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Category: Visual representation of Antisemitism
Tags: (Jewish Collective),

Equating Israeli Military With The SS And Its Treatment Of Civilians With That Of The Holocaust

During the 1982 Lebanon war, on 21 September 1982, the GDR newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung (LVZ) published a caricature depicting an Israeli soldier marching through the corpses in the ruins of Beirut while being applauded by an SS-officer and an American officer. The caption read: “We could not have done it better!”. Next to the SS-officer is a pile of corpses with the sign “Babi Yar, USSR”, and next to the American a pile with the sign “Son My, Vietnam”.

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The demonization of Israel by equating its military with the SS and its treatment of civilians with that of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis (of which the massacre in Babi Yar is part of) is a contemporary antisemitic trope.

It is directed against the state of Israel as a Jewish collective, whose right to exist is denied. By comparing its actions with those of the Nazis, it trivializes the Holocaust.

Whenever there are conflicts in the Middle East, anti-Semites feel legitimized to attack Jews, synagogues or Jewish institutions and businesses. The demonization of Israel plays an important part in the legitimization of antisemitic attacks.

The demonization of Israel perpetuates extremist positions in the Israel-Palestine conflict and thus prevents an amicable solution.

To compare Israel’s actions, even if they constitute human rights abuse, to the Holocaust is obviously meant to demonize Israel and to trivialize the Holocaust. Such a point of view is factually wrong – Israel does not aim to exterminate Arabs as Nazi Germany aimed to exterminate Jews. It is also unproductive as it will not lead to a non-violent resolution of the conflict.


Juden in Leipzig und Sachsen Modulare Unterrichtsangebote (Jews in Leipzig and Saxony, 50 years of German-Israeli relationships, published by Ephraim Carlebach Stiftung Leipzig, 2016)

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