- Nov 22, 2003
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by Benny Morris for the Jerusalem Post
[At PJM the editors review thousands of articles per month. In recent memory we cannot think of a more alarming, prescient essay that this one published today by Benny Morris.
Morris is one of the most respected intellectuals in Israel and his conversion dove to hawk was widely heralded and criticized at the time. Morris, one of the New Historians, wrote about this transformation for the Guardian in 2002, saying, I imagine that I feel a bit like one of those western fellow travelers rudely awakened by the trundle of Russian tanks crashing through Budapest in 1956. Today Morris goes even deeper into the darkening future of the Middle East as he looks at what is coming there, and to the rest of the world.]
THE SECOND HOLOCAUST will not be like the first. The Nazis, of course, industrialized mass murder. But still, the perpetrators had one-on-one contact with the victims. They may have dehumanized them over months and years of appalling debasement and in their minds, before the actual killing. But, still, they were in eye and ear contact, sometimes in tactile contact, with their victims.
The Germans, along with their non-German helpers, had to round up the men, women and children from their houses and drag and beat them through the streets and mow them down in nearby woods or push and pack them into cattle cars and transport them to the camps, where Work makes free, separate the able-bodied from the completely useless and lure them into shower halls and pour in the gas and then take out, or oversee the extraction of, the bodies and prepare the showers for the next batch.
The second holocaust will be quite different. One bright morning, in five or 10 years, perhaps during a regional crisis, perhaps out of the blue, a day or a year or five years after Irans acquisition of the Bomb, the mullahs in Qom will convene in secret session, under a portrait of the steely-eyed Ayatollah Khomeini, and give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by then in his second or third term, the go-ahead...