Europe deals with guilt over the Holocaust and former colonialism by idealizing Third World Muslims and demonizing the First World Jewish state with a linguistic crusade that perverts truth.
A few days ago, Germany’s Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, repeated the lie that Israel is an apartheid state. In the past, Gabriel has claimed that the German Social Democrats suffered the same fate as Jews during the Third Reich.
Gabriel’s disturbing anti-Jewish CV includes mingling with Iran’s leaders, who openly call for Israel’s destruction, and hosting the German-based Islamist extremist Hamidreza Torabi at a German Foreign Ministry event promoting “religious peace.”
Israel’s enemies often claim that they cannot criticize Israel without being accused of antisemitism. This claim is not only patently false but also absurd. No other country in the world is more obsessively criticized and internationally condemned than Israel. Never mind that the Jewish state is a vibrant democracy with an inbuilt self-criticism that rivals other leading democracies in the world.
The real problem is that unlike criticism of other democracies, much of the “criticism” against Israel is deliberately conflated with racist demonization and delegitimization of the Jewish state. This European linguistic crusade against Israel’s existence predates Gabriel with several decades.
During the first Lebanon War in 1982, the late Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme outrageously compared Israel’s treatment of Arab children with Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jewish children. More than one million Jewish children were murdered during the Holocaust. By contrast, Israel does not murder any children and countless Arab children from all over the Middle East keep receiving medical treatment at Israeli hospitals. This also includes Arab children from enemy states committed to Israel’s destruction like Syria, Iraq and Hamas-ruled Gaza.
In October, former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt, compared Israel’s arrest of terrorists with Nazi razzia arrests of Jews during World War II. Mr. van Agt also denies any historic link between the Jewish people and its ancestral homeland Israel and has argued that Jews should have “gotten a piece of land in Germany” as compensation for the Holocaust. The former Dutch Prime Minister has also refused to define Hamas as a terrorist organization. Sweden’s current Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has equated Israel’s self-defense with “extrajudicial killings” and blamed the Jewish state for Islamist terrorism in Europe.
Post-1945 Europe still struggles with guilt over the Holocaust and its colonial past. However, Europe’s political leadership has employed two distinctly different strategies for dealing with these stains on Europe’s historical conscience. European post-colonial guilt has been addressed by romanticizing and idealizing Third World countries in general and the Muslim world in particular.
By contrast, Holocaust guilt has been addressed by weeping unconvincing crocodile tears over dead Jews, while demonizing living Jews and especially the collective Jew among the nations: Israel. This has created a seemingly schizophrenic European mental discourse that embraces Holocaust memorials of six million murdered Jews but systematically demonizes a vibrant Israel with more than six million living Jews.
From a European point of view, the Arab-Israeli conflict is therefore between Third World Muslim Arabs, who can do no wrong and First World Zionist Jews, who can do no right.
We live in an era where the worst thing you can be accused of is racism. It should therefore not surprise anyone that those who seek to demonize Israel will be tempted to equate the Jewish state with Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa. Self-appointed Western liberals and their Islamist allies apply the same tactic against their opponents in order to shut down any meaningful debate in Western societies regarding Islam.
Since history and facts have gone out of fashion, fake news about Israel are embraced as “truths” in Europe. By portraying Israel as “evil” and “racist”, European Jew-haters can “legitimize” their hatred of the Jewish state under the banner of “anti-racism”.
A casual visit to any Israeli hospital will dispel the Orwellian lies that equate the Jewish state with “Nazism” and “apartheid”. Arab and Jewish nurses and physicians treat Arab and Jewish patients lying next to each other.
Arabs are far safer in Israel than Jews are in Europe and do not have to be protected by heavily armed police and soldiers.
The accusation against Israel of “apartheid” in Judea and Samaria is equally absurd. The Arab residents in these territories are not Israeli citizens and they live under the despotic rule of the PA. While any Arab can walk safely in the streets of Israel, Jews risk being lynched if they enter PA-ruled areas. While Israel has a large Arab minority, “moderate” PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas insists that the PA must be Jew-free, just like Hamas-ruled Gaza and most of the Arab world.
The real Nazism and apartheid is embraced by Israel’s Middle Eastern enemies and their global supporters, who seek to destroy the world’s only Jewish state in the name of “human rights” and “anti-racism”.
When leaders of supposedly enlightened European democracies adopt the same anti-Semitic lies as Middle Eastern despots and terrorists, it should concern all decent Europeans who support genuine human rights and peace.
Europe’s linguistic crusade and perversion of truth against the Jewish state is not only undermining the prospects for peace between Arabs and Jews. It is shamelessly insulting the true victims of Nazism, genocide and apartheid.
Daniel Kryger is a writer and a political analyst. He lives in Israel.
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