How Not to Teach about the Shoah

On the occasion of Yom HaShoah, which began yesterday evening, Yossi Klein Halevi isn’t calling for more or better Holocaust education, but for something else:

The ease with which anti-Zionists have managed to portray the Jewish state as genocidal, a successor to Nazi Germany, marks a historic failure of Holocaust education in the West. This moment requires a fundamental rethinking of the goals and methodology of Holocaust education. By overemphasizing the necessary universal lessons of the Holocaust, many educators too easily equated anti-Semitism with generic racism. The intention was noble: to render the Holocaust relevant to a new generation. But in the process, the essential lesson of the Holocaust—the uniqueness not only of the event itself but of the hatred that made it possible—was often lost.

Holocaust education was intended, in large part, to protect the Jewish people. . . . Yet the movement to turn Israel into the world’s criminal nation emerges from a generation that was raised with Holocaust consciousness, both in formal education and the arts. And this latest expression of the anti-Semitism of symbols is justified by some anti-Zionists as honoring “the lessons of the Holocaust.”

Unlike the Iranian regime, which clumsily tries to deny the historicity of the Holocaust, anti-Zionists in the West intuitively understand that coopting and inverting the Holocaust is a far more effective way of neutralizing its impact.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Gaza War 2023, Holocaust, Holocaust inversion

Iran’s Program of Subversion and Propaganda in the Caucasus

In the past week, Iranian proxies and clients have attacked Israel from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Yemen. Iran also has substantial military assets in Iraq and Syria—countries over which it exercises a great deal of control—which could launch significant attacks on Israel as well. Tehran, in addition, has stretched its influence northward into both Azerbaijan and Armenia. While Israel has diplomatic relations with both of these rival nations, its relationship with Baku is closer and involves significant military and security collaboration, some of which is directed against Iran. Alexander Grinberg writes:

Iran exploits ethnic and religious factors in both Armenia and Azerbaijan to further its interests. . . . In Armenia, Iran attempts to tarnish the legitimacy of the elected government and exploit the church’s nationalist position and tensions between it and the Armenian government; in Azerbaijan, the Iranian regime employs outright terrorist methods similar to its support for terrorist proxies in the Middle East [in order to] undermine the regime.

Huseyniyyun (Islamic Resistance Movement of Azerbaijan) is a terrorist militia made up of ethnic Azeris and designed to fight against Azerbaijan. It was established by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps . . . in the image of other pro-Iranian militias. . . . Currently, Huseyniyyun is not actively engaged in terrorist activities as Iran prefers more subtle methods of subversion. The organization serves as a mouthpiece of the Iranian regime on various Telegram channels in the Azeri language. The main impact of Huseyniyyun is that it helps spread Iranian propaganda in Azerbaijan.

The Iranian regime fears the end of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan because this would limit its options for disruption. Iranian outlets are replete with anti-Semitic paranoia against Azerbaijan, accusing the country of awarding its territory to Zionists and NATO. . . . Likewise, it is noteworthy that Armenian nationalists reiterate hideous anti-Semitic tropes that are identical to those spouted by the Iranians and Palestinians. Moreover, leading Iranian analysts have no qualms about openly praising [sympathetic] Armenian clergy together with terrorist Iran-funded Azeri movements for working toward Iranian goals.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Azerbaijan, Iran, Israeli Security