ZNet / March 2, 2008
Yesterday, Friday, 29 February 2008, Israel's deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai threatened Palestinians in Gaza with a "holocaust," telling the Israeli Army Radio: "The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves." This date will go down in history as the beginning of a new phase in the colonial conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, whereby a senior Israeli leader, a "leftist" for that matter, has publicly revealed the genocidal plans Israel is considering to implement against Palestinians under its military occupation, if they do not cease to resist its dictates. It will also mark the first time since World War II that any state has relentlessly -- and on live TV -- terrorized a civilian population with acts of slow, or low-intensity, genocide, with one of its senior government officials overtly inciting to a full-blown "Holocaust," while the world stood by, watching in utter apathy, or in glee, as in the case of leading western leaders.
For an Israeli leader who is Jewish, in particular, to threaten anyone with Holocaust is a sad irony of history. Are victims of unspeakable crimes invariably doomed to turn into appalling criminals? Can anything be possibly done to break this vicious cycle, before the state that claims to represent the main victims of the Holocaust commits a fresh Holocaust itself?