Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Norway: Holocaust survivors suffer because Jews prefer their name on new hospitals, or something

In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, journalist Sidsel Wold wrote an article on the problems of Holocaust survivors in Israel (h/t Norway, Israel and the Jews).  The article is based in part on a similar article which appeared in the Guardian, written by Harriet Sherwood.

There is no doubt Israel should do more for its Holocaust survivors, though I personally feel uncomfortable when foreign journalists use Holocaust Day as a platform to talk about how bad Israel is.

Wold's article is titled: "Here [Poland] The Knesset Members Honor the Dead, at Home The Survivors Live in Poverty".

So we start off by accusing the Knesset of daring to go to Poland and pretending to care about the Holocaust, when they really should do more for the survivors.  But Wold doesn't stop there.  She thinks all Jews are responsible for the sad state of Holocaust survivors.  

She cites Avi Dichter, who heads an Israeli state-funded organization to help Holocaust survivors.  Dichter spoke to the Jerusalem Post (which Wold wrongly identifies as Ynet) and said as follows:
Dichter said that he makes sure to fit in meetings with potential international donors when he takes personal trips each month. 
“Donating to a museum, a university or a hospital is much more widely accepted because they put a sign with your name on things, but you can’t put a sign on a Holocaust survivor,” Dichter said. “It demands a different approach.” 
“We need to tell them the individual stories of these struggling survivors,” he said. 
“Donors want to connect to the cause not just rationally but also emotionally.”

In Wold's world, this was translated to the following (my translation to English):
The Foundation for the Benefit of the Holocaust Victims in Israel is dependent on both state and private donations. But for many Jewish donors, it's more accepted, or even more attractive, to give money to a new museum or a hospital wing, where the donor's name is put on the wall in large letters. 
"You can't put your name on a Holocaust survivor," said Dichter.

Dichter did not mention Jews specifically, and he was talking about the different approach needed to get money for an emotional issue.   But for Wold, this becomes an accusation against all Jewish donors: Jews prefer to give money to places where they'll be noticed.  In large letters, no less.

Notice that in the one line which is an actual quote, Wold manages to misquote Dichter.

Wold also accuses PM Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians of using the Holocaust to claim special privileges (again, my translation):
PM Benjamin Netanyahu is one of Israel's many politicians who constantly refer to the fate of the Jews under the Nazi regime, and to the six million Holocaust victims, in order to explain to the wold why the State of Israel must be so strong and why Israel has special needs.
Of course, this is in an article where she actually talks about those special needs (!).

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