Sunday, January 11, 2009

Oh Gaza, Oh Gaza

That's what local writer Lalon Amin wrote in his poem of the same name in yesterday's Shields Gazette. Amin's poem was used to publicise a 'gathering' outside the South Shields Town Hall tomorrow.

Next to his smug photo Amin grandly calls this a "remembrance day for all the children that die during wars, and specifically the Gaza conflict." All very commendable. However, the location of the event leaves me feeling a little disquieted about the real purpose behind it.

The Holocaust Memorial Garden at the Town Hall has been chosen for a reason. Mr Amin and his friends want to compare Israel's actions with the Nazi's methodical elimination of Jews and other people who didn't fit in with the Nazi ideology.

There is little doubt that some of Israel's actions are cruel and brutal, but both sides of this conflict have behaved barbarically. The world has not just failed to act to bring these events to a halt, but has been involved with supplying both sides with weapons.

But a holocaust it is not.

Using the holocaust to frame the demonstration at the Town Hall shows the real prejudices of Amin and his chums, and the message they want to send. This technique is nothing new - it's an attempt to dehumanise your opponents whilst at the same time turning them into bogey men.

It looks like, like some of the demonstrations across the UK that have been hijacked by radical and religious groups, the Holocaust Garden event will not cast light on the situation, but generate plenty of heat.


Anonymous said...

Dear writer. In regards to you questioning the motives of the protest that is taking place outside Town Hall on Monday 12th, may i clarify a few points and clear up your concerns. Firstly the event is to remember children that die during war, and as they are children dying during the Gaza conflict, we feel as humans we should remember those that died. Secondly the Holocoast Memorial Garden will also be a place where we can light a candle too, not to make comparison, but to pay our respects to those that died during the second world war, the reason why we are doing this is that the garden is right in fron of where we will be gathering and it would be disrespectful not too even notice it. But the garden is also not one of our main objectives, the objective is to remember children that die during all wars.

rossinisbird said...

Thanks for your comment Lalon.

First, I would like to apologise for the 'smug' comment - it was out of order. I know you don't get to choose the photo the Gazette prints.

However, your comment doesn't adequately answer my concerns. Context is everything. You will no doubt know that opponents of Israel have regularly used the language of holocaust.

Hamas' leader Khaled Mashaal last week described Israel's actions in such terms. This from an organisation which has promoted Holocaust denial, like their benefactors Iran.

Today's Gazette report on the event implies that it was exclusively Muslim-only, which gave it a sectarian flavour. Given the religious background of the events in the Middle East it casts some doubt on the lofty claims of recognising all who have suffered in Gaza AND Israel.

The involvement of local politician and media savvy Ahmed Khan, without other politicians, combined with the provocative attendance of children who should have been in school leaves me feeling somewhat cynical about the real objectives.

There are a couple of possible conclusions. One, you are genuinely naive about your use of the Holocaust garden, or it was intentionally used to send a message.

I sincerely hope it's the former, but my suspicions tell me that another agenda is in play.

Anonymous said...


don't worry about the smug photo comment, i am sure you were just angry at the time.

Regardless of Israels opponents views on the Holocoast, which i don't even know what it is. Our view is that the Holocoast Memorial Day is when millions of jews perished during the second world war.
Back to my response. If you were to stage a protest next to any memorial garden which remembers victims of war, then surely the honoyable thibg to do would be to at least remember those victims too.
It also sends a positive message, that Muslims are against any victims being killed in war, wether that be Muslim, Christian or Jew. I don't know how else i could put it in context.
I would also add that if you want to look at positive things in a negative way, then you will see it negatively, trying looking at the protest through positive eyes, and i am sure you will have a positive perspective.

I also urge you to properly study the Palestinian conflict in the entire context, and then make your judgements, because you are awfully one sided. Where as we are saying we are against any child or people that die in war, wether they are Palestinian or Israeli.

Ahmed Khan Media Savvy? well i am sure most councillors are like that.

Anonymous said...

If i can just re phrase that @our view of the Holocoast is when millions of jews perished during the Second World War.

Curly said...

Did Cllr. Khan consciously seek the views of any remaining South Shields Jews before he held his "gesture"?

Michael said...

It's not in doubt that Hamas have behaved barbarically too but the issue, as always, is one of proportion. We should be judging Israel by the standards it claims to uphold: the massacre of civillians, intentional or otherwise, is not a fitting response to Hamas's rockets.

Fuckmohammed said...

rossi, "bangla awaz" aka "lalon amin" is no doubt a moslem, 88% of bangladesh is moslem, and while i find his concern for the death of "innocents" as "commendable", i also see him for the hypocrite that he is, well may he mourn for dead palistinian kids who are victims of the stupidity that is repeatedly shown by hamas, i place no blame on israel for the death of these kids, palestine always takes a knife to a gunfight, and regardless of the lack of firepower shown by hamas, israel has every right to protect itself..

as for lalons hypocracy, ask him why islamics the whole world over are not up in arms over darfur, the attempted genocide of black islamics at the orders of arab islamics, ask any moslem this question and they will ignore it...

they cannot answer this question without doing damage to their sick religion, they place no mourning for the innocent dead islamics of darfur, murdered by the hand of other islamics, and yet they will bitch about innocents killed in wars started by palistinians against israel, and where is their mourning and outrage at the innocent palistinian children who at the tender age of six are being
trained as suicide bombers by their very own gutles parents ?

lalon is a hypocrite, but then, so are most islamics...


michael, who gives a stuff about proportion ? hamas never learns, they take a knife to a gunfight and then hide behind their women and children, hamas is responsible for the death of innocents, not israel.

and why do the masses ignore the fact that israel has put up with rocket attacks for years ? and not to forget the suicide bombings of innocent israeli's, murdering adults and children alike.

palistine deserves everything it gets, and the same goes for lebanon.