We are told repeatedly that making any comparison between Israel’s actions and those of the Nazis is a form of antisemitism.
Reading the latest from Uri Avnery, a 92-year old Israeli writer and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement, it seems that both he and the deputy Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army must bear this badge of shame. Today, in a piece entitled I Was There, Avnery enters the storm of controversy surrounding comments made on Holocaust Memorial Day by General Ya’ir Golan.
Wearing his uniform, Golan recalled “the awful processes which happened in Europe in general, and in Germany in particular, 70, 80, 90 years ago,” and confessed his fear at “finding traces of them here in our midst, today, in 2016.”
Avnery carefully examines what Golan said and to what extent they are true. “He compared developments in Israel to the events that led to the disintegration of the Weimar Republic. And that is a valid comparison,” writes the veteran peace campaigner who witnessed Hitler’s rise to power in person. “Things happening in Israel, especially since the last election, bear a frightening similarity to those events.”
Avnery’s article deserves to be read in full and can be found on the Gush Shalom website. Here is one excerpt:
The discrimination against the Palestinians in practically all spheres of life can be compared to the treatment of the Jews in the first phase of Nazi Germany. (The oppression of the Palestinians in the occupied territories resembles more the treatment of the Czechs in the “protectorate” after the Munich betrayal.)
The rain of racist bills in the Knesset, those already adopted and those in the works, strongly resembles the laws adopted by the Reichstag in the early days of the Nazi regime. Some rabbis call for a boycott of Arab shops. Like then. The call “Death to the Arabs” (“Judah verrecke”?) is regularly heard at soccer matches. A member of parliament has called for the separation between Jewish and Arab newborns in hospital. A Chief Rabbi has declared that Goyim (non-Jews) were created by God to serve the Jews. Our Ministers of Education and Culture are busy subduing the schools, theater and arts to the extreme rightist line, something known in German as Gleichschaltung. The Supreme Court, the pride of Israel, is being relentlessly attacked by the Minister of Justice. The Gaza Strip is a huge ghetto.