I’m not much of a believer, but I am a wisher. Some people might call it praying or hoping or wanting, but it’s basically the same thing: even though something is probably not true, sometimes we all cling to a comfortable fallacy.
I remember during the Bush years being swayed for about two weeks by the idea that 9/11 was a conspiracy organized by the US government. I sometimes feel every charity has an agenda and every volunteer is trying to make up for a dark sin in their past. I sometimes feel that pharmaceutical and food conglomerates are poisoning us to sell us an expensive cure later.
These are all things I would like to believe, not because I wish they were true, but because it would so succinctly explain reality while simultaneously validating my worldview. I am able to divorce myself from my desired model of reality, but I get the feeling most people are incapable.
Take the Iranian “president” (who “won” in much the same manner Bush did). Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent statements are nothing new. He’s been making the same claims for years, echoing a very prominent, though hushed, opinion among many anti-Semitic groups.
The Holocaust was a lie. Yep, turns out the millions of eye witness accounts, bodies, charred remains, missing people, and even records kept by the Nazis themselves were all lies. Who knew it was all a pretense to form the nation of Israel? Those sneaky Jews.
I oppose the formation of the nation of Israel. I find it to be a racist policy both against the Jews and against the Palestinians. However, I also believe we have long passed the point where we can expect every Jewish person in Israel to just pick up and leave. It’s really the only sensible stance because at least two generations have been born and raised in Israel, and they are innocent of the sins of the original settlers.
Of course, if the whole formation of Israel was a massive conspiracy organized by the Jews, predicated on lies and international sympathy… well maybe we CAN make them leave! Or so thinks the Iranian President.
I don’t know if Ahmadinejad believes the Holocaust didn’t happen, or if he just wishes it hadn’t. I know he doesn’t wish it hadn’t happened in the same way victims and survivors of the Holocaust do.