I join my brother, Michael Neumann, in asking that any reference to our grandmother be removed from Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial.
I have been to this memorial. Its buildings, paved courtyards and plazas spread themselves authoritatively over many landscaped acres. It frames the Holocaust as a prelude to the creation of the state of Israel. It embalms memorabilia of the death camps and preserves them as national treasures. That treasure does not belong to Israel. It is a treasure only if it serves as a reminder never to permit any nation to claim an exemption for its chosen people from the bounds of morality and decency.
Arabs must study the Nazi Holocaust in order to understand what drives the fears of Israelis and their Jewish supporters around the world. And Jews must re-study the Holocaust in order to ask themselves: is my community re-enacting the trauma visited upon our grandparents by inflicting trauma upon Arabs?
What if I ask the same question of myself and my various communities?
I have been reading the history of Lebanon (Fawwaz Traboulsi) and it all sounds the same as the current news, down to the same names of leaders and factions. Christians in Lebanon are also guilty of inflicting trauma upon their adversaries out of fear, resentment and unresolved trauma over the sufferings of our great-great-grandparents. Oppression blossoms into violence with boring regularity in Lebanon . Lebanese Christians have a duty to see clearly and quit inflicting pain and suffering upon weaker communities around them. They must also stop collaborating with those who wish to kill or oppress Muslims and Palestinian refugees within Lebanon's borders.
And let me also say this: Muslims and Christians in Lebanon treat Palestinian refugees in their midst not a whole lot better than the Israelis do. Lebanese do not at the moment kill Palestinians in such numbers, and do not actively starve them the way Israel is starving Gaza. But the system of refugee camps, the work laws, the denial of rights to citizenship, are all similar to Israeli oppression of Arabs inside Israel and in the territories. The attack on Nahr-al-Barid of 2007 was chillingly familiar. It's not good for Lebanese society, and I can no longer keep quiet about it. I also have to look in the mirror.
If you want me to criticize my own country, America, where I live and pay taxes - I'll do it, but in a different post. This one is getting long enough. But the list of our injustices is long.
We all have to take responsibility for the toxic consequences of the actions of our representatives. Our leaders and military sometimes do terrible things in our name, which bring harm upon us. Maybe we cannot make them stop, but we have a duty to look to our part in the mayhem before we condemn our adversaries for being evil, violent, terroristic, barbaric and so forth.