Oleh : Kishino Bawono*
“They arrested people simply because they were born Jewish.”– Michel Muller, survivor of Vichy-French deportation of Jews. There is no such commemoration in Indonesia on 27th January 2014. No, there are none. But, it is not the same out there. United Nations, the largest inter-governmental-organization commemorated a thing.It is not something that started from few decades ago, it’s not that old. This commemoration is still only 9 years from the first one. 1st November, 2005, General Assembly adopted a policy that will change every 27th January of every year after it.‘A/RES/60/7, General Assembly on the Holocaust Remembrance’that is the name.It is annual thing, every year, on 27th January, and there will be a special day for it. A day dedicated to the memory of those who had gone, for those who perished because of the Holocaust. Holocaust, it was big, it was huge thing on the World War II. On various number of sources about six millions Jews perished caused by this systematic-extermination done by the Nazi. What about the non-Jews? Holocaust is specially talking about the extermination of Jews. Not to undermine the death-toll of non-Jews on various Nazi’s concentration camps, but yes, Holocaust specially talking about the final-solution opted by Nazi Regime to exterminate one of “their-problemthat-was-so-called-disease” A.K.A. Jews. Lest we forget, there were also Slavs, Romani, and many other groups of people. They were also the victims of Nazi systematic extermination on various concentration camps.
Holocaust was not the only example of persecution against Jewish-people, exempli gratia, there was also Pogrom. Holocaust specially coined for the systematic extermination of Jewish people under Nazi-Germany influence, while the Pogrom somehow is a broader one. Lest we forget, there were also Pogrom, in some cases, which also manifested in violent attacks on non-Jews, exempli gratia, the anti-Serb Pogrom on 1914 in Sarajevo, 1966 anti-Igbo Pogrom, 1988 Sumgait and Kiroavad Pogrom against Armenians. For any other things, Pogrom and Holocaust shared some similaritiesto some extent. Pogrom was also violent. Not to say that there were camps like the Nazi did, but there were also violent acts toward the certain community, especially Jews. And for Holocaust, well, Auschwitz or Dachau will be enough for the sake of example.
“The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.” – Joseph Stalin
There’s some truth on what Stalin said. Death of the millions is only a statistic matter, if the people does not consider it as a tragedy. Yes, whether it’s a tragedy or not depends on the way people think about it. One can be a tragedy, for the others that’s just a case of statistic. The Jews have also “haters”. However, it is just like on the other cases, there are some who do not hate. On the other hand, it can be said that the UN and the EU does not hold grudges on the Jews anymore. Yes, we can classify those who commemorate The Holocaust Remembrance Day are the ones who do not hate nor hold grudges on the Jews. Why? It is simply because they commemorate the holocaust as a tragedy. To some extent, it can be categorized as an acceptance toward Jewish people. Somewhere, in some places, some people deny that Holocaust was a real thing. They simply do not believe that Holocaust was ever existed in human history. They think that the Holocaust was just one of the great tricks by the Jews in order to get what they want. For it, those who deny can be classified as the-ones-who-do-not-share-the-sympathy-over-Jews for what they have felt. They are the one who is likely to share a common perspective of blaming the Jews for everything by using the famous catchphrase ‘Jewish Conspiracy’. Any misfortunes, any bad things, simply most of the bad things were, and are, happening caused by the Jews. “The government is corrupted, this must be caused by the Jewish conspiracy.” That’s an example of it.
