In het Britse Lagerhuis werd onlangs gediscussieerd over de Holocaust en hedendaags antisemitisme, een debat dat grotendeels werd genegeerd door de Britse media.
Denis MacShane van Labour, die voorzitter is van de parlementaire onderzoekscommissie over antisemitisme, gaf de interessantste bijdrage, hieronder ingeleid door Ami Isseroff.
The British press made a point of ignoring the wonderful British parliamentary debate on the Holocaust, in honor of Holocaust Memorial Day, January 31. We have to ask where all those anti-racists from the Guardian and the Independent were hiding, as they are always in evidence when there is an opportunity for Israel bashing. One members' point of order made this point.
Lembit Opik (Montgomeryshire) (LD): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I hope that it is in order for me to express my disappointment that, despite the quality of this debate, the Press Gallery has remained empty throughout, with the exception of the Press Association staff...
The BBC reporters presumably did not have to be there, as they themselves were responsible for disseminating some of the worst examples of anti-Semitism that were cited in the debate.
The highlight perhaps were remarks by Denis MacShane, who has been in the forefront of the fight against British anti-Semitism, and whose remarks are given in full below. Most pointedly, he said:
It has been said that anti-Semitism is a light sleeper. As chairman of the all-party commission of inquiry into anti-Semitism in this country, let me report to the House the fact that this is a light sleeper that is reawakening. Anti-Semitism is one of the ideological driving forces for violence, hate and terror around the world. It is international and coherent; it involves theoreticians and practitioners; its involves men of huge violence while at its soft end it involves a joke around the dinner table, or perhaps a brick hurled through a synagogue window.
We have to place on record some apostles of contemporary anti-Semitism as the best way of giving witness to our concern about and horror at what happened in the holocaust.
Remarks by Labor Member Denis MacShane on the occassion of Holocaust Memorial Day, January 31, 2008, in Parliamenary Debate
Mr. Denis MacShane (Rotherham) (Lab): We have only one hour for debate. Those on the Front Benches have been very generous in taking interventions. I will not take interventions, simply so that I can sit down as soon as I can. Please wave a yellow or a red card at me, Mr. Deputy Speaker, if I go over more than four or five minutes.
This is an important debate and I am glad that the Government have found time for it. Like other Members, I have visited Auschwitz. I was there on the 60th anniversary of the liberation, but I have taken my children on private visits to Poland - to Madjenek - to try to explain to them exactly what the holocaust was. It was unique; it was not another genocide, another extermination. History is littered with those. As the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. Goodman) said, we face them today, perhaps in Darfur. What is being unleashed in Kenya might also be going in that horrible direction. We hope not.
The holocaust was four years of calmly organised, purposeful integration of transport, science, engineering and construction work to put millions of Jews, Sinti and Gypsies to death. We are now finding that the death toll may be higher. I want to report to the House the remarkable work of Father Desbois, a Paris-based priest who has spent the past two or three years touring sites in Ukraine that are not recorded, discovering graves the remains of Jews put to death by SS and Wehrmacht Einsatzgruppen after the invasion of Ukraine.
The holocaust figures may have to be increased a little, which is why we have to say to ourselves that there is no comparison between the holocaust and other horrible moments of European, or indeed world, history - expulsions, ethnic cleansing, population transfers, massacres at the end of the Ottoman empire and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians leaving their homes in the wars of 1947 and 1948.
Nor can we class the holocaust as just a matter of history. As hon. Members have said, the holocaust was rooted in an ideology - not in hate, race or religious hate, much as those were part of it, but in an ideology called anti-Semitism. It has been said that anti-Semitism is a light sleeper. As chairman of the all-party commission of inquiry into anti-Semitism in this country, let me report to the House the fact that this is a light sleeper that is reawakening. Anti-Semitism is one of the ideological driving forces for violence, hate and terror around the world. It is international and coherent; it involves theoreticians and practitioners; its involves men of huge violence while at its soft end it involves a joke around the dinner table, or perhaps a brick hurled through a synagogue window.
We have to place on record some apostles of contemporary anti-Semitism as the best way of giving witness to our concern about and horror at what happened in the holocaust. Take, for example, Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who says:
"An Israeli woman is not like women in our societies, because she is a soldier."
He goes on:
"I consider this type of martyrdom operation"
blowing up Jews in Israel
"as an evidence of God's justice."
All this was said on the BBC, not hidden away on obscure websites. He also said:
"Allah Almighty is just; through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have and that is their ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do".
This man is an open advocate of Jew killing and of holocaust activities as they have been modernised in contemporary world history.
A few years back, Mr. Abd al-Rahman al-Sudayyis, imam at the al-Haram mosque in Mecca, said:
"Read history and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil fathers of the Jews of today...the scum of the human race 'whom Allah turned into apes and pigs'".
In March 2003, a more senior state figure, President Bashar al-Assad, said:
"Even if the peace process succeeds, it is impossible that Israel should be a legitimate state".
Returning home, Mr. David Irving, alking late last year to The Guardian, said that th Jews were responsible for what happened to them in the second world war and that the "Jewish problem" was responsible for nearly all the wars of the past 100 years:
"The Jews are the architects of their own misfortune",
At about the same time, Muhammad Cherif Abbas, Algeria's Minister of War Veterans, said of President Nicolas Sarkozy:
"You know the origins of the French president and those who put him into power. Do you know that the Israelis printed a stamp with Nicolas Sarkozy on it during the election campaign?...Why has Bernard Kouchner..."
- the French Foreign Minister, who is a non-believing Jew -
"decided to cross the floor? It's the result of a movement that reflects the views of the real architects of Sarkozy's arrival in power - the Jewish lobby."
There we have it again - references to the "Jewish lobby", the cabal. The Saudi Government are publishing translations of the protocols of the elders of Zion and circulating them as contemporary historical material.
My final remarks - I shall sit down soon, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and thank you for that glance - relate to material published by Policy Exchange in a report produced by Professor Denis MacEoin of Newcastle university at the end of last year. The information in question is in circulation in the King Fahad school in west London. It says that the Jews are responsible for trying to
"immerse nations in vice and the spread of fornication."
It also says that the Jews are
"spreading immoral pornographic literature...Cheating, bribing, stealing and conning."
It goes on to say:
"The Jews are a people who were moulded with treachery and backstabbing throughout the centuries and they do not keep their word nor honour their promise."
Finally, let me quote Nick Griffin of the British National party, who is currently obsessed with Polish workers. A few years ago it was Asian workers, but the man has always been obsessed with Jews. He wrote a book called "Who Are The Mindbenders?", which lists Jews who work in the media and do not use their real names. Mr. Griffin denounced the former Labour Member of Parliament for York, Alex Lyon, as
"this bloody Jew... whose only claim to fame is that two of his parents died in the Holocaust."
In a book published in 1988, Mr. Griffin wrote:
"the Jews... shifted the alleged sites of the mass gassings from the no-longer believable German camps such as Dachau and Belsen to the sites in Communist Poland such as Auschwitz and Treblinka."
I put those quotes on the record so that people who read the debate can understand that what we are dealing with is not history. What we are dealing with is not what happened in the past; it is alive, awake and organising. It involves British citizens. It involves many people from different countries and different faiths. We must combat anti-Semitism today with the dedication with which we so singularly failed to combat anti-Semitism and Nazism before 1939.