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Tasteless montage: Pro-Israel group puts IDF soldiers in line with Nazi camp inmates

Stand With Us poster juxtaposing Holocaust survivors with IDF soldiers

How does one give therapy to a whole nation? This is the question I asked myself after seeing this photo montage made by the pro-Israel group Stand With Us, celebrating that Israel is now the largest center of Jews in the world(UPDATE: Stand With Us took the picture off their Facebook wall)

That’s the only way I can explain a photo like this. The Jewish nation goes through one of the most traumatic events in history, and the result is some sort of disorder, a PTSD on national levels. How does one treat that?

How does one convince a people that yes, what you’ve been through was horrific on levels so hard to grasp – but you can not be a victim forever? I’m saddened to think about the prospects for reconciliation with our neighbors, if this level of victimhood is what dictates our thoughts every second. When something like this is ingrained so deeply in the national psyche, what are the hopes in the near future for freeing ourselves from it?

It’s always the little things, like a stupid photo montage, that really bring it home to me, that really fill me with despair.

Yet, besides saddening me this photo also angers me. It angers me how someone can cynically use a picture of concentration camp inmates for their own purposes. Especially when it turned out that Israel was probably the worst place a Holocaust survivor could have chosen to live in. Of all places, Israel let the survivors in its midst die in utter poverty. Israel never forgot the Holocaust, but certainly forgot its survivors.

New Labor MK Merav Michaeli wrote in an op-ed in Haaretz over a year ago on how the Holocaust is remembered in Israel. She wrote it after a poll was published that said 98 percent of Israelis consider it “either fairly important or very important to remember the Holocaust, attributing to it even more weight than to living in Israel, the Sabbath, the Passover seder and the feeling of belonging to the Jewish people.” Here is an excerpt:

The Holocaust is the primary way Israel defines itself. And that definition is narrow and ailing in the extreme, because the Holocaust is remembered only in a very specific way, as are its lessons. It has long been used to justify the existence and the necessity of the state, and has been mentioned in the same breath as proof that the state is under a never-ending existential threat.

The Holocaust is the sole prism through which our leadership, followed by society at large, examines every situation. This prism distorts reality and leads inexorably to a forgone conclusion – to the point that former Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau announced at a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony three years ago that Moses was the first Holocaust survivor. In other words, all our lives are simply one long Shoah.

She also mentions the eternal victimhood in her fabulous first Knesset speech in regard to Israeli/Palestinian conflict (min: 8:30)

We are no longer victims. The most powerful military in the region can no longer say that. It’s time to move on.

Read also:
Stand With Us poster sends truly universal message – accidentally 

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    1. Jim

      I recommend the book Trauma and Recovery to understans Israel/Palestine. Both Jews and Palestineans have been driven from their homes, and abandoned by the world. The “talking cure” is not the only cure, but it is part of the cure.

      Reply to Comment
    2. sh

      Murdered Jewish families are doubly murdered when the awful ways they were killed are used to justify Israel’s army’s brutal behaviour towards people under their thumb who were totally unconnected to those murders.

      I’d heard of Stand With Us but knew little about them. When I saw that appalling image, I looked them up. For any other non-American ignoramuses reading this, this is what I found:

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        Or alternatively they might have been thinking that if Israel and the IDF existed in the 1940s they wouldn’t have been murdered in the first place because they would have had a place of refuge.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Khaled Khalid

      This is just the tip of the iceberg of cynicism – Holocaust surivors living and dying in poverty in Israel. And no politician is held to account of that fact. Just the Holocaust used as a political tool and excuse to get reparations for the survivors.

      Dr Norman Finkelstein has personal experience of the Holocaust Reparations racket being run. His parents were both survivors of the Holocaust and to his surprise he found money being withheld by the very Jewish organizations set up to claim in the their name.
      According to Norman they held on to Billions of dollars whilst the Holocaust Survivors died in Poverty.

      Reply to Comment
    4. As glibly as you may have meant it, you have actually touched on a real issue.

      Go and google “intergenerational trauma” to see what I mean. Jews are not the only people afflicted by it – notably, so are the indigenous peoples in Australia, the US and Canada.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Kolumn9

      I don’t think it is a picture of victimhood. I think it is a contrast between helplessness and self-reliance and strength.

      Your reaction however is interesting. You seem to be offended that the Holocaust was referenced in the first place. I agree that the Jewish people (this isn’t isolated to Israel) are going through a sort of PTSD, but I am not sure the reaction you had in itself is not a form of PTSD.

