The curtain has dropped on the Theater of the Absurd directed by the Iranian regime last week – an event that convened figures from the margins of the Holocaust-denial scene and its “alternative” researchers. In Israel the conference was covered with an emphasis on the statements by the participants and the reactions of Israeli politicians. True, this was an international conference behind which was a country that declares its desire to bring about the fall of the “Zionist regime” – but beyond that hides a deeper factor, which is indicative of the connection between contemporary Israeli identity and the Holocaust.
“If the occurrence of the event (the Holocaust) is cast into doubt, the identity of the Zionist regime will also be cast into doubt.” From these words, spoken at the opening session by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, it emerges that the Iranian regime has correctly identified the connections that exist in Israel between the Holocaust and local politics. One of the formative historical events of the West today, whose significance is relevant to all of humanity, the Holocaust is continuing more than 60 years later to provide Israel with an alibi for the deviancy of its political choices.
An Israel with no real distinction between the establishment political left and the right with all its offshoots, continues to make use of the Holocaust in a way that combines cynicism and boorishness. Even though there is indeed a considerable and complex connection between the Holocaust and Israeli political culture, there isn’t – nor has there ever been – any justification for harnessing its memory for the sake of preserving the continuing occupation project that Israel has been conducting for 40 years now in the territories.