At Auschwitz: ‘The IDF is the Jewish people’s answer to the Holocaust’

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Malcolm Hoenlein of Conference of Presidents, seated amid Israeli Knesset at Auschwitz, photo by Shmuley Boteach
Malcolm Hoenlein of Conference of Presidents, seated amid Israeli Knesset at Auschwitz, photo by Shmuley Boteach

A little under half of the Israeli Knesset visited Auschwitz yesterday to commemorate the liberation of the death camp. Many American supporters of Israel went too. The photo above is by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and is said to picture Israeli parliamentarians, though American Zionist leader Malcolm Hoenlein is in the foreground.

US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is in this picture, alongside Hoenlein:

Eric Cantor
Eric Cantor and Hoenlein

Boteach live-tweeted the event, down to a selfie with Israeli minister Naftali Bennett, who opposes a Palestinian state and has called for Palestinians to become citizens of Jordan.

Boteach and Bennett at Auschwitz
Boteach and Bennett at Auschwitz

Boteach posted another smiling selfie with the head of El Al Airlines.

The commemoration has sparked some expressions of cynicism about the exploitation of the Holocaust. Max Blumenthal tweeted that, “Enforcers of a regime of ethnic purity and authors of laws targeting racial outcasts” had gathered at Auschwitz. To which, “Jews and Palestine” said, “I share intensely your cynicism about Israel but the Shoah is sacred, and yes not just to and for Jews.” Blumenthal: “which is why these crude racists are such an affront.”

Boteach mentions the millions of Jews killed in the Holocaust and at Auschwitz. Millions of others were also killed, but there’s no recognition of that in his reports. Norman Finkelstein’s mother survived a death camp, and he has said that much of Holocaust remembrance serves “Jewish aggrandizement. The time is long past to open our hearts to the rest of humanity’s suffering. This was the main lesson my mother imparted.”

Some are using the remembrance as an effort to justify the militant policies of Israel. “As we remember those who perished, we pave the way for a better future,” the IDF spokesperson said, in tweeting this picture:

IDF poster
IDF poster

The IDF is the revival of the Jewish people? What kind of crass, narrowminded view is that?  And who exactly gets to make the determination that the “revival” of the Jewish people is embodied by a brutal military force?

BTW, Gantz described the Israeli onslaught against Gaza in 2008-2009, which killed nearly 400 children, as an “excellent” operation.

Rania Khalek was also disturbed by the picture above.


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The IDF is the wrong answer. The golden calf was the wrong answer too. It’s very hard to see the light sometimes. And even if you built your new language around the IDF it’s the wrong answer. Even if everyone you know believes it’s the answer it’s the wrong answer. Even your mother is wrong and misguided. It takes guts to see that, to dump all the baggage and to start over but that’s the… Read more »

The response to Auschwitz is an army of trigger-happy sub-par “soldiers” that think that Arabs in general are intrinsically worthless and don’t care about how much collateral they accumulate, because they can always make something up to cover their asses?

An army that’s so sub-par today that it can only really “win” with overwhelming firepower and nothing else?

I’m not sure I’d want what he’s smoking, but it does seem pretty potent.

There’s a reason the US eschewed having a standing army until last century. A hammer is always in wont of a nail. It’s the same everywhere.

According to you, Phil, the answer to the Holocaust is to shrug your shoulders about the disappearance of the Jews and their culture. The devastation of the Holocaust may not require a response, as in, if you believe in God and the Torah, and you keep Shabbat and the holidays and try with all your life and all your ways to adhere to God’s path, then setbacks, even setbacks like the Shoah are just tests… Read more »

if the Holocaust is such a sacred event in Israel, why are 1 out of 4 Holocaust survivors in Israel living far below the poverty line?..