Holocaust memorial vandalized by Jews?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Happybunny, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Happybunny macrumors 68000

    Sep 9, 2010
    I must admit I had to read this twice. I first thought that it was a sick joke. :(

    Ultra-Orthodox Jews Vandalize Jerusalem’s Holocaust Memorial

    On Sunday night, vandals scrawled Hitler-friendly hate speech across Israel’s most sacred memorial. The culprits were likely extremist Jews. Alex Klein reports from Jerusalem on what the vandalism means for the Jewish state.

    On a typical Sunday afternoon, the central courtyard at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem’s storied Holocaust memorial, is filled with visitors: Tel Aviv tourists, Israeli Defense Force cadets, American Birthrighters. But on an unseasonably cool day yesterday, the memorial’s gates were ringed with security tape, its walls stained with black paint. Beside a statue of Mordecai Anielewicz, the hero of the Warsaw uprising, dripped a crude cartoon of an Auschwitz-bound train. Below an engraved procession of victims looped rows of hateful graffiti: “Hitler, thanks for the Holocaust,” “Israel is the secular Auschwitz,” and so on.

    But the neat cursive writing was not in Arabic; it was in Hebrew. And although the police have not identified any suspects, a museum spokeswoman told The Daily Beast, it’s almost certain that the can-wielding vandals were haredim, or ultra-orthodox Jews. Yad Vashem’s chairman, Avner Shalev, has already told the press that one of the tags was signed “World Haredi Jewry.” According to a guide at the site who asked not to be named, a few key grammatical errors in the Hebrew would confirm authorship by a member of the ultra-orthodox—many of whose first language is Yiddish. “Arabs didn’t write this,” he told me, visibly shaken.

    Yad Vashem is nestled in the lush hills of Mount Herzl, where lines of parallel graves mark the resting place of both past Israeli prime ministers and Zionist intellectuals.

    A few yards from the plaza is a mirrored hall in which burn five candles reflected thousands of times, each reflection representing a child who perished in the Holocaust. Yad Vashem holds the largest archival collection of papers and digitized documents related to the Holocaust. It is a fundamental “link between Israeli society and Judaism,” Shalev said.

    The memorial’s central statues commemorate two kinds of heroes: those who fought, like Anielewicz and the Warsaw rebels, and those who protected, like the rabbi and his Torah or the mother and her child. After sneaking in under the cover of night, the vandals chose these symbols to deface. (The mountain memorial, which is free and open to the public, has no fence.)

    Matityahu Drobles, a Holocaust survivor and former member of Israel’s Parliament, looks at graffiti sprayed on the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial compound in Jerusalem, June 11, 2012. (Sebastian Scheiner / AP Photo)

    Why would Jews desecrate this place? Because, in the eyes of far-right fundamentalists, even Nazism is preferable to the secularism of the Jewish state.
    So why would Jews desecrate this place? Because, in the eyes of far-right fundamentalists, even Nazism is preferable to the secularism of the Jewish state. The first killed merely the body, while the latter kills the soul. And a liberal Israel that fosters strong Reform and Conservative Jewish traditions—an Israel of nightclubs, shopping malls, and topless beaches? Blasphemous.

    The haredim believe that no formal government should exist in Israel before the Messiah comes and reestablishes a Jewish kingdom. Some on the far right even subscribe to the classic anti-Semitic lie that the Holocaust was made up to provide a pretext for the establishment of Israel. One wall bore the phrase, “An alternative museum will be built next to the selective Yad Vashem”—a museum, apparently, for the “true” Jews: the orthodox Ashkenazim from Eastern Europe, and not the “Sephardic Jewry” demeaned in another line of paint.

    Already the press is tying the vandalism to last Sunday’s “price tag” attack on the vehicles of seven Arab refugees.

    But the spray-painting ultra-Orthodox cannot be clearly associated with the hawkish right-wing Israelis who defend the West Bank settlements. "The wars of the Zionists are not the wars of the Jewish nation,” the vandals wrote. Far from defending Israeli policy in the West Bank, the haredi fringe is attacking the twin pillars of Israeli society: secular democracy and the Zionist project.

    Amidst the lines of graffiti, one vandal had scrawled the lone word “If” across the image of a mother’s face, and then stopped or gotten distracted—the beginning of an unfinished sentence.

    It goes to show that religious fanatics will do anything to further their cause. :(

  2. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    The police have not identified and suspects but this reporter reports they were most likely Jews? What a pile of rubbish.
  3. Grey Beard macrumors 65816

    Grey Beard

    Sep 10, 2005
    The Antipodes.
    Regardless who the perpetrators were, it was a despicable act of wanton vandalism. The motive, political or otherwise is a shameful event in Israel's history.

  4. fox10078 macrumors 6502


    Nov 6, 2009
    I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be an orthodox sect. Some can be quite extreme.
  5. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    The reporter passed on what the police investigators are thinking, based on the evidence they have to hand.

    It wouldn't surprise me if the perpetrators were Haredim. They're more than a little bit mental, even on the religious fanatic scale.
  6. Happybunny thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 9, 2010
    The story is on more news services




    One more thought this Holocaust memorial must be very important to the Israel and the Jews, so I would imagine that you cannot just walk in.
    A group of Palestines would I think raise some alarm bells?

    Or maybe their security is not that good?
  7. AnimaLeo macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    Religious folk are so ignorant it's hilarious. I guess that's what you get for blindly following 'faith' ie: doing what your told without questioning.
  8. MorphingDragon macrumors 603


    Mar 27, 2009
    The World Inbetween
    That's actually rather touching.
  9. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    I'm surprised that you all are surprised. This is struggle that goes back to the roots of Zionism and continues today:

  10. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Sunni and Shia Muslims have been killing each other for years.