      I also don’t understand what remembrance of the Holocaust has to do with reconciliation with our neighbors. Is it your idea that a narrative that presents Israeli Jews as anything other than occupiers and oppressors is not conducive to peace and reconciliation?

      Reply to Comment
      • Mareli

        There are several ways to interpret that photograph: then and now, descendants remembering the victims, et al.

        Reply to Comment
    6. When I see individuals so traumatized as to reflect the sentiment of this photo in a general way (not over anti-Semitism), all I can think is I hope they find some secluded peace in their lives. A public program of such trauma seeks to instill it in others, conceptually. Israel does have real defense considerations. But to claim, e.g., that Bank residents want to induce a new Holocaust is delusional. By defining defense as Holocaust defense, yet another Wall is built; and, as many on this site have noted, walls are meant to keep sight away as much as keep someone out.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        The wider security picture for Israel is indeed objectively one where the collective security of Israeli Jews is under threat of another Holocaust. The argument that is often made that Israel is strong enough to prevent such an outcome doesn’t change the underlying security challenge. Whether Israel has secure defensive positions in the West Bank or not has a major impact on Israeli security. As to the actual residents of the West Bank, you deign to speak for them. One does wonder what would happen if they were stronger than Israel. Would Israel continue to exist? I think we both know the answer to that one.

        Reply to Comment
        • Because if they were stronger than us they would Holocaust us we must keep them very down until they think exactly as we need them to think. Anyone who does not think as we need them to think is a potential Holocaust supporter and must be derided.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Wait, what? I would think the principle of keeping someone who wants to kill me weak and unable to do so until they don’t want to kill me any more to be extremely logically sound and extremely moral. Are you arguing to the contrary? If you are, then yes, those who think that those who want to kill me should be made stronger are potentially contributing to killing me.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Leftists have very strange views on conflicts.

            Couple days ago I stumbled upon some report about the Syria on youtube.

            The idiot of the reporter was complaining that Syrian army is supplying rebels with faulty weapons and explosives, which leads to maiming and death of rebels, and therefore is immoral.

            Reply to Comment
    7. Aaron Gross

      First of all, good news that they took the picture down.

      I agree with the points made here, and I’ll add that this montage helps to delegitimate the State of Israel. There’s a certain very stupid but popular idea that Israel’s “paranoid” concern with security is a result of trauma from the Shoah. The propaganda in the montage just feeds that kind of stupidity.

      Finally, Michaeli’s comments are ridiculously exaggerated as well. The Shoah is not the “primary” way of Israeli self-definition. I mean, I hate holokitsch as much as the next guy, but it doesn’t justify stupidity, even as a response to stupidity.

      Reply to Comment
      • Leen

        They probably took them down because these are not pictures of Jewish inmates but of homosexual inmates. Notice the pink triangle on the front pockets.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Wow. You can see colour in a black and white photo.

          Absolutely astounding.

          Reply to Comment
          • Yonatan

            Different colored stars were used to categorize prisoners. Irrespective of color, the symbol associated with a Jewish prisoner was superimposed over a yellow triangle, the whole forming a Star of David. I see no such second yellow star on the on the uniform of the three individuals with clear markers, so it is possible that the prisoners in the photograph were not even Jewish.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Are you implying and all non-Jews are gay?

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            Jewish gays had a pink triangle over a yellow triangle, symbolizing the star of david but denoting that they are gay. As such, there are no double triangles on any of the inmates pictured above.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            The reason why I said it was a pink triangle is because I stumbled upon a website with classification of the triangles and apparently this picture is of homosexuals (exact same picture).

            But yes, you are very correct, a single triangle probably means that they are not Jewish as they reserved the double triangles for Jews. Plus the concentration camp that this photo was taken at, was a concentration camp usually for POWs, homosexuals, gypsies convicts, etc.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            I never said that these were double triangles, did I?

            Strictly speaking, there is no way of knowing whether these really were homosexuals or criminals – any photo could be used. Not that it matters.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            Obviously not because the majority of prisoners ended up in concentration camps because of ‘confessions’ from others, etc, that’s how the Nazis operated, but the original intention of my comment was that StandWithUs removed the image because the inmates are most probably not Jewish, as none of them have the double triangle.

            Reply to Comment
    8. Arieh

      Ah just give us all a break. Stop pretending that you care about Jews, Holocaust survivors or Israel.

