Several days ago, Matan Vilnai, Israel's deputy defense minister, caused no end of shock and horror when he warned of a Palestinian "Holocaust" (or "shoah") if Hamas kept firing its rockets into Israeli territory.
A number of writers have blamed the flare-up over a simple mis-translation. For example, Melanie Philips:
Reuters translated the Hebrew word ‘shoah’ as ‘holocaust’. But ‘shoah’ merely means disaster. In Hebrew, the word ‘shoah’ is never used to mean ‘holocaust’ or ‘genocide’ because of the acute historical resonance. The word ‘Hashoah’ alone means ‘the Holocaust’ and ‘retzach am’ means ‘genocide’. The well-known Hebrew construction used by Vilnai used merely means ‘bringing disaster on themselves’.
Never used? Well, lets employ teh Googles and see what happens. Try the search terms "Holocaust Shoa".
Hmm! Pages and pages of stuff (121,000 references). For example, this from wiki:
The biblical word Shoa (שואה) (also spelled Shoah and Sho'ah), meaning "calamity," became the standard Hebrew term for the Holocaust as early as the 1940s. Shoa is preferred by many Jews for a number of reasons, including the theologically offensive nature of the original meaning of "holocaust."
And other results include:
The Holocaust\Shoah Page
Holocaust (Shoah) Research Resources
SHOAH - HOLOCAUST LINKS
Maybe these are all mistranslations. Or maybe Melanie Philips is talking out her ass and conning the usual suspects.