Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Folke Bernadotte: The 'Unrighteous' Dead

Dan McGowan has recently had an interesting article published on Veterans Today concerning "Righteous Gentiles" and "Righteous Jews." In it he talks about, among other things, people who didn't make Yad Vashem's list of "Righteous Gentiles" and why, describing the cases of Muhammed V of Morocco, Khalil al-Sakakini, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Hans von Dohnanyi.

One guy Dan didn't write about but who you might think would be a shoe-in for a list of non-Jews who helped save Jews during WWII is Folke Bernadotte. He is credited by Yad Vashem with helping to save no fewer than 2,400 Jews during WWII. The real number may be closer to 11,000.

But Bernadotte will probably never be recognized as a "Righteous Gentile" for the simple reason that while serving as a United Nations mediator he was assassinated during a ceasefire in Palestine in 1948 by Jewish terrorists of the LEHI a.k.a. the Stern Gang, who also participated in the Deir Yassin massacre. One of the terrorist leaders who authorized his assassination was future Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir. Shamir once wrote:
Neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat. We are very far from having any moral qualms as far as our national war goes. We have before us the command of the Torah, whose morality surpasses that of any other body of laws in the world: "Ye shall blot them out to the last man." We are particularly far from having any qualms with regard to the enemy, whose moral degradation is universally admitted here.
Another of Bernadotte's assassins, Natan Yellin-Mor, was elected to the Israeli Knesset shortly after the killing. No one was ever arrested for Bernadotte's assassination and the Israeli military honors LEHI veterans with a service ribbon. The quote below from Bernadotte helps illuminate the motives of the Jewish terrorists in killing Bernadotte. It is from a report submitted the day before his assassination.
It is ... undeniable that no settlement can be just and complete if recognition is not accorded to the right of the Arab refugee to return to the home from which he has been dislodged by the hazards and strategy of the armed conflict between Arabs and Jews in Palestine. The majority of these refugees have come from territory which ... was to be included in the Jewish State. The exodus of Palestinian Arabs resulted from panic created by fighting in their communities, by rumours concerning real or alleged acts of terrorism, or expulsion. It would be an offence against the principles of elemental justice if these innocent victims of the conflict were denied the right to return to their homes while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine, and, indeed, at least offer the threat of permanent replacement of the Arab refugees who have been rooted in the land for centuries.
See also:
Update: Hans von Dohnanyi was added by Yad Vashem to the list of "Righteous among the Nations" in 2003. It is interesting that 6,195 Poles are on the list. Poles, who died in their millions as a result of the actions of the Nazis, are the people represented as pigs in Maus by Art Spiegelman.

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