The Pernicious Claim That Israel Exists Because of the Holocaust

Even more common than the insidious suggestion that Jews make too much of the Holocaust or cynically use it to their advantage is the related notion that they were given the state of Israel as compensation for their suffering at the hands of Nazis. Labeling this claim “Zionism denial” because it ignores the persistent efforts to create a Jewish state long before World War II, Einat Wilf addresses the corollary insinuation that Palestinians have been allowed to suffer at the hands of Jews because of European guilt over the Shoah:

The deceptively seductive canard that “the Palestinians are the secondary victims of Europe’s crimes” is one of the worst lies [about Israel’s founding], since to the untrained ear it sounds logical. In this tale, after World War II, when it became clear that the Final Solution was not final and that the Jewish survivors could not be expected or welcomed to stay in Europe, the Europeans decided to “dump” the surviving Jews on unsuspecting Arabs who were living in an area that colonial Europe controlled. . . .

[But] Israel exists not because the Europeans dumped the surviving Jews in a colony in the Middle East. Israel exists because the Jews willed it into existence. The modern state of Israel exists because the Jews who created it believed themselves to be descendants of the Israelites and Judeans who were sovereign there in ancient times and paid a high price for preserving their separate existence as a people. The modern state of Israel exists because for centuries and millennia Jews kept yearning for Israel, ending the Passover seder with the words, “next year in Jerusalem.”

In fact, if it were not for Arab resistance and Britain’s betrayal [of its duties as the Mandate power] and submission to Arab pressures, the Holocaust as such might not have taken place. Jews would have been able to escape Europe to their ancient homeland in what was already a widely supported embryonic state. They would have had a . . . country to which to immigrate freely at a time when Hitler was still willing to let the Jewish people go. Israel came into being after World War II not “thanks” to the Holocaust, but thanks to Britain’s imperial dissolution.

Read more at Daily Beast

More about: Anti-Semitism, British Mandate, Holocaust, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

What Is the Biden Administration Thinking?

In the aftermath of the rescue of four Israeli hostages on Friday, John Podhoretz observes some “clarifying moments.” The third strikes me as the most important:

Clarifying Moment #3 came with the news that the Biden administration is still calling for negotiations leading to a ceasefire after, by my count, the seventh rejection of the same by Hamas since Bibi Netanyahu’s secret offer a couple of weeks ago. Secretary of State Blinken, a man who cannot say no, including when someone suggests it would be smart for him to play high-school guitar while Ukraine burns, will be back in the region for the eighth time to urge Hamas to accept the deal. Why is this clarifying? Because it now suggests, here and for all time, that the Biden team is stupid.

Supposedly the carrot the [White House] is dangling in the region is a tripartite security deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Which would, of course, be a good thing. But like the stupid people they are now proving to be, they seem not to understand the very thing that led the Saudis to view Israel as a potential ally more than a decade ago: the idea that Israel means business and does what it must to survive and built itself a tech sector the Saudis want to learn from. Allowing Hamas to survive, which is implicitly part of the big American deal, will not lead to normalization. The Saudis do not want an Iranian vassal state in Palestine. Their entire foreign-policy purpose is to counter Iran. I know that. You know that. Everybody in the world knows that. Even Tony Blinken’s guitar is gently weeping at his dangling a carrot to Israel and Saudi Arabia that neither wants, needs, nor will accept.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship