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New Israeli ID card numbers to begin at 6 million

Israel is about to begin issuing its citizens with “smart” ID cards – plastic cards with a chip containing various biometric information, as opposed to the laminated paper cards we carried until now. The debate over the biometric database on which these cards will draw is long and ferocious, but it turns out this is only one controversial thing about the cards. Yedioth Ahronoth reported today (h/t 7th Eye) that the serial numbers of the cards (as opposed to the actual ID numbers, which will remain the same), will begin “at six million up, to commemorate the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust… the new cards will be embedded with six Stars of David, also to commemorate Holocaust victims.”

Three thoughts that come to mind:

1. Not only do we appoint ourselves to representing all living Jews of the world (and then are shocked when non-Israeli Jews are targeted by opponents of the Israeli state), but we now have appointed ourselves to represent the dead ones – not as a group but each and every one, individually. What’s next? Serial Interior Ministry numbers on Jewish headstones in cemeteries around the world?

2. It’s profoundly disrespectful to the Holocaust victims themselves, many if not most of whom weren’t Zionist and saw themselves as Jews and as nationals of their own country.

3. The same ID cards will be given to Jews and Arabs in Israel, which makes the entire shennanigan appear as if the state officially says that the 6 million murdered Jews who never set foot in Israel (certainly never acquired residency or citizenship) were here /before/ the Arab citizens who were born here.

Commemoration of the Holocaust and learning form it is tremendously important. But is the long-term plan here to turn the entire country into Yad Vashem and all citizens into walking exhibits?

Update: Here’s a scan of the original report, courtesy of Yo Gonen.

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    1. sh

      God that’s sick. Whose idea in the Interior Ministry was it? Surely not Minister himself!

      Reply to Comment
    2. Danya Cohen

      The State of Israel does not have the right to appropriate the Holocaust in the name of all worldwide Jews, victims and survivors, living, dead, Zionist or not. Nor is it wise or tasteful to so closely associate our national buracracy, which is supposed to also serve non-Jewish citizens, with the memory of those murdered by the Nazis.

      Reply to Comment
    3. That is sick indeed. As the second generation of jewish survivors.

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    4. So the Kahanist slogan ‘ממשיכים בדרכו’ (mamšixím be darkó; following his way) doesn’t necessarily means Kahane’s way after all…

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    5. David

      Pity, though, that the six million (including the now-dead anti-Zionist Jews) didn’t move to Israel before the Shoah.

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    6. Yossi B

      maybe the most problematic point is that 6 million jews are going to be put on a racist document. not like the passports, ID cards in Israel contain the “ethnicity” of their holders, and although it is not written “Jew” on them anymore, the usage of the Hebrew date of birth only for Jews has the same meaning and affect.

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    7. Leonid Levin

      What a disgusting remark by David, truly disrespectful of our dear relatives and fellow Jews who perished in the Holocaust. Sickening.

      @Yossi B: This reminds me of the word Еврей (Jew) in all my official papers and documents in the USSR, even in the school class journal, for all the kids to see “who’s who”.

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    8. Enkidu

      comment was deleted

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    9. Excellent observation. Well, the State of Israel was proclaimed as a result of the Holocaust, BTW. But over the years it lost its purity (if it was there at all) and we have we now pretend to be the only true representatives of the Jewish people. Which is ridiculous – Israel was also supposed to be a melting pot, from which a New And Proud Jew, as opposed to his frustrated Diaspora brother, would emerge. No, I do not think that Eli Fish-eye is behind it, he is not enough complicated for this. Rather somebody from Hasbara.
      @Leonid. Yes! I remember our school class journal and this word in front of my name, too! Sweet memories! Thank you for refreshing.

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    10. RichardNYC

      I think its a little silly/disingenuous to say that most holocaust victims “weren’t Zionist” and saw themselves as nationals of their own countries (the countries that murdered them), as if to suggest that they would not have been Zionists in hindsight.

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    11. Louis

      forget about memory, commemoration, etc. this is the mechanization of an occupation of memory… Since when does Israel have exclusive rights over the Holocaust?

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    12. Dimi Reider

      Richard, you mean you’re sure they would have been Zionists in hindsight? Do you actually think the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened if Israel was set up before 1948?

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    13. It must be done with the loving memory of the psychopath Ilya Ehrenburg in mind. Goes well with the current stream. Or is it Kabballah after all?

