American Jews Can’t Have It Both Ways

In the very last footnote of my book Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt, I mention an unsettling practice common among Jews: comparing what displeases them deeply to the Holocaust. This comparison sometimes turns up among people assuring us that the Holocaust was uniquely evil. Thus Elie Wieselafter devoting most of his life to underlining the uniquely evil character of Hitler’s murder of millions of Jews, including members of his own family—later stated that the Serbian killing of Muslims in Bosnia (with whom Serbs were then at war for control of the region) involved “genocide” exactly like that of the Holocaust. Equally noteworthy protests have come from prominent Jews, who object to the Nazi murder of Poles being compared to Nazi crimes against Jews. But those who have registered this protest, as I point out in my book, have not hesitated to invoke the Holocaust to indicate their displeasure with other bad deeds.

If some Jewish dignitaries want to bring up Holocaust comparisons at will, then it seems reasonable they should stop dwelling on the uniqueness of that horror. Personally, I think Nazi crimes were unspeakable and almost unique in the inhumanly efficient way in which they were carried out. But those who make that point shouldn’t then carelessly throw around Holocaust comparisons to fit their own ideological needs. And I’d certainly advocate verbal restraint for the Republican media, which liken Hamas’s misdeeds nonstop to Hitler’s murder of 6 million Jews (and one might add to Hitler’s list of atrocities all those millions of Slavs and Gypsies who were also slaughtered by the SS).

Arab terrorists and their overwhelmingly leftist and Third World cheering gallery in the U.S. and Western Europe may be despicable (you’ll get no argument from me on that), but they are still not the Nazi killing machine, which claimed astronomically more victims. There is no need for overblown comparisons to convince me that Hamas and its sympathizers are reprehensible. But an Oct. 25 editorial in the Washington Times can’t let go of the Holocaust comparison and pushes it well beyond the limits of good taste. I felt like responding to this rhetorical overkill by pointing out that “it’s terrible but for the thousandth time it’s not Hitler.”An editorial in TIME magazine is devoted to this comparison and calls for “de-Nazification” proceedings that the United States should press the Muslim world to undertake. American Spectator columnist, Dov Fischer has insisted that Israel itself “must now conduct Eichmann-Nuremberg war trials.”

Inherent in this comparison may also be the attempt to blame American Christians for not having done enough to stop the real Holocaust. In other words, we may be encountering in this Holocaust comparison a reminder that not enough was done to save European Jewry in the 1940s. Although quite possibly more might have been done to bomb Nazi death camps (that remains an open historical question), that lost opportunity has no bearing on the present situation. The American government has flooded Israel with money, arms, and an American backup military force to deal with the country’s enemies. If the American government and media did not react with enough decisiveness to Hitler’s Final Solution, that charge certainly cannot be leveled against the present treatment of Israel’s struggle against its enemies. Republican television, above all Fox News, has provided a second-by-second coverage of Israel’s clash with Hamas and Hezbollah; and its presentation of the Israeli side has been almost monotonously over the top.

Finally, it is hard to avoid the impression that American Jewish elites, who are largely on the cultural-social left, have contributed significantly to the problem of filling this country with anti-Jewish Third World populations. It would not be an overstatement to note that leftist Jewish voters are far from blameless for the sea of Hamas-lovers with which our cities are now flooded. Only a fool could disagree with Daniel McCarthy and Josh Hammer about the dangers posed by mass immigration for, among others, American Jews. Our wide-open borders, which Jewish liberals up until about a week ago applauded, have strengthened the anti-Jewish as well as anti-Christian left. If the U.S. were still overwhelmingly the Christian country it was 70 years ago, we wouldn’t be dealing with the present tumultuous outpouring of support for Muslim terrorists in our wokeified cities. Jewish critics of Hamas sympathizers once cheered on these troublemakers and even bankrolled BLM activists. Now they are outraged that their clients are chanting anti-Jewish as well as anti-Israeli slogans. Of course, these Jewish donors and well-wishers were not exactly outraged when the same thugs were vilifying the entire white race. Only in the last few weeks did buyer’s remorse set in, at least in some quarters. In any case, many of those who are now screaming loudest about how badly the left is behaving, have the least right to complain.   

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