Join the dots between the Holocaust, anti-Jewish hate and anti-Jewish statehood

Demonstrators hold up banners at Tuesday's London demonstration, comparing Israel to Nazism  (via Jewish News)
Demonstrators hold up banners at Tuesday's London demonstration, comparing Israel to Nazism (via Jewish News)

There is a solution to the brazen new anti-Jewish hate. It’s staring us right in the face.

Whilst the school curriculum does not contain ‘antisemitism education’, it does have ‘Holocaust education’. It only covers the ‘what’ of the Holocaust right now.  We just need to add the ‘why’. It will explain why conflict in the Middle East creates calls to rape Jewish women in London. The ‘why’ is as much about today’s call to eradicate the Jewish state, as it is about the era when there was no Jewish state to insure against ghettos, pogroms and gas chambers.

We need to stop teaching the Holocaust as a one-off. And start connecting it to the other chapters of the story.

This means that we stop filling our precious slot in the school curriculum with the message that ‘All hate is bad’ — a platitudinous waste, not to mention an offence to the memory of the 6 million to so de-Judaize the Holocaust. Maybe it’s a Corbynite unconscious bias. Do some British teachers feel unable to highlight the problem of anti-Jewish hate without couching it in the universal, to appease other minority groups or to bury the real point for themselves?

What is Holocaust education for, if not, as a primus inter pares, to teach about the longest, most genocidal hate in history? A new recipe should include these extra ingredients. The Holocaust happened, and is distorted today, because of them:

  1. Christianity, as a breakaway from Judaism, invented a set of anti-Jewish myths now used by everyone from Hamas to David Miller.
  2. Being Jewish is ethnic not just religious. In 70CE the Romans ethnically cleansed the Jewish state of its Jewish people — the moment they became Wandering Jews. Then they renamed the country after their greatest foe, the Philistines. The name was Palaestina — or Palestine.
  3. As the last of three colonial rulers after the Romans, Britain blocked entry to refugee Jews to this homeland.
  4. The lifeblood of anti-Jewish propaganda is conspiracy theory, a phenomenon which weakens democracy and the rule of law for everyone.
  5. Critical thinking is the key skill to combat conspiracy theories. We need to teach it.
  6. From Shylock to Fagin and Rothschild to Soros, the popular imagination has long stigmatised ‘The Jew’ as a shady archetype. It made the Holocaust ‘understandable’.
  7. Some depict the modern state of Israel as personifying the archetype. Their agenda is not to question Israeli borders but Israel in any form. Because it is a Jewish nation.
  8. The Holocaust would not have happened, had the modern state of Israel existed. Now that it does, Israel is the greatest reason for Holocaust distortion.
  9. The elephant in the room is the distorters: an axis of Islamist and Hard Left bad actors.

Anglo-Jewry has never doorstepped Britain with Middle East politics. It has always been too grateful for a peaceful place in its society. But now it is we who are being doorstepped. So if you force us to be responsible as Diaspora Jews for what happens in Israel, then the time has come for us, reluctantly, to tell you why Israel is a deterrent to the second Holocaust called for last week by an Iranian general.

The Holocaust is not asleep in a dusty old history box.  When ‘Free Palestine’ marchers wave their “Netanyahu surpasses Hitler in barbarism” banners, they are joining the dots malignly. I urge Holocaust educators to now join the dots benignly.

About the Author
Marc Cave is Chief Executive of the National Holocaust Centre & Museum in Nottingham, UK
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