Survivors of the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz arrive to the former camp in Oswiecim..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Even those who were tiny babies then – hidden from the Nazi extermination apparatus that hunted diligently for every last Jew – are elderly today, 70 years after the Third Reich was vanquished.
Soon no one who was alive then will be around to help counter the lies of Holocaust-deniers or the deliberate trivialization and kitschy universalization of the lessons the Holocaust ought to impart to our nation of survivors.
The inexorable march of time is already leaving its stamp even on attitudes here, in Israel, including on Holocaust Remembrance Day. This morning, as we stand in silent vigil for the 6,000,000, there will be those among us tempted to ascribe it all to a one-off regime from long ago, not particularly relevant to today and now.
But, all around us, the hate still thrives and that there are no bounds to the lengths that haters will go to rationalize and justify it.
The falsehoods disseminated by the Nazis and their avid collaborators have been adapted to mutating historical agendas, but the grotesque displays of hypocrisy are no different. The Jewish state is as defamed and demonized as the so-called “Jewish race” had been in order to pave the way for industrialized genocide.
Like their predecessors, the Jewish state’s would-be annihilators posture as morally upright members of the international community and blame the victim for a monstrously magnified set of “unforgivable” sins.
This is evident in many ways, including in ways Israelis have grown accustomed to ignoring. Yet what we ignore and dismiss matters. Campaigns such as that orchestrated against the scheduled appearance in Israel next month of British megastar Robbie Williams are anything but trivial.
BDS groups pressuring Williams accuse Israel of “extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever pitch. In Israel, politicians and pundits in The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post have called openly for genocide of Palestinians and right-wing Israelis are adopting neo-Nazi insignia.” There is more, much more, in the same vein.
The lie matters because it facilitates the application of double standards against Israel.
Its ultimate logic is that of the ayatollahs who sponsor Holocaust-caricaturizing contests and who declare that their aim to obliterate Israel is “nonnegotiable.” The world’s presumed enlightened democracies not only fail to protest but they appease the Tehran regime and essentially allow it to underpin its intentions with nuclear weapons.
The battle against “the Zionist entity” called Israel was never limited to this country. More than two decades ago the Iranians carried it to far-off Argentina where they carbombed a Jewish community center and murdered scores of innocents for no other crime than being born to Jewish parents.
This scenario was reenacted over and over abroad – most recently at Toulouse’s Jewish school, Brussels’ Jewish museum, a kosher supermarket in Paris and a Copenhagen synagogue. No gripes against Israel can disguise the lethal Judeophobia.
We are surrounded by enemies who bay for Jewish blood and teach their tots – a hairbreadth away from Israel – that Jews are descended from monkeys and pigs and should be wiped out. Their Holocaust-era leader Haj Amin al-Husseini is still revered in their midst.
He was an avid Nazi collaborator who spent the war years as Adolf Hitler’s personal guest in Berlin, recruited Muslims to the SS, plotted the extension of the “final solution” to the Middle East, scuttled any plan even to rescue small Jewish children and at the war’s end sealed the fate of Hungarian Jewry.
He was declared a wanted war criminal but escaped back here to participate in the assault (merely three years post-Holocaust) on the newborn Jewish state (to which Husseini recruited Bosnian SS veterans). It is no accident that Nazis like Alois Brunner (Adolf Eichmann’s assistant) found refuge in Arab lands and that unrepentant Nazi scientists collaborated in outfitting the Arab world with weaponry against Israel’s Jews.
The sad fact is that we are accused of being Nazis by Nazi-torchbearers who vilify us in Joseph Goebbels’s Big-Lie tradition. Our struggle for survival is hardly over.