May 13: Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan’s remarks

To state during a Holocaust memorial ceremony that there are remnants of “horrific processes” that occurred 70, 80 and 90 years ago in Europe and Germany was totally out of place.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Your editorial “Golan’s message” (May 10) misses the point.
It is certainly appropriate for someone of the rank and stature of Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.- Gen. Yair Golan to criticize strains in society; they should be troubling to all of us. But to state during a Holocaust memorial ceremony that there are remnants of “horrific processes” that occurred 70, 80 and 90 years ago in Europe and Germany was totally out of place.
To suggest that, somehow, what Golan said did not draw a parallel between Israeli society and Nazi Germany simply because he used the phrase “in Germany” and not “in Nazi Germany” is to insult the intelligence of his listeners and your readers. To believe that what an Israeli general says at a public Holocaust commemoration would not be noted by the press or by people who odiously compare Israelis and the IDF to Nazis is at best naive.
A sign of intelligence and maturity is knowing not just what to say, but how to say it, when to say it and where to say it.
Golan failed this test completely.
It would be wrong, however, to limit such criticism to him. Both Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon failed the same test in the case of Sgt. Elor Azaria.
The video that depicts what transpired in Hebron that day is terribly troubling.
Eisenkot and Ya’alon could have said so and then merely add that the matter was being submitted to the military justice system. But they went farther and prejudged the case, deciding that Azaria was guilty.
You say: “Ironically, it is the IDF that has been the bulwark against anti-democratic, anti-liberal forces within Israeli society.”
That is the wrong lesson to be drawn from these incidents – it seems to sanctify the principle that the ends justify the means.
The Jerusalem Post has been providing half a page in its Friday Observations section to a columnist who enjoys calumny, alliteration and solipsism. Every so often, he reminds us of his oh-so-clever solution to the problem of one or two states west of the Jordan River: Give the Arabs a separation package so generous that they will gladly pick up and go (and if they are so ungrateful as to refuse our largesse, why, we will merely impose economic sanctions on them so as to make life here unlivable).
The first part of this plan is merely dumb: Palestinian Arabs are the darlings of the Left, who seed and nurture anti-Semitism abroad.
(Basically, we are exporting Jew-hatred.) But aside from that, I don’t believe there is enough money in the world that could induce MKs Ahmad Tibi or Haneen Zoabi to leave.
Our happy alliterationist must know this, so his “generosity” is a cynical sugar pill to justify the unjustifiable: starve them.
What if, as happened to the Jews in the 1930s, these people have nowhere to go? And once we’ve starved our cousins into desperation, what will the next phase be? Our alliterationist writes in English and, in effect, to the world. Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, for his controversial Holocaust Remembrance Day remarks, spoke in Hebrew and aimed his words at us. We have to be reminded to be meticulously pure in attitude, not merely to defuse all the baseless international anti-Semitism, but to keep us from what we are liable to become.
In taking flak for chastising us, Golan is in good company. Let’s hope he has better results than the prophet Jeremiah.