What if the Holocaust and Palestinian genocide had not happened?

Published: January 28, 2016
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Hitler in 1939. PHOTO: AFP

Some 11 million lives, six million Jews and five million non-Jews would have lived, World War II would never have taken place, Israeli settlements in Palestine, the consequent Palestinian genocide would have been averted and perhaps 9/11 would not have happened, had one man been vocal on time.

The only man besides Hitler in a position to alter the course of history was Pope Pius XII of the Vatican, who chose not to utter a single word of condemnation for Hitler’s war, although he reportedly publically lamented the cruelty of war and loss of millions of lives. When Hitler and Joseph Goebbels were busy luring their Christian army into the anti-Semitic propaganda as a token of their Christian-ness, Pope Pius XII could have been the man reasserting the true essence of Christianity, respect for human life, unconditional universal love and kindness.

Although his defenders report he had written his condemnation for Hitler but later burnt it to ashes in a premeditated larger interest of the newly converted Christians, very few are impressed. His critics however, severely censure him for his lack of ability to openly condemn Nazi advances. To be a Christian under Hitler’s regime was to be essentially anti-Semitic, such was the mind-set that created the Holocaust.

Hitler was a dictator and religion was never his domain, yet when a dictator manipulated religious sentiments of his citizens, the holy silence couldn’t have been more criminal. On the one hand, the Pope’s silence covertly sanctioned Jewish genocide and on the other, it tainted the true essence of the very religion he was under oath to defend.

But if the Vatican Pope failed humanity with his silence, where would the hate speeches of Israeli Rabbi place him? Israel’s Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, one of the most senior theocrats in the Jewish State ruled in his letter addressed to the then Israeli President Ehud Olmert, that

“There was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings”. (Eliyahu advocates carpet bombing Gaza, The Jerusalem Post, May 30, 2007).

Such a brazen genocidal call by a holy figure is downright immoral. Drawing scriptural parallels and framing Palestinians as Amulek, (enemies of Jews described in scriptures) men in Jewish holy attires approve crimes against humanity and theology. One understands that lessons from Auschwitz were lost on Jews and their anger misplaced when one comes across the writings on Jerusalem walls that state, “Arabs to the ovens”.

Beneath Palestinian mass graves lies the self-denigration of once a marvellous nation. Today’s Israelis need to ask themselves on which side of the Holocaust, millions whom they commemorate still from past seven decades will place their successors to be, the victims or the victimisers?

Caught in a similar situation are Pakistanis who have taken their position in opposition to crimes against humanity. They have decided neither to stay silent nor to allow criminal oblivion of individuals in charge of the pulpit. They are now rising to the occasion to reclaim their mosques as well as their religion from hate mongers and cowards that fail to condemn terrorism unconditionally.

The picture might not be very clear at the moment however, a few brave voices keep stirring the cords of our collective conscience. Hearing them is the only way out. Regaining peace and inter-faith harmony is perhaps today’s biggest religious service as well as the need of the hour.

For once, Zaid Hamid rightfully questioned the role of notable Mullahs particularly Maulana Tariq Jameel’s deafening silence when it comes to condemning terrorism.

The State must also take strong action against religious leaders who publically display any affinity or sympathy with the State’s criminals and traitors. Furthermore, those protesting against Mumtaz Qadri’s verdict must also be dealt with severely. This must be done essentially as a token of counter terrorism measure.

Aasma Farhad

Aasma Farhad

The author is an academic and a writer. Her upcoming book explores reasons behind religious violence acceptance in Pakistan. She tweets as @mountedhorse (twitter.com/mountedhorse)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • vinsin

    There is no record of Palestinian genocide. Israel settlements has little to do with world war 2. First punish Pakistani responsible for Bangladeshi genocide.Recommend

  • Armenia

    Clearly, the author has no knowledge of history or she chooses to revise it as she pleases. World War 2 did not occur as a result of the Holocaust. The Holocaust was very much a part of the whole war and most of it did not come out into the eyes of the public until after the war.
    And as someone rightly pointed out, Pakistanis need to face up to their war crimes in Bangladesh. And also recognize Armenia and the Armenian genocide and stop being an apologist for the Ottoman barbaric hordes.
    This comment will probably not get published unless it is lucky to get the moderator’s oversight.Recommend

