Israel and Holocaust Denial
By Mark Perry Nash
Amidst all the words coming out of the media about the current anguish in the Middle East, one thought seems to have escaped many - or at least some - correspondents. And it is this: To many, if not most, non-Jews around the world, be they friends of Israel or foes, the State of Israel and the Jewish People are virtually synonymous phrases. Those of us more 'clued up' realize, of course, that Israel is a secular democracy, and not a theocracy (religious state) as are places like Iran - or as some militants would like Egypt and Syria to become. Of course Israel has within its many faceted population some who might be considered religious extremists, but then so do most countries - including our own.
Not everything that the State of Israel does is going to meet with unanimous approval - by non-Jews, Jews or even Israelis themselves, but all of this is to miss my first point - that ineradicable link that exists in the minds of most newspaper readers, between Israel and the Jewish People. In an ideal world, it might be possible for an anti-Israeli media to stoke the fires of anti-Israeli feeling - without that extending to the Jewish People as a whole; but this is not an ideal world, and it doesn't work like that.
I would like to suggest another link - and a more sinister one. That of the more venomous verbal assaults on Israel - and Holocaust Denial. Most of us know that things are not necessarily true just because they appear in the Media, but the Media has an immense power to sway the minds of millions - and uses it.
As public opinion against Israel has increased - at least in part thanks to media distortions, so has Holocaust Denial, attacks on Jewish cemeteries and many other anti-Jewish acts. To make this link is dismissed by some as 'typical Jewish paranoia' - but is it?
Israel's enemies steadfastly and still refuse to concede its right to exist - and some voices - even in the West - are now making similar noises in the media. At the same time some otherwise 'respectable' academics are downplaying the Shoah as 'an exaggeration', or an 'historical anomaly' - and getting away with these monstrous distortions of the truth.
Holocaust Denial is often subtle - like many forms of evil. And its latest manifestation is to hide amongst anti-Israeli rhetoric or even, dare I say it, behind media support for the Palestinian cause. The tragedies of the Middle East can sometimes seem almost intractable - even unsolvable - but those of us who stand among - or with - the Jewish People owe it to Truth and to History to unmask Holocaust Denial whenever and wherever it rears its loathsome head. If we are termed paranoiacs when we do so - so be it. As an American Rabbi put it, very succinctly and very simply: Never Again!
from the April 2013 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
Material and Opinions in all Jewish Magazine articles are the sole responsibility of the author; the Jewish Magazine accepts no liability for material used.
|All opinions expressed in all Jewish Magazine articles are those of the authors. The author accepts responsible for all copyright infrigments.|