General Antisemitism

A comparison from hell

“The problem from hell.” – Samantha Powers’ characterization of genocide in the 20th century.

Israel-Nazi Comparison:

Robin Shepherd, in 2009, wrote:

“Attempts in Europe to portray Israel as the modern incarnation of Nazi Germany were once the preserve of the extremists. Islamists, fascists and communists — each acting for reasons of their own — have employed the technique to portray the Jewish state as the epitome of political evil with which no compromise can be made.”

The cartoon above, from Arab News (April 10, 2002), shows Ariel Sharon wielding a swastika-shaped axe to chop up Palestinian children. Arab News is a Saudi-based English language daily which is supposedly one of the Arab world’s more moderate papers.

“It is a sign of the times”however, that the Nazification of Israel as a technique of denigration has begun to invade the mainstream.”

In 2008, this cartoon appeared in the student newspaper of Emory University (near Atlanta) which directly compared the Nazi ghettos with the separation fence the Israelis have erected on the West Bank

Shepherd continued:

“A commentary in the (August 18, 2009) Guardian by the prominent Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek offers a perfect illustration of how the technique is now employed.  Zizek, who has near iconic status among Europe’s liberal-Left, begins his piece with some familiar distortions about the eviction earlier this month of two Palestinian families from their homes in the east Jerusalem district of Sheikh Jarrah. Zizek presents what was in fact an eviction due to non-payment of rent as merely one instance of a broader policy of ethnic cleansing — a policy which is reminiscent, he infers, of the way the Nazis treated the Jews.” “The state of Israel is clearly engaged in a slow, invisible process, ignored by the media,” he says. “One day, the world will awake and discover that there is no more Palestinian West Bank, that the land is Palestinian-frei, and that we must accept the fact.” The term “Palestinian-frei”? It is obviously an inversion of the Nazi term Judenfrei, literally meaning free of Jews.”

And, it should be noted, CiF contributor, Tony Greenstein has ardently defended such hideous comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany.


A 2004 issue of the Canadian-based corporate-bashing lefty journal Adbusters, had an article entitled, “Why won’t anyone say they are Jewish?” They are the “neocons.” The editor of the journal, Kalle Lasn, helpfully compiled a list of 50 “influential neocons,” and annotated the list by scribbling little black dots in the margin next to the names of the 25 he thought were Jews.

Lasn thus confirmed the joke definition of David Brooks, who explained that “con is short for ‘conservative’ and neo is short for ‘Jewish.'” Lasn, however, seemed to think he is being brave.

Drawing attention to the Jewishness of the neocons is a tricky game. Anyone who does so can count on automatically being smeared as an anti-Semite. But . . . here at Adbusters, we decided to tackle the issue head on.”

Well, Adbusters, in 2009, again showed its courage, by “bravely” publishing a photo essay entitled: “Never Again: A ghettoized Gaza bears striking similarities to the Warsaw ghetto.

The photos (with accompanying captions), below, advance the utterly insidious theme advanced by many in the Arab world, and their far-left Western supporters, that Israel has become the new Nazi Germany.

Shepherd, in  his 2009 essay, concluded by saying:

“The denigration of the Jewish state in modern Europe has now become part of such an edifice of hatred and bigotry that there are no longer any taboos. It is now possible to say anything, literally anything, about Israel, however grotesque and defamatory, and to feel no shame, to invite no censure. No other state in the world is talked about in such a manner.  And yes, it is anti-Semitism. And yes, it’s back.”

Indeed, narratives which characterize the Jewish state as morally equivalent to Nazi Germany have been codified as anti-Semitic by both the European Union and the U.S. State Department. As Manfred Gerstenfeld noted:

“The core motif of classic anti-Semitism was that Jews embody the most extreme malevolence. During the post-war era, the Nazi regime has become the paradigm for absolute evil. Comparing Israel’s conduct to its actions is a new mutation of this ancient theme.”

Moreover, those employing the Israel-Nazi comparison knowingly exploit the reality that Nazism has become the defining metaphor of human evil – an act “from hell.”

Invariably, if Zionists are “Nazis” and if Israeli leaders are really no better than Hitler, then it becomes a moral and, indeed, “progressive” obligation to wage war against Israel. Such accusations aren’t simply morally vile, but need to be seen as part of the overall arsenal by those who openly seek Israel’s destruction.

