Anti-Israel Activists Now See the Holocaust as a Topic Inherently Inimical to Them

Last week, Harold Kasimow, a retired professor of religious studies, came to Benedictine University in Illinois to speak about his experiences surviving the Holocaust as a child. At his talk he was confronted by a member of the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) who wanted to know if he supported or condemned “the establishment of the Zionist Israeli state”; the student eventually walked out after he refused to give the answers she hoped for. Video of the incident has been making the rounds on social media. Jonathan Tobin comments:

Kasimow wasn’t there to talk about Israel or [even to argue that] the history of oppression in the Diaspora that culminated in the Holocaust justified the quest to create a Jewish state. But in spite of his narrow, apolitical agenda, . . . SJP was still in effect ready to “cancel” him unless he didn’t merely condemn Israeli policy but agree that Israel needs to be erased.

Now it is not enough to demand that Jews acknowledge the tragedy of the Nakba for Palestinians. A Jewish refusal to treat the Arab disaster as morally equivalent to the Nazi “final solution” apparently justifies a walkout from a talk by an apolitical Holocaust survivor. The support [the student] gained on the Internet for her crude [attack on] Kasimow provides a troubling context for the incident.

Israel’s enemies have thus gone beyond Holocaust inversion—the claim that Jewish “oppression” of the Palestinians is equivalent to the Nazis’ attempted extermination of the Jews—to what Tobin terms “Nakba supersessionism”: the idea that the “catastrophe” entailed in the creation of a Jewish state should overshadow or replace any discussion of the Holocaust.

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Read more at Haaretz

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Holocaust inversion, Holocaust survivors, Students for Justice in Palestine

The Arab Press Blames Iran Rather Than Israel for Gaza’s Woes

Following the fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad over the weekend, many journalists and commentators in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia didn’t rush to condemn the Jewish state. Instead, as the translators at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) note, they criticized the terrorist group for “operating in service of Iranian interests and thus inflicting suffering on the Gaza Strip’s residents.” One Saudi intellectual, Turki al-Hamad, wrote the following on Twitter:

It is apparent that, if at one time any confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian organizations would attract world and Arab attention and provoke a wave of anger [against Israel], today it does not shock most Arabs and most of the world’s [countries]. Furthermore, even a sense of human solidarity [with the Palestinians] has become rare and embarrassing, raising the question, “Why [is this happening] and who is to blame?”

I believe that the main reason is the lack of confidence in all the Palestinian leaders. . . . From the Arabs’ and the world’s perspective, it is already clear that these leaders are manipulating the [Palestinian] cause out of self-interest and diplomatic, economic, or even personal motives, and that the Palestinian issue is completely unconnected to this. The Palestinian cause has become a bargaining chip in the hands of these and other organizations and states headed by the [Iranian] ayatollah regime.

A, article in a major Arabic-language newspaper took a similar approach:

In a lengthy front-page report on August 7, the London-based UAE daily Al-Arab criticized Islamic Jihad, writing that “Gaza again became an arena for the settling of accounts between Iran and Israel, while the Palestinian citizens are the ones paying the price.” It added that Iran does not want to confront Israel directly for its bombings in Syria and its attacks on Iranian scientists and nuclear facilities.

“The war in Gaza is not the first, nor will it be the last. But it proves . . . that Iran is exploiting Gaza as it exploits Lebanon, in order to strengthen its hand in negotiations with the West. We all know that Iran hasn’t fired a single bullet at Israel, and it also will not do this to defend Gaza or Lebanon.”

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Read more at MEMRI

More about: Gaza Strip, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israel-Arab relations, Persian Gulf