turks, however, is something that needs to be talked about, so I'm glad you pointed that out.


          Another genocide brought back to current events days ago after the arrest of Ratko Mladic, is the Serbian 1995 massacre at Srebrenica, the worst atrocity Europe has witnessed since the Holocaust.

          Quote from the ABC News:
          "The War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague has indicted Mladic on charges of committing a range of war crimes -- from the 1992 campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Bosnia to the establishment of concentration camps in the northwest Bosnia to the three-year siege of Sarajevo to the taking of U.N. hostages in 1995 during NATO air strikes and the most terrible of all -- the 1995 Srebrenica massacre."
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        Jun 5 2011: EA, an error in specificity does not exclude you from continuing in the discussion.
        Come back and share your insights.
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      Jun 4 2011: @ EA
      I know that this is among the most sensitive of subjects.
      I want to ask you something that I have been wondering. These dispicable events have been happening over and over again in varying places on the planet. How does anyone explain their repetition over so many places and so many generations? Does one need to resort to the bibical ideas to explain them?
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          Jun 4 2011: @ EA

          In a world increasingly atheist, what is the future of "God's chosen people"?
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          Jun 4 2011: The stat I read the other day was 1.9 Billion atheistis in the world. That leaves a lot of religious folks who may squabble about which God but they sure all agree that there is something out there.

          ***I edited the above from 1.9 million to billion as I meant to type.
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          Jun 4 2011: @ Debra

          I don't know where you get your stats, but 1.9 million atheists can be found within my neighborhood... It is purely impossible to stat how many people do not endorse mythology or established religion. Scandinavia alone is mostly atheist. So are England, France and Japan.
          So your 1.9 million figure is a religious utopia.
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          Jun 4 2011: You're right Tony, I made a typing error (and corrrected it above) the number is in billions.
          I apologize.
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          Jun 5 2011: @Debra

          My point is that it is impossible to stat how many people do not endorse mythology or established religion.
          Even with typo corrected (thanks :), anyone who was baptized is still currently 'registered' in their church, chapel, mosque, temple, synagogue, etc, etc. And when it comes to polls, I seriously doubt every single human being was asked the question.
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          Jun 6 2011: Tony, of course,
          but the numbers still indicate and the polls of religion support and the studies of the brain indicate that many many people are religious. There is a hardwired tendency in the brain to seek out spiritual explantions for things that happen in this world and that will not be explained away for the majority of the population in most countries. Relgions present an integrated story that seems to explain much of life for many people. In the absence of organized relgion superstitious beliefs emerge.
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          Jun 6 2011: @ Debra

          I am not religious, as you might have noticed, but it doesn't mean I do not ask myself the same questions mankind has been asking since the early days of our race. Being 'spiritual' and searching for answers, or acknowledging something much higher than ourselves, for instance the universe, shouldn't fall into any religious category. And for that matter neither spiritual practices such as Buddhism.
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          Jun 5 2011: @ EA

          I disagree. It does matter to any human being, the fact that someone could show up, book in hand, and claim rights over another human being based solely on his interpretation of that book.
          I mean, let's be honest, if I have no affiliation with any given faith, your book has no more value to me than an Ann Rice novel.

          As far as wars goes, I totally agree. No need of religion for men to beat their brother down.
          But some of us, religious and non religious, do not seek this path.
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          Jun 9 2011: @E.A. The Very Core of ZionismAll "hate speech" is criminal not by virtue of law, except in a few places like Canada and Calaifornia, but by virtue of humanitarian values..to have peace in our world there has to be zero tolerance for "hate speech".The rhetoric of extremists and zealots invoking the death of others or the violation of the fundamental human rights of others is "hate speech"..not holy speech.

          it is criminal and it should be dealt with by rule of law.

          ( We are exploring the Limits of Religious Freedom athttp://www.ted.com/conversations/3357/what_are_the_limitations_on_fr.html )

          Aren't there laws in some parts of Europe that include denying the holocaust as "hate speech". I certainly regard it that way and hope all here at Ted, supposedly an enlightened and intelligent community, also regard it that way.

          Twice in recent weeks members of our community, one of whom has a badge of 20 or 50 ted creds said in commentary on the 1967 borders conversation that the holocaust was a lie. That is what gave birth to this conversation.

          Is treating that declaration, appearing here at Ted more than once, that the holocaust was a lie" as ordinary conversation any less abhorrant and offensive to humanity than the "hate speech" of muslim and israeli extremists? I think not.To say nothings is the same as endorsing and encouraging.Certain things must be challenged and held up for what they are whenever they ocruur.
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        Jun 8 2011: Debra/E.A...it is a cultural evolution issue..Ken Wilber does some very clear writing on the stages of culture and the formation of beliefs ( which includes opinions and traditions)..some element of "the mythic"..a very early, pre-rational, tribal pre-pluralistic tradition retains down through the ages..inherited from our parents and grand parents. We don't even now what prejudices and we carry, even the most enlightened among us. .

        Even in our pluralistic modern societies the majority of folk unction within a closed circle of people who share the same values, traditions, life styles and opinions. I think that' s why memes are so infectious..something resonates deeply wit hor affirms an inherent value system and its held as unshakably true.

        Racial bias and prejudice are present everywhere and expressed and re enfocred freely within these cultural black boxes.

        At our google moderator www.goo.gl/mod/0073 I posted a value for is as global citizens that the wolrd can't tolerate the continuing resurgence of these ancient hatreds. Our rather shabby vehicles forintrenational gvernance need to say that clearly and consistently as peace keepers and prupportedly peace makers.

        At the time the constitution was written the freedom of religion rights of the 1st ammendment would not have passed a refeerndum. It was included as the what we want to become..it imposed a different standard with the enforcement of law on top of a system that did not want to change.

        That's what laws are for..or should be for..to take immutable, often regional, long held practices that violate fundamental values and impose change. Do you think we would have clean waters and cleaner air now in the U.S. without the enviormental legisltaion? it wouldn't have happened voluntarily..
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          Jun 8 2011: You and I have many beliefs in common. The above was nicely articulated- thank you!

          Do the laws always serve us though?
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      Jun 5 2011: Hang on EA, are you saying there's some kind of Moore's Law for killing Jews, that it kinda doubles every-time or something? So, next time is going to be 12 Million? This seems a bit far fetched, and implies some kind of invisible hand to history (Oh, like a god).
      So, let's assume there's no secret plan, although I know the Christians like the idea of fighting of the promised land as prophesied as a precursor to their salvation.
      So, no hidden hand of history, this is just about the here and now, and about relations between countries, no different than Greek city states, mediaeval Italian cities, pre-WW2 Europe, China pre KMT etc.
      So, isn't this far beyond Religion now, Israel is a self-interested Economic state like any-other country? All countries have disputes - the UK with Iceland over Fish (and screwing our economy), Argentina (over the Falkland islands), Greece (about some marbles), Spain (about Gibraltar), Germany (about football)... etc.
      I applaud the Israelis for using every "card" at their disposal to achieve what they want. I hope my government is as tough when it comes to keeping the Falklands. I would be quite keen to see UK diplomacy and defence outsourced to the Israelis, and I'd want them to play whatever cards they could, no matter how battered and well used they were.
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        Jun 5 2011: @ James Walker

        "So, isn't this far beyond Religion now, Israel is a self-interested Economic state like any-other country?"

        No, you are not citizen by right of any other current nation by Matrilineality. Neither have I heard of "The Law of Return" in any other nation.

        "All countries have disputes - the UK with Iceland over Fish (and screwing our economy), Argentina (over the Falkland islands), Greece (about some marbles), Spain (about Gibraltar), Germany (about football)... etc"

        Those comparisons with the current Palestine/Israel conflict are simply devoted of common sense.

        "I applaud the Israelis for using every "card" at their disposal to achieve what they want. I hope my government is as tough when it comes to keeping the Falklands. I would be quite keen to see UK diplomacy and defence outsourced to the Israelis, and I'd want them to play whatever cards they could, no matter how battered and well used they were."

        At least you're clear in your ideology. No ambiguity whatsoever.
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          Jun 5 2011: Haha! ALL country disputes are essentially about procession....
          The Palestinians might complain Israel is squatting; hey, I think the Argentinians say the same about we Brits and the Falklands (or whatever it is they want to call it).
          The current US state invaded their country, or stole it from the British, or stole it from the Native Americans, depending on your POV. Or the Australians and the Aborigines, Etc etc etc.
          I'm even a bit dubious about the partition of India and Pakistan, the border of China, or whatever. ALL countries are basically fake, man made, and very recent, and involved the previous inhabitants getting a rough deal.
          I do not support the Israelis in taking the land, anymore than the US folks and the Indians, or the forced migration in India/Pakistan in 1947, but hell you have to admire the effectiveness of their military and diplomatic prowess since. They've done a great job as a country, OK maybe ruthless, but NOTHING to do with playing the Holocaust card.
          Don't forget it was the British soldiers who died at the hands of Stern in 1946. The King David Hotel killings are still remembered here in the UK, but I can put that aside, as simply one side seeking to pursue it's cause. We see same terrorism in Northern Ireland, Spain etc.
          So, I don't think the Israeli folk over-play the Holocaust card, and even if they do/did, fair enough, give them credit for trying.
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        Jun 5 2011: @James Walker

        "The current US state invaded their country, or stole it from the British"

        Everything the British ever "owned", but England, was stolen. How could you robe a thief?
        The UK is the main 'power' behind the occupation of Palestine.