  • G. Din

    Holocaust was a deliberate slaughter of an innocent population which had no means to defend itself, carried out by those whom they considered as their compatriots. Someone who believes that Palestinians were innocents who couldn’t or were not aggressive has certainly a lot of marbles missing. Recommend

  • Kim

    What if the Armenian Genocide had never happened? – something for you to ponder and write about the next time.Recommend

  • Milind A

    “Such a brazen genocidal call by a holy figure is downright immoral”

    What genocide!!! There’s no Palestinian genocide… The threat if at is all from Palestinians who’re hell-bent on destroying Israel. First focus on the holy figures in your religion who call for murder of non-Muslims, promote hatred through their Friday sermons and fatwas and then blame others.Recommend

  • cautous

    What Palestinian Genocide? If Israel wanted to eliminate Palestinian’s there isn’t much to stop them. Further – what does 911 have to do with Hitler or Palestinian’s? OBL attacked the USA because he believed they had defiled holy land by placing a military base in Saudi Arabia (a base which was placed their at the request of Saudi’s to defend against another attack by Muslim Iraq). Common Muslim myth that 911 was tied to Israel/Palestinian conflict.Recommend

  • Rahul

    Before talking genocides in far away places, the author should talk about genocide of religious, ethnic and linguistic minorities in Pakistan and the role Pakistani military played in Bangladesh.Recommend

  • curious2

    Interesting title but the article itself is kinda lame. She doesn’t present any meaningful arguments and takes cheap shots at Catholics and Jews. She also inappropriately praises Pakistan for taking bold steps against Crimes against Humanity but conveniently ignores Pakistan’s own record in Bangladesh and Balochistan.Recommend

  • Adnan

    Hilters wars had one profound effect on India and Pakistan. It led to India and Pakistan independence along with Independence of over 50 countries across Asia & Africa in the same time frame when Hilter’s wars caused colonizing countries aka UK, France to get weak at home turf leading to lose their power grip in far away colonies. Gandhi and Jinnah or numerous other African and Asian Independence freedom fighter got frame for nothing. Hilter picture should be hung next to picture of Jinnah and Gandhi in the great halls of India and Pakistan.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers

    Would wonder if the author considers the Iranian and Hamas statements that Israel should be wiped off the map to be a threat of Genocide???Recommend

  • Jayman

    Can anybody tell me when Palestine was ever a nation?Recommend

  • Joe Gargery

    The author wrote a brilliant article. On accountability. Excellent.
    Trust a Hindu to rear his head and come up with fake figures and a
    disturbed rant. Seems like no one can write an article, an opinion,
    an observation, without getting doused with Hindu vitriol, toxic poison.
    in Pakistani newspapers. specially ET.
    Recommend

  • MJ

    @Vinsin. There is plenty of records of atrocities committed from all parties. The first terrorist bombs used on civilians can be traced back to bombs planted in Palestenian buses by the Zionists. Similarly the genocide that the world knows as Holocaust is also over exaggerated. There are several Israeli Jews and non Jew scholars who have researched the 6 million figure and categorically denied it’s authenticity. NY times has been quoting the murder of 6 million Jews from 1893. There were 12 separate News articles in NY times about this figure of 6 million Jews even before 2nd world war started. I am not saying that Jews were not killed, but 6 million is about 10 times more than the actual number of Jews that were killed in both world wars.
    Now coming back to Bangladeshi genocide, I agree that it happened but so did the genocide of the Bihari’s in Bangladesh by Mukti Bahini. For reference please read books written by Bangladeshi authors such as Sharmila Bose’s “Dead Reckoning”.
    Nowadays propaganda has become such a powerful tool that misconceptions and exaggerations become truth because of how much they are publicized and how frequently they are repeated, while sometimes truth takes a back seat because it is either an unpopular view or does not benefit the agenda of the main stream media.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-13417170Recommend

  • Sami

    I should laugh or cry after reading this article. This happens when you read history with a Biased eye and through the Khutbas of Friday prayers and from novels of Hijazee..
    Genocide is a very big word. Germans killed millions of Jews and Romas. Similarly Turks killed Romanians. These two events fall into genocide.
    Infact the Muslim-Non Muslim violence where both sides killed each other in 1947 is also a genocide.

    But the Arab-Israel conflict is totally different. There was an Arab-Israel war. In the war there was a collateral damage. But no one has been able to document any genocide. You wlll not find any event where millions or even thousands of Palestinians were rounded up in any camps and then killed. Most people do not know that most of the land was infact sold by Palestinians around Jerusalem before Israel war even started. Most Israelis were already settled in most of the land before the war and that was a total peaceful transformation.

