London’s new mayor commemorated the Holocaust, and people attacked him for it

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN

A day after getting elected, mayor of London Sadiq Khan went to an event commemorating the Holocaust. He wrote on Twitter:  “At Yom HaShoah commemorations today. So important to reflect, remember and educate about the 6 million Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust.”

And here is what people replied:

@Mad4Muscles: “that was horrific yes ! In the same breath lets reflect and educate on all the lives lost to them in Palestine”.  The man then noted that the “memory” of the Holocaust was taking lives of Palestinians.

Nadeem Ahmed @Muqadaam posted a photo of Gaza and asked “cancel the Tel Aviv festival in London, sir?”

A woman named @aishaghazi replied “can’t you read he is Israel supporter ? Supported by Jewish lobby ? & u expect this from him”; subsequently she called him “evil”

@YusufaliTukule: “and also millions of #Palestinians facing ethnic cleansing and wiping out from the face of the earth by #NetanyahuAWarCriminal?”

@coleDavesc66: “And end the brutality of the Israeli state???”

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 10.35.10 PM

The mayor’s tweet

@Krknz Yom HaShoah was like 3 days ago and yet you couldn’t resist the urge to kiss the Jews’ asses to get by. Not a good start Khan

@_xsab “what about the children who are being orphaned daily at the hands of israel?”

@SeviliyahCLK “dont forget about millions of muslims killed in afghanistan iraq lybia syria and palestine .. What title can their ppl use?!”

@MaxcNo “Neverforget the 600 gorillons jews . Allahu Akbar !”

@ZiyadSamiAbbasi “also remember the NAKBAH memory where the Britain, zions and Jews occupied Palestine and made their massacres against palestinian”

@SMB_ “dude it’s done & over with. We didn’t learn our lesson. What abt educating ppl on ongoing Muslim genocide?”

@krknz “It didn’t take you long to suck up to the Jew, did it? Also, not only Jews lost their lives in the Holocaust, gypsies, gays too”

@shah_fibre “just be careful of these jewish nerds, they will try to sabotage ur good working as a mayor”

@RealandIllusory “Have you plucked that figure of 6m out of thin air? What was the total population of Jews in 1940? Don’t distort history. Max 1m”

@meryemhassan7 “Israel bullying American politicians to destroy Palestine”

@meryemhassan7 “How are muslims responsible for the Holocaust. Will you also educate and remember about the Genocide of Palestine.”

 

The replies also included a group of anti-Muslim tweets

@CAGLARKEREDEMIR “you guys would kill him in the 1st min at the airport. Leave him alone. He is a Londoner”

@MBAR 1973 “we’re watching you like a hawk mate. Your muslim masque will slip soon. And you will be shown for what you truly are….”

@Truth_raker “propaganda…We know what moslems think.”

 

The response shows that even when someone wants to commemorate the Holocaust, there is a sea of hatred that will critique the gesture using veiled or openly anti-semitic terms. Although twitter caters to the anonymous and the extreme, it is clear that especially with the Holocaust, one of the greatest crimes in human history, that there is a wellspring of hatred of Jews that it conjurs up.  To be sure if he commemorated the Armenian Genocide he would be attacked by Turks, if he were to commemorate Bloody Sunday perhaps Unionists would complain, but the Holocaust should be universally condemnable.  Yet there is a group, including in England, that see any mention of the Shoah as needing to be equivocated with an attack on Israel, or a mention of Palestinians, or a comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany.  This is because of rising anti-semitism and intolerance.  It isn’t because these tweeters dislike Israel or disagree with its policies.  They have 364 other days of the year to bash Israel, including on the day that Palestinians commemorate the Nakba.  But what these voices want is to never commemorate the Holocaust.  The Holocaust happened before Israel, but for them the Jews are the problem, and hatred of Jews and Israel is the most important value.

Of course there is also the Islamophobia against mayor Khan.  But what these responses show is a very real need to educate about the Holocaust and for the UK to make sure that the lesson that it can be taught, without constant refrain that “Israel is evil.” Sadiq Khan did the right thing.  Sadly the responses were mostly wrong.

***Update***

Popular social media user Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi mentioned Khan’s commemoration on Facebook with a screenshot of the tweet and was also mobbed by negative comments.  A few of them:

Imran Khan: “Remmember 600 million Muslims died in dajjal war”

Nedal Salah: “How to become mayor of London for dummies”, [apparently a reference to being close to Jewish voters]

Mulham Hummami: “How never again applies to some but not all humans”

Ayesha Nicole: “It seems there are differing counts…To repeat: a total of 403,713 persons of all races and religions was officially recorded to have died…38,000 were Jews”

Ayman Allgalladi: “What about millions of Muslims died in Iraq and palastine daily, but to be honest admitting holocaust”

Abbas al-Lawati “What about the non-Jews who died.”

These comments reveal more of the obsessive nature of anything related to the Holocaust and the inability of many people to even consider it worth commemorating.  It’s not that they want to commemorate others, which they can do on the other 364 days of the year, its that on Holocaust Memorial Day they want to take away from any commemoration, such is the ingrained resentment and even Holocaust denial that has been taught.

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