Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Arab MK Visit to Poland

Firstly, congratulations to the Jerusalem Post for its new website design. Very pretty.

Today Haaretz is running and article about MK Mohammed Barakeh's decision to join the delegation to tomorrow's Holocaust Remembrance Day observance in Poland. The decision has raised eyebrows on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides and shows just how sensitive a topic the Holocaust is in Israel.

Ultimately though only 2 MKs have spoken out against the visit, and one is Dani Danon who is basically the Michelle Bachmann of Israel anyway. Its understandable why some Israelis might have a problem with someone using the Holocaust to promote their political agenda.

Which is why it's interesting that Prime Minister Netanyahu is also planning to draw a link between Iran and the Holocaust in his speech tomorrow. As tempted as I am to write about the double standard here, the truth is that the Holocaust should really not be used for political ends by either side. Hopefuly in the future discourse can focus more on the actual issues at hand.

And it's critical that an Arab MK be able to attend the Holocaust ceremony. His push for the Arab world to recognize the Holocaust is extremely important. He may criticize Israeli policy but is more likely to look insensitive than like a hero for doing it. Israel has much more to gain by letting him speak in the long run.

Here's hoping for a meaningful - and respectful - ceremony.

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