    In Pakistan we just exaggerate with English words, but in the rest of the world it is not like that. But a small history lesson that infact if expulsion means genocide then Muslims expelled Jews not only from holy places , but they were forced to leave everything. It happened around Arabia. So 1400 years ago maybe Muslims did the bigger genocide of Jews in terms of expulsion from Arabia as a whole?.

    Jews infact pushed Palestinian settlements to the corner, but they are still living there. History repeats itself. The ancestors of Palestinian Muslim expelled all Jews, and history is repeated and Jews did the same treatment with the Palestinian after 1000 years. History is repeated here in a precise manner.Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    Palestinian genocide? It never happened. Stop Gobbelian propaganda . Israelis were defending themselves from violence. Right thing is to discuss Turkish genocide of Armenians (1 million) and Pakistanis genocide of Bangladeshis. (3 million).
    Recommend

  • siesmann

    Hitler and Germany are Protestants.Hitler probably wouldn’t have cared much for what the Pope might have said.Doesn’t make the Pope less culpable though.And I haven’t heard of Nazis using Christianity as an excuse or a weapon.Hitler was hardly partial towards the Christians.Hitler wanted a Nazi Caliphate.Recommend

  • FAZ

    You people across the border are next in line to Hitler.
    The anti Muslim versionRecommend

  • Fahimuddin

    There is no record for holocaust. No one new about it before German defeat 1945. If Soviet Union would lost the war then Soviet union would be the one who had carried out holocaust.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    By Palestinian holocaust, is the author referring to the 25,000 Palestinians killed by Zia during black September in Jordan. Zia killed more Palestinians in 40 days than Israel in 40 yearsRecommend

  • Gratgy

    Palestinian genocide happened. its called Black September in Jordan. Zia was awarded Jordan’s highest honour for conducting this genocideRecommend

  • Golmal

    Well. should we bring up the Muslim genocide in Indian East Bengal?
    Where whole Muslim villages are set on fire by Hindus. Say, Manipur?
    Meghalaya? With a heavy news blackout. Savagely under Indian
    military rule. Should we bring it up? One whole village was set on fire at
    2 AM, at night. Killing almost everyone. Because a Hindu girl married a
    Muslim boy !
    To date, from the late 80’s, about 80,000 Muslims have been killed. Now
    that is called a ‘GENOCIDE’Recommend

  • Golmal

    Well. should we bring up the Muslim genocide in Indian East Bengal?
    Where whole Muslim villages are set on fire by Hindus. Say, Manipur?
    Meghalaya? With a heavy news blackout. Savagely under Indian
    military rule. Should we bring it up? One whole village was set on fire at
    2 AM, at night. Killing almost everyone. Because a Hindu girl married a
    Muslim boy !
    To date, from the late 80’s, about 80,000 Muslims have been killed. Now
    that is called a ‘GENOCIDE’Recommend

  • Pukhnatwaney

    Er, excuse, please,…there was a Muslim ‘Genocide’ in Serbia. Clinton
    went in and saved the Muslims. Radko and his cohorts were exterminating
    Muslims. [The other Muslim countries did nothing] This was in the 90’s.
    Where thousands of Muslims were rounded up and put in concentration
    camps and starved. There is an ongoing genocide in Indian occupied
    Kashmir. Where Muslims are killed indiscriminately. Daily. Weekly. Monthly.
    Or they simply “disappear” with no trace. Never heard from again. Genocide
    does NOT have to be in MILLIONS killed. It just relates to an ethnic group or
    religious group being exterminated. The Yazidis in Syria,are CURRENTLY undergoing genocide. The Yazidis do not number in MILLIONS !Recommend

  • Milind A

    Nope. We’re talking about the Hindu holocaust by Muslim invaders in the last 1000 years not
    happened or the Hindu holocaust by your Muslim League brethen during partition?Recommend

  • Karmanye Thadani

    Meghalaya under military rule? East Bengal in India? What’s with this fellow?Recommend

  • Karmanye Thadani

    Meghalaya under military rule? East Bengal in India? What is with you?Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Hahaha Where do you come up with these typical Pakistani gems??

    If there is a heavy news blackout, then do these news just come to you in your dreams.

