Thursday, April 28, 2022

04/28 Links Pt1: Bennett: Holocaust memory is part of Jews’ DNA, passed from generation to generation; Irwin Cotler: Holocaust Remembrance Day: 6 lessons in memory of the 6 million

From Ian:

Bennett: Holocaust memory is part of Jews’ DNA, passed from generation to generation
For Jews, Holocaust memory is genetic, passed from generation to generation, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said during a memorial ceremony in the Knesset on Thursday as part of a series of events to mark Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“The memory of the Holocaust is not just a memory but a layer, part of the DNA that is passed down from generation to generation,” Bennett said.

The head of Germany’s parliament, along with the prime minister, President Isaac Herzog and other Israeli officials, lit a memorial candle in the Knesset for the ceremony.

“I bow my head with humility and shame in face of the Holocaust victims,” Bundestag President Barbel Bas said in German ahead of the official Knesset ceremony “Unto Every Person There is a Name,” during which the names of Nazi genocide victims were read aloud.

“It is forbidden for us to forget and we will not forget,” she said. “From our historical guilt stems a commitment. It is upon us to fight resolutely against antisemitism in all of its forms, and it is upon us to preserve the [victims’] memory, and to pass on their memory to the younger generations.”

Likud MK Ophir Akunis said during the ceremony that he will not forgive the Germans for the Holocaust.

“Others may be able to forgive the Germans,” he said in Hebrew, after addressing Bas briefly in English, noting that 97 percent of the Jewish community in Thessaloniki, where his family hails from, was killed in the Holocaust. “I do not forget or forgive, nor will I forgive this act of pure evil, ever.”

But Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy called Bas’s participation in the Israeli parliament’s ceremonies for Holocaust Remembrance Day, which began Wednesday evening, “a significant and important expression of the special connection that exists between the countries, for the historical responsibility that Germany took for the war crimes, and Germany’s commitment to Israel’s security.”
Irwin Cotler: Holocaust Remembrance Day: 6 lessons in memory of the 6 million
I write on the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day – a poignant moment of remembrance and reminder – of bearing witness, of learning and acting upon the endearing and universal lessons of the Holocaust.

I write also as a member of the Coalition of Special Envoys to Combat Antisemitism, convening now in Jerusalem – and having just visited Yad Vashem – where we have borne witness to horrors too terrible to be believed, but not too terrible to have happened.

I write also amid the international drumbeat of evil, including the Russian crime of aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity against Ukraine; amid the ongoing mass atrocities targeting the Uighurs, Rohingya, Afghans and Africans; China’s multi-pronged assault on the rules-based order; the increasing imprisonment of human rights defenders and the culture of impunity accompanying it – the whole amid an ongoing international bystander community.

And I write also amid a global resurgence of antisemitic acts, assault and violence, where for example, the annual audit of antisemitism acts in Canada, just released by the League for Human Rights of B’nai B’rith, has reported the highest annual escalation in the last 40 years; where the annual audit of the Anti-Defamation League, also just released, has reported similar findings in the US, with both highlighting a dramatic increase in antisemitic violence; and where the North American experience is paralleled by similar findings in Europe.

And so, at this critical historical moment we must ask ourselves: What have we learned in the last 80 years – and more importantly, what must we do?

As we remember the victims of the Holocaust – defamed, demonized and dehumanized as prologue and justification for their killing – we must understand that the mass murder of six million Jews and millions of non-Jews is not a matter of abstract statistics.

As we say at these moments of remembrance, “Unto each person there is a name, each person has an identity, each person is a universe.” Thus, the abiding universal imperative: we are each, wherever we are, the guarantors of each other’s destiny.
Never again? World response to Putin shows tragic failure to act on lessons of WWII
As Israel marks Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is impossible not to consider, when looking back at the Nazi genocide eight decades ago, what is unfolding in Ukraine right now — in a part of that same Europe where Jews were murdered in the millions.

Addressing the German parliament last month, Ukraine’s redoubtable president, Volodymyr Zelensky, argued bitterly that the phrase “never again” was being proven meaningless. “Every year, politicians repeat ‘never again,’” he noted. Now, with his country and people being “destroyed,” he lamented, “we see that these words simply mean nothing.”

In fact, from the Israeli and Jewish perspective, “never again” is a potent and credible commitment.

