On Thursday, Yossi Klein Halevi, the author and Israel advocate, said that the left has “weaponized” the Holocaust against Israel. Speaking on i24 News on the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation, he said that he “frequently” hears leftwingers saying of Israel, “How can you do the same thing to Palestinians” that was done to Jews during the Holocaust.
I have never heard this charge from the left in the context of European genocide. Many critics of Israel have said that Israelis have internalized the Nazi trauma by making Palestinians into Jews, and therefore subhuman. Many on the left say that Israeli actions mimic certain Nazi persecutions of Jews; I and others have compared the Gaza blockade to the Warsaw Ghetto. But Auschwitz and the extermination? I haven’t heard any rational person argue that Israel is doing the same thing to Palestinians.
Halevi is sounding the new ban on any criticism of Israel the invokes the Holocaust. Such criticism is automatically deemed antisemitic under the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition that has now been widely adopted in the west.
Right on time: a BBC reporter is being smeared as an antisemite for criticizing Israel for overplaying the victim card.
“In Yad Vashem’s Hall of Names, images of the dead. Young soldiers troop in to share in the binding tragedy of the Jewish people. The state of Israel is now a regional power. For decades, it has occupied Palestinian territories. But some here will always see their nation through the prism of persecution and survival.”
Two former BBC executives and Jewish leaders said the comment was “antisemitic,” according to the Guardian. Danny Cohen, a former BBC television exec, said:
“The attempt to link the horrors of the Holocaust to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is deeply offensive and upsetting. It was unnecessary, insensitive and particularly ugly in the days before Holocaust Memorial Day.”
Amanda Bowman, the vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said the report was “crass and offensive” and questioned Guerin’s lack of impartiality on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
P.S. Yossi Klein Halevi has said “there is no Judaism without Zionism,” and anti-Zionist Jews are outside the Jewish community. This is a man of influence. Halevi was the go-to expert for the former New York Times correspondent in Israel, Jodi Rudoren, now editor of the Forward. And Halevi has been sponsored in the U.S. by both the rightwing Israel lobby, AIPAC, and the leftleaning branch, J Street. J Street seems to accept Halevi’s redlines, for it invites no anti-Zionist Jews to speak.