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(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned a British MP on Sunday for accusing Israel of having exploited the guilt non-Jews feel about the Holocaust during the IDF's three-week-long operation in Gaza.
The controversial remarks in the House of Commons by MP Gerald Kaufman of the governing Labor Party came amid increasing analogies between Israel and Nazi Germany in anti-Israel protests around the world.
"Mr. Kaufman manages in one disgraceful screed to insult all victims of the Nazi Holocaust and the people of Israel, who are guilty of finally protecting themselves from a terrorist group whose self-proclaimed goal is to fulfill Hitler's vision of a 'Judenrein' Holy Land," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center.
"Perhaps the only sin Israel is guilty of was turning the other cheek for over a half a year as Hamas openly pursued its murderous policy of rocketing Israel's southern civilian communities from within civilian locations in Gaza - without so much as a word of protest from people like MP Kaufman," Cooper added.
Kaufman, a frequent Israel critic who was raised as an Orthodox Jew, blasted Israel in a debate last week and urged the British government to impose an arms embargo on Israel.
"The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt from gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians," he said.
Last week, a senior Yad Vashem official said that the continued usage of Nazi imagery in worldwide anti-Israel rallies and violent protests against the Gaza operation was intended both to allay European guilt over the Holocaust and to deny the legitimacy of the State of Israel.
"By accusing us of being Nazi-like, Europeans alleviate some of their own feelings of guilt and responsibility for the Holocaust," said Dr. Robert Rozett, director of the Yad Vashem Libraries. "Moreover, by saying that the Jews are acting like Nazis, they are delegitimizing the very existence of the State of Israel."
Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Holocaust memorial will host three dozen diplomats from 30 countries on Monday at a cornerstone-laying ceremony for the new International Seminars Wing of the International School for Holocaust Studies.
The school, which was established in 1993, hosts hundreds of educators from around the world every year for seminars on Holocaust education.