        "So, I don't think the Israeli folk over-play the Holocaust card, and even if they do/did, fair enough, give them credit for trying."

        I suppose you would give the same credit to Nazi Germany then?

        In your own words:

        "I applaud the Israelis for using every "card" at their disposal to achieve what they want."

        Same goes for the Hutus in Rwanda, the Bosnians in Srebrenica, and so on... They also used every cards at their disposal to achieve what they wanted, didn't they?
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          Jun 6 2011: Tony,
          Yes, the Brits stole India, America whatever. That's my point, ALL these disputes are the same. Israeli taking Palestine, is no different to the Americans and the Native Americans, the Conquisadors stole the gold in exchange for influenza, etc etc. All countries are "invaded" and all fake, and where do we start re-drawing the borders. Here in the UK, do I complain of undue French influence given the 1066 invasion?
          - I am not saying Israel deserves to exist or not, merely that this dispute is not special or unique... all countries have been created by invasion, invading, movements of population etc
          - As to what's fair to use in a diplomatic discussion between countries, your examples are a bit selective and frankly silly. You can't compare an Israeli diplomatic reminding the World about the Holocaust with chopping people up, I find your comparison repellent. The examples you use of Hutus and Muslims in FY is a horrible but neat example of the conduct of a civil war, not nation states using "all the cards at their disposal" in the throws of diplomacy. Be great to get the Israelis to do our negotiations (we can handle the fighting probably ;)) to protect the Falklands.
          (You might admire, or maybe quite dis-like the IDF's abilities as a fighting machine, and even this very day, there's been more killing in dreadful circumstances, but this is a totally different question to if it's OK for the Israelis to keep "playing the Holocaust card).
        • Jun 6 2011: Dear James Walker,
          "ALL these disputes are the same. Israeli taking Palestine, is no different to the Americans and the Native Americans,"
          I think totally you mean:

          1- war is legal for invading other's land
          2- peace has no meaning
          3- UN is some kind of joke. for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resolution_3379

          OK?
          if yes I think you give right to Palestinians start war and Muslims support them (like US supports Israel).
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          Jun 6 2011: SR
          Hi there,
          Nope, I mean the opposite I think.
          We are where we are.
          Lots of bad stuff happened last Century, and before, and before.
          Many countries have borders and populations that are "created", India, Pakistan, movements of German speaking people in Alsace etc etc. Further back in time, Australians (actually, I guess we Brits) killed and dispossessed the aboriginal folks; the Americans (well, Brits and the Spanish) killed the Indians, and so it goes on.
          We have the countries we have, now. Let's build a peaceful way forward, from where we are now.
          As to the question of "playing the holocaust card", sure the Israeli's can. Every country has bit of a brand it plays to, and we should let them play whatever cards they want.
        • Jun 8 2011: Dear James,
          so I think you mean Palestinians have the right to fight and make borders.
          and Muslim countries have the right to support Palestine as US supports Israel. OK?
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          Jun 6 2011: EA, I though you wrote that the killings of the jews gets worse each time?
          That suggests some kind of hand of history.
          No such hand exists, we live in the here and now.
          I feel sorry for the Palestinians, and many Israelis...
          But, I am concerned that Israel crates so much emotion, rather than Australia, America, the African slave trade, the assorted countries we Brits invaded...
          As to the success and then decline of the British empire, I think to say the blood on my hands will never wash is a bit steep. Even in Boston, I think my American friends have forgiven me; I seem to spending lots of time and money in India these days and they also seem to have forgiven me.
          Well, I say, "me", it was really me was it? I doubt if the conquisadors are going to give the gold back anytime soon either!!! So, look, we're not to blame of the sins of our fathers, and we are all live in here and now. The Spanish took all the gold in exchange for flu, Israeli took the land etc etc.....
          We all have to make the best of what we have no. So no, I don't think the Israelis overplay their hand.
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          Jun 6 2011: The one point that James is making that I really resonate with is the idea of how far back can we go to make things right? Especially given that reaching back to try to right history seems to cause so many unresolvable problems in the present - for example the Palestininan/ Israeli situation.

          Was it actually James who invaded any country? Even if it were his precise lineage that did the atrocities how can we hold James personally responsible? I have stated in other posts that because of my complex heritage and life experiences I could quite earnestly be angry at several groups but to what avail? Would it help me or my kids? The answer is no.

