02 February 2013

Good news from Germany(!?), bad news from elsewhere (so, what's new??)

"Germany has an “everlasting responsibility for the crimes of National Socialism, for the victims of World War II and, above all, for the Holocaust,” says Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, in a Holocaust Memorial Day message. Further, she says, "... this must be made clear from generation to generation and it must be said with bravery and moral courage, every individual can make a contribution so that racism and antisemitism have no chance.”

All this is no surprise to the good people who come here to see what we have to say. And to tell us, often in no uncertain terms, what they think of what we have to say. As is their right, and long may it remain so. Indeed, both the overt message and the implicit one should be so obvious as to not need saying. Unfortunately, as we all know, this is far from the case. The UK Liberal Democratic MP (and thus member of the UK ruling coalition - though hopefully not for much longer) David Ward wrote a disgraceful article in the London Sunday Times (behind a pay wall, and thus unlinkable to) in which, according to reliable sources, he managed to equate the Holocaust, the lessons Jews are supposed to have learned from it (huh!! the victims are supposed to learn lessons from this??? Other, that is, that saying, most fervently, Uzi firmly in hand, "never again") and how the Israelis (yes, we noticed the elision between Jews and Israelis) are supposedly treating the Palestinians.

Indications of what Ward said can be found on the engageonline site and at The Commentator and here  - actually the second link also gives an illustration of Gerald Scarfe's delightfully antisemitic [and I use the word advisedly] cartoon, as well as in The Algemeiner online paper on this.

As far as caricaturists go, I much prefer Ralph Steadman's work: we have a print of his caricature of Henry VIII for a Royal Shakespeare Company production of the play: both highly amusing and much more gentle, without letting the subject off the hook.

By: Brian Goldfarb


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Hi - I don't think Ward wrote anything in the ST, but just on his own website. The Scarfe cartoon was in the ST though.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Thanks for the correction, Sarah.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I echo Snoopy, Sarah. We don't take the ST, so I obviously missed the lack of an article (sorry for the poor use of language) and just ran the two together.

I'm also waiting for friends to let us have Daniel Finkelstein's apparently coruscating response to the cartoon (and maybe to Ward as well) in The Times. As we were away (see item above), we missed it. For those who don't know, Daniel Finkelstein is the grandson of Alfred Wiener, founder of the Wiener Library (also known as the Holocaust Library, and where I volunteer). He can be relied on to write on these topics with passion and accuracy.