      On every blog of yours you demonstrate that you only care about Palestinian Arabs. You are a hypocrite, Ami Kaufman

      Reply to Comment
    9. Khaled Khalid

      I read those Concentration Camp inmates are Not Jews lined up but Homosexual inmates.
      Makes the Israeli Soldiers look a bit odd standing next to None Jewish Gay guys.
      And now the Stand With Us have taken down the doctored picture, are they saying Homosexuals in Nazi Concentration Camps are not worthy of the same empathy as Jewish victims?

      How is the Stand With Us (But not Gay Boys) propaganda Hasbara machine headquarters going to explain this?

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        They are not. They are going to pretend it never happened.

        Reply to Comment
    10. Khaled Khalid

      I care about Jews. Which is why I bang my head against a wall constantly trying to save them from themselves. This fuax pas demonstrates Zionists can be too clever for their own good.
      I suspect my dear friend Ami would express a similar sentiment.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        One stupid photo-montage demonstrates very little.

        Unlike thousands of Syrian refugee girls sold to or rented by Arab men in host countries, for example.

        P.S. What makes you think that these inmates were gay? There is nothing but your ignorance what would suggest it.

        Reply to Comment
        • Zephon

          Stop using what is happening to Syrians as a means to deflect and EXCUSE the injustice caused in a different country.

          It is FLAWED logic. You might as well be a drop out of highschool and point at someone else for dropping out in a separate school – it doesn’t negate the fact that YOU dropped out.

          What has been done in this photo is inexcusable – PERIOD.

          Your pathetic lot will never sink low enough, and there is no one that you won’t violate. Not even our ancestors are spared the onslaught of your scarring violating penetration.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >What has been done in this photo is inexcusable – PERIOD.

            Yeah, I see. A photo collage is inexcusable – because it was carried out by Zionists, but sales and rentals of Syrian girls is excusable, because it is carried out by Arabs.

            >It is FLAWED logic. You might as well be a drop out of highschool and point at someone else for dropping out in a separate school – it doesn’t negate the fact that YOU dropped out.

            Yeah, yeah, I got your point already – selling girls is the same as making photo collages.

            Reply to Comment
    11. Zephon

      This is SICKENING and literally infuriating. The utter audacity to even fathom, imply, and even entertain the idea of this deplorable concept; speaks VOLUMES of how utterly disrespectful and opportunistic these MONSTERS are.

      How dare they… they have NO shame and there is literally NO low they won’t stoop too.

      This is an indication of how utterly DESPERATE these people are to find ANYTHING to use to justify their Godless immorality. That they will objectify real true victims of one of the most horrific periods in human history; for their own political agendas…

      They have just …

      I am physically nauseated. I am so disgusted I simply can’t put my words together.

      Zionism is PURE evil.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Keep on. One day you could make a lot of people happier by having a stroke or a heart attack.

        Reply to Comment
        • Zephon

          You know you have drawn ethical line so many times in your rhetoric. However, I have NEVER wished you dead. Much less anything that would imply I hope you suffer in some way that will lead to your demise.

          You doing so however; shows your true colors, your TRUE Godless face. The mask you wear is GONE and you are now exposed for the fraud that you are.

          It takes a special kind of EVIL to wish death upon another human being.

          Then again, you and yours can only get it up when innocence is violated.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Wishing you dead? You are thinking too high of yourself.

            I merely pointed out that if you’d continue to waste your energy in such disproportional way you’d have one or both of mentioned conditions, which would cause a great, albeit secret, happiness among those who have no choice but to withstand you on a daily basis.

            >It takes a special kind of EVIL to wish death upon another human being.

            Wow. Now you are claiming that Israel- and Jew- hating Arabs are a special kind of evil.

            No, silly, they are only humans.

            Reply to Comment
          • Zephon

            I was calling YOU the special kind of evil; but we’ve gotten over the fact that you are incapable of basic English comprehension.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            I see. So Arabs wishing death to Jews are not the special kind of evil, however me, allegedly wishing death to you (although I did not), is the special kind of evil.

            You are too full of shit.

            Reply to Comment
          • Zephon

            “One day you could make a lot of people happier by having a stroke or a heart attack.”

            Nuff said Mr. people.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Dude, I really have no problem with your presence – it is always nice to have an idiot to laugh at.

            Reply to Comment
    12. Khaled Khalid

      Come on. There are many things wrong in Arab countries But you don’t give a hoot about Syrian Refugee Girls. Being part of the Hasbara propaganda machine all you care about is supporting Israel’s Functional Policy of the take over of the West Bank.