    There is no such thing as Indian “East Bengal” . In “West Bengal” it is the Muslims who are doing the rioting and attacking Hindus. Read Malda riots that happened a few days beck.

    Meghalaya is Christian majority state, hindus as well as Muslims are minority. Maybe you should do some basic research before making things up. Lol!. You might sound more believable

    Those 80,000 Muslims you are talking about died due to old age. And no, people dying of OLD AGE is NOT called GENOCIDE. LMAO!!Recommend

  • Sami

    Yes i agree. I just quoted that as an example. The world is filled with history of Genocides especially in Africa and Asia. You forgot to mention Rohingya Muslims. Especially genocides by Europeans in Congo is the most brutal one in my view.

    But kindly try to differentiate in the words like Genocide, violence and war etc.

    If expulsion from the properties and murder is genocide then after the creation of Pakistan we did many genocides as well. For example expulsion of more than 50000 Ahmedis from Lahore in 1953. More than 500 Ahmedis were murdered in 1953 in one week in Lahore.
    Do you know many Kashmiris simply settled in Lahore after attacking the homes of Ahmedi families in Andron Lahore and now they make up a huge majority there?. The whole Lahore movement was wiped out. So that is a genocide or not?. Search for 1953 violence in Lahore. More than 30,000 got asylum in UK and Germany in 50s. So?. They left their home, belongings and who got their homes and property?.

    Similarly our treatment with Baloch is no different. More than 10,000 are missing so far. So that is a genocide?. Also what Indian army is doing in Kashmir is an example of war crimes and yes many families went missing in the past and that is a genocide as well.

    Also kindly keep in Mind that Yazidis are non Muslims. So if you agree that Non Muslim Yazidis are being killed in a genocide then who are the killers?.

    Kindly read history in an unbiased manner. It is dreadful to say the least.Recommend

  • Sami

    Yes i agree. I just quoted that as an example. The world is filled with history of Genocides especially in Africa and Asia. You forgot to mention Rohingya Muslims. Especially genocides by Europeans in Congo is the most brutal one in my view.

    But kindly try to differentiate in the words like Genocide, violence and war etc.

    If expulsion from the properties and murder is genocide then after the creation of Pakistan we did many genocides as well. For example expulsion of more than 50000 Ahmedis from Lahore in 1953. More than 500 Ahmedis were murdered in 1953 in one week in Lahore.
    Do you know many Kashmiris simply settled in Lahore after attacking the homes of Ahmedi families in Andron Lahore and now they make up a huge majority there?. The whole Lahore movement was wiped out. So that is a genocide or not?. Search for 1953 violence in Lahore. More than 30,000 got asylum in UK and Germany in 50s. So?. They left their home, belongings and who got their homes and property?.

    Similarly our treatment with Baloch is no different. More than 10,000 are missing so far. So that is a genocide?. Also what Indian army is doing in Kashmir is an example of war crimes and yes many families went missing in the past and that is a genocide as well.

    Also kindly keep in Mind that Yazidis are non Muslims. So if you agree that Non Muslim Yazidis are being killed in a genocide then who are the killers?.

    Kindly read history in an unbiased manner. It is dreadful to say the least.Recommend

  • abhi

    It would have been even better if Muslims have not done the genocide in the land of Arabia and Chistians and Jews need not to take refuge in Europe.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    He is a Pakistani, prone to making ridiculous things up when he has nothing to say. Recommend

  • maynotmatter

    The author is super confused about the word history. An article written without any research or even enough understanding of the word “genocide”.
    And whats with linking the disconnected historical events.
    It is like saying if the mughals have never invaded south Asia today India, Pakistan and Bangladesh would have been one great Hindu nation living peacefully and they would have had no reason to hate muslims.Recommend

  • Pukhnatwaney

    YOU should make the judgement. Whether all that you
    trotted out about Ahmadis and Balochs warrants a definition
    as genocide. Besides, your numbers and figures do not
    make sense. Did you manufacture them to fit your comment?
    The Ahmadis define themselves as Muslims. Period.
    Your comment is disjointed, confusing. No head or tail.
    The point is not about the history of the various ethnic religious groups in the sub continent. It is about the definition of genocide.The Zikris in Balochistan numbers in the thousands, only. YES, they define themselves as Muslims. They are undergoing a genocide, currently, perpetuated, by their fellow Balochs. The Hazaras, too, are undergoing genocide currently, in Balochistan, perpetuated by ethnic Balochs. Hazaras are ethnically and religiously diverse.
    They are Shias. Balochs also kill Punjabis, in, Balochistan.
    To top it all off, in Pakistan, there is a Shia genocide in progress…….Currently.Recommend