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    14. RichardNYC

      (1) Yes, more or less, to the first question. The lack of Zionist fervor among Europe’s Jews pre-WWII was based on the assumption that nothing like the Holocaust would take place in Europe. Had European Jews anticipated the Holocaust, I think its obvious that Zionism would have had more followers. Your article seems to suggest that Zionism would have remained unpopular despite foreknowledge of the Holocaust, which is ridiculous. I agree with you that this new ID is morbid and undesirable, but you’re also projecting an anachronistic ideology on the Holocaust survivors; their antipathy towards Zionism was not based on respect for Palestinian Nationalism (sorry, “rights”), it was based either on religious beliefs that neither you nor I share, or the pragmatic belief that Zionism compromised their place in a peaceful, relatively tolerant Europe. The Holocaust changes that equation.
      (2) No, I do not think that the establish of Israel pre-WWII would have prevented the Holocaust, though it might have reduced the number of people who died.

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    15. RichardNYC

      Correction: not Holocaust survivors, Holocaust non-survivors

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    16. Nimrod

      Those murdered who were no Zionists up until their death, must have been convinced of Zionism as they shuffled up the selection ramp or were digging their own graves further south east.

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    17. RichardNYC

      I’m sure panic/resignation/despair had set in at that point, and ppl were not thinking about politics. If you were sitting at home in Minsk and someone said “Israel or death”, I think you would have chosen Israel. Let’s not be fatuous

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    18. Nimrod

      Zionism is not politics. It is a sate of mind.

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    19. This is an incredibly fascinating nugget, and further evidence of Israel’s institutionally-embedded penchant for playing the competitive victimhood game. What’s this game, you ask? It’s a constant, diplomatic and political effort to cast Israelis (Jews) as the only true victims in the I/P conflict. Why this effort? Because Israel’s ruling class, unfortunately, views the I/P conflict as a zero-sum game. Only one side can win — and that side should naturally be the one with the legitimate claim to victimhood. Hence ID cards starting at 6,000,000. Truly breathtaking.

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    20. @Dimi – forgot to mention: nice find.

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    21. Danny

      If this wasn’t so sad, it would be hilarious. But unfortunately, this is just another example of Israel’s use of the holocaust as a tool to subdue and control its population as well as promote an artificial common denominator of the most basic kind: fear. Not content with pushing the holocaust into every nook and cranny they possibly can, Israel wants to sear it into its people’s subconscious so that it becomes as ubiquitous as the national anthem. Very 1984-like and a sad example of how a failed state tries to “convince” its young people that, despite the fact that their quality of life in Israel is low and getting lower every year, they’d better not go grazing in neighboring fields because, you know, the holocaust could happen again, etc etc.

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    22. Dimi Reider

      Thanks, David : )

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    23. @Danny. How do you know? How do you think it works? That big bosses come together and say – we should scare these youngsters so that they would not immigrate to the US? Maybe you think so because you read 1984? Granted, the idea of adding 6 millions is sick and shows how much do we stick to the idea of victimhood, but I think that you’ve gone a bit too fa.

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    24. Danny

      Maxim, I know this because Israel says it plainly. The holocaust was originally used in the 50’s and 60’s to get money from Germany, which was somewhat justifiable back then. However, the victim card started morphing into what it is today after 1967, when the world began to take notice of what we were doing in the occupied territories. Whenever the world raises the occupation, we always remind them that we are a country of holocaust survivors. Did you ever notice that every head of state visiting Israel is ALWAYS carted off to Yad Vashem to lay flowers on the memorial site? Did you ever ask yourself why? It is because we constantly need to remind the world that it has no right to criticize us because we survived the holocaust. It’s really that simple. What I find to be particularly sickening is how Netanyahu uses the holocaust to try to pressure the world to make war on Iran, even though Iran has absolutely nothing to with the holocaust and was in fact instrumental in saving Jews during the holocaust. But according to Bibi, it is now 1938 and you-know-who is planning a second holocaust against us…

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    25. Piotr Berman

      “countries that murdered them”

      First of all, it was the German war machine, not “their countries”. Especially if you include puppet regimes. Second, before the end of WWII, Zionism was very much a minority ideology. For starters, there was no religious Zionism. Of Jews that emigrated from Europe, most left for North and South America. Within Europe, West Europe was more popular as emigration option than Palestine.

      One can imagine that people who were murdered wished to be somewhere else, but “somewhere else” could well by NYC.

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    26. @Danny. U right. With all due respect to the Holocaust. But I think it is deeper, this is what runs in our veins, and not only comes from above.

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    27. editrix

      @piotr. No religious zionism before the war? Rav Tzvi Hirsch Kalisher and Rav Kook don’t mean anything to you? Never heard of them? Kalisher was writing about bringing redemption through returning to Israel as early as 1862 and Rav Kook moved to Israeli 1904.

