Sunday, 28 October 2018

Comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany are NOT anti-Semitic – Israelis do it all the time!

What is the difference between Israelis who chant ‘Death to the Arabs’ and Nazis who shouted ‘Death to the Jews?’

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism states that ‘Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis’ could be anti-Semitic. But the strange thing is that anti-racist Israelis are the first to draw such comparisons. Are they also anti-Semitic under this dumb definition of anti-Semitism?
Perhaps Professor Zeev Sternhell who is emeritus head of the department of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and one of the world’s leading experts on fascism is also anti-Semitic? Perhaps Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion or Daniel Yates, New Labour Head of Brighton and Hove Council, both of whom support the IHRA, can tell us?
But before they do I should tell them that Zeev Sternhell is a child survivor of the Holocaust. At the age of 7 he was smuggled out of the Przemyśl ghetto in Poland into Lwow. He was cared for by a Polish Catholic family and baptised.  He is one of the few Zionists who isn’t a racist which is perhaps why in September 2008 he was the victim of a pipe bomb attack by Zionist terrorists.
Sternhell poses a rhetorical question. How will future historians judge when it was that the Israeli state had devolved into a ‘true monstrosity for its non-Jewish inhabitants’. Sternhell is, as I said a Zionist who has illusions in a period when Israel was not a racist entity. Nonetheless it is to his credit that he now accepts that racism in Israel today is akin to that in pre-Holocaust Germany. I would go further.  All the evidence is that racism in Israel today is far higher than ever anti-Semitism was in Nazi Germany.
Ian Kershaw described how in Bavaria, the state-sponsored Kristallnacht pogrom on November 2nd 1938 not only met with little sympathy but that it was ‘condemned deep into the ranks of the Party.’ Just 5% of the population approved as opposed to 63% who displayed disgust and anger.  It was in rural Catholic Bavaria that the most vociferous condemnation of the pogrom was heard.  Kershaw notes,
another, more appealing, side of the popular reaction to the pogrom was its rejection on grounds of Christian compassion and common humanity.  Jewish eye-witness accounts abound with references to the kindness of ‘Aryan’ and ‘Christian’ neighbours who are anxious to point out the overwhelming rejection of the pogrom by the vast majority of the population. 
Jews in Munich ‘were lavish in their praise of the sympathetic response they encountered among non-Jewish people.’[Ian Kershaw, Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich, pp.257-277].   This despite living in a police state unprecedented in its viciousness. 
Isaac Herzog, Israeli Labour leader explains why he doesn't want a Palestinian Prime Minister of Israel
Compare this with the Israelis who set up armchairs and coffee machines on a hilltop in order that they could get a better view and cheer on the ongoing destruction taking place in Gaza. [‘Israelis gather on hillsides to watch and cheer as military drops bombs on Gaza, People drink, snack and pose for selfies against a background of explosions as Palestinian death toll mounts in ongoing offensive.’ Harriet Sharwood, The Guardian, 20.7.14].  
 The only effect of the holocaust has been to reinforce the self-righteousness and moral turpitude of Israel’s Jews and to enable them to justify their own vicious racism.
The Nazis had to try very hard to instil anti-Semitism in the German population. The Nazis came to power not because of but despite their anti-Semitism.
Sternhell speaks of ‘the toxic ultra-nationalism that has evolved here, the kind whose European strain almost wiped out a majority of the Jewish people.’ Anyone familiar with Israeli society will know that the levels of racism in it are far higher than any equivalent Western society.
When we have, in the Labour Party, group like the Jewish Labour Movement going on about anti-Semitism whilst saying nothing about the horrific levels of racism in Israeli society, then we can accuse them of complicity. The JLM describe themselves as the ‘sister’ party of the Israeli Labour Party yet not once have they called out the visceral racism of the ILP. Israel claims to be the nation state of Jews, all Jews, yet the JLM and  their supporters keep silent, apart from smearing their Jewish opponents.
As Sternhell quite correctly says, the Jewish Nation State Law which explicitly denies Israeli Palestinians any right to be considered part of the same nation as Israeli Jews, because there is no Israeli nationality, is no different in principle from the Nuremburg Laws which changed the status of German Jews from citizens and nationals into subjects.
Daniel Blatman whose book The Death Marches: The Final Phase of Nazi Genocide won the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Research in 2011is a Holocaust researcher at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Blatman wrote an article earlier this year International Holocaust Remembrance Day: An Israeli Hypocrisy. Moshe Machover in Why Israel is a Racist State quotes Blatman as saying that Deputy Speaker Bezalel Smotrich’s admiration for the biblical genocidaire Joshua bin Nun leads him to adopt values that resemble those of the German SS.”
