What They Really Mean When They Call Israel Nazis
WHY do protestor angry at Israel and the war with Hamas call the Jewish state and its people Nazis?
Alex Ross has a view:
Leaving aside the monstrousness of the Nazi comparison on both historical and moral grounds…you’d have though that these people could at least be a little more creative with their references. It’s not like the past century doesn’t offer up a whole range of references to genocide or barbarism…yet we don’t see placards saying “Israel = Khmer Rouge” or “Israel = Suharto’s Indonesia” or “Israel = al-Bahir’s Sudan”.
You’d almost think that they wanted to deliberately single out the most traumatic episode in Jewish history and use it as a means to taunt and berate.
What is most chilling is that these sentiments are not just consigned to a weird old man with a placard. I hear them from supposedly intelligent people over dinner in NW London. Why haven’t they [the Jews] learned from their own history?? As if the Shoah was simply some pedagogic exercise to make Jews behave better.
Other couch their accusation as “irony”:
Anti-Semitism has become socially acceptable:
“These are the worst times since the Nazi era,” Dieter Graumann, president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, told the Guardian. “On the streets, you hear things like ‘the Jews should be gassed’, ‘the Jews should be burned’ – we haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticising Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else. And it’s not just a German phenomenon. It’s an outbreak of hatred against Jews so intense that it’s very clear indeed.”
Roger Cukierman, president of France’s Crif, said French Jews were “anguished” about an anti-Jewish backlash that goes far beyond even strongly felt political and humanitarian opposition to the current fighting: “They are not screaming ‘Death to the Israelis’ on the streets of Paris,” Cukierman said last month. “They are screaming ‘Death to Jews’.” Crif’s vice-president Yonathan Arfi said he “utterly rejected” the view that the latest increase in antisemitic incidents was down to events in Gaza. “They have laid bare something far more profound,” he said
For most of the first 60 years of its existence, Israel got an easy ride from Europeans due to European guilt over the Holocaust. But as revulsion over Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians grows, the ‘Holocaust card’ – long used by Zionists in order to stifle legitimate debate over Israel’s actions – no longer has the same impact.
Zionists will, of course, claim that the growing European opposition to Israel is a sign that the continent is reverting to anti-semitism; the staunchly pro-Israel commentator Melanie Phillips has already dismissed the anti-Israel protestors as “leftists, Jew-haters, Muslims and useful idiots”.
But the most striking thing about the demonstrations to date has been the absence of anti-semitism. Anger is rising across Europe, but it is anger directed against the state of Israel – not Jews in general; in fact in some demonstrations, such as the one in London, Jewish groups themselves took part.
“Everybody is somebody’s Jew. And the Palestinians are the Jews of the Israelis”, the Jewish writer and holocaust survivor Primo Levi once famously remarked. It seems an increasing number of people across Europe are coming to the same conclusion
What do we, in the cosy safety of tolerant old England, think we are doing when we call the Israelis Nazis and liken Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto? Do those who blithely make these comparisons know anything whereof they speak?
In the early 1940s some 100,000 Jews and Romanis died of engineered starvation and disease in the Warsaw Ghetto, another quarter of a million were transported to the death camps, and when the Ghetto rose up it was liquidated, the last 50,000 residents being either shot on the spot or sent to be murdered more hygienically in Treblinka. Don’t mistake me: every Palestinian killed in Gaza is a Palestinian too many, but there is not the remotest similarity, either in intention or in deed – even in the most grossly mis-reported deed – between Gaza and Warsaw.
Given the number of besieged and battered cities there have been in however many thousands of years of pitiless warfare there is only one explanation for this invocation of Warsaw before any of those – it is to wound Jews in their recent and most anguished history and to punish them with their own grief. Its aim is a sort of retrospective retribution, cancelling out all debts of guilt and sorrow. It is as though, by a reversal of the usual laws of cause and effect, Jewish actions of today prove that Jews had it coming to them yesterday.
Berating Jews with their own history, disinheriting them of pity, as though pity is negotiable or has a sell-by date, is the latest species of Holocaust denial