11 replies »

  1. As I have said on Z – word when this subject came up. Nazism, racism, colonialism, and apartheid, are evils that must be abolish, therefore those who compare Israel to any of those evils what to abolish Israel. Since Israel is the fulfillment Jewish self-determination, a right every nation has, denying that right from Jews is a discriminatory, racist act. Racism against Jews is anti-Semitism.

  2. There is an implicit distinction contained within the comparison which I hope better writers than I will be able to expand on.

    During World War 2, people did, I think, distinguish between the Nazi regime and the people of Germany. Although there was a need to extirpate the former, no one doubted that some kind of Germany would be reestablished and remain. This of course happened and Germany now has a place in the world.

    This is not the case with Israel. On the one hand, many persons call for its total destruction and although some gloss over what they mean by this others, at least, suggest there is no place for Jews within the region. Further, all Israelis are seen as guilty of the “crime” of Zionism – as probably are Jews in the Diaspora who do not reject Zionism. You have to take the position of Neturai Karta or Tony Greenstein to be a “righteous” Jew (ref Mearsheimer).

    Thus, the comparison to Nazism works directly against the position and indeed the existence of ordinary Israelis and Jews who are all tainted by it in a way that all Germans were not. It thus functions as a new version of the warrant for genocide.

    I am sorry that I do not write very well. I have thought this for a long time but have not really seen the point made.

  3. Dvar Dea posted while I was writing. My point is not that this kind of comparison denies the Jews the right to national self-determination – an argument I find a little weak – but the very right to exist.

  4. That’s why islamofascists and euro-[national] socialists consider it a nakba and a “crime against humanity” that the Israelis are NOT the unarmed Jews of khybar and WW2 europe.

  5. Phillip, there is no contradiction between your analysis and mine, other than your English been far more better then mine.
    What is the “crime” of Zionism if not national self-determination?

  6. Dvar Dea, there is no contradiction between us, just a difference of emphasis. In my opinion, the “crime” of Zionism, of Israelis and Jews alike is the desire to exist at all. That our demand for national self-determination is also rejected seems to me be a lesser matter.

  7. Then Phillip you are talking about the nazi type of anti-Semitism. A simple type of anti-Semite/ anti-Zionist will like to see Jews a helpless nation scattered among the nations. The nazi type finds existence a crime. It is a difference emphasize, you point to the nazi type of anti-Semite/ anti-Zionist. A sub group that is may be too dominant than we would like to believe.

  8. Dvar Dea, I agree except that I prefer to speak of exterminatory anti-semitism as few nowadays subscribe to Nazi racist tenets – the word “racism” has become quite debased these days. I hope you are right! I guess you are Israel and perhaps one can be more optimistic there.

  9. Actually these images are all part of what I have been calling attempted identity theft for many years.

    It is a very deliberate attempt to model themselves after the “Jewish” experience in all but the actual work to establish and create somehting out of nothing.

    What is RoR? A bastardization of the Law of Return.

    Naqba? There was no word of naqba until the 50’th anniversary celebrations, all of a sudden Yom Ha’atzmaut got an arab naqba.

    The Olive trees? meaningless and not mentioned other than being one of OUR national symbols.

    Palestinian? A term for the mandate yes, but a term used only or almost uniquely by the Jews.
    There was a Palestine Football Club that played a few Internationals, all Jews.
    The Palestine Post- forerunner of the Jerusalem Post.

    Genocide- the actual numbers of dead as percentage or hard numbers are very low given the frequency within the Muslim world, now I am NOT trying to minimize them, after all one death is too many, but this “need” for a genocide to mirror the holocaust, alonside the “need” to deny that the holocaust ever happened.

    We build parking lots- they call it settlement expansion.

    We build 110 “settlements” encompassing 500,000 people it is called a provocation and unilateral alteration of lines.
    They build 240 “settlements” housing an increase of 1,000,000 people in the last DECADE alone, and its called Etnic Cleansing.

    The arabist apologists have become very adept at stealing our identity and covering the Arabs with it in order to be able to support them.
    After all, no self respecting Leftist could support the Aras otherwise.