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Holocaust-Nakba

Reader comment on item: Assessing Obama's Cairo Speech

Submitted by Solomon Stavrov (Israel), Jun 4, 2009 at 11:53

Dear Dr. Pipes,

I feel very much disappointed by these two paragraphs of the Obama's address

"Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed - more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction - or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews - is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.

On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people - Muslims and Christians - have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations - large and small - that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own."

As you can see he put in the raw Holocaust and suffering of Palestinians. I do not question existence of this suffering, but do not think that it is fair to compare Holocaust (murdering of 6 million people), with suffering of Palestinians, whose population at least quadrupled under Israeli occupation and standards of life increased 6-9 times from 1967 through 1993, when occupation was transformed in some very strange situation.

Thank you

Solomon

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