Using and abusing the Holocaust, part 8652

This is a wonderful article (kindly passed along by a reader). Writing in the Guardian, German writer Alan Posener documents the growing voices that are begging the Jewish community to stop “wailing” about the Holocaust, use the catastrophe as a crutch and insulate themselves from criticism of Israel. Time to grow up:

Even today, there is a residual feeling among many Germans, and by no means only on the extreme right, that enough is enough, that too much self-examination and breast-beating somehow damages the German psyche, that it is time for a new self-confidence, that the nation needs to see the Nazi crimes in perspective. The horrors of Stalinism, after all, and the murderous antisemitism of Islamists such as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, would seem to indicate that Germany’s place in history is by no means singular.

This kind of revisionism is only to be expected. Debates on the issue sweep the country regularly. This year, however, something new has happened. Jewish authors have joined the fray on the side of the revisionists. In the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, the Berlin-based New Yorker Benjamin Weinthal writes that “Shoah remembrance has come to resemble a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder” in Germany. And in Berlin’s “Tagesspiegel”, Henryk M Broder mounted a vicious attack on “wailing Jews (Jammerjuden), who use every talk show to tell people how many relatives they lost in the Holocaust and how afraid they are of the NPD” (the German Nazi party). Broder’s attack is all the more shocking for Jews in Germany, as he himself has made a career out of attacking what he perceives as Germany’s “eternal” antisemitism, a career that includes, of course, hundreds of talk show appearances.

Connected to these thoughts is a recent talk by British Jew Tony Klug titled, “Are Israeli policies entrenching antisemitism worldwide?”