The Holocaust was rightly defined by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in his Wednesday night remembrance speech as “an unprecedented event in human history… Even the most serious wars today are not the Holocaust and are not like the Holocaust,” he went on, evidently alluding in part to Ukraine. “No event in history, cruel as it may have been, compares to the destruction of Europe’s Jews at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators.”

In the aftermath of the Nazi genocide, Israel has striven, through almost three-quarters of a century of statehood, to ensure that it can guarantee the survival and safety of the Jewish people — as their homeland and their refuge. And it has succeeded far beyond any reasonable expectation.

The initial international incoherent reaction to Russia’s invasion was a barely needed reminder that “the world” will not easily lift a finger to save nations and peoples threatened with devastation. Israel’s survival, its thriving in the face of new would-be genocidal enemies led by Iran, represents an extraordinary, independent and vital response to that reality.

“Israel is the best thing that’s happened to the Jews,” said the Romanian Holocaust survivor who addressed a Zikaron Basalon (“parlor remembrance”) event I attended on Wednesday night, speaking with passionate clarity at the conclusion of her harrowing story. “We need to protect it, and never take it for granted.”

Fumbling for the appropriate response
More broadly, however, Zelensky’s lament is an all-too valid indictment of the post-World War II international order.

Watching and anticipating Ukraine’s seemingly inevitable quashing by Russia, countries responded as their narrow interests dictated — and continue to do so as the war rolls bloodily on. Their leaders balance their nation’s and their people’s direct needs — for security, economic stability, fuel, wheat, et al — with their sense of moral imperative, and fumble toward what they consider an appropriate response to Russia’s aggression and Ukraine’s plight.

But no international mechanism was galvanized to deter Putin — not NATO, and certainly not the politicized, morally debased United Nations. And no concerted international mechanism has yet mobilized to stop his killings.

This, despite the solemn guarantees of the international community to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence under the terms of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, concluded after Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons. Its first clause states: “The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.”

Looked at today, the multiple clauses of that document read like a particularly foul joke, and a supreme incentive for nuclear arms. Trampled by Putin, they stand as an indictment of international diplomacy and ostensible commitment.

From the vantage point of Zelensky and Ukraine, those broken guarantees underline why “never again” has indeed sounded like empty rhetoric. They showcase the central challenge that the international community, which established the United Nations after World War II precisely to prevent war and maintain international peace and security, has failed to meet.

Phyllis Chesler: Nostalgia for the Slaughterhouse
Prick me, will I not bleed? Tickle me, will I not laugh? And so yes, I loved the movie Fiddler on the Roof; I also loved it on stage in Yiddish. And the new documentary about the making of the musical, Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen, is as warm, charming, informative, and enjoyable as the movie itself. Watch it—you’ll enjoy it. It’s filled with great Hollywood trivia.

Guess who wanted to play Tevye? None other than Frank Sinatra! Guess who directed the movie with Topol? Norman Jewison—who laughingly tells us that, despite his name, he’s a “goy!” But the “goy” and his team magically transport us back to the shtetl we still seem to long for, and his fiddler is even more haunting than Chagall’s since Isaac Stern is the off-camera violinist.

The film premiered in 1971 and won three Academy Awards. The direction (Jewison), music (Jerry Bock), lyrics (Sheldon Harnick), production (Robert Boyle), art (Michael Stringer), editors (Antony Gibbs and Robert Lawrence), acting and singing (Topol, etc.), costumes (Joan Bridge and Elizabeth Haffenden), sets, cinematography (Oswald Morris), choreography (Jerome Robbins) left nothing to be desired. The reviewer at The Hollywood Reporter wrote that it “ranks high among the best musicals ever put on film.” Pauline Kael, at The New Yorker, called it “the most powerful movie musical ever made.”

Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen, produced by Sasha Berman and directed by Daniel Raim, is filled with delicious behind-the-scenes reminiscences and clips of Harry Belafonte, Judy Garland, Alan Arkin, Robert Kennedy, Golda Meir, and David Ben-Gurion, as well as interviews with the cast. The film critic, Kenny Turan, tells us that this musical is “almost like Brigadoon. It exists in and of itself.”

Turan is right. Anatevka is so very dreamy and we are so fond of it and its inhabitants. And yet, as Tevye himself might ask: What is this Jewish nostalgia for the Old Country, or specifically for the Ukrainian/Russian shtetl really about? What exactly do we miss? The unpaved muddy roads? The freezing winters? The year-round poverty? Are we repenting our own loss of faith by honoring Anatevka’s Jews for their loyalty to religious Judaism? Or is this our way to connect to the grandparents we never met—the ancestors whose faces we cannot even visualize (we have no paintings, no photographs), and whose names we may not even know?

