The headline and deck of this article by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at Tablet are incredible.
Hitler’s Secret Weapon Was Coercing Jews to Destroy Themselves
Will we do it again?
When Hannah Arendt wrote about Jewish leaders who collaborated with the Nazis in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963), she was pilloried by establishment Jews for blaming the Jews for their own destruction. Or as Arendt said, an “organized campaign… by certain interest groups” to say that “I allegedly had claimed that the Jews had murdered themselves.”
But this is unlikely to happen to Rabbi Shmuley, even though he goes well beyond Arendt’s criticism of the “leadership” toward a general description of Jews’ roles as accomplices.
The Nazis, I have come to understand, would eradicate the Jewish nation by always holding out the possibility that, against most of the evidence, some might still live. The Jews were led to believe that if they just cooperated, their children would survive…
At almost every step of the way, the Jews were forced into cooperating with the very plans drawn up to exterminate them. The Jews, the Germans thought, could provide the manpower the Nazis lacked only if they could be persuaded that if they went along with the program they would be put to productive work.
The Nazis forced the Jews to create their own self-administering councils, Judenrats, in the ghettos. When visiting the Lodz Ghetto, I stood at the exact spot where Chaim Rumkowski gave his notorious “Give Me Your Children” speech in September of 1942. As chairman of the Lodz Judenrat, Rumkowski had decided to turn the ghetto into a factory, believing that only by being useful to the Nazis could its inhabitants be spared…
In the camps themselves, the Jews were forced into Sonderkommando units, where Jewish inmates were put to work disposing of the millions of bodies left lifeless in the gas chambers. They too were threatened with constant death, yet were twinned with a chance at life so long as they complied with the Nazi program.
Boteach has an axe to grind: Jews are now collaborating in the destruction of Israel. Even Jews who support a Palestinian state!
With Iran calling for a second Holocaust in the state of Israel—threatening constantly as they do to raze Israeli cities to the ground and wipe Israel off the map—Israel must react to its threats before they can be realized. Genocidal rhetoric in our time must be something that is resisted completely. In Rwanda too, the Hutus called the Tutsis “cockroaches” well before launching their genocide campaign.
So too with regard to Hamas and even the Palestinian Authority. We cannot cede land for a Palestinian State in the hope of demographic survival when in doing so we might find ourselves in a three-front war from Gaza, Judea, and Samaria in the West Bank, and Lebanon aimed at Israel’s annihilation. Israel simply cannot afford even the slightest risk of being deceived into walking toward its own demise, all in the promise of peace by those who speak openly of a new genocide of the Jews.
Boteach says that the lesson of the Holocaust is that we have to be on guard at the first signs of genocide. But he doesn’t mention taking action against current genocidal emergencies in Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, the Central African Republic, Syria, Myanmar, and Yemen. In nearly all of those places Muslims are the targets.
In addition, it is funny that Boteach thinks he has singlehandedly discovered how the Germans got away with genocide– “I believe this journey has given me a clue. The Nazis, I have come to understand…”– when his insight about Jewish collaboration is one that many historians have documented before.
Thanks to an anonymous friend.