    Just another 'faction', in a World full of them.
  11. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    Some ultra Orthodox Jews are as extreme as the Christian Right, so it is a distinct possibility.
  12. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Given the Israelis are known for their good security I would expect the security at such a place to be excellent.
  13. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    What a pile of rubbish indeed. Evidence be damned.
  14. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2005
    I think carpet bombing innocents in other countries is somewhat more shameful.

    I'll save my outrage for events where people are actually maimed/tortured/murdered etc.
  15. Grey Beard macrumors 65816

    Grey Beard

    Sep 10, 2005
    The Antipodes.
    So the Holocaust was just a blip in history. An inconsequential event. The OP was for the desecration of a memorial to millions of people killed, and as such should be considered hallowed ground. No where did I condone any other actions taken by Israel or dissenting states.

    Keep your outrage to a relevant thread.

  16. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2005
    I'm not seeing another holocaust I'm seeing vandalism, never been a huge fan of being outraged over symbolism.

    Here's an idea for how to remember the holocaust. How about we learn from it and stop imprisoning, murdering, subjugating ethnic groups just because it can be done.
  17. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Is your mind so black & white that it cannot see these as mutually inclusive??
  18. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2005
    Black and White?

    I fail to see how black and white has anything to do with it. In my eyes people are much more inclined to proclaim the meaning and importance of symbols and symbolic entities. Than they are recognize what is truly important and meaningful.

    You wan't to be outraged by Koran and Bible burning?

    You wan't to be outraged by people vandalizing your war memorial?

    You wan't to be outraged by the defacing of memorials commemorating the murder of innocent children.

    But don't expect me to share that outrage because I'm tired of the world where we keep building war memorials yet we keep fighting wars. Your symbolism means exactly jack squat to me compared to a single human life. And I'll start respecting your symbols of loss when you start demonstrating and understanding of what those symbols are supposed to mean.
  19. kavika411 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2006
    And another thing. What's with all those cement things at graves???? Who cares what the person's name is or when they lived!!! They're dead!!! No need to waste stone tablets - just dumb symbols. And what's with funerals??!!??!! Only an unenlightened idiot would want to attend someone's funeral. Speaking of which, what's with grief in general??!!! It's such a dumb emotion. The person is dead. Get over it.

    As long as there is some tragedy somewhere else, we should pay no mind to anything.

    Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.
  20. AP_piano295, Jun 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012

    AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2005
    If you go and mourn a murder victim then go out and murder people.

    You've missed the point, sorry.
  21. danahn17 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    I think see your point... but it's a little idealistic or naive IMO.

    You complain that people are upset that there's a war memorial that got desecrated... yet we still go out to fight wars. Unfortunately, until all of humanity is unified... it won't happen. Even if Israel decided to forgo all war, what about states like Iran which want to destroy Israel? I don't think Israel will just sit there and take another country attacking them.

    But again, it will never happen. Heck, look even at the "civilized" USA where the Democrats and Republicans can't find any common ground. How are the various cultures and religions of the world supposed to do that then?
  22. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2005
    I don't think people need to be unified to end war.

    I think people need to stop elevating the importance of symbols, and ideologies over the importance of other people. If we could all stop bending our humanity to the will of the machine (be that machine a corporation, a religion, or a philosophy) and instead consider how our actions effect others than maybe we can actually move forward.

    In the words of T. Pratchett : "you can pick up another five causes on any street corner, but you only have one life"
  23. danahn17 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    Gotcha. Makes sense. I agree to a point. I'd agree with you also that at the end of the day, this was just a vandalism (made more shocking by its locations and perpetrators). Just to play devil's advocate though... I feel some symbols are meant as reminders of our history... and as the saying goes, those who forget our history are doomed to repeat it. So in some sense, symbols should be elevated.

    I think the other issue comes when people misunderstand or are ignorant of other people's symbols. For instance, the aforementioned Koran/Bible burning. I think if people publicly burned the Bible, many Christians would be upset but the majority wouldn't go out and kill people in retaliation. Some may even view it as an act of symbolism.

    However, my understanding of the Koran (I'm not Muslim so I could be wrong) is that it is elevated to a different position in the Islamic religion. A Koran is to be treated with utmost respect... to the point where some people wash their hands before handling the book every time. And if one's Koran is worn down, the proper thing to do is either bury it, put it in a river, or burn it after removing all important names from the book. Desecrating the Koran is enough in some countries to require a punishment of imprisonment or even death. So off course, they're gonna get super offended and pissed off when the crazies in the US decided to burn Korans. In the USA, it was generally symbolic...but we failed to gully grasp the significance of how the Islamic world would view it the same action because we didn't understand the significance of the symbol.

    If we stopped elevating symbols, wouldn't that require forcing cultures to remove elevating their symbols (which would be an elevation of another ideology above theirs)? Then again, even if we spent more time to fully understand everybody else's cultural symbols... I bet people would still do things like deface memorials or burn holy books just because they know of the shock or hurt it can do. It's human nature I suppose :(
  24. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2005
    I would never suggest that we use force to change someone else's philosophy or beliefs. That would obviously be extremely hypocritical.

    I'm simply explaining how I wish, people would think and or behave.

    I perfectly understand why Muslims were enormously enraged by the destruction of the Koran, you just need to understand that I, don't care.

    I have very strong beliefs about any number of things, but I would not kill or die for any of them.

    I would kill to save a life only in the direct sense (one person holding a literal gun to someone else's head).

    I would die to save another person in the direct sense (say running into a burning building, or maybe giving up an necessary organ).

    I don't consider this dying/killing for a belief, but dying/killing for another person.

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