Israel! Get in Line, Please

An Israeli draft resolution, which it hopes will be adopted by the 191-member General Assembly during its 60th session opening next month, proposes January 27 as a day to commemorate holocaust victims, marking the day in 1945 when Russian troops liberated Auschwitz, the largest Nazi death camp.[1]

British Deputy Ambassador Adam Thomson told Kofi Annan in a recent letter that more than 30 European countries already support Israel’s plan. Israeli Deputy U.N. Ambassador Daniel Carmon said: "It is a universal resolution, a nonpolitical remembrance of the most atrocious event that happened in the last century -” it should be acknowledged by the United Nations."

The United Nations held a special session earlier this year to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the holocaust. But Israel would like to see the world body devote more resources to the subject, including worldwide education programs, encouraging the preservation of Nazi camps and rejecting denials the holocaust took place.

Undoubtedly, Jews suffered genocide at the hands of Hitler. Irrespective of anyone’s denial or acceptance, holocaust did take place. However, that is not something that never happened in human history before or after the World War 2.

The Question is: What about:

  • the annual Colonial Holocaust Day, or
  • the annual Native American Genocide Day, or
  • the Genocide of the Native People of all of the Americas Day, or
  • the annual Armenian Genocide Day, or
  • the annual African-American Genocide Day, or
  • the dravidians of India genocide day, or
  • the British genocide of Indian Muslims in 1857 day
  • the annual South African Genocide Day, or
  • the Continental African Genocide Day, or
  • the Vietnamese Genocide Day, or
  • the Japanese Genocide Day, or
  • the annual Australian Aboriginals’ Genocide Day, or
  • the day when The Crusades were declared by Pope Urban II–November 27, 1095, at Claremont, France, or
  • the day when the Inquisition was initiated against Muslims in Spain and earlier against the Jews, or
  • the annual Tazmanian Genocide Day (which was actually successful in completing its mission),

and of course,

  • the annual Palestinian Genocide Day,

and on and on and on?

Above all, why not start with the latest genocide that took place before our eyes and propose a day for commemorating Iraqi Genocide. It needs to be a priority because the UN itself approved and authorized genocidal sanctions that killed 1.8 million Iraqis, half of them children. This genocide took place under the auspices of the UN.

The sanctions policy intended to destroy Iraq’s highly exaggerated military power, which finally proved totally based on lies, proved woefully misguided. The world has now clearly understood that the alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction for which Madeline Albright called taking lives of millions of Iraqis, “worth it,” were not there in the first place.

These sanctions breached the Charter of the UN, the Convention of Human Rights, and the Rights of the Child. The Geneva Protocol I, Article 54, prohibits starvation of civilians as a method of warfare. The genocidal sanctions continued despite numerous reports by UNICEF and other credible sources.

A report to Congress in April 1998 stated there is no firm evidence that Iraq still retains biological and chemical weapons or precursor materials. A writer in the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs stated clearly: a) the dangers posed by WMD are often exaggerated; b) by contrast, the dangers posed to human well being by comprehensive economic sanctions are clear, present and sometimes devastating; and c) excluding the deaths in Nazi gas chambers, sanctions have contributed to more deaths than all the WMD since WW II. Genocide, nevertheless, continued. [2]

Someone might argue that there is no comparison between 6 million and 1.8 million. Well, that amounts to considering victims of other holocausts children of a lesser God in the first place. Moreover, there have been holocausts that took more than 100 million lives. How about ignoring a memorial day for them? Won’t it be a disgrace to the victims of those forgotten genocides?

Henrik John Clarke writes in the introduction of Christopher Columbus & the African Holocaust: Slavery & the Rise of European Capitalism that in the African Holocaust between 10 and 20 million Africans were deported in the name of the Western slave-trade; which means that Africa’s population was decimated by about 100-200 million, since ten people had to be killed for a single African to be taken alive during capture by slave-traders. Professor Clarke comments:

“I am not saying it [the Jewish Holocaust] was not tragic, or that it was not wrong. [However] There is no comparison between six million and 100 million deaths.” The African Holocaust, he notes, was “a protracted act of aggression-¦ Europeans declared war on everybody’s culture, everybody’s way of life-¦ If you weren’t like him you were an infidel, a savage.” That was continued in a more sophisticated form within the current world order. “This was not a war against the African body, but against the African mind. And it has not let up to this day.”

