The modern ‘final solution’ looks a lot like the old one

T-shirt on display in a store in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem. It glorifies the struggle to “free” Jerusalem from the Jews.
T-shirt on display in a store in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem. It glorifies the struggle to “free” Jerusalem from the Jews.

The term “final solution” was coined by the Nazis during WWII as a code word for the massacre of all Jews for the purpose of solving what they saw as the “Jewish question”. Today the “final solution” is still the goal of anti-Semites although they hypocritically avoid using the term.

Another difference between the “final solution” of today’s anti-Semites and the “final solution” of the Nazis is that while the Nazis aimed to eliminate the Jewish people, the modern anti-Semites aim to eliminate the one and only Jewish state. In both cases, the “solution” is seen as a way to resolve a “problem” supposedly caused by the Jews.

From the moment that Jews declared their interest in rebuilding their nation on their ancestral land, i.e., when they created the Zionist movement, the Arab world saw it as a problem, and the only solution that was ever acceptable to them was to kill the Jewish state, and if necessary the Jews themselves. They refused the UN partition plan even though it was favorable to Arabs and it gave the Jews only a tiny portion of the original Mandatory Palestine that included Jordan, and they refused every Israeli solution offer after that.

Iran has repeatedly and with impunity threatened and even promised to destroy Israel. In June 2018, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wrote on Twitter, “Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen”. Twitter did not deem that the post warranted removal. Clearly, for Twitter, threatening to implement a “final solution” against the Jewish State is not hateful enough to be censored.

Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, Chrystia Freeland, responded to Khamenei in another tweet by saying, “Appalled by the abhorrent statement from Supreme Leader Khamenei. Canada strongly condemns this incitement to violence, and condemns all of Iran’s threats against Israel. Canada is a loyal friend of Israel, and we will continue to support Israel’s right to live in peace.”

Canada’s response was nice, but Canada took no further action and neither did anyone else. After all, threats by Iranian leaders to destroy Israel in one way or another are hardly new. In 2005, the Iranian President, said that Israel must be “wiped off the map”, and this did not deter the Obama regime and other nations from negotiating with Iran as if it was a reliable partner for peace.

Even the supposedly peaceful boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement has the “final solution” as its goal. It claims to support Palestinian rights, but as professors Philip Mendes and Nick Dyrenfurth wrote in Haaretz, what BDS really wants is “a one-state solution, minus the Jewish state”.

If Israel’s critics had attempted at any time to resolve their concerns by negotiating with Israel in good faith, they would have achieved a reasonable compromise. Egypt’s and Jordan’s peace negotiations with Israel demonstrate that. But these two were exceptions. The vast majority of Israel’s opponents cannot accept anything less than a “final solution”, and they are enraged that Israel does not comply.

Far from confronting Israel’s enemies and demanding that they accept the Jewish state as a precondition for any solution, the world typically appeases the anti-Semites. Thinly veiled demands for a modern “final solution” are weakly challenged. Just as the Nazi “final solution” had become widely accepted by the majority of Germans as “banal” (to paraphrase historian Hannah Arendt who called that phenomenon the “banality of evil”), today’s threats of a modern “final solution” are met with silence by most of the world, and worse, they are often met by demands that Israel stop defending itself.

While the Nazis did not succeed in accomplishing their “final solution”, the idea is not dead. Far from it.

About the Author
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere. Fred Maroun writes for Gatestone Institute.
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