Holocaust Commemoration Strengthens Jewish-Zionist Power

This essay by Mark Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review, was written for the Mehr news agency of Iran, which posted it on Dec. 11, 2005, in English, and in Farsi. A slightly edited version was published in the Tehran Times, a leading English-language daily, Monday, Dec. 12, 2005

The United Nations General Assembly has voted to designate January 27 as international Holocaust Remembrance Day. The UN resolution to commemorate Jews who lost their lives in Europe during the Second World War was introduced by Israel and approved on November 1 by most UN member states.

What's behind this resolution and the Holocaust remembrance effort? Whose interests does it serve?

It is, of course, fitting and proper to remember all victims of war and genocide. But Holocaust remembrance is not, as its supporters claim, a noble effort motivated by sincere concern for humanity. It is, rather, a one-sided campaign designed to further Zionist interests.

Since the late 1970s, remembrance of "the Holocaust" -- usually defined as the genocidal killing of six million Jews in Europe during the Second World War -- has grown tremendously. This media and political campaign, which Jewish historian Alfred Lilienthal calls "Holocaustomania," includes a relentless stream of propagandistic motion pictures, television specials, books, education courses, museums and commemorative events.

In many American and European schools, as in all Israeli schools, a focus on the wartime suffering of Europe's Jews is an obligatory part of the curriculum. A number of countries, including Britain, Germany and Italy, officially observe Holocaust Remembrance Day. There are more than 250 Holocaust museums and memorials worldwide, most of them in the United States and Europe. The largest is the official US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, which draws some two million visitors yearly.

A prominent Israeli Holocaust specialist, Yehuda Bauer, observed in 1992:

"Whether presented authentically or inauthentically, in accordance with the historical facts or in contradiction to them, with empathy and understanding or as monumental kitsch, the Holocaust has become a ruling symbol of our culture... Hardly a month passes without a new TV production, a new film, a number of new books of prose or poetry dealing with the subject, and the flood is increasing rather than abating."

The Holocaust campaign is important to the interests of Israel, which owes its existence to massive and continuous support from the United States. Holocaust remembrance helps to justify enormous US support for Israel, and to excuse otherwise inexcusable Israeli policies.

Paula E. Hyman, a professor of modern Jewish history at Yale University, has accurately observed:

"With regard to Israel, the Holocaust may be used to forestall political criticism and suppress debate; it reinforces the sense of Jews as an eternally beleaguered people who can rely for their defense only upon themselves. The invocation of the suffering endured by the Jews under the Nazis often takes the place of rational argument, and is expected to convince doubters of the legitimacy of current Israeli government policy."

Another Jewish scholar, Tony Judt, recently wrote:

"The Shoah [the 'Holocaust'] is frequently exploited in America and Israel to deflect and forbid any criticism of Israel. Indeed, the Holocaust of Europe's Jews is nowadays exploited thrice over: It gives American Jews in particular a unique, retrospective 'victim identity'; it allows Israel to trump any other nation's sufferings (and justify its own excesses) with the claim that the Jewish catastrophe was unique and incomparable; and (in contradiction to the first two) it is adduced as an all-purpose metaphor for evil -- anywhere, everywhere and always -- and taught to schoolchildren all over America and Europe without any reference to context or cause. This modern instrumentalization of the Holocaust for political advantage is ethically disreputable and politically imprudent."

Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish scholar who teaches at DePaul University in Chicago, writes in his bestselling book, The Holocaust Industry, that "invoking The Holocaust" is "a ploy to delegitimize all criticism of Jews." He adds: "By conferring total blamelessness on Jews, the Holocaust dogma immunizes Israel and American Jewry from legitimate censure... Organized Jewry has exploited the Nazi holocaust to deflect criticism of Israel's and its own morally indefensible policies."

In the United States and western Europe, the Holocaust is given an almost sacred status. It is portrayed reverentially, and as a central event of world history.

One Jewish American religious figure, Rabbi Michael Goldberg, has aptly referred to "the Holocaust cult" with "its own tenets of faith, rites and shrines."

The Holocaust remembrance campaign reflects an arrogant view of Jews as a special and superior people. Reflecting this view, Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League -- one of the most influential Zionist groups -- declared: "...The Holocaust is something different. It is a singular event. It is not simply one example of genocide but a near successful attempt on the life of God's chosen children and, thus, on God himself. It is an event that is the antithesis of Creation as recorded in the Bible; and like its direct opposite, which is relived weekly with the Sabbath and yearly with the Torah, it must be remembered from generation to generation."

In several countries -- including Israel, Germany, France and Spain-- it is a crime publicly to dispute the official Holocaust story of six million murdered Jews. Many individuals have been fined, imprisoned or forced into exile for daring to contest Holocaust claims. No other chapter of history is judicially protected in this way.

Non-Jewish victims of genocide, oppression and war simply do not merit the same consideration as do the Holocaust's Jewish victims. There are no comparable museums, memorials or solemn ceremonies to commemorate, for example, the vastly greater number of victims of Soviet and Chinese Communism. As historians acknowledge, the non-Jewish victims of Soviet Russian dictator Joseph Stalin greatly outnumber the Jews who perished as a result of Hitler's policies. Authoritative estimates of the number of Chinese who perished as victims of repression, famine, and forced labor under the Communist regime of Mao Zedong range from about 30 million to more than 60 million.

The Holocaust remembrance campaign deserves scorn, not support, because it is an insincere and one-sided effort that serves Israeli interests and bolsters Jewish-Zionist power.