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    28. Leonid Levin

      In 1904, my great-grandfather, Simkha Levin left for New York City, followed by his two younger brothers. He worked there for 2 years as a manual laborer, but he didn’t like it there. So instead of letting his wife and son come over and join him, he went back to his small shtetl in present-day Belarus. He built a house and started a small trade and a shop. After the bolshevik revolution, he was classified as a “lishenets”, and hence stripped of his voting rights, his shop confiscated, his six children barred from higher education, etc. In the 1930s, when the Jewish Autonomous Region was established by Stalin, he went there to see what it was like. He came back and said one shouldn’t go live there, “the mosquitoes will eat us up there”. Some of his brothers and sisters went to Crimea to work in the Jewish collective farms. Simkha (aged 68), his wife Chaya, his son Moishe, daughter Dasha, daughter-in-law Fanya, as well as 5 of his grandsons (aged 10 months to 4 years old) were killed in their village ghetto in 1941-1942. His son Aron, my grandfather, was killed in action as a private in the Soviet Army. 3 other children and 2 grandchildren survived the war, because they managed to escape to the East.

      Was Simkha a zionist? Definitely not. He lived his life, just like generations of his forefathers through hundreds of years, rooted in their families, their traditions, their communities, the land which they considered their own, their relationship with the surrounding peasants being generally ok.

      Would they have gone to Palestine or the US or Birobidzhan or the Urals, had they known of the coming menace? Of course they would.

      Would they have wished that a future Jewish state would use their deaths to justify injustice and humiliation of another people, to instill a sense of righteous fury in its own population, and to manipulate the international public opinion? I’ll never know, but I hope they wouldn’t.

      Born over 30 years later, I can’t help crying when I write this, when I think about the anguish and fear and love for their children they must have felt. And then I can’t help thinking about the children, the women, the elderly, and all the simple people (not so much about the rich and the powerful) of Ramle, Lydda, Gaza, Bil’in, Nabi Saleh, and countless other extinct and existing Palestinian villages and refugee camps.

      Stay human …

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    29. Ben Israel

      Can you explain how “liberal democratic” countries like Holland and Norway handed almost all their Jews over to the Nazis with no fuss or muss? Norway even had a border with neutral Sweden. Its because there were large numbers of collaborators in those countries who wanted to get rid of their Jews and were glad the Germans were willing to do the dirty work.

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      • Tsvi

        Every murdered human being is one too much. But what you are telling about norway is simply not true.
        There were at least 2,173 Jews in Norway. At least 775 of these were arrested, detained, and/or deported. 742 were murdered in the camps, 23 died as a result of extrajudicial execution, murder, and suicide during the war; bringing the total of Jewish Norwegian dead to at least 765.

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    30. max

      So much noise and pathos over a piece of data no one looks at.
      I can also hear the voices otherwise: Israel is again ignoring the 6M massacred, as if its future is not related to their past.
      Personally, I find the number idea a nice little gesture of remembrance (I’d see no problem if the Germans and others would deduct their respective numbers from their cards), and the “stars” idea too schmaltzy.
      As for the non-Jews: well, it is after all a Jewish country, the act doesn’t reduce their democratic rights, and isn’t Sunday the day of rest in America?

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    31. directrob

      @Ben, The Netherlands shows why not to underestimate the danger of a perfect civil registration. There are more reasons but those are less clear. Your idea that many wanted to get rid of Jews is even in more critical sources not one of the regular explanations.

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    32. Ben Israel “because there were large numbers of collaborators in those countries who wanted to get rid of their Jews and were glad the Germans were willing to do the dirty work”
      Holland was the only German country with a Jewish Counsel, responsible for a substantial part of the deportations. Durchgangslager Westerbork was run by Jews, over 100.000 deportations. Maybe some Dutch were glad that Jews were willing to do the dirty work, but get your facts right.

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    33. max

      Engelbert, your claim is filth, as many camps in the native countries were “run” by Jews (Durchgangslager Westerbork was also partly financed by Jews), but the reason for the high percentage in Holland was “there was substantial collaboration from the Dutch population including the Amsterdam city administration, the Dutch municipal police, and Dutch railway workers who all helped round up and deport Jews”.
      As an anecdote, it was such a Dutch who delivered Anne Frank.
      Since the publication of The Catastrophe (“De Ondergang”) by the Dutch government, your type of comments has been relegated to ignorant people or outright liars.
      The historical fact is that the population in many European countries took active part in the extermination of the Jews, ranging from the very active collaboration of the French police to the barbaric murders in Latvia & Lithuania.

