Obama Loves Gandhi: Another Mendacious Delusion
Taking a break from nursing, I spent a little while reading through Martin Peretz's blog about Obama in India and the passionate comments from his stable of very knowledgeable readers. Our President, ever-ready to invoke the names of great historical figures in order to inflate his own standing, naturally called on Gandhi, whom it turns out isn't on every Indian's top ten list. Since I'm in a lousy mood, very impatient with Obama these days and always happy to deflate the unexamined reputations of great men, herewith is what George Orwell had to say about Gandhi's Final Solution to the Jewish Problem:
In relation to the late war, one question that every pacifist had a clear obligation to answer was: "What about the Jews? Are you prepared to see them exterminated? If not, how do you propose to save them without resorting to war?" I must say that I have never heard, from any Western pacifist, an honest answer to this question, though I have heard plenty of evasions, usually of the "you're another" type. But it so happens that Gandhi was asked a somewhat similar question in 1938 and that his answer is on record in Mr. Louis Fischer's Gandhi and Stalin. According to Mr. Fischer, Gandhi's view was that the German Jews ought to commit collective suicide, which "would have aroused the world and the people of Germany to Hitler's violence." After the war he justified himself: the Jews had been killed anyway, and might as well have died significantly. One has the impression that this attitude staggered even so warm an admirer as Mr. Fischer, but Gandhi was merely being honest. If you are not prepared to take life, you must often be prepared for lives to be lost in some other way. When, in 1942, he urged non-violent resistance against a Japanese invasion, he was ready to admit that it might cost several million deaths.
And this is Martin Buber's open letter questioning Gandhi on his assertion that the Jews should not build a state in Palestine because,