      The inmates may be gay, they may be None Jews. They may even be Gypsies. But if they were gay inmates would you grieve for their suffering and death? Are they not human beings?

      Why shouldn’t Israeli Soldiers be grafted next to Gay inmates at concentration camps? Are you ashamed of Gay men?
      You are “a light unto nations.” At least that’s what I’m told.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser


        >There are many things wrong in Arab countries

        Err… I’d say that there are next-to-none things that are right in Arabs countries.

        >But you don’t give a hoot about Syrian Refugee Girls.

        A baseless assumption.

        >Being part of the Hasbara propaganda machine

        Another baseless assumption.

        >all you care about is supporting Israel’s Functional Policy of the take over of the West Bank.

        And yet another baseless assumption.

        >The inmates may be gay, they may be None Jews. They may even be Gypsies. But if they were gay inmates would you grieve for their suffering and death? Are they not human beings?

        How does it relevant to the fact that the picture is tasteless and should never had been produced?

        >Why shouldn’t Israeli Soldiers be grafted next to Gay inmates at concentration camps?
        ‘Cauze it’s tasteless.

        >Are you ashamed of Gay men?

        Accordingly to Judaism, homosexuality is punished by death.

        >You are “a light unto nations.” At least that’s what I’m told.

        Two world’s greatest religions are based on Judaism. Go figure.

        Reply to Comment
    13. William Burns

      It’s not 98% of “Israelis,” its 98% of Israeli Jews. Treating the two terms as interchangeable is a bad habit of a lot of people.

      Reply to Comment
    14. David

      Ironically, if the 6 million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis could somehow rise from the dead, they would stand shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinians, not the Zionist oppressors.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        Oy, so much nonsense. So, you are saying that the the first thing the 6 million Jews would do were they to rise from the dead would be to cheer on the Palestinians in their quest to massacre and expel another 6 million Jews?

        Reply to Comment
        • David

          They would forthrightly condemn Zionism and its spawn, expansionist, racist/apartheid Israel for dispossessing, expelling, occupying, oppressing, killing, imprisoning, torturing and humiliating the essentially defenseless native inhabitants of Palestine.

          The Nazis had the Aryian myth, the Zionists have the myth that God gave them the land,i.e., birds of a feather. Twenty more years at best. Zionism is moribund. It could only be thus.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            You must be one of those people that can talk to the dead and then generalize their reactions. See I would think that the 500,000+ Zionists (membership of WZO in Poland alone was just under 300,000 in 1939). among the dead Jews and the 5.5 million other Jews would probably have no quibble whatsoever with Jews coming back to the land of Israel, fighting those that wished to massacre them, winning and building a thriving state. But then again, as you have spoken to the dead I am sure you know better what they would have said with one voice.

            It isn’t a ‘Zionist myth’ that god gave Jews the land of Israel. It is part and parcel of the religion of Judaism. This misunderstanding on your part is the major reason why you are so sure and so wrong with your predictions and analysis. Zionism at its core is so deeply intertwined with the story of the Jewish people that you would have to end them both if you wanted to get rid of one of them.

            Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        That would make a nice screenplay.

        😀 😀 😀

        Walking Jewish dead fighting side by side with Arabs to eliminate the State of Israel.

        A worthy idea to explore.

        Reply to Comment
      • directrob

        This montage is wicked because it enlists the death to stand by Israel (and the montage is utterly stupid on many levels). It might be a better cause but, why do you enlist them to stand by the Palestinians?

        Reply to Comment
    15. The misuse of the Shoa is a dirty crime, as Nahum Goldmann called it ones, a “Hillul Haschem”! It appears that Israel´s propaganda doesn´t mind to trivialize History for its own superficial ends.
      But being so massively supported in their crimes by the US it´s no wonder that morality is so much spoiled: http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/obama-playing-the-super-zionist/
      Andreas Schlüter
      Berlin, Germany

      Reply to Comment
    16. Mendy

      The problem with the author is that he is way to cynical about the image and about the nation of Israel in general.
      The picture is not a victimization, but much rather an example of the saying ‘Never Again’.
      70 Years ago Jews were being gassed in Poland, now we have a state, a military and a home for all Jews. The montage is showing the progress of Jews in history

      Reply to Comment
    17. Yet another fine product from the Lunatic State.

      Reply to Comment
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