          The lessons of history have to be harnessed in the present day to deal with human rights violations in the present day. That is the ONLY value in remembering slaughters and injustices of the past. The one life or the many lives today that are being lived in horror are the reason we should be teaching our kids these lessons- so that they DO something not just turn one group into icons. And definately not to give them a free pass to revisit atrocities on other human beings.
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          Jun 10 2011: Debra, excellent sumary of the entire issue actually and where I land as well.
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        Jun 6 2011: @ James Walker

        If the Conquistadors would have taken all the gold, the British would have never showed up to the Americas. I see where you're coming from and roughly where you're going, but your argument is a bit simple (It's all the same, all nations are 'fake'). Perhaps you refer specifically to the 'fake', virtual UK economy who relays on financial institutions that crumble like "castles made of sand" when the stock market hits the downward road.
        Why it isn't all the same is because it took us thousands of years to come up with human rights and to a certain universal understanding of ""right and wrong"". For sure we are not evolved to the point of taking care of our own race. But saying that what is happening in Palestine as we speak is just the same as when North Americans massacred the Native Americans, or the Spaniards massacre of the Central American civilizations, is nothing but the good old concept that in the end: "it's only human nature".
        This, I have to reject.
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          Jun 6 2011: Well, the numbers (hang on, I think someone said above that x millions is no worse than y millions...) should suggest millions of dead jews, dead Indians, dead aborigines etc somewhat outnumber the dead palestinians since 1947? We killed lots of Argentines in defending the Falklands; killed lots of Japanese in ending the ww2.
          I wouldn't want to tally up the dead and use that as a basis of comparison, but in the bigger picture not sure why you think Palestine/israel is so much worse? I am not saying worse/better, just that not see why it's special. It's terrible, but not special.
          (Hey, and as for the UK economy, you're fighting with the wrong guy... I'd love us to make Cars and Tractors, not financial sand castles).
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          Jun 6 2011: Tony, huh?
          Falklands, Israel, Taiwan... All the same surely?
          They are disputes about who a Territory belongs to. Why is the Falklands different to Israel different to Taiwan different to the Unites Sates (and the native americans) different to Australia (and the aborigines) or the Alsace folks......?
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          Jun 7 2011: Hold on a minute James, No one is saying that x millions is no worse than y millions! One person more is far worse. We need to relate to every person murdered for an ideology or a prejudice as a 'world entire'.

          When a person is so entrenched in their own world view and in their own selfish interest to the point that x millions and y millions are the same that becomes narcisism (and a real piss off when it comes from a priveleged blue eyed white guy.)
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          Jun 6 2011: I alluded to my heritage but I think its worth sharing as it is a good example. I have an aboriginal great grandmother who was treated very badly. I have a grandmother who came from Britian at the age of 13 who was the product of a British soldier and an Indian woman. She was an 'orphan' who was told at the age of 13 that she was 18 and sent to Canada as a bonded servant in virtual slavery for 10 years where her treatment was dispicable. It was only when she applied for old age pension that she realized she had to get her job back and work for 5 more years because she was five years younger than she had been told.

          Earlier in my life, I was the first woman to take a skilled trade in the big 3 auto industry in Canada. There were men there who treated me very badly -very badly (based on gender not race) and I learned what prejudice really was when I looked into their eyes and I realized that I was not fully as human to them as they were. I cannot imagine holding their kids responsible for what their fathers did to me.

          What good would it do for me to hold the victimizers of my grandmothers accountable today? What good would it do my kids?The women of my family have born the brunt of a lot of the cruelties of this world.

          I choose to live in a world that does not 'visit the sins of the fathers on the children unto the 3rd and 4th generation' because for me to blame this group in this generation for the sins of previous generations makes me act and think more like the abusers, the racists and the slavers because I would be seeing these people by their gender, race or their ethnicity rather that as a person to be judged by their own actions. I took all that energy and became the firs person in my family to get a degree, a master's degree and an MBA. That feels a lot better and is a better example for my kids who are all educated as well.
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          Jun 6 2011: Hi there EA, I hope I find you well,
          Nope, I just thought you were setting out a pattern like some kind of sequence that each pogrom gets worse?
          If that's not what you're saying, then hey, nor am I!!!
          So, if no hand of God, each instance of Jew killing happens at the moment in history, and is not part of a pattern. So, seems to me, Holocaust was a pretty terrible thing, and if Israel "want to play the card", so be it, seems ok in a diplomatic meeting to say what you want.
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        Jun 6 2011: @ Debra

        I hope you are able to find my response to you here.

