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Historical certitude by aemathisphd (10/16/11)       ⇌ (@jayn0t)       

>You've noticed the role of guilt in politics. It's amazing (particularly to someone raised in the 'materialist conception of history') that such emotions can affect the supposedly hard-headed rulers of the 'imperialist' countries, but it's true. It's a much better explanation of support for that dude in Rwanda, other examples, and top of the pile, Israel, than the convoluted attempts of Marxists to squeeze the facts into their theory. So we need to get rid of guilt.


OK, now we're getting somewhere.


>This looks like a bit of a Freudian slip: "Jews have largely played the role of victims in history"


Nope, no slip.


>- do you mean Jews have largely been victims in history? So we are continually told. This doesn't make it true.


Yeah, except it is true. The Jews have been demonized throughout history for several reasons, but the first one was the fact that they had the nerve to resist a violent incursion into their land, located in Palestine, by imperialists in about 67 BC. With the exception of that date, does that narrative at all ring familiar?


After that, you get a religion that is built upon the notion that Jews hold eternal guilt over the death of the new religion's founding prophet, and that religion becomes the national religion of the largest government in the world in 313 AD. Massive persecution follows for more than a thousand years.


Until about 1789, all anti-Semitism has its roots in those two events. It's not unreasonable, I don't think, to concede those two points. People who, in their attempts to delegitimize Zionism, deny these points or, alongside them, deny historical links of Jews to Palestine, are prevaricating, in my opinion.


Deal not with issues in the realm of historical certitude. Deal, rather, with those issues that are relevant today, i.e., that anti-Semitism is fueled rather than alleviated by Zionism or that a three-thousand-year-old claim to a land is probably no longer relevant and is certainly not legally binding.


>"I don't think you can truly underestimate the effect the Holocaust had, both inside and outside Jewish culture and society" The effect 'the' holocaust, and all holocausts, had, is socially constructed, not given.


Absolutely true.


>It's how holocausts are used that matters. 'The' holocaust ™ has been used for various purposes. Immediately after the war, it was used to distract attention from the war crimes of the allies. Then it went into relative disuse. Since approximately 1967, it has been increasingly used to reinforce the idea of Jews as victims and to blackmail the West into supporting the destruction of the Palestinian people. It's rammed down our throats 24/7. Therefore, Palestine solidarity includes the defense of the freedom of speech of holocaust revisionists.


None of that, as far as I can see, is that big of a deal, except that it seems to me that a responsible dialogue on free speech would involve an attempt to balance the views of Holocaust deniers with people who support the normative history. THAT, it strikes me, would be responsible. After all, it's not as if you won't find people who oppose Zionism who nevertheless oppose Holocaust denial. And there are plenty of those people who don't oppose Holocaust denial out of fear of being labeled anti-Semites.


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