“Tragic echoes of the Voyage of the Dammed”

January 7, 2011 by J-Wire
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In response to the B’nai B’rith ADC media release of 16 December 2010, it is truly unfortunate that a Jewish organisation would make such an odious comparison of the plight of current refugees with Holocaust Survivors.  Whilst there is no doubt that survivors and their families would have some empathy and understanding of the tragic circumstances in which asylum seekers  find themselves that is surely where any comparison ends.  Understandable sympathy for asylum seekers coming to Australia does not justify comparing their plight to that of European Jewry under the Nazis.

The current asylum seekers have not been marked out for, or subjected to, genocidal mass murder and have not actually been turned back by governments because of their religion or race, and do have choices.  Many of them have been admitted into Australia after their claims have been processed.

During the Shoah where were the governments sympathetic to the Jewish plight? There was in the end nowhere for them to go and even the Australian representative at the fateful Evian Conference in 1938 said that “…As we have no real racial problems, we are not desirous of importing one”.   It is outrageous to compare the current Australian government to that of 1938.

I note that ADC chairman Anton Block has stated that “the analogy is imperfect”, referring to The St Louis and the Struma during the Shoah.  At a time when Holocaust revisionists  are also making comparisons which trivialise, minimise, obfuscate and deny the facts of the Holocaust such remarks by a respected Jewish organisation can only add weight to their abhorrent arguments.

By all means let us do what we can to help those in need but let us be far more careful about the comparisons we make in particular about the unique aspects of the Shoah in which so many of our families suffered including my own.  The ADC should have consulted first with other Jewish organisations instead of rushing into print.  Moral posturing will not help anyone.

Dr George Foster

Abbotsford NSW

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