Denying Denial

The ever-estimable Bataween has already addressed on these pages the content of Gilbert Achcar’s CiF article of May 12th. As seems to be generally the case with any CiF article connected in some shape or form to the subject of the Holocaust, the comments generated display a depth to the nature of anti-Semitism which other subjects seem to expose to a lesser degree.
The EUMC Working Definition of Anti-Semitism relates to the subject of the Holocaust in several of its clauses.
“Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).”

Whilst the word ‘amplified’ is not specifically used in the wording of the EUMC Definition, common sense would dictate that its employment could fall into the same clause as “Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
Also not specifically cited in the working definition, the implication that Zionists contributed to the scale and gravity of the Holocaust must at least be classified as tasteless and deliberately provocative in the extreme.

“Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

[recreated from Properbostonian @ 12 May 2010, 4.09PM]

Another point, although not included in the EUMC Definition, is the claim that the Holocaust is used as a method to silence discussion about Israel. This of course is designed to place Jews in a lose/lose situation.

Then of course there is the increasingly popular claim that innocent Palestinians are somehow being punished for the sins of white Europeans during the Second World War which not only distorts the history of the Zionist movement, but attempts to absolve the Palestinians of any responsibility whatsoever for their situation

Holocaust denial (as well as the denial of that denial) is of course not only fuelled by racism, but employed by some as a method of achieving political aims. The propagation of newer lies such as fictitious Israeli ‘massacres’ in Gaza or Sabra and Shatila , the claim that the Palestinians are being made to pay the price for European past sins, or the malicious comparison of Israelis to Nazis are merely different versions of an ideology which is capable of staring the truth of history in the face, but deliberately ignoring what it sees. It is, of course, hardly surprising that the type of people whom General Eisenhower had in mind when he ordered the recording of the horrors of the concentration camps “in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda’ ” would today be capable of ignoring over 1,000 Israeli victims of the second Intifada or eight years of rocket attacks upon Sderot.

The EUMC Working Definition is now six years old. In that time the situation in Europe has not only not improved, it has significantly deteriorated and new expressions of anti-Semitism spout forth from multiple directions, including politicians and the academia, as this article and its comments remind us. Holocaust denial is perhaps one of the more disgusting expressions of anti-Semitism in the modern era. If Europe cannot at least make this particular form of racism socially unacceptable in its society a mere 70 years after the Holocaust took place, then one cannot but feel a renewed deep pessimism as to the future of European society.

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