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Holocaust as Religious Dogma

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"The uproar over the literature professor who undertook to challenge the accepted historic fact that gas chambers were used to exterminate Jews in Nazi concentration camps turned out to be a key event in a process that has led to the establishment of the Holocaust, or 'Shoah' (the Hebrew religious term now commonly used in France) as a sort of religion of memory and repentance, raised to the status of official dogma," writes Diana Johnstone --Why the French Hate Chomsky. (She makes note that "the simple fact of defending the principle of free speech was interpreted as support for Robert Faurisson's theses, despite Chomsky's insistence that the two things were quite separate.")

Ms. Johnstone makes mention of "the sacralization of the Holocaust, or 'Shoah', which has increasingly been regarded less as an historic event than as a sacred dogma." She continues, "In a secular state where traditional religions are excluded from public schools, only the Shoah demands both the mental and emotional adherence traditionally reserved for religion."

Herein lies the genius of
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad'sInternational Holocaust Cartoon Competition, in response to theJyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. Sponsoring cartoons about Christ would have been un-Islamic, and sponsoring cartoons about the Church or Pope would only have served to distance his country from her only friend in the West. (SeeAre the Attacks on the Pope a Prelude to Attacks on Iran?) Besides, how would he hope to beat Europeans at their own game? But sponsoring cartoons about the Holocaust had post-Christian Europeansfeelwhat Muslims felt when a central dogma of their faith was ridiculed by outsiders.

Ms. Johnstone notes that the "law has been used to prosecute or silence persons who do not in fact contest, dispute or question the existence of the above-named crimes in general, but who question the use of gas chambers to commit mass genocide." She writes, "Since actual 'negation' of Nazi persecution of Jews is nearly nonexistent, the law has been brought to bear especially on persons who, because of their general political orientation, are suspected of concealed anti-semitism."

I do not harbor any doubts about the veracity of the Holocaust. My much touted
Gypsyquadroonhood would have likely earned me a one-way ticket on a cattle-car to the nearest concentration camp. (On which I would have protested all the way, "Doesn't the termIndo-Aryanmean anything to you National Socialistdummkopfs?") However, the scale and scope of the Holocaust should be matters for reasonable debate.

"Making history an object of reverence rather than of curiosity marks a subtle but serious regression from the secular values of free inquiry," says Ms. Johnstone. "For much of the younger generation, the Shoah cult," she continues, "with annual obligatory commemorations and constant reminders of the 'duty of memory', is getting to be as boring as any other imposed religion."

Ms. Johnstone earlier in her article suggests how "the Shoah cult" is used to "justify France's subservience to the United States." She writes, "The basic idea of the old 'new philosopher' Bernard-Henri LÃ vy is that fascism is 'the French ideology' and that the French people and government are not to be trusted." She notes that "[i]n cartoons and films, the French working class are portrayed as racist boors," and that "the pendulum has swung away from celebration of the French Resistance to self-flagellation for crimes against Jews committed under Nazi occupation." She continues:

"The very existence of Jean-Marie Le Pen and his National Front have, for nearly thirty years, contributed mainly to strengthening an opposing attitude of anti-nationalism. Justified criticism of the European Union for tearing down social welfare in favor of globalized finance capital is stigmatized as archaic and unacceptable French nationalism. The dominant center left has abandoned both economic issues and anti-militarism in favor of a human rights ideology more concerned with the Dalai Lama (about which France can do nothing) than with the deindustrialization of France. The human rights left has largely abandoned economic policy to the EU and military policy to NATO and its boss, the United States."

Sound familiar? Is not the very existence ofPatrick J. Buchananon our own shores and his criticism of N.A.F.T.A. and N.A.T.O., of militarism and war, stigmatized as archaic and unacceptable American nationalism? Has not America's Left abandoned both economic issues and anti-militarism in favor of a gay and women's rights ideology, at home and abroad, saying nothing of the deindustrialization of America?

So not only does "the Shoah cult" serve to "justify France's subservience to the United States," it justifies the American people's subservience to the un-American Empire, and most obviously it's unconditional support of Israel. Most sadly, in the wake of the Tea Parties, even "America's greatest intellectual" resorted to such fear-mongering in service of the Empire, calling the situation "very similar to late Weimar Germany" --
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'.
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An American Catholic son-in-law of Korea, Joshua Snyder lives with his wife and two children in self-imposed exile in Pohang, where he serves as an assistant visiting professor of English at a science and technology university. Religiously orthodox and politically heterodox, he might be (more...)
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