On Tuesday, the world commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which coincided this year with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps. One response to this significant anniversary was a tweet posted by BBC One’s The Big Questions. “Is the time coming to lay the Holocaust to rest?” it asked.
Given the steep rise in European anti-Semitism and global jihadist terrorism – as well as a recent study indicating that a quarter of young British Jews believe another Holocaust will occur during their lifetime – the repugnant rhetorical question should have been worded differently. “Is it the time coming to lay the last Holocaust to rest and prepare for the next one?” would have been far more apt.
On the same day, Hezbollah terrorists, backed by Iran, launched four rockets into Israel from Syria. Two of these exploded in the Golan Heights. The Israel Defense Forces responded with artillery fire, while the Israeli government placed the north of the country under high alert. It was assumed that this incident was but a taste of what Iran had in store for the Jewish state, in the wake of an Israeli drone strike in Syria on January 19 during which six Hezbollah terrorists and an Iranian general were killed.
Meanwhile, in Tehran on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the Islamic Republic was close to reaching a final deal with the United States and Europe over its nuclear program.
“We are done with the generalities and have begun [discussing] details. Iran’s [uranium] enrichment program and the continuation of the nuclear program have been approved,” he said.
On Wednesday, Hezbollah fired a salvo of anti-tank missiles at an Israeli military convoy near Har Dov, where the borders of Israel, Lebanon and Syria meet. In the attack, Sgt. Dor Chaim Nini, 20, and Capt. Yochai Kalangel, 25, were killed and seven other soldiers were wounded.
This attack – to which Israel responded with heavy artillery fire – was also thought to be part of Iran’s “retaliation” plan for the death of its Revolutionary Guards commander.
On Thursday, as thousands of Israelis wept at the funerals of Nini and Kalangel, Iranian and European negotiators met in Istanbul to hold nuclear talks.
Before these one-day talks began, Iranian deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs Abbas Araqchi announced that Tehran was attempting to expedite what the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany) is seeking: a political agreement by March 1, and a full accord, with all the technical details ironed out, by July 1.
And well he might want to speed things along, since the West is leaning towards capitulation on all the key issues. Though the US Congress would like to impose stricter sanctions on Iran, US President Barack Obama made it clear in his State of the Union address on January 20 that he would veto any such move. You know, in the name of diplomacy, which he claims has been working like a charm.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s warnings about Iran seem to be concerning the Obama administration far more than mullah-controlled nuclear weapons.
This is why Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Netanyahu to address Congress on March 3. It is also why House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, during an annual retreat for Democratic lawmakers, cautioned against Netanyahu’s upcoming speech.
“Such a presentation could send the wrong message in terms of giving diplomacy a chance,” she said.
Uh, yes, that would be the whole point, since diplomacy is precisely what has been enabling Iran to step up its nuclear-weapons development, without having to forfeit its jihadist agenda or anti-Western rhetoric.
For example, on a visit to Beirut this week, as Iran was trying to “expedite negotiations with the West,” Alaeddin Boroujerdi (chairman of the Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of the Iranian parliament) said, “There is no doubt that the sacred path that the heroic and courageous Islamic Resistance has chosen for itself is the right path in the face of the occupation of the Zionist regime and its schemes and interests in the region. And as you know, we have supported this resistance path and we will continue to do so.”
And on Wednesday, as Iran’s proxy terrorists were firing missiles on Israel, an article in Fars (the state-sanctioned Iranian news agency affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day by – you guessed it – denying the Holocaust and blaming the West for lying about it.
Translated and published by the Middle East Media Research Institute, the piece is titled “The Holocaust – an Example of the West’s Rewriting of History Based on Superpower Interests.”
An excerpt of one passage, which lists “proof that the Holocaust never happened,” says the following: “No existing document or report by the [Nazi] party, by the leaders of Nazi Germany, or by [its] commanders and officers concerns an order for the mass extermination of the Jews.
“The massacre of two thirds of European Jewry, that is, over six million Jews, would have required industrial equipment on an extensive scale – but the number of crematoria erected for incinerating the bodies would have barely sufficed for incinerating the bodies of those who died from viral diseases. No one ever saw a single one of the thousands of trucks it was claimed were used in burning the bodies... .
“No report by any Western or other intelligence agency prior to the end of World War II about widespread massacre of Jews exists. All these claims were made only after the war, and by the winning side.”
Iran’s plan to succeed where the Nazis failed, by exterminating the collective Jew – in the form of the Jewish state – is no secret, other than maybe to the Obama administration. Its ability to do so is being enhanced by the minute.
Israel can handle the likes of Hezbollah. But will the West make good on its promise of “never again?” Not likely.
The writer is the author of
To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring’ and the Web editor of Voice of Israel radio (voiceofisrael.com).