According to Blatman, the blueprint of the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Bezalel Smotrich and Miki Zohar, a Likud MK, for the Palestinians, both inside and outside Israel, would be akin to Jews under the Nuremburg Laws.
As Sternhell observes, Smotrich and Zohar don’t wish to harm Palestinians, as long as they do what they are told of course, merely to ‘deprive them of their basic human rights, such as self-rule in their own state and freedom from oppression’.
The late Professor Amos Funkenstein, Head of the Faculty of History at Tel Aviv University when referring to the controversy over the refusal of soldiers to serve in the Occupied Territories, compared them to soldiers in the German army who refused to serve in concentration or extermination camps. [HOLOCAUST ANALOGIES - Repaying the Mortgage Return 2 March 1990] To those who asked how it was possible to compare the actions of Nazi soldiers with Israelis, Funkenstein replied,
As a historian I know that every comparison is limited. On the other hand, without comparisons, no historiography is possible. Understanding a historical event is a kind of translation into the language of our time. If we would leave every phenomenon in its peculiarity, we could not make this translation. Every translation is an interpretation and every interpretation is also a comparison.”
It is not only anti-Zionists and anti-racists who make the comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany.  The racists also make the comparison.
The liberal left are often reticent about comparing Zionism to Nazism. Gilbert Achcar for example found it a ‘terrible comparison’ [Arabs and the Holocaust, pp.228. 234] and Shami Chakrabarti, in her report on racism in the Labour Party, argued that ‘it is always incendiary to compare the actions of Jewish people or institutions anywhere in the world to those of Hitler or the Nazis or to the perpetration of the Holocaust.’[The Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry, ]  By this logic one should not compare the settlers of Hebron, who daub the walls of Palestinians with the slogan ‘Arabs to the gas chambers’ with the Nazis. [See for example Donald Macintyre, Breaking silence over the horrors of Hebron, 22.6.04. The Independent,]  Only Zionists should be allowed to make such comparisons.
If the Holocaust is to serve any purpose it is as a warning against the repetition of such horrors. Even Israel’s Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan recognised this when he said, at the 2016 Holocaust Remembrance Day, that
"If there's something that frightens me about Holocaust remembrance it's the recognition of the revolting processes that occurred in Europe in general, and particularly in Germany, back then – 70, 80 and 90 years ago – and finding signs of them here among us today in 2016."
When Israeli rabbis talk about the justified murder of children and infants in war time, as Rabbis Yitzhak Shapiro and Josef Elitzur did in Torat HaMelech, a 2011 book which was a guide to how Jews could legally kill non Jews, they are laying the basis for a future genocide.  As American journalist Max Blumenthall observed, Torat HaMelech is:
a virtual manual for Jewish extremist terror designed to justify the mass slaughter of civilians. And in that respect, it is not entirely different from the Israeli military’s Dahiya Doctrine, or Asa Kasher and Amos Yadlin’s concept of “asymmetrical warfare.” The key difference seems to be the crude, almost childlike logic the book’s author, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, marshals to justify the killing of non-Jewish civilians.
Nazism didn’t come from nowhere.  In Mein Kampf Hitler cites, with approval, the American practice of eugenics. Nazism wasn’t an aberration. It was supported by many of the West’s leaders, Churchill included, when it first took power. The destruction of the German Labour Movement met with approval by these people. It was only when Nazi Germany turned against British interests that the British ruling class opposed Hitler.
However the racism of the British Empire was not altogether different from the racism of the Nazis which is why the Colonial Office vetoed propaganda aimed at Africans which condemned the racism of the Nazis. [see Smyth, Rosaleen; Britain's African Colonies and British Propaganda during the Second World War, Journal of Imperial & Commonwealth History 14,1 October 1985]
Isaac Herzog, Israeli Labour Party leader denies the party is 'Arab loving'
There can be little doubt that the edict of the Chief Rabbi of Safed, Shmuel Eliyahu, endorsed by dozens of other rabbis, to ban the renting of rooms or apartments by Jews to Arabs, bore a distinct resemblance to similar measures in pre-Holocaust Germany.  Safed Rabbi Boasts That anti-Arab Edict Worked
Or the mobs who in ‘liberal’ Tel Aviv chanted, during the attack on Gaza in 2014 that ‘There is no school tomorrow; there are no children left in Gaza’ resembled similar mobs in Berlin.
Those who seek to deflect from these comparisons by raising the bogey of ‘anti-Semitism’ are actively colluding in Israel’s Nazi like racism. We only have to look at the Pew Research Centre’s Survey Israel’s Religiously Divided Society which found that a plurality of Israeli Jews want to physically deport Israel’s Palestinian citizens.
Nazi like? Well expulsion of the Jews was the programme of the Nazis until 1941.
Tony Greenstein
See also