How many more charming and fanciful novels, such as Max Gross’ recent The Lost Shtetl, will be published? Gross artfully imagines a shtetl that has remained unchanged and hidden in the Polish forest for 100 years. And when the modern Poles discover it—there’s nothing but trouble. In 2010, Dara Horn published a short story, Shtetl World, in which a World of Our Fathers shtetl functioned as an exhibit in an amusement park, with “audio-animatrons of people acting out various moments in Eastern European Jewish history on a loop (Cossacks and all), while the visitors sat in little book-peddler carts on a slow-moving track”—until one day it all burned down.

In a sense, the idea of a shtetl has been Disney-fied, becoming Hollywood set in our imaginations. It’s a high-end tourist attraction, functioning in a way much as Holocaust museums and memorials do, attracting both reverence and commerce.
European Jewry before the Shoah
In any discussion about European Jewry before the Shoah, a number of questions are invariably raised. One of the most pervasive, is why did the majority of European Jews seem so oblivious to the evolving deterioration of events to the point “that many tens of thousands, who might have left continental Europe in time, stayed on passively until it was too late?” as asked historian Saul Friedländer.

There is no doubt that during the 1930s, they had no way of knowing what awaited them, since the Germans themselves had not yet decided how they were going resolve the “Jewish Question.” German historian Christian Gerlach postulates that Hitler made the decision “in principle to murder all the Jews in Europe, either on or around December12, 1941…. At least that is when it was made public.”

Friedländer agreed that no one could have predicted the Shoah. Nevertheless, “a sense of imminent danger, of possible catastrophic changes, might have been expected from European Jews as soon as Hitler came to power.” Most Jews, he said, remained unaware that a fundamental developments had occurred.

The reason for this was quite clear. “Many German Jews—and European Jews in general—were unable to face the fact that assimilation, ‘symbiosis,’ had failed, that even all their efforts and hopes had been largely in vain. They were “not ready to evaluate the past critically and recognize that their real status differed from their legal status.” Abandoning “their illusions” would have forced them to confront “the most painful conclusions not only on an abstract level, but about the nature of Jewishness itself, and worse still, about their very physical existence in Europe…It would have meant severing strong and real “roots and trying a new course repellent to most: expatriation, whatever its geographical destination.”
The Auschwitz of the Balkans
In every country in Europe where the Holocaust took place—meaning the entire continent with the exception of Great Britain and the six neutral states—there are iconic sites that have come to symbolize the Shoah. Outside of Eastern Europe, where the systematic mass murder of Jews occurred, these sites are generally transit camps and places where large numbers of Jews were murdered or rounded up. In France for example, two such places are the Paris Vélodrome d’Hiver cycling stadium, and the Drancy transit camp. In July 1942, 13,000 Jews were held in the stadium for days under awful conditions, prior to their transfer to the transit camp for deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau. In the Netherlands, this site is the Hollandsche Schouwburg and the Westerbork Dutch transit camp. Tens of thousands of Dutch Jews were held in the former before being sent to Westerbork, from which they were deported to the Auschwitz and Sobibor death camps. In Belgium, there is the Mechlen (Malines) transit camp, from which the local Jews were sent to their deaths.

In Eastern Europe, where the Nazis systematically implemented the Final Solution, initially by shooting and later by asphyxiation in gas vans and gas chambers, the most significant sites are invariably sites of mass annihilation. There is Auschwitz in Poland, Babi Yar (Kyiv) in Ukraine, Maly Trostinec (Minsk) in Belarus, Ponar (Vilna) in Lithuania and Rumbula (Riga) in Latvia. Such sites usually host the official state memorial ceremonies throughout Europe, and some also include educational centers.

Besides the differences between the nature of the crimes committed in the iconic sites of Western and Eastern Europe, there is another issue that has plagued the history of the former Soviet and communist-ruled countries. Unlike the notorious sites in Western Europe, where the histories of the crimes committed and the figures of the victims have been meticulously researched, and are universally accepted as accurate, the sites in Eastern Europe often are the subject of intense controversy and highly disparate historical narratives.

