[lit-ideas] Re: doubly disturbing headline of the day

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2004 02:17:49 -0800 (PST)


When I read Paul's post I rather agreed with him. But
then I read the 
Guardian piece (url repeated here


I quote

Yoram Kaniuk, author of a book about a Jewish
violinist forced to play 
for a concentration camp commander, wrote in Yedioth
Ahronoth newspaper 
that the soldiers responsible should be put on trial
"not for abusing 
Arabs but for disgracing the Holocaust".

"Of all the terrible things done at the roadblocks,
this story is one 
which negates the very possibility of the existence of
Israel as a 
Jewish state. If [the military] does not put these
soldiers on trial we will 
have no moral right to speak of ourselves as a state
that rose from the 
Holocaust," he wrote.

"If we allow Jewish soldiers to put an Arab violinist
at a roadblock 
and laugh at him, we have succeeded in arriving at the
lowest moral point 
possible. Our entire existence in this Arab region was
justified, and 
is still justified, by our suffering; by Jewish
violinists in the 

I think that speaks for itself.

O.K.: I don\t think that this removes the complaint
that the author of these lines did not object to the
behaviour because it caused suffering to a fellow
human, but because it compromised the idea of the
Jewish state. In other words, the objection is made
from the standpoint of (Zionist) politics rather than
(universal) ethics. From the latter standpoint, it
would be perceived that there are more objectionable
acts occuring daily in the territories.

I think that Paul has correctly identified the mindset
that guides much (though perhaps not all) of the
so-called Zionist Left. I grant though that it is
possible that the writer feels genuine moral outrage
but is trying to frame it in terms that speak to his
(or her) anticipated Zionist audience.


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