Are there any limits to Corbyn’s ritual self-humiliation? Being a Leader means standing up to your opponents not appeasing them

Professors Ofer Cassif & Daniel Blatman of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem Compare Israel to Nazi Germany

Israel’s Occupation Forces Have Learnt Well from the Nazis

19.01.2018 02:00
They don’t wish to physically harm Palestinians. They only wish to deprive them of their basic human rights, such as self-rule in their own state and freedom from oppression
Israeli border police arrest a Palestinian in the West Bank, December 22, 2017Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP
I frequently ask myself how a historian in 50 or 100 years will interpret our period. When, he will ask, did people in Israel start to realize that the state that was established in the War of Independence, on the ruins of European Jewry and at the cost of the blood of combatants some of whom were Holocaust survivors, had devolved into a true monstrosity for its non-Jewish inhabitants. When did some Israelis understand that their cruelty and ability to bully others, Palestinians or Africans, began eroding the moral legitimacy of their existence as a sovereign entity?
The answer, that historian might say, was embedded in the actions of Knesset members such as Miki Zohar and Bezalel Smotrich and the bills proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. The nation-state law, which looks like it was formulated by the worst of Europe’s ultra-nationalists, was only the beginning. Since the left did not protest against it in its Rothschild Boulevard demonstrations, it served as a first nail in the coffin of the old Israel, the one whose Declaration of Independence will remain as a museum showpiece. This archaeological relic will teach people what Israel could have become if its society hadn’t disintegrated from the moral devastation brought on by the occupation and apartheid in the territories.
The left is no longer capable of overcoming the toxic ultra-nationalism that has evolved here, the kind whose European strain almost wiped out a majority of the Jewish people. The interviews Haaretz’s Ravit Hecht held with Smotrich and Zohar (December 3, 2016 and October 28, 2017) should be widely disseminated on all media outlets in Israel and throughout the Jewish world. In both of them we see not just a growing Israeli fascism but racism akin to Nazism in its early stages.

Israeli Labour Party leader Herzog welcomes Trump to power
Like every ideology, the Nazi race theory developed over the years. At first it only deprived Jews of their civil and human rights. It’s possible that without World War II the “Jewish problem” would have ended only with the “voluntary” expulsion of Jews from Reich lands. After all, most of Austria and Germany’s Jews made it out in time. It’s possible that this is the future facing Palestinians.
Indeed, Smotrich and Zohar don’t wish to physically harm Palestinians, on condition that they don’t rise against their Jewish masters. They only wish to deprive them of their basic human rights, such as self-rule in their own state and freedom from oppression, or equal rights in case the territories are officially annexed to Israel. For these two representatives of the Knesset majority, the Palestinians are doomed to remain under occupation forever. It’s likely that the Likud’s Central Committee also thinks this way. The reasoning is simple: The Arabs aren’t Jews, so they cannot demand ownership over any part of the land that was promised to the Jewish people.
According to the concepts of Smotrich, Zohar and Shaked, a Jew from Brooklyn who has never set foot in this country is the legitimate owner of this land, while a Palestinian whose family has lived here for generations is a stranger, living here only by the grace of the Jews. “A Palestinian,” Zohar tells Hecht, “has no right to national self-determination since he doesn’t own the land in this country. Out of decency I want him here as a resident, since he was born here and lives here – I won’t tell him to leave. I’m sorry to say this but they have one major disadvantage – they weren’t born as Jews.”
From this one may assume that even if they all converted, grew side-curls and studied Torah, it would not help. This is the situation with regard to Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers and their children, who are Israeli for all intents and purposes. This is how it was with the Nazis. Later comes apartheid, which could apply under certain circumstances to Arabs who are citizens of Israel. Most Israelis don’t seem worried.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: An Israeli Hypocrisy

If a racism survey were held in Western countries like the one on anti-Semitism, Israel would be near the top of the list

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