A Memorial Service
I have been mourning the dead of the Holocaust.
A friend of mine who was sheltered from the SS by Belgians gave a very moving testimony.
I was glad that the service sheet mentioned the gypsies and homosexuals and Communists who died alongside the Jews.
I was glad that they mentioned Rwanda and Croatia and Kosovo.
I was glad to hear an Afghani refugee protest about the way asylum seekers are being scapegoated in the British tabloid media, because this is the way it starts.
But no one mentioned Palestine. Why?
I thought of nearly two thousand killed in the past year.
I thought of my friend Sammi, who lost eight members of his family when their house was demolished over their heads by the Israeli army in Nablus.
Let us write the date of April 8 in our diaries.
Let us commemorate the 107 Palestinians who died on that date in 1948, killed by a terrorist gang whose members included a future Israeli prime minister.
And no one mentioned Iraq. Why?
I thought of the thousands machine-gunned and bombed and gassed by the RAF on the orders of Winston Churchill in the 1920s.
I thought of those killed by chemical weapons supplied by British companies in March 1988.
I thought of half a million children who have died since the Gulf War, of those who die every day from American and British bombs, of the hundreds of thousands who will die when the bombs begin to rain down in earnest.
Nor did they mention Kashmir, the denial of self-determination to Kashmiris, and the deaths of Kashmiri activists in Indian custody.
Enough of this madness!
Let Jews and Christians and Muslims and Hindus gather together in penitence and faith to mourn all these dead and in determination that the future Holocaust being planned by the oil millionaires can be prevented.
January 26, 2003
The Jewish Wife
Inspired by a scene from Brecht’s Furcht und Elend des Dritten Reiches (The Fear and Misery of the Third Reich)
After the Memorial, a play for Holocaust Memorial Day