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:
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 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:
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.
Nothing like exploiting the Holocaust to justify past, present and future massacres, ethnic cleansing and land theft https://t.co/ljRXhnSLFw
— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) January 28, 2014