The more we search the history pages for holocausts and genocides, the more we come up with numerous slaughters in different times. Two memorial days will be good enough to cover most of the holocausts: a Colonial Holocaust Memorial Day and a Muslim Holocaust Memorial Day.

A Colonial Holocaust Memorial Day would cover all the colonial adventures which run into many hundred millions. It would cover all the victims of colonial genocides in from Africa, to South Asia, Australia and America. A glance at history discloses the rather horrifying facts that the colonialists have, quite astoundingly, managed to erase from their consciousness. The colonialist have already apologized for their colonial adventures. They, however, need to pay reparations to the respective nations, stay away from the ongoing remote control colonialism and a memorial day each year would honor their victims.

According to Michael Dorris (‘ Contemporary Native Americans,’ Daedalus, 1981), there were originally an estimated 80 million Native Americans in Latin America when Columbus discovered the continent, and approximately 12 to 15 million more north of the Rio Grande. By the year 1650, 95 per cent of the native population of Latin America had been massacred. Michael A. Dorris observes that by the time the continental borders of the United States were established, the entire population had been decimated “to a low of 210,000 in the 1910 census.”

On the other hand, Muslims’ Holocaust Memorial Day would cover Muslims’ holocaust starting from Friday, July 15, 1099 when the crusaders captured Jerusalem and murdered thousands of Muslims. More than 70, 000 dead bodies of Muslim children and women were found in the Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem alone.

A memorial day for Muslims’ holocaust would honor victims of Ganges Khan and his forces who killed more than a million Muslims during the occupation of Iraq and neighboring areas. It would cover thousands of Muslims killed or forced to change religion by Spanish Crusaders in South America. It would honor more than a million Muslims, who were killed or displaced by Spanish and other European extremists during the rebellion against the Ottoman Empire. The list is long, but at the very least, a Muslims’ Holocaust memorial days would honor the following:

  • More than 3 million Muslims killed/displaced by the European colonial powers during and after the occupation of Muslim countries after World War I and II.
  • More than 5 million Muslims killed/displaced by Tsars of Russia
  • More than a million Muslims killed/displaced by Communist Government of Russia
  • More than 1.5 million Muslims killed in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and other Far East countries since the world war II
  • More than half million Muslims killed/displaced in Burma since World War II
  • More than half million Muslims in India and Kashmir since 1947
  • More than half million Muslims killed by Serbs and Croats in Bosnia during early 90s.
  • More than 100,000 Muslims in Kosovo and Albania during mid 90s.
  • More than 5 million Muslims killed/displaced in Palestine since 1948
  • More than 5 million Muslims were killed/displaced by the Russian occupation of Afghanistan
  • Thousands of Muslims killed by the secular governments in Muslim countries, backed by the Western Governments, since the independence from the colonial powers.
  • The 150,000 innocent civilians killed by the American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11.

The 28-member UN committee which sets the Assembly’s agenda is to discuss Israel’s resolution for declaring January 27 a day to commemorate holocaust victims in the next few weeks, and it is widely expected that the Assembly will vote on the proposal during its next year-long session.

All we can propose to the rest of the UN members is to table resolutions for declaring special days for Muslims’ Holocaust and a Colonial Holocaust Memorial Days to cover all victims of genocides at the very least. To Israel, all we can say is: Get in line.



[1]. "Israel seeks annual U.S. / UN holocaust memorial day"

[2] For a brief introduction to the genocidal sanctions, see: “A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNITED NATIONS SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ,” by John Rempel, Liaison Mennonite Central Committee United Nations Office.

Further Reading:

"The Colonial Holocaust and its Legacy"
by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

"The 1991 Gulf Massacre"
by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

"Engineering War in Bosnia"
by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

"Global mortality, Iraq and the Muslim Holocaust"
by Gideon Polya