These discrepancies, which are the product of ideological communist Holocaust distortion, manifest themselves regarding three very important subjects: the identity of the victims, the identity of the perpetrators, and the number of victims. As far as the latter is concerned, I will never forget my shock when I first visited Auschwitz in 1978 and came across plaques in many languages at the foot of the memorial at Birkenau commemorating the “4 million victims.” By that time I was a doctoral student in Holocaust studies at the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University, and it was obvious to me that that figure was grossly inflated. Indeed, not long after the transition to democracy in Poland, a commission of reputable historians established that approximately 1.3 million people were murdered in Auschwitz, among them 1.1 million Jews. Also shocking were the Soviet monuments in sites such Ponar, Rumbula and Babi Yar dedicated “To the victims of fascism,” which hid the identities of both the victims and the perpetrators—although following the transition to democracy in Lithuania, Latvia, and Ukraine more accurate inscriptions replaced them.

Legacy of Kristallnacht as turning point for Europe's Jews

The little-known story of the Holocaust in North Africa

100 Holocaust Survivors Ask World to ‘Remember’ in ‘100 Words’ Video Project
One hundred Holocaust survivors from around the globe have asked the world to stand with them and mark Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day in a multilingual video project released on Thursday by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference).

The “100 Words” video op-ed urges the public, in a total of 100 words, to remember the horrors of the Holocaust to avoid repeating the past. Survivors who participated include those from the United States, Germany, Israel, France, England, Canada, and some who were recently evacuated from Ukraine. In the video, the Holocaust survivors declare in part:
“We are here to give voice to the six million Jews who were murdered. We are a reminder unchecked hatred can lead to actions, actions to genocide. Just over 75 years ago, one-third of the world’s Jews were systematically murdered. Among them, over 1.5 million children were killed in the name of indifference, intolerance, hate. Hatred for what was feared. Hatred for what was different. We must remember the past or it will become our future.”

Holocaust survivor Abe Foxman, who is a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and took part in the project, insisted that hate “must not remain unchecked.”

“As a survivor, not only do I know what happens when evil is allowed to flourish, I also know the urgency of continuing to tell the world of the atrocities that allowed one-third of a population to be murdered,” Foxman said. “Only through remembrance can we be sure this will never happen again.”
The Caroline Glick Show Ep49 – France, Europe’s Broken Politics and the Holocaust
On the week of Holocaust Remembrance Day and the French presidential elections, Caroline was joined by Eldad Beck, Israel Hayom’s correspondent in Europe to discuss the results – and implications of the French elections which demonstrated the pathologies of the left, right and center of French politics.

They then moved on to a wider discussion of Europe’s – and particularly Germany’s 74 year failure to reckon with the Holocaust, and how Israel should and shouldn’t conduct itself towards European countries in relation to the Holocaust on the one hand, and advancing current interests on the other hand.

It was a longer than usual discussion. The section on French politics takes up the first half hour. The discussion on the Holocaust and Israel-European relations begins around a half hour in, and goes til the end of the program.

Only 60% of Israelis see Holocaust as unique historical event, poll finds
Only 60% of Jewish Israelis feel that the Holocaust was a unique event and not another chapter in a series of acts of genocide that have taken place globally over the course of history, a poll by the Viterbi Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute revealed ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day, marked on Thursday.

The Israeli Voice Index noted that this was a decrease from 2019 when 75.5% of Israelis said they believe that the Holocaust was a unique historical event.

A segmentation of the results according to respondents' religious affiliation showed that 79% of ultra-Orthodox Israelis agreed that the Holocaust was a unique event, compared to 63% of national religious, 66% of observant, 64% of traditional, and 49% of secular Israelis, who said the same.

Gauging the issue by political affiliation, the poll found that 38% of Israelis who identified as leftists believe the Shoah was a unique event in world history, compared to 52% of centrists and 68% of rightists.

Further segmentation of the results found that 68.5% of Sephardi Israelis see the Holocaust as a unique historical event, compared to 58% of Ashkenazi Israelis, 57% of mixed Sephardi-Ashkenazi Israelis and 43% of former Soviet-Union immigrants.

The poll further found that the majority of Israeli Jews – 81% - stand during the traditional, one-minute memorial siren that sounds on the morning of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Some 60% said they watch the special telecasts of the day's events on Israel's major news channels, while 33% actively participate in commemoration events for those who perished in the Nazi atrocities of World War II.

A segmentation of the data shows that less than 30% of Haredi Israelis stand during the siren – the most common act of commemoration. Some