The Shoah Was Brought about by Anti-Semitism, Not “Hate”

When teachers, museums, activists, and other well-meaning people endeavor to teach children and adults about the Holocaust, they tend to do so hoping to instill certain lessons. Ben Poser and Naya Lekht have reason to believe these aren’t usually the right ones:

In 2018, Jewish students at a pluralistic community high school participated in a project called “We Will Not Be Silenced,” a week-long commemoration of the Holocaust. . . . The interactive project compelled students to write on small pieces of paper the things about which they would not be silent as a result of [having learned about] Kristallnacht. The following are examples of what students chose to write: on note cards bearing the heading “I will not be silent in the face of,” students wrote “homophobia,” “trans violence,” “gun violence,” “environmental degradation,” “rape culture,” “sexism,” “racism,” and “any hate.” Not one student wrote “anti-Semitism.” . . .

Holocaust curricula and Holocaust museums have transformed from spaces to commemorate the particularity of the Jewish story into temples dedicated to a universal story of human insensitivity—a mere allegory of anything unjust, now or then. The Museum of Tolerance, [created by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles], indeed does offer exhibits on the subjects of “homelessness, LGBTQ+ issues, bullying, the challenges of policing,” and much else that has nothing to do with the Nazis’ Final Solution, including the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

Sadly, the Museum of Tolerance is not alone in this behavior. . . . Even the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the most prestigious institution of Holocaust education in America, has published material concerning how “climate change” has contributed to several modern-day genocides.

The best-case scenario is the abstraction of the Holocaust to such a degree that students do not even know that they are learning about the murder of Jews; the worst-case scenario is [that] universalization lends itself to accusing the only Jewish country, Israel, of crimes against humanity and the anti-Semitic canard of comparing Israel to the Nazi state.

Read more at White Rose

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Holocaust Museums


When It Comes to Peace with Israel, Many Saudis Have Religious Concerns

Sept. 22 2023

While roughly a third of Saudis are willing to cooperate with the Jewish state in matters of technology and commerce, far fewer are willing to allow Israeli teams to compete within the kingdom—let alone support diplomatic normalization. These are just a few results of a recent, detailed, and professional opinion survey—a rarity in Saudi Arabia—that has much bearing on current negotiations involving Washington, Jerusalem, and Riyadh. David Pollock notes some others:

When asked about possible factors “in considering whether or not Saudi Arabia should establish official relations with Israel,” the Saudi public opts first for an Islamic—rather than a specifically Saudi—agenda: almost half (46 percent) say it would be “important” to obtain “new Israeli guarantees of Muslim rights at al-Aqsa Mosque and al-Haram al-Sharif [i.e., the Temple Mount] in Jerusalem.” Prioritizing this issue is significantly more popular than any other option offered. . . .

This popular focus on religion is in line with responses to other controversial questions in the survey. Exactly the same percentage, for example, feel “strongly” that “our country should cut off all relations with any other country where anybody hurts the Quran.”

By comparison, Palestinian aspirations come in second place in Saudi popular perceptions of a deal with Israel. Thirty-six percent of the Saudi public say it would be “important” to obtain “new steps toward political rights and better economic opportunities for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.” Far behind these drivers in popular attitudes, surprisingly, are hypothetical American contributions to a Saudi-Israel deal—even though these have reportedly been under heavy discussion at the official level in recent months.

Therefore, based on this analysis of these new survey findings, all three governments involved in a possible trilateral U.S.-Saudi-Israel deal would be well advised to pay at least as much attention to its religious dimension as to its political, security, and economic ones.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Islam, Israel-Arab relations, Saudi Arabia, Temple Mount