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Abusing History

The Israelis today are behaving like the Nazis did in the past.

More Information

In General, criticism of Israel is often charged with antisemitic stereotypes and draws comparisons to National Socialism. Typical characteristics are the reversal of perpetrators and victims and the negation of Israel’s right to exist. The claim that Israel deliberately murders children or commits a genocide against the Palestianians is a popular tactic for delegitimizing the Jewish state and falls back to old antisemitic stereotypes like the blood libel and the topos of an imagined “collective Jew”. In antisemitism, Jews have always been ascribed certain negative characteristics. Since the founding of the state of Israel, these have often also been projected onto Israel. Israel is accused of threatening world peace. Even popular German authors like Gräfin Dönhoff and Günther Grass refer to this negative stereotype in their articles “Völkischer Ordensstaat Israel” (National religious state of Israel), and “Was gesagt werden muss” (What needs to be said).

 

Israel-related antisemitic statements are met with very high approval in German society as several studies show. If you often hear such positions from your own social environment or in public, you quickly consider them to be “normal” and therefore do not suspect any antisemitism. This everyday suitability of Israel-related antisemitism and its social acceptance make it so dangerous and difficult to recognize.

 

  • Israel and the Middle East conflict play a major role in the current manifestations of antisemitism, therefore it is imperative to convey knowledge about the history and roots of the conflict as well as tolerance of ambiguity
  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be a subject of learning in schools and be reported in public media in a balanced way
  • Make aware that: not only soldiers live in Israel, but also children who have to flee to the bomb shelter in the event of an air strike; to discard a generalized assignment of moral guilt to Israel and to undermine the equation of Israel with Judaism; to associate Israel with anything positive, such as general human rights, rule of law, the fact that Arabs live in rural areas side by side with their Jewish neighbors
  • Encouraging inter-religious dialogue and exchange

References

Antizionistischer und israelfeindlicher Antisemitismus ( article published on April 30, 2020, by Prof. Dr. Armin Pfahl-Traughber in Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung)

KRITIK ODER ANTISEMITISMUS? (educational guide to deal with Israel-related antisemitism, editor Amadeu Antonio Stiftung, 2014)

Gaza war rekindles German anti-Semitism, poll finds (article published on November 21, 2014, by Tamar Pillegi in The Times of Israel)

Three activists go on trial for challenging Israeli apartheid in Berlin (article published on March 4, 2019, by Riri Hylton in The Electronic Intifada)

Antisemitismus in Deutschland: Das Verbrennen von Israel-Fahnen gehört bestraft – Politik (article published on April 2, 2018, by Frank Jansen in Der Tagesspiegel)

Erklärung der Hannoverschen Zivilgesellschaft gegen Antisemitismus – Die Jüdische Bibliothek Hannover (article published on the website Die Jüdische Bibliothek Hannover, 2014)

Visuals

Debunking response