Ignoring the Holocaust – the Challenge of Moral Equivalence

In a recently published book about ordinary people who do heroic deeds even at risk of losing their lives an Israeli/Jewish author includes the portrait of an Israeli military officer who refuses to take action against Palestinians. Including this example with a Swiss man who endangered his own life by smuggling Jews into Switzerland leads the book reviewer in the Wall Street Journal to observe: “Yet he [the author] does not examine the ugly implications of his inclusion of Israel as an evil power to be resisted on a par with Nazi Germany.”

For decades the Left and the Arab enemies of Israel have worked to undermine the unique Jewish experience in the Holocaust by putting it on par with lesser events. By doing so they are trying to undermine the justification for the Jewish State.

The Holocaust is a unique example of people, Nazis and their fellow travelers, setting out to destroy a people. Their method of destruction was mass extermination. In pursuit of this evil objective they helped destroy themselves by diverting massive resources from their military front to massacre innocent men, women, and children.

Never had the world witnessed such barbarity. We pray it does not again. But as the memory of the Holocaust becomes more distant and as Israel’s enemies deliberately distort history the chance that history will repeat itself increases.

The head of the Palestinian Authority Abbas denies the extent of the Nazi inspired Holocaust. The Jerusalem Post reports that recently Russia changed the purpose of a memorial to Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust:

Nearly 70 years after the massacre of more than 27,000 Jews in Rostov, on the banks of the River Don, the Russian Ministry of Culture has announced it will replace the plaque adorning the monument to the dead. But once the text of the new inscription was revealed, it became clear that this was not merely an exhibition of the low level official’s love of new unveilings and plaque dedications. Rather it was another attempt by a European state to revise the history of the Holocaust and remove the stain of genocide from the national consciousness.

The original plaque recorded the event soberly and factually as follows: “On 11/12 August 1942 there had been destroyed by the Nazis more than 27,000 Jews. It is Russia’s largest Holocaust memorial”.

The new inscription immediately smacks of the sort of flowery, bloated language of patriotism more in tune with Stalin’s Russia than with a modern state. And it foreshadowed a return to the sort of euphemisms and terms of convenience rather than truth which were a feature of the old rule – and are increasingly becoming a feature of the new.

The amendment to the text was not merely an exercise in semantics.

Firstly, the victims of the massacre were no longer Jews, rather, “peace-loving Soviet citizens of all nationalities”.

Gone too is any reference to the Holocaust. Now the massacre is described as having occurred in the context of The Great Patriotic War.

And perhaps most significantly, the perpetrators are now referred to as “occupiers” and “invaders” to stress the foreign origins of the guilty.

Eradicating and distorting the history of the Holocaust is as dangerous to Israel as any military weapon.

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