Fifteen years ago this week, the Hutu majority in Rwanda started a genocide that killed over 500,000 Tutsis, along with 300,000 fellow Hutus who refused to take part in the massacres. In this truly unique extermination it was the people, rather than an army, that took mass murder literally into their hands -- facing themselves death if they didn't.
As usual, the world did nothing. The UN fled according to its time-honored tradition, and the same countries that in 2003 rushed to save the Iraqis no one knows well from what didn't lift a finger for oil-poor Rwanda.
Regrettably, neither did the Jewish community, or the self-described Jewish state. No condemnation was issued by either Israeli Chief Rabbi. No letters were mass-mailed by members of the Jewish organizations to any lawmaker calling on the US or any other country to intervene and stop the killings. No grass-roots movement arose within organized Jewry, during the three months the genocide lasted, to try and do something to stop it. Was there any reason to expect them to do so? Yes, there was -- or what else is the phrase "never again," ritually chorused by Jewish organizations, supposed to mean? (I know, I know: it means "never again to the Jews." But the people at the Holocaust museums won't acknowledge it.)
Israel didn't send in troops to stop the genocide. Just 5,000 soldiers, at a time when the country didn't face any external threat, would have sufficed to save at least 500,000 lives, but not a single Israeli politician or Jewish leader from the Diaspora suggested that the State should take such a step. Israel didn't even use its advanced technology to jam the radio broadcasts that were a key factor in the incitement to genocide.
Where was the world when the Nazis were killing the Jews? In about the same place the Jews were when the Hutus were murdering the Tutsis.
El País (Der Stürmer)
14 years ago