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Sunday, 3 May 2015

The inconvenient truth of Benny Ziffer's "convenient kitsch" take on the Armenian Genocide

After reading Benny Ziffer's opinion, on Haaretz online, that the Armenian Genocide is mere
"self-righteous and convenient kitsch of national victimization" I thought to go over what he has scribbled:

"I refer to what’s known as the Armenian holocaust, which in the end did not receive supreme, official recognition as genocide from U.S. President Barack Obama."
Your opinon is your own. Ethnic cleansing on that scale is Genocide.

" It’s a signal to other nations, too, that postmodernism has gone out of fashion, and with it all the widespread inanities that can describe every tragic event in history as a “Shoah.” More specifically, I mean what’s known as the Nakba, which in my view is also no more than a salient product of postmodernism."
Your hatred of the natives who were forced from their homes does not validate ignoring Ethnic Cleansing in other countries.

"What we find, then, despite the many lovers of Armenia in our midst, is that logic and common sense have not yet vanished completely from the world. A modicum of sanity persists, and with it the ability to distinguish between nuances that postmodernism tried to blur."
Yes, mere "nuances". When Hitler said "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" it was just a "nuance" I guess.

"In short, the mortal blow that all the world’s self-righteous types hoped Obama would deliver to Turkey on the centenary of the Armenian tragedy boomeranged on them. And I, from both the personal and family viewpoints, as the son of Jews from Turkey, am especially happy about this."
Not all of the world could bother what Obama said. What the E.U. Parliament said and what the Pope said is equally if not more important in that they were well thought out than simply done to get votes.

"There is no other country – with the possible exception of the United States – that rescued Jews and Judaism as did Turkey, both in the distant past, when it took in the exiles from Spain, and during World War II. It’s true that during the latter period the government imposed anti-Semitic decrees on Jews, but of a negligible character compared to the suffering experienced by their brethren elsewhere."
The Sultans used the Jews as money lenders since this is prohibited in Islam and traditional Christianity. Not because they loved Jews.
You are deluded if you thought Turkey was Neutral in WWII. Had things gone Hitler's way the Islamic Brigades in his army would have carried out massacres of Jews in Palestine and Turkey.

"I feel that I am speaking now from the mouth of my late father: He and his family were saved from the Shoah thanks to Turkey, which received them as stateless refugees and afforded them the possibility to earn a living and acquire an education. Whenever the Armenian issue arose, my father would become boiling mad. The last time someone tried to argue with him about the subject, he simply threw him out of the house. In my younger days, I was upset at his one-sided viewpoint, but today I identify with it completely."
Your father seems to have had an interest in keeping in line with the official verdict of the Turkish Regime since the Regime had given him refuge.

"He told me about the terrible battle of Sarikamish, when acts of sabotage by pro-Russian Armenian militias cut off the Ottoman army’s supply lines to the eastern front. This was at the height of the harsh winter of December 1914 and January 1915."
Note "Ottoman army". It was a military conflict, they lost. That is war.

"Tens of thousands of Turkish soldiers and civilians froze to death or were cut down then in a hopeless battle against the Russian army, which enjoyed the active aid of Armenian nationalists, who were under the illusion that Greater Armenia would be established with the help of the Allied powers in territories of eastern Turkey. What the Armenians want to see recognized as genocide is the violent Turkish reaction in the wake of that wretched campaign, a response which to this day is perceived by the Turks as part of a battle for their homeland."
So in that sense, you think also Hitler and his Nazis were just having a "violent reaction" to the Jews for the 1920/30s Depression?
So that is why Armenians who lived on the Aegean Coast or Thracia were also deemed a risk, likely to join the Russians? Get real.

"Two years ago, at the Haifa Film Festival, I saw the Turkish film “The Long Way Home,” directed by Alphan Eseli. It tells the story of what befell some Turkish refugees who survived the devastation of Sarikamish. Along with scenes of horror in which people eat the flesh of other people in that brutal winter, there are magnificent manifestations of humanity and sacrifice. National memories of this kind cannot be erased just because of the relativism of postmodernism."
You think a Turkish Regime sanctioned film is unbiased?

"All of the above is meant to convey an optimistic message: that there are still a few responsible adults in this world, including in Israel, who have not surrendered to the self-righteous and convenient kitsch of national victimization and are capable of setting limits to it. In my mind’s eye, I see my father saluting there, above the clouds, to the president of the United States, who this week in large measure spared the enlightened world an unnecessary historical mockery. "
So this year's commemorations of the Liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Camp on 26th April 2015 would also be "self-righteous and convenient kitsch of national victimization"?
Your fathers fears and need to tow the Turkish Regime's line on the Armenian Genocide are neither an excuse to ignore facts or to insult the millions of Armenians and Greeks and Assyrians around the world whose family suffered the things you term "kitsch" such as theft, rape, denial of identity by enslavement and/or conversion to Islam and also, murder.