One has to ask why are so many grandchildren of Nazis and Nazi collaborators once again declaring war on the Jews? Why are we seeing an increase in anti-Semitism and irrationally virulent anti-Zionism in Western Europe?
According to Alan Dershowitz, professor of law at Harvard Law School, to answer these questions, we must first expose a long held myth that the Holocaust was solely the work of German Nazis aided perhaps by some Polish, Ukrainian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian collaborators.
The truth is, 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 exploited Jews, and if Austria had not been more Nazi than the Nazis, then the Holocaust would not have had so many victims.
European apologists claim that this time, it’s different. “We don’t hate the Jews. We only hate their nation-state. Moreover, the Nazis were right-wing. We’re left-wing, so we can’t be anti-Semities.” Nonsense! 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 Israeli 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 the victims of extremism whether it be the ultra-nationalism of Khmelnitsky or the ultra-anti-Semitism of Stalin.
The European left claim they are not anti-Zionists, they are only sensitive to the plight of the Palestinians ‘oppressed’ by Israel. If they are so concerned about ‘oppression’, where are the boycotts and demonstrations against Russia, China, Cuba, the Turks or the Assad regime? Where are the demonstrations on behalf of the ‘truly oppressed’ Tibetans, Georgians, Syrians, Armenians, Kurds, or even the Ukrainians? Would there be demonstrations and boycott, divestment, and sanction campaigns against the Palestinians if they were ‘oppressed’ by the Arabs?
Historically, the Palestinians were “oppressed” by Egypt and Jordan. Between 1948 and 1967, when Egypt was the occupying power, Gaza was an open-air prison. And remember Black September, the civil war in Jordan in 1970 and 71? Jordan killed more Palestinians than Israel did in a century. There weren’t any demonstrations or boycotts then. When Arabs occupied and killed Arabs, Europeans gave a collective “ho-hum.”
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 Jews. Even England, 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 simply 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 people themselves.
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 forebears were in the 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 the walls say, “Jews get out of Palestine,” by which is meant get out of 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 grandparent’s 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 applying this double standard are the grandchildren of those who lethally applied a double standard to the Jews of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.