“I think we agree, the past is over.” George W. Bush
In 2010, Fidel Castro used to say on an interview by Jeffrey Goldberg from ‘the Atlantic’ magazine,“I don’t think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews … (the Jews) were expelled from their land, persecuted and mistreated all over the world, as the ones who killed God … Over 2,000 years they were subjected to terrible persecution and then to the pogroms. One might have assumed that they would have disappeared; I think their culture and religion kept them together as a nation.” And yes, as the time goes by from 1945 – the year when the Second World War was over, whether the Holocaust was true or not, Jewish people had transformed a lot. The biggest transformation was from the scattered-people into a single nation, and a single state called The State of Israel. On 1948, the Jewish people managed to declare independence, they declared the state for their own. Long before the independence there were lots of immigrating Jews from all over the world into the British Mandate of Palestine. Even before the creation of British Mandate of Palestine on 1920, there were steady flows of Jewish into the area. The declaration of Zionism on Europe in 19th century and the Balfour Declaration was the mark of the beginning of it. By now, there is a formal, democracy-based state called The State of Israel. Even now, there is a legitimate government elected by the latest election on January 2013. A land which they claimed as their righteous homeland even the recognition of Israel as a state is not commonly shared across the globe. Israel, no matter what had happened to them, they are standing there, operating as a state. Waging a struggle of power within it and with those around it since pre-independence on 1948 until now. The dynamics of peace and war cycle has been raging-on since the era of Israel’s pre-independence until now. Wars, peace-negotiations, peace-building talks, military operations, constant military acts waged by both sides (Israeli and Arabs). These are the main ingredients of the Israel-Arab-Relation “recipe”. A kind of food that we have to face whether we like it or not. The latest military operation was masterminded and put into realization by the Israeli. It was the Operation Pillar of Defense on November 2012, three months before the Israeli election. The result? Both sides, Israel and Hamas claimed to achieve their own goals. A peace was built in a form of ceasefire, as it always been before, this time was brokered by the Egyptian. The last peace talk? Just like the other peace-talks, cannot put an end to this infernal conflict. Nevertheless, those things do not stop the Jewish people building their precious State of Israel. Flows of immigrants is not over yet. By the 1950, the Knesset, the parliamentary body of Israel, passed a legalisation of Jewish immigrants into Israel. On 5th July, Knesset passed the law which would give Jewish people to have Israeli citizenship and the right to return to Israel, to the land that they called ‘ancestral homeland’. Their economy, their culture, their technology, their education system, we can see it all. We can see the current condition of Israel. Arab Spring? No, there was no such thing in Israel. Either we call it “Arab Spring” nor “Jewish Spring” in Israel. Why? There are two main presumptions about it, which can be considered as positive-feedback example. Firstly, the Israeli simply “satisfied” with their current system. They do not have to make a huge protests across Israel to lift the issue of reformation in Israel. Secondly, there is a system which working as it supposed to be. People can use it to articulate their opinions, or even interests. A system which supports the Israel as a nation, as a system to regulate the struggle for power process and the resource-distributions.
“Moving on, is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard.” Dave Mustaine
Israel was not built in a single day. Jewish people’s struggle dated back decades ago. It is not a simple and quick process. Years of persecution, years of hatred, years of the past, supposedly be left and over just like what George W Bush said. However, sometimes life does not work in that way. Sometimes we just cannot leave something behind. Some of our past is still lingering in our present condition. Past things will not just go out of the window like the wind. No, it will not work that way. The past will always cause something in your present, and your future to some extent. We can refer to Hitler psycho-analyst, Walter Carles Langer, the man who put in charge of analysing Hitler by the CIA,the man who correctly predict that Hitler will use scorchertactics against Allies in his last effort of defense and ultimately kill himself in the wake of Russian soldier who engulfed Berlin. There are some of the past which still lingering around us. So does on the Jewish people. What kind of past? Hatred toward Jewish. There are lots of things that we can mention. We can make a list of it, but no, not this time. For the time being, it’s about commemoration of Holocaust and how the Israeli by now. May God consoles you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
- Pogrom is a Russian word meaning “to wreak havoc, to demolish violently.” Historically, the term refers to violent attacks by local non-Jewish populations on Jews in the Russian Empire and in other countries. The first such incident to be labeled a pogrom is believed to be anti-Jewish rioting in Odessa in 1821.
- Knesset is the parliamentary body of Israel.
- The Arab Spring was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across the Middle East in early 2011. But their purpose, relative success and outcome remain hotly disputed in Arab countries, among foreign observers, and between world powers looking to cash in on the changing map of the Middle East. The term “Arab Spring” was popularized by the Western media in early 2011, when the successful uprising in Tunisia against former leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali emboldened similar anti-government protests in most Arab countries.
*Mahasiswa Hubungan Internasional Universitas Gadjah Mada, salah satu Co-Founder Middle East Studies Indonesia dan masih aktif sebagai kontributor MESI