“Righteous Among The Nations”

 You have probably heard of Raoul Wallenburg (a Swedish diplomat). You have probably heard of Irene Sandler (a Polish social worker). You may or may not have heard of Mary Elmes (an Irish Quaker who lived in France). And you may only know Guido Bartali as an Italian racing cyclist, who won the Tour de France in both 1938 and 1948.

If you do not see an immediate connexion, they are just four people, among thousands who are recognised as “Righteous Among The Nations” by the State of Israel. For the four above, thousands of documented others and even more thousands of undocumented others are recognised as “Righteous Gentiles”….people who acted directly to save Jewish lives before and during World War Two.

When the Nazi SS were committing genocide in Eastern Europe and filling concentration camps with deported Jews from all over Europe, there were thousands of non-Jews, who saved lives…often paying with their own lives.

It is a courage beyond any that I possess.

But I wonder what is the “righteous” response of non-Muslims, non-Gazans to what is happe ning on the Gaza Strip this month.

How is a “righteous humanist” to feel? A “righteous Baptist”? A “righteous Catholic”? A “righteous Presbyterian”? “A righteous athiest”? “A righteous Buddhist” ? And dare I say it….how is a “righteous Jew” supposed to feel?

I hold no brief for anti-Semitism. But it appears to me that some of the statements coming out of Israel have been the vilest form of Racism.

As I have said before…nobody in Israel-Palestine …welcomes any kind of Nuance. And the degree of Vitriol that Israelis reserve for those “righteous” people, who have the deepest concerns about how Israel is behaving in relation to the Gaza Strip seems to undermine their own concept of “Righteous Among the Nations”.

Israel cannot honour people from Sweden, Poland, Ireland, Italy….and a lot of other nations for responding to humanitarian instincts and then revile the 2014 generation who do the same thing.

Hypocrisy.

Each 27th January ….we commemorate Holocaust Day. 

Israel invites…indeed demands….that the World doesnt forget the Holocaust and its lessons.

Yet …the evidence of Gaza is that the World remembers and that Israel has forgotten.

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9 Responses to “Righteous Among The Nations”

  1. Political Tourist says:

    Let us not forget the “Peace Now” folks in Israel.
    Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the earth.

  2. zig70 says:

    It’s hard for Israel to take example from the US or UK when they have killed so many civilians in their recent crusades. Many more than Israel. Even from Ireland that seems to mumble like a nerd when voicing concerns. Then we have the condemnation of Russia’s aggression. Should we be responsible for the deaths from our own locally produced missiles? Such a lot of hipocrisy about. I also wonder about the reporting from Gaza on the BBC on the obvious suffering and did they not feel the need to report the same detail in Iraq or encouraged not to? So what am I going to do? Nothing. Except write this and not vote for anyone that supported the Gulf wars. There is such a lot of suffering a round the world, I struggle to maintain my own family never mind these higher goals. If I can’t figure out how to get a 13yr old to wash his dishes, then I wouldn’t be much use in the middle east.

  3. Ben Levy says:

    An important point here is that Hamas uses civilians as a human shield and that Israel does not target civilians.

    • No thats not an important point.
      Its mere self-serving crap.
      1…Hamas does not use human shields and the Palestinians are not the animals that Israeli leaders claim. They love their children as much as I love mine and you love yours.
      2…Israel DOES target civilians.

      I am sure like me you believe that Israel has every right to stay on the map of the world. I am sure you deplore the illegal settlements that Israel has set up. And I am sure you believe that Palestine has a right to exist within viable borders.
      Dont you?

      • Ben Levy says:

        Its important to understand that Hamas does not recognize Israel and wants to wipe it out.

        Hamas has been building tunnels that would allow them to send terrorists into Israel with the intent to cause death to Israeli people.

        Israel needs to be able to have borders that allow it to defend itself. Defensible borders.

        This is about the very existence of Israel.

      • The hundreds of dead children were not terrorists.
        Hamas does indeed engage in rhetoric about wiping Israel off the map.
        Israel is resisting Palestine getting on the map.
        The fighting is in Gaza …not Israel.
        Israel needs defensible borders but not at the expense of the rights of others.
        Israel is being led by extremists and racists.

      • Ben Levy says:

        The terror tunnels, which allow Hamas terrorists to enter Israel to bomb civilian people, were built with cement that was supposed to be used for infrastructure. Building tunnels is not a good or appropriate use of the cement. The tunnels have to be destroyed, of course.

      • Cement is not actually a weapon.
        The weapons supplied to Israel by USA, Britain etc are not intended to kill babies.

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