Does Zionism equal Nazism?


Does Zionism equal Nazism?


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by William M. Hoffman

A close Jewish friend of mine ended her e-mail to me like that. This set off a nuclear reaction in my brain which ended up making me want to examine up close why so many people all over the world are libeling us in this particular manner. Let us seriously examine the notion for a moment.

When we think of Nazi behavior, what usually comes to mind is primarily mass murder. The question that comes to my rational mind is whether in fact the Israelis in fact have committed mass murder? For example, where is the Israeli version of Auschwitz? Where are the mobile gas units, the Israeli version of Babi Yar. Even the most heinous accusation that was bruited, namely the supposed massacre at Jenin, turned out to be untrue, according to the UN investigation, which excoriated the Hamas for using civilian women and children as human shields.

Other examples of Nazi behavior might be an Israeli version of starving of Arab people or depriving them of education, whereas it well known that the Arab citizens of Israeli are better fed and better educated than anywhere else in the Middle East.

This accusation against Israel, which is commonly translated into "Zionism = Nazism", claims that Israel and the Jews are racist. But in fact Israel is one of the most multiracial societies in the world with its population ranging from the blondest of blond Ashkenazic Jews to the blackest of black Jews from Ethiopia and Yemen, including Jews of Iranian, Iraqi, Moroccan, Indian, Latino, and even Chinese origin.

So in reality the accusation turns out to be that the Jews of Israel discriminate against non-Jews, but does this alledged bias amount to racist behavior? It certainly is true that Israel intends to remain a Jewish homeland and that many Jews are not fond of Arabs after years of Arab terrorism, but is the Israeli attitude racist or simply nationalistic or chauvinistic at its worst? Where is the racism? Where is the Nazism?

I am led to conclude the accusation of racism is made to escalate the stakes astronomically, for racism is universally considered far more evil than nationalism. While I can certainly understand that Arabs harbor deep resentments against Israel, The accusation that Israelis are like the Nazis has no basis in fact.

Having shown now that the allegation is absurd, I ask what is its purpose? The answer is simple: to delegitimize the existence of Israel. If Israelis are Nazis they and their state do not deserve to live. The accusation makes the murder of Jews of Israel (and elsewhere) a positive and imperative and heroic action. Which civilized person wants to see a revival of Nazism?

Where does the accusation originate historically? Tracing it back to the source, I believe it introduced by the Nazi advisors who left Germany after World War II and ended up in Egypt and worked for President Nasser (who later made his peace with Israel). Other Germans mass murderers like the infamous butcher Alois Brunner ended up in Damascus where he remains a great friend of the Syrian regime to this day. The Nazi religion of hate emanating from the Third Reich infected many Arabs of Palestine including their leader the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who was a frequent guest of Hitler, and has influenced the leadership of the intifada to the present day.

The lie that Israel behaves like Nazi Germany is presently massively financed by Saudi oil money. The fact that some sensible and normally sceptical American Jewish people like my friend and many Europeans buy into this obscene bullshit shows me that money can influence even the most educated. I now understand viscerally how the Nazis were able to make REAL mass murder possible: through the same application of the big lie that the Palestinians and the Saudis and the Taliban are presently using so successfully using right now: the Israelis are inhuman brutes, therefore they must be eradicated.

I would urge you to examine your beliefs and fight against the real Nazis. I understand how terrifying it is to acknowledge that vast numbers of people hate us Jews. It is much easier to blame those damned Israeli Nazis.

William M. Hoffman, the author of this piece is an American playwright. His play "As Is," presented on Broadway, was one of the first works on the AIDS epidemic. He also wrote the libretto to "The Ghosts of Versailles," which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He is cofounder of Reunion, a pro-Israel information group in New York City.


from the September 2002 Edition of the Jewish Magazine




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