Don’t forget others who have suffered

Don’t forget others who have suffered

Lubomyr Luciuk sent me the following article he wrote that appeared in the Kingston Whig-Standard of Kingston, Ontario. He’s writing in response to the assertion by some Jewish leaders that when Mel Gibson compared the Holocaust to the Ukrainian genocide by Stalin, he was doing a disservice to the Jews. Luciuk disagrees and says that it’s unfair to dismiss the other’s tragedies in order to demand greater recognition for your own.

Who killed Christ? The Hebrews? The Romans? All of us? Some, none, all of the above?

I have no idea. Let Biblical scholars, theologians and philosophers muse over such mysteries.

Did Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ, provoke pogroms? No. Is Mel Gibson an anti-Semite? No. He knows Nazis murdered millions of Jews and others.

Yet there’s the rub. Mr Gibson hasn’t forgotten the many millions of non-Jewish Holocaust victims and those of other crimes against humanity. In the March issue of Reader’s Digest he says: “The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In Ukraine several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century 20 million people died in the Soviet Union.”

For such sentiments he is pilloried.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, while claiming no desire to engage “in competitive martyrdom,” wanting only “historical truth” to be known, nevertheless rejected any comparison between his people’s suffering and others. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach went further, denouncing any equation of the “horrible casualties of war with a government program of genocide.” Abraham Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League, was blunter: “It was ignorant…it’s insensitive. And…he doesn’t get that either. He doesn’t begin to understand the difference between dying in a famine and people being cremated solely for what they are.”