Netanyahu at Wannsee
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This week, Benjamin Netanyahu visited Berlin. He had a lot to speak about with Angela Merkel, probably even the recent German Sanctions on Israel, but that was not the main reason for Netanyahu’s visit. On January 20, the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference was commemorated. The conference, which took place in the posh Wannsee suburb of Berlin, is where – allegedly – Nazi leaders were informed that Reinhard Heydrich had been appointed as the chief executor of the “Final solution to the Jewish question.” In the course of the meeting, Heydrich presented a plan, presumably approved by Adolf Hitler, for the deportation of the Jewish population of Europe and French North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) to German-occupied areas in eastern Europe, and the use of the Jews fit for labor on road-building projects, in the course of which they would eventually die according to the text of the Wannsee Protocol, the surviving remnant to be annihilated after completion of the projects. In other words, the entire Israeli narrative of the Holocaust is based on this short meeting.
Merkel panicked after hearing Netanyahu’s hallucinating speech. “The Jewish people, 70 years ago, were defenseless and incapable of resisting. Today the situation has changed completely. Every generation, all kinds of oppressors rise up against us. But the great change which took place in our generation is the rediscovery of the Jewish people's ability of defense.” Netanyahu hinted at a war against Iran: "We must stop evil in due time, world leaders must act in time to avoid the fate of Holocaust victims," he said. "There isn't much time, and the most important thing is to impose harsh sanctions on Iran. The Security Council must do this, but the international community should also do it, even without a Security Council resolution," he said, obviously more interested in future war profits than in commemorating the Wannsee Conference. In a truly wild touch, Netanyahu got from Merkel the blueprints of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Is this part of Israel’s preparations for the planned war?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted rapidly. In a joint press conference with a pretty wild Netanyahu, she said: “There is no comparison between the Holocaust and the Iranian nuclear program. Things have changed since then. The Germans did unthinkable things to the Jewish people and therefore, I believe the result is the German need to defend Israel and maintain its security. This is why we feel so responsible now in the Iranian matter as well. We will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel against the Iranian threat. Nonetheless, I object to the analogy between the two things.”
It is difficult to touch such a topic and, considering the wild Israeli rhetoric, not to wonder who really won WWII? If the documents related to the Wannsee Conference are true, then the Nazis spoke about exterminating 11 million Jews in Europe. The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute reported in 2007 of barely a million Jews living in the European Union territory. However, such a comparison wouldn’t be just for determining who won. There are better ways of determining who won WWII.
Who Won WWII?
Nobody lives forever. Thanks God, no human organization is eternal, not even the Roman Empire. Most organizations crumble under the weight of their own debris and contradictions, mercifully disappearing into the dustbin of history. The most we can hope to is to leave something worthy to those coming after us. In the case of organizations, we may be able to see their principles adopted by successors. The last doesn’t need to be the formal legal successor; several entities along history were considered by their subjects as successors of the Roman Empire, despite having no relation to the latter.
In The Cross of Bethlehem II – Back in Bethlehem (to be published before Easter 2012) I describe my encounter with a well-educated American, who despite having studied at Yale, told me that the “last man standing wins.” I want to propose a different standard. “Last ideology surviving wins.” Under this condition, who won WWII?
I am stepping on very thin ice here. A wrong word and the ADL may engage in a ghastly legal battle against the State of Israel for the privilege of suing me. Thus I won’t say anything. I’ll just describe recent protests and events related to the Haredim in Israel.
In the second week of 2012, the Israeli Ministerial Legislation Committee decided to back another law that seems to infringe on freedom of expression. The bill, proposed by Knesset Member Uri Ariel (National Union), forbids the use of the term Nazi, Nazi symbols and Holocaust symbols. The bill also forbids the wearing of striped uniforms like those worn by the concentration camp prisoners as well as the use of the yellow Star of David. This is odd. Would Israel delete now all these symbols appearing in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem? Could the State of Israel be accused later this year of Holocaust Denial?
This truly odd side of Netanyahu's government is the result of recent protests of Haredim (Ultra-orthodox Jews) in Jerusalem. The two pictures brought in this article are from these protests. Their claims were awesomely expressed by Moshe (he was scared to death to identify himself; the Israeli Police is brutal), in an interview he gave to Yedihot Aharonot: "It is important to remember that the Holocaust didn't start with the gas chambers, but was preceded with an unruly incitement campaign against the Jews. Even after the Kristallnacht there were those who preferred to turn a blind eye. What is happening today (in Israel) resembles those years and it can definitely reach a secular intifada," he noted, and then compared the Israeli society's treatment of the Haredim to a "persecution similar to the Nuerenberg Laws." "It's exactly like those race laws that only applied to certain people," he added.
In other words, he and the other protesters were accusing Israel of behaving like Nazi Germany. "If the Gestapo leadership would have witnessed this, they would celebrate. This is Hitler's biggest victory."
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