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    34. jenna rylie

      It is not sick! It is well intentioned whether YOU Like it or not..It is rather YOU who is being rude about it when you say it is sick when someone is trying to honor the memory of one of the most important tragedies in world history..It is irrational thinking to just say “it is sick” and say nothing more about it. What is wrong with you???

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    35. Max I understand that it is hard for you to admit that Jews are just human beings. Not better, nor worse than anyone else. But try to look at them that way and you will understand past and current conflicts better.

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    36. jenna rylie

      comment was deleted

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    37. jenna rylie

      I am absolutely ASHAMED at the comments on this board..but then I am not suprised at this turnspeak..this is truly the sadness right here! You will all have to pray for forgiveness for questioning the Jews and their ONE country’s existence (let them do whatever they want! Leave them alone like ALL other countries IN THE WORLD are left alone), instead of just their policies..one day YOU will be judged and you will then know the errors of your ways…Stop hurting me and us all!!!! the harrasment also only makes us stronger, as you know. I am out ! 🙁

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    38. Nimrod

      Religious Zionism goes back to the destruction of the second Temple, and there are many Rabbi’s writing about Zionism throughout the past 2000 years. Safed was a busy place around 1600 with over 1000 Jewish homes, mostly Sephardic.
      Yehuda Halevi died around 1140 on the way to Israel from Spain. Just say’n
      Facts people! Facts.
      Not the authors “assumption” ( Leonid Levin via Chomsky ).
      I love the far left, history takes on a completely different meaning.
      What ya smokin’ Piotr?

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    39. paul

      how about adding an “-b” to the address of every building built on a demolished village, while we are remembering things…

      p.s. son’ of a survivor, since i know anyone who is not, has absolutely no right to say anything or hold any opinions regarding the state of Israels policies.
      (p.p.s sarcasm…)

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    40. Jenna rylie

      to victimize oneself is to give an excuse for doing POORLY. That is clearly not what the Jews are doing. A group of people with a GOOD set of values (often induced from the core values of their own RELIGION) will do well regardless of their obstacles and hardships, and will overcome those and do even better. They wont let their religion dictate how the state is run either, especially when that religion is run by bad core values. I have had enough!
      They are honoring the memory of their families in the HOlocaust! no one has “rights” over the HOlocaust..any country is free and welcome to do the same honor or similar, if it is dear enough to their heart, it would be welcomed with open arms and what a wonderful tribute it would be:)..there is nothing disrespectful about remembering the number of Jews who had died not so long ago..it has something to do with ISrael because Israel is a Jewish state! and the victims in the tragedy were – Jews. now

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    41. Jenna rylie

      to victimize oneself is to give an excuse for doing POORLY. That is clearly not what the Jews are doing. A group of people with a GOOD set of values (often induced from the core values of their own RELIGION) will do well regardless of their obstacles and hardships, and will overcome those and do even better. They wont let their religion dictate how the state is run either, especially when that religion is run by bad core values. I have had enough!
      They are honoring the memory of their families in the HOlocaust! no one has “rights” over the HOlocaust..any country is free and welcome to do the same honor or similar, if it is dear enough to their heart, it would be welcomed with open arms and what a wonderful tribute it would be:)..there is nothing disrespectful about remembering the number of Jews who had died not so long ago..it has something to do with ISrael because Israel is a Jewish state! and the victims in the tragedy were – Jews. If you know the core difference between right and wrong, you realize these basic things. I am ready for the next person to take a shot at me now?? Let’s go

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    42. max

      Engelbert, your pseudo humanistic platitude doesn’t correct your ugly lie (or is it loud ignorance?)
      What you wrote is wrong and offensive: will you retract it?

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    43. max

      Engelbert, your repugnant statement is morally equivalent to justifying a rape because the victim was sexy

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    44. Nimrod

      Welcome to the far left side of he debate. When you spend enough time, you will see some fantastic slip ups. To be clear, Many 972 pundits and their fans are also fans of mondoweiss and EI. This is where violence and dinner table talk mix, historical make belief and perfidious humanism meet.
      The only thing that is keeping the Third Reich comparisons at bay is the fact that we are Israeli owned.
      So we know that the tattoo’s on the under arms shown at dinner are real.
      That much we know fur sure.

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    45. paulnyc

      i don’t suppose you know what the terms left wing and right wing refer to?

      zionism is itself a left wing project.

