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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dawn Eden Goldstein, "Was the Pope Wrong to Compare Refugee Centers to Concentration Camps?": Holocaust Trivialization Given a Platform by The New York Times



On Tuesday, in a speech commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Trump declared, "Today, we mourn, we remember, we pray and we pledge: Never again."

Meanwhile, in a guest New York Times op-ed entitled "Was the Pope Wrong to Compare Refugee Centers to Concentration Camps?" published on Tuesday, Dawn Eden Goldstein sought to rebuff criticism by The American Jewish Committee of Pope Francis's comparisons of migrant and refugee holding centers in Europe with Nazi concentration camps. Goldstein, who tells us that she is "a Jewish convert to Catholicism," declares:

"[A]re parallels between Europe’s treatment of migrants and the Nazis’ treatment of Jews and other persecuted populations during World War II really such a stretch? In late 2015, The Times reported that, while the migrant crisis “is no genocide,” not since the “Jews were rounded up by Nazi Germany have there been as many images coming out of Europe of people locked into trains, babies handed over barbed wire, men in military gear herding large crowds of bedraggled men, women and children.”

The situation today is no less distressing. In January, Moria saw a spate of deaths as tents collapsed under heavy snowfall at the overcrowded camp."

As regards "a spate of deaths," Goldstein provides a link to a January 30, 2017 Reuters article entitled "Third migrant dies in a week in harsh Greek camp conditions" by Karolina Tagaris, which states:

"The third migrant to perish in a week was found dead in his tent on Monday on Greece's Lesbos island, raising alarm about the grim winter conditions in overcrowded camps that critics have denounced as deplorable.

. . . .

The death at the island's Moria camp follows those of a 22-year-old Egyptian and a 46-year-old Syrian who shared a tent and died days apart. Greek media reported they had inhaled fumes from a heater, but authorities would not confirm or deny that."

As regards "tents collapsed," Goldstein provides a link to a January 11, 2017 New York Times article entitled "Wintry Blast in Greece Imperils Refugees in Crowded Camps" by Liz Alderman, where, in a caption above the article it is stated: "Freezing conditions in Europe threaten thousands of refugees and migrants. Four deaths have been attributed to the weather in the last week, according to the United Nations migration agency."

Indeed, the seven deaths in these camps are deplorable and to be regretted, but how can they be compared with the 6,000 Jews who were gassed each day at Auschwitz (not taking into account those murdered each day at the Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka killing centers)? How can they be compared with the some 3,000,000 Jews who died during the Holocaust in Nazi concentration camps from gassing, starvation, disease, shooting and hanging?

Abraham Foxman wrote in a 2014 article entitled "Inappropriate Comparisons Trivialize the Holocaust":

"Now that 69 years have passed since the liberation of Auschwitz, the danger is that an overuse of words — and inapt comparisons — will contribute to a lessening of the true impact and meaning of the Holocaust.

It must be our commitment to remember and to constantly speak out against those who would trivialize, distort or deny the Holocaust and to inoculate the public against trivialization through education."

By giving a platform to Goldstein, The New York Times chose to ignore Foxman's warning.

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