  • Saima Bhaur

    One thing which has been implied by the author is that there should be an end to indiscriminate killing in the world, whether it is in the name of terrorism, religion, expansion of boundaries or any other. Huge numbers of people are killed on either side of the war, which is actually a huge loss to humanity. I think it’s about time that we should start settling issues through dialogue as it is the best way to dispute resolution. Second, the focus should be on engaging with all and listening to all to sort them all. This would restore peace in the world.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    “Besides, your numbers and figures do not
    make sense. Did you manufacture them to fit your comment?”

    Pot calling the kettle blackRecommend

  • Rex Minor

    The State must also take strong action against religious leaders who publically display any affinity or sympathy with the State’s criminals and traitors. Furthermore, those protesting against Mumtaz Qadri’s verdict must also be dealt with severely. This must be done essentially as a token of counter terrorism measure.

    The author has put out a bundle of miss-statements about the third reich and hitler association with the church, but then proposes militarised diabolic solutions of a police State as a solution for the miseries.in Pakistan and has the emotional will to invoke a fatwa from the muslim clergy.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Nomad1412

    You are right. Hitler persecuted the Catholic church and Catholics in Poland.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Hitler was a dictator and religion was never his domain, yet when a
    dictator manipulated religious sentiments of his citizens, the holy
    silence couldn’t have been more criminal. On the one hand, the Pope’s
    silence covertly sanctioned Jewish genocide and on the other, it tainted
    the true essence of the very religion.

    This narrative is nothing but a load of crap! Adolf Hitler was elected as the chamcellor of the third Reich. He was the first with Mussolini to enter into a concord with the Vatican to introduce secularism, the separation of powers between the Governmnt and the Church which is still valid. By her article she is simply by ignorance or design giving the salon to the state of Israel, and its unimportant protogonists, which is not recognised by most muslim countries.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Bibloo

    Trust a hindu to show up and rear on it’s hind legs.Recommend

  • http://solomon2.blogspot.com/ Solomon2

    One has to have some pity for Aasma Farhad. She’s an academic, and in Pakistan the Higher Education Committee specifically forbids teaching or portraying Israel in any positive manner: https://globalvoices.org/2014/11/07/pakistan-warns-universities-not-to-question-government-following-model-un-controversy-over-israeli-booth/. This requirement involves hiding the truth, inverting cause and effect, pushing group-think over individual research, with the result of cheating generations of Pakistani students out of a worthy education in many subjects, not just analyses of the Arab-Israeli conflict.Recommend

  • Miyagi Jr.

    Excuse but what was all that!!!! a huge **** pile of What if What if.
    The issue is not what would happen if this or that didn’t happen. The issue is the Jihad of the Sword!!! wrong interpretations of scriptures and mass ignorance.Recommend

  • LS

    Wow you are quick to tell the world that there is a genocide in Indian Kashmir..
    What is happening in Baluchistan is NOT a genocide where bombs were dropped on people running for cover?

    BTW:Here is the definition of Genocide:

    the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

    This IS NOT happening in Kashmir. Kashmir Valley Muslims are NOT an ethnic group. Other Muslims in Jammu, Leh and else where do not have any problem. Those who participate in terror activities will get punished.Recommend

  • LS

    The Palestinian Genocide was done by Zia-ul-Haq. More than 10,000 killed and he went on to become Head of the Military and state after the coup. I guess Pakistan remembers him very fondly… Today they stand for Palestinians as if nothing happened.Recommend

  • LS

    Well we are nowhere in line – You really need to see the spoils below:
    – MAJ – 10,000 killed in Bengal as a result of Direct Action Day on August 16, 1946
    – MAJ – 1.5 Million killed during due to partition
    – ZuH – 10,000-25,000 Palestinians killed in Jordan on 6th September, 1970
    – Gen PM – Killed 1,700 or more Baloch people
    – YK – Killed 3 Million in Bangladesh and raped 400,000 women

    So you see if 700 got killed in Gujarat and you call India Hitler… I don’t know what to call the people in this list above.. Monsters?Recommend

  • Ahmed Ali Khan

    Zaid Hamid is a nutRecommend