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    46. Leonid Levin

      @Ben Israel,

      At the time, Norway was neither liberal nor democratic. The Nazis and their puppet Quisling exercised full control. “To identify Jewish Norwegians, the authorities relied on information from the police and telegraph services; also the synagogues in Oslo and Trondheim were ordered to produce full rosters of their members, including their names, date of birth, profession, and address. Jewish burial societies and youth groups were likewise ordered to produce their lists.
      In August, the synagogues were also ordered to produce lists of Jewish individuals who were not members. The resulting lists were cross-referenced with information Nasjonal Samling had compiled previously and information from the Norwegian Central Bureau of statistics. In the end, occupying authorities in Norway had a more complete list of Jewish residents in Norway than most other countries under Nazi rule.” Out of 2173 Jews in Norway, 765 died in the Holocaust. Many did escape into Sweden, among them some of our distant relatives who immigrated from Ushachi to Oslo in the early 1900s.

      The Dutch Jews were unfortunate that Holland had one of the most ellaborate systems of citizen registration. When the Nazis came, they could easily find lists of people by religion with addresses, etc. Out of 140000 Dutch Jews, 105000 perished.

      There were many collaborators, local Nazis, etc., but, at least in Holland, there were many people who did hide Jews. There was organized resistance, whose members arranged hiding places and host families, many of whom risked and lost their lives because of that. Also, please, look up the February worker’s strike of 1941 in Amsterdam, which spread to all major Dutch cities and was a general strike organized by workers and communists against anti-Jewish measures and other Nazi activities. It was the first direct action against the Nazis’ treatment of Jews in Europe. The next strike would be student strikes in November 1941, and after that the large April-May strikes in 1943, that hailed in the period of armed covert resistance on a national scale. In the rest of occupied Europe only the Danes and the Luxemburgers striked, but not as early as the Dutch.

      There will always be Jew-haters, Arab-haters, Muslim-haters, black-haters, etc. It doesn’t mean that we should label whole nations as such.

      Stay human!

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    47. Leonid Levin

      Judenraete (Jewish councils) existed in many countries (not just in Holland), were comprised of imminent local Jews and were responsible for civilian affairs in ghettos. So what? These people were forced to accept those jobs and were hoping that they could protect and save Jews by participating in the councils. Look up David Cohen en Abraham Ascher (chairmen of the Jewish Council of Amsterdam) or Adam Czerniakow of Warsaw Jewish Council. The first two ended up in concentration camps, survived and were later condemned and then rehabilitated by their Jewish community. The latter committed suicide. These were decent people who found themselves in extreme circumstances.

      It is well established by historians and survivors that there were many Jews who worked as kapos in the Nazi concentration camps. Some of them were extremely brutal towards their fellow Jewish prisoners. Please, read “If This is a Man” by Primo Levi (Italian Jewish Auschwitz survivor). He describes in detail how many prisoners, among them Jews, would virtually become inhuman in order to survive. He also describes that there were some decent Germans who tried to help Jews. He concludes that unfortunately the best people did not survived.
      Also, please read “The Night of the Girondins” by Jacques Presser, a Dutch Jewish writer and historian, who, by the way, is the author of “De Ondergang” that you’ve mentioned. In “The Night of the Girondins” he describes the excruciating dilemmas faced by a Dutch Jewish kapo in Westerbork, but also how some Jewish kapos were much less scrupulous.

      My point is that, regardless of our ethnicity or religion, we all make choices as to what to do in a given situation. Until, god forbid, we get into an extreme situation like war or the Holocaust, we never know how we’d personally behave under those circumstances. Although it is easy to judge others for what they’ve done to us or our people in the past, it’s much more important to take responsibility for our own actions in the present.

      Stay human.

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    48. Gilbert Belwether

      The solution is simple: when you get your new ID card, just take a pen and subtract 6 from the first digit. That’s what I’m doing if I ever get one (I understand they’re optional). No government’s going to tell me how to commemorate my murdered relatives.

      Who’s with me?

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    49. Piotr Berman

      “Religious Zionism goes back to the destruction of the second Temple, and there are many Rabbi’s writing about Zionism throughout the past 2000 years. Safed was a busy place around 1600 with over 1000 Jewish homes, mostly Sephardic.”

      My impression was that Safed was a place of learning and not a settlement project. As Jews moved to all possible countries, some moved to Palestine, even if for brief period. Judging by results, “Lithuanianism” (ca. 1600) or “Americanism” (ca. 1900) were many times more popular than “Zionism”.

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    50. max

      Leonid, thanks for your posts, which I fully agree with. My point had nothing to do with the fact of Jewish collaboration – in fact I only condemn active collaborators, Jewish or not – and all to do with the ugly attempt to reverse the roles between butchers and butchered and claim that Dutch Jews were murdered because of Jews

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