Monday, January 20, 2020

Europe: What a strange idea for Israel to invite European leaders to Yad Vashem to denounce the rejuvenation of anti-Semitism

Shmuel Trigano @ Israel Hayom:
What a strange idea it was for President Reuven Rivlin to invite European leaders to Yad Vashem to denounce the rejuvenation of anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe. Despite the political importance of the event, the entire endeavor reflects the degree to which Israelis are deluding themselves in relation to the Old Continent. The notion that the memory of the Holocaust needs to be refreshed in order to fight modern anti-Semitism is pointless, as Israel itself is now accused of turning the Holocaust and its memory into a tool with which to achieve its goals, while the anti-Zionists alter its "lesson" to benefit the Palestinian cause – by equating it to the Nakba (the Palestinian national "catastrophe" caused by Israel's creation).

It is a strategic mistake to view the anti-Semitism of our time as an extension of the anti-Semitism of 30 years ago. To be sure, it still exists among the classical far-right; but is blossoming primarily in the form of anti-Zionism within Muslim and far-left post-colonialist circles. The deeper problem is turning the "lessons of the Holocaust" into the moral basis for fighting anti-Semitism. As an explanation, it favors victimhood over the political: Jewish suffering is put on display as a call to end hatred, instead of presenting Israel's status as a sovereign country as a counterweight to the new anti-Zionistic anti-Semitism. When the justification for Israel's existence is predicated on the memory of victimhood, Europe can view the state as a type of humanitarian tent for Jews, and less as a sovereign country. Consequently, Israel is not permitted, in the eyes of Europe, to realize its legitimate right to self-defense. The moment the Israeli soldier ceases being the emaciated extermination camp survivor, he morphs into a monster in the eyes of the Europeans.

European recognition of Israel is based, therefore, on feelings of guilt toward the Jews – implying that the same guilt applies to the Palestinians. Europe turns a blind eye to Arab-Muslim anti-Semitism – which is the main source of modern anti-Semitism – in the belief that the Arab world is not responsible for the Holocaust, and that Europe oppressed the Palestinians by contributing to the establishment of the Jewish state. Isn't it only natural, therefore, that some of the participants of the Yad Vashem will visit Ramallah immediately after it ends? The reliance on the Holocaust in this regard means strengthening even further the myths that breed the new anti-Semitism – Nakba, occupation, original sin.
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