Expect the UK’s Planned Holocaust Memorial to Ignore Anti-Semitism

The British parliament recently decided to proceed with plans to construct a Holocaust memorial in a London park known as Victoria Tower Gardens—which has been the subject of controversy since the plans were first proposed by then-Prime Minister David Cameron. Melanie Phillips is less than enthusiastic:

Although the Nazis murdered many types of people in the Holocaust, their principal driver was the intention to wipe the Jews alone off the face of the earth. Yet much Holocaust memorializing denies the unique characteristics of anti-Semitism and the genocide of the Jews.

A graphic example was provided by the UK Online Commemoration for Holocaust Memorial Day last month. Its 23 sections referred to “genocides” in Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia, and Darfur, to “the Nazi persecution of gay people,” and to “people being persecuted simply because they were Ordinary People who belonged to a particular group.” But there was no mention of the genocide of the Jews other than two fleeting references in personal messages from [the Tory cabinet member] Michael Gove and [the Labor leader] Keir Starmer.

In its 1939 white paper, the British government tore up its legal obligation to settle the Jews in Palestine. Instead, it barred entry to those desperate to flee Nazi Europe, causing untold numbers to be murdered and making Britain an accessory to the Holocaust. Will the memorial really deal with this? The Holocaust Memorial Trust claims it will provide “an honest reflection of Britain’s role.” Yet the project’s supporters simultaneously claim that situating it next to Parliament demonstrates that democratic “British values” will prevent such horrors happening again. Well, which is it? It can’t be both.

If it were really to address Jew-hatred, it would show that the Nazi period wasn’t an aberration but on a continuum stretching back to earliest times—and encompassing the war waged against Israel today.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Anti-Semitism, British Mandate, Holocaust memorial, United Kingdom

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7