International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 2019 and BDS

Josef Olmert
4 min readJan 27, 2019

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On the 27th of January 1945, the Red Army entered Auschwitz and finally the world was exposed to the greatest crime ever committed in human history. On the 27th of January 2019, all the statistics relating to the existence of antisemitism in the world, show a dramatic rise in global antisemitic incidents, particularly in Europe and the US. Thirteen Jews were murdered in 2018 in antisemitic incidents. FBI reports consistently show, that hate crimes against Jews, by far outnumber those committed against any other ethnic/religious group in the US. The Women’s march, an event which is supposed to be a model of protest against discrimination, has itself become a model of antisemitism. So much so, that it was boycotted this past week by many of its original constituent groups. In Europe, all polls show, that a majority of Jews are afraid to display in public Jewish symbols such as the Kippah. Seventy four years after the end of the the world war, it seems that the old plague of Jewish hatred is rearing yet again its ugly head. While many Jews, particularly Israelis refer to all that, in terms like ’’well, what is new…we are so used to it’’, the truth is, that it has to become a world-wide concern, going far beyond the Jewish community. You start with one minority, and then what else? Time to remember the classic statement of Martin Niemoller ‘’First they came’’.

I, for one, have no illusions that a genuine, soul searching process is going to happen. In fact, I happen to believe, that the opposite is about to happen. The opposite, in this case, means that the forces which are actively involved in spreading antisemitic propaganda, are going to intensify their efforts, rather than decreasing them. Who they are? They are coming from the Left Wing, as well as from the Right wing. Black Lives Matter, and the Neo-Nazis of Charlottesville may differ on every issue, but they agree on one thing and one only-blame the Jews. Sure, while the Neo-Nazis openly use the word Jews, Ms. Mallory of Black Lives Matter, talk about the Zionists. The vast majority of Jews define themselves as Zionists, enough of a reason to refer to anti Zionism as classic antisemitism. ‘’We are not against THE JEWS, only against almost all of them…’’. So who can take seriously any of those, including renegade Jews, whose entry ticket to the radical, Progressive movement is through the ‘’anti Zionism’’ mantra, when they say, without blinking, that being anti Zionist is not antisemitic. They do not need me to tell them how wrong they are. I will instead refer them to the rightful icon of the modern Civil Rights movement, the great Martin Luther King Jr. who said these unforgettable words;’’when people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking antisemitism.[source-Seymour M. Lipset, ‘’the Socialism of fools-The Left, The Jews and Israel’’, Encounter,[December 1969, p.24].

The rise in antisemitism in recent years is what needs to be explained here, not the very old phenomenon itself. There is an unavoidable coincidence between this and the rise of the BDS movement in the last ten to twelve years. Let us be clear here-BDS is a failing enterprise so far as the actual boycott of Israel is concerned. Israel is going from strength to strength as its economy, cultural standing and international diplomatic standing are concerned. However, the relentless anti Israel propaganda with the thinly-veiled disguise of anti Zionism has given a new impetus to the overt, blatant anti Semites. Boycott is how past outbursts of antisemitism started. On April 1, 1933, the newly-established Nazi regime, just sixty days in power, declared boycott of Jewish businesses in Germany. This is how it started.The call for boycotting Israel today is a call for singling Israel out, for turning it into a pariah state, and consequently for legitimizing its destruction. It is not working, nor will it, but it has one success, and one only- it gives another justification for the forces of evil, to Brown and Red Anti-Semites-Carl Marx reincarnated with a small difference-Anti-Semites of all the world unite…’’. A few days ago, Richard Alan Green, a senior news editor of CNN, stated in a conference in Israel, that antisemitism in recent years is not connected anymore to the Arab-Israeli conflict. In other words, even someone from this highly critical TV network of Israel accepts the fact that earlier propaganda against Israel concerning the conflict unleashed the new wave of antisemitism. He did not state it in so many words, so I will do it for him. BDS pretending to be about the conflict led the way to opening of the vile Anti-Semitic Pandora's box.

The bad news is that it happens, and the better news is, that Jews all over the world, who are startled to have to defend themselves yet again, can have the alternative which they did not have seven decades ago, and this is Israel. The fulfillment of Zionism-many are moving there, many more will.

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