by Pejman Yousefzadeh on August 25, 2012

Ron Rosenbaum writes truth:

Imagine: worrying about extermination threats just because Hitler made extermination threats which he carried out. No reason to get all obsessed because another anti-Semitic leader who is seeking nuclear weapons makes similar threats, right? No reason to be troubled about the exterminationist anti-Semitic rhetoric that pervades the airwaves and the cyber realm of every other nation in the region.

Anyone who seeks to draw comparisons with the warnings of a “Final Solution” in the 1930s and the situation today—in other words to take history into account—is met with scorn as “Holocaust-obsessed.” Or accused of “hoarding the Holocaust,” as Peter Beinart has put it.

Indeed using “holocaust-obsessed” as an epithet has become, in effect, the new Holocaust denial. The new holocaust denial doesn’t deny the holocaust happened, it just denies it should have any historical relevance today. In an afterword she wrote for an anthology I compiled, Cynthia Ozick spoke about an English writer who castigated Menachim Begin for invoking the Holocaust murder of a million Jewish children as a reason for ordering the Israeli attack on Saddam’s potential bomb-making nuclear reactor in 1981. She called the castigation a denial of the very essence of historical discourse: making connections. “Is the imagination’s capacity to ‘connect’ worthy of such scorn … ?” she asked.

By the way, you can always tell one of this new breed of Holocaust denier by the way they claim that careful parsing of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s threat to “wipe Israel off the map” or “wipe Israel from the page of time” (depending on how its translated), doesn’t really mean he wants to harm a single hair on the head of single Jew. See, if you read it carefully it’s nothing to worry about. He just wants to change the governmental set up! You know, so the state of Israel will no longer exist and thus not appear on the map (or the page of time). They cling desperately to the notion that it’s not a sinister euphemism like, say, Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

Speaking of people who try to deny Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s words via desperate attempts to parse, I give you–wait for it!–John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.

Anyone really surprised?

  • Stephen

    Yes, and if Amadinejad’s Iran, or any of it’s allies, act upon his words, will Beinart, Mearsheirmer, Walt and others of their kind, carefully parse the responsibility? Perhaps someone should ask them now.

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