        Your history contains a terrible yet fascinating quality. You show your ability to move on as well as to remember. You are magnanimous, while I am not.
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          Jun 7 2011: Are you holding a grudge on your own behalf or on behalf of others, EA?
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        Jun 7 2011: @James Walker - your argument refuse to take into account the reality of our time; International laws, state obligations and most importantly human rights. Thus it was natural for you to allude to the atrocities of British Empire within this context. .

        You must have missed a lot in recent happening – to remind you, there is now an idea of law in international system that nations must accept. The British can no longer organize an invasion spree neither can the United States launch a mission for territorial expansion. The realist paradigm when only the strong survive is no longer valid. Now it takes voting to give the France, Brit and Americans the mandate to go into Libya.

        It is wrong to say “the current US state invaded their country, or stole it from the British, or stole it from the Native Americans”, as a response to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
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          Jun 7 2011: Hi there
          What invasion?
          The Borders of Israel was set a. 60 years ago, b. when in was invaded in 1967, just did a good job of fighting back!!
          This essentially a hangover from last Century - get over it.
          No different and timing the same as India, Pakistan partition and forced movements of people.
          No different that massacres above we have alluded to.
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          Jun 7 2011: James, that is a factual error. Israel has not established its borders even today.

          No - getting over it in this case is not appropriate advice. There are astounding human rights violations happening to the Palestinians that need to be addressed. That is the foundation of this entire conversation which originated on that other thread. (And a little national humility is in order here as both of the conflicts you mention arose out of British colonialism.)
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          Jun 7 2011: So you admit that there are at least 2 perspectives on the borders of Israel.

          i'm glad I do not love you James- I would be in for a world of hurt and you would be in for the challenge of a lifetime.
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          Jun 7 2011: Hi Deb, good morning to you.
          Factual error, moi?
          I think the US President tired the same argument last week... and the Israelis pointed out the borders were fixed...
          It's a LONG time now, 60 years, since the creation of Israel, 40 odd years since the 6-day war... We need to move on. Worry about the World in 2011, not just after WW2.
          There are different points of view on the borders of Israeli, just like with Japan/Russia; China and sovereignty (maybe not exactly the right word) of Taiwan; UK and Argentina maybe not agree on Falklands. But, take the Falklands as an example - that was a war 30 years, the UN (R502) told the Argentines to leave and they didn't. There was a short and bloody and unhappy war, which we won, but nobody is still worrying about, it's in the past and we've all moved on. India and Pakistan have many disputes about borders, and the forced migration that happened post partition was a movement of populations and death on a far greater scale than anything seen in Israel/Palestine (I need a "neutral" geographic term for the territory) since 1946, but India/Pakistan does not raise the same emotions as talking about the jews and Palestine. A lot of bad stuff happened last Century, but we are where we are.
          As for the Holocaust card, anything goes in love and diplomacy :)
          As for loving me, hey, it's generally considered fun I think!!!
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        Jun 7 2011: hang on James, you said "We need to move on" which means Palestinians have to accept things the way they are. You see, i am struggling to get your point. Do you realise many Israelis recognize the need for a Palestinian state?

        You see why it is hard to construct an argument against you? I am forced to question you understanding of the Israel/Palestine conflict. You said ‘We need to move on’, not even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could say that.

        You placed Falklands, Israel/Palestine, Japan/Russia, and Pakistan/India in the same category . . .
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          Jun 7 2011: Ehis,

          That frustration you feel is quite common when discussing things with people who consider themselves expert in the use of debating tactics. Ever tried to talk something through with a lawyer? You know the feeling. I call it pretzel logic.

          The only way around it is to argue your side logically straight forwardly and simple refuse to get entangled in the traps. Sometimes if you are in a discussion with a person whose good will and nature permit, they will shake off the use of tactics in favour of a better and more sincere dialogue.

          We can always hope!
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          Jun 8 2011: Ehis, hi there
          Falklands - those Argentine folk think it's unfinished business; South Korea/North Korea; Japan/Russia over those islands; India/Pakistan over Kashmir (lovely place btw, very red rubies); etc. All the same as Israel, just folks don't think it's so special.
          There is nothing "unique" about Israel, and of course they can play the Holocaust card as much as they like. Why not, gets them a minute more on the news, a few seconds more at the UN or whatever. The question was about whether Israel can still play the Holocaust card, and the answer is of course they can.
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    Jun 4 2011: will the politicians in 55 years ever use the word or even mention it? i'm in total agreement with you but the planet is at this point in time from my perspective shedding the old skin of the twentieth and growing into something different.