Anshel Pfeiffer in Ha’aretz:
The Holocaust never ended for Begin, who escaped the Nazi invasion of Poland in September 1939, arriving in Palestine three years later via a Soviet labor camp and Poland’s Anders Army. In his six years as prime minister, he never ceased feeling that it was his personal mission to ensure that a second Holocaust never took place. When he sent the Israel Defense Forces into its disastrous occupation of Beirut, he likened PLO chieftain Yasser Arafat to „Hitler in his bunker.“
In this, Benjamin Netanyahu, despite belonging to a different generation, is Begin’s successor. When talking about the Iranian nuclear threat in recent years, he has used a stark historical analogy: „It is 1938 and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs.“ To his credit, however, he has stopped making this comparison in speeches since his elevation to the premiership.
For many of us – survivors, members of the second and third generations, and even those who have no family connection – the Holocaust is seldom out of our minds. It is unavoidable, and the Holocaust naturally occupies a huge space in education, culture and research.
Nevertheless, its banishment from political and diplomatic discourse is long overdue. This is not just because of the long list of reasons why there is really no comparison to Israel’s current situation vis-a-vis Iran, but also because of the harm this continues to cause us as a society. The strategic challenges still confronting Israel are grave enough without bringing the Holocaust into it and inflicting existential fears upon yet another generation of Israelis.
Netanyahu’s speech at Bar-Ilan University on Sunday, despite all the media hype, may indeed turn out to be a historic occasion. Dragging Hitler and the six million into it would only detract from its significance.
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Hat da jemand Avraham Burgs umstrittenen Bestseller gelesen?