Every once in a while I see someone comment on the persecution of Palestinians by Israel with a “shouldn’t the Jews know better?” and “they of all people” and “haven’t they learned from the Holocaust?”
Fine. Would you like to know what we learned from the Holocaust? From the pogroms before and after, from the expulsions from all over Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, from the massacres of Kiev and the Farhud of Baghdad - you want to know what we have learned?
That no matter how peaceful we are, no matter how assimilated, no matter how loyal, no matter how well we speak your languages in our homes and no matter if we fight in your warsfor your countries and no matter if we never lift a hand in violence, not even in self defense -
you will slaughter us.
You will cleanse your countries of us by expelling us and by killing us and you will wipe your hands of it after.
What we have learned? That if we take the moral high ground and lay down arms, we will be killed en masse and that we cannot protect ourselves with appeals to humanity, to learning, or to civilization.
You taught us to pick up guns, you taught us to slaughter and persecute and ethnically cleanse, you taught us that the only way to protect ourselves was to stop preaching peace and patience because that leads to our graves. We learned your lessons well
and that in no way could ever excuse the actions Israel takes towards Palestine. Nothing can excuse the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, the barring of them from their homeland, the theft of their land, the arresting of their young children, or the attempted destruction of their hope. Nothing, just as nothing could ever justify the way you did that to us.
But stop asking us what we learned from the Holocaust because what we learned is what you will do to us given the chance and what we learned is how your nations treated those physically weaker and what we learned was how our nation could be “strong” like all of yours.
So take some responsibility. And stop pretending that it is our duty to learn from the systematic murder of our people and start realizing that the way the world looks know has a lot more to do with how your militaries and imperialistic leaders shaped it.
Don’t pretend it isn’t your legacy.