Such a Surge of Worldwide Anti-Semitism
By Alan Dershowitz
Why are so many of the grandchildren of Nazis and Nazi
collaborators who brought us the Holocaust once again declaring war on the Jews?
Why have we seen such an increase in anti-Semitism and
irrationally virulent anti-Zionism in western Europe?
To answer these questions, a myth must first be exposed.
That myth is the one perpetrated by the French, the Dutch, the Norwegians, the
Swiss, the Belgians, the Austrians, and many other western Europeans: namely
that the Holocaust was solely the work of German Nazis aided perhaps by some
Polish, Ukrainian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian collaborators.
The Holocaust was perpetrated by Europeans: by Nazi
sympathizers and collaborators among the French, Dutch, Norwegians, Swiss,
Belgians, Austrians and other Europeans, both Western and Eastern.
If the French government had not deported to the death
camps more Jews than their German occupiers asked for; if so many Dutch and
Belgian citizens and government officials had not cooperated in the roundup of
Jews; if so many Norwegians had not supported Quisling; if Swiss government
officials and bankers had not exploited Jews; if Austria had not been more Nazi
than the Nazis, the Holocaust would not have had so many Jewish victims.
In light of the widespread European complicity in the
destruction of European Jewry, the pervasive anti-Semitism and irrationally
hateful anti-Zionism that has recently surfaced throughout western Europe toward
Israel should surprise no one.
"Oh no," we hear from European apologists.
"This is different. We don't hate the Jews. We only hate their
nation-state. Moreover, the Nazis were right-wing. We are left-wing, so we can't
The hard left has a history of anti-Semitism as deep and
enduring as the hard right. The line from Voltaire to Karl Marx, to Levrenti
Beria, to Robert Faurisson, to today's hard-left Israel bashers is as straight
as the line from Wilhelm Mars to the persecutors of Alfred Dreyfus to Hitler.
The Jews of Europe have always been crushed between the
Black and the Red - victims of extremism whether it be the ultra-nationalism of
Khmelnitsky to the ultra-anti-Semitism of Stalin.
"But some of the most strident anti-Zionists are Jews,
such as Norman Finkelstein and even Israelis such as Gilad Atzmon. Surely they
can't be anti-Semites?"
Why not? Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas collaborated with
the Gestapo. Atzmon, a hard leftist, describes himself as a proud self-hating
Jew and admits that his ideas derive from a notorious anti-Semite.
He denies that the Holocaust is historically proved but he
believes that Jews may well have killed Christian children to use their blood to
bake Passover matzah. And he thinks it's "rational" to burn down
Finkelstein believes in an international Jewish conspiracy
that includes Steven Spielberg, Leon Uris, Eli Wiesel, and Andrew Lloyd Webber!
"But Israel is doing bad things to the Palestinians," the
European apologists insist, "and we are sensitive to the plight of the
No, you're not! Where are your demonstrations on behalf of
the oppressed Tibetans, Georgians, Syrians, Armenians, Kurds, or even
Ukrainians? Where are your BDS movements against the Chinese, the Russians, the
Cubans, the Turks, or the Assad regime?
Only the Palestinians, only Israel? Why? Not because the
Palestinians are more oppressed than these and other groups.
Only because their alleged oppressors are Jews and the
nation-state of the Jews. Would there be demonstrations and BDS campaigns on
behalf of the Palestinians if they were oppressed by Jordan or Egypt?
Oh, wait! The Palestinians were oppressed by Egypt and
Jordan .. Gaza was an open-air prison between 1948 and 1967, when Egypt was the
occupying power. And remember Black September, when Jordan killed more
Palestinians than Israel did in a century? I don't remember any demonstration or
BDS campaigns -- because there weren't any.
When Arabs occupy or kill Arabs, Europeans go ho-hum. But
when Israel opens a soda factory in Maale Adumim, which even the Palestinian
leadership acknowledges will remain part of Israel in any peace deal, Oxfam
parts ways with Scarlett Johansson for advertising a soda company that employs
hundreds of Palestinians
Keep in mind that Oxfam has provided "aid and material
support" to two anti-Israel terrorist groups, according to the Tel
Aviv-based Israeli Law Group.
The hypocrisy of so many hard-left western Europeans would
be staggering if it were not so predictable based on the sordid history of
Western Europe's treatment of the Jews.
Even England , which was on the right side of the war
against Nazism, has a long history of anti-Semitism, beginning with the
expulsion of the Jews in 1290 to the notorious White Paper of 1939, which
prevented the Jews of Europe from seeking asylum from the Nazis in
British-mandated Palestine .. And Ireland , which vacillated in the war against
Hitler, boasts some of the most virulent anti-Israel rhetoric.
The simple reality is that one cannot understand the
current western European left-wing war against the nation-state of the Jewish
people without first acknowledging the long-term European war against the Jewish
Theodore Herzl understood the pervasiveness and
irrationality of European anti-Semitism, which led him to the conclusion that
the only solution to Europe's Jewish problem was for European Jews to leave that
bastion of Jew hatred and return to their original homeland, which is now the
state of Israel ...
None of this is to deny Israel's imperfections or the
criticism it justly deserves for some of its policies. But these imperfections
and deserved criticism cannot even begin to explain, must less justify, the
disproportionate hatred directed against the only nation-state of the Jewish
people and the disproportionate silence regarding the far greater imperfections
and deserved criticism of other nations and groups including the Palestinians.
Nor is this to deny that many western European individuals
and some western European countries have refused to succumb to the hatred
against the Jews or their state. The Czech Republic comes to mind. But far too
many western Europeans are as irrational in their hatred toward Israel as their
forbearers were in their hatred toward their Jewish neighbors.
As author Amos Oz once aptly observed: the walls of his
grandparents' Europe were covered with graffiti saying, "Jews, go to
Palestine" Now they say, "Jews, get out of Palestine", by which
is meant Israel ...
Who do these western European bigots think they're fooling?
Only fools who want to be fooled in the interest of denying that they are
manifesting new variations on their grandparents' old biases.
Any objective person with an open mind, open eyes, and an
open heart must see the double standard being applied to the nation-state of the
Jewish people. Many doing so are the grandchildren of those who lethally applied
a double standard to the Jews of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.