Welcome to the desert of the real in which a Jewish man can cite Nazis in defense of torture tactics. I was raised on the Holocaust. I went to a highly religious school where many of my teachers and guest lecturers were Holocaust survivors.
My family talked about the Holocaust at every opportunity, remembering those who were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered, including members of my family. I lived under the Soviet regime, which also tortured and murdered. I have never met or spoken with any Jew who has ever defended torture, no matter who the “scapegoat” is.
Apparently, there are some Jews who are more than willing to become the very monsters they abhor. This mentality I do not understand and never will.
Take for example the latest Alan Dershowitz column in the Wall Street Journal. Aside from getting the new meme on Mukasey about how the Democrats are beholden to MoveOn.org – echoed by meister Rove, President Bush, Dick Cheney, and the right wing propaganda machine as if one ring ruled them all – Dershowitz actually writes this:
“There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works–it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives.”
This statement defies logic. Even if in some instances Nazi tactics worked, why would anyone endorse them for any reason, especially a Jewish man? Dershowitz, and others like him – Joe Lieberman, et al – do not speak for Jews, nor do they speak for Israel. In fact, the far right regime that has co-opted Israel and the US both is not representative of Judaism or Christianity for that matter. Whatever or whomever it is they represent, it is not the Israeli people or the American people. It is as though a multi-national organized crime syndicate has taken over both countries and is using the cover of religion as a shield against criticism.
No Jew, at least no Jew in touch with Jewish values, would ever support torture. When torture becomes policy for politically influential American and Israeli Jews, then the whole of our history becomes polluted with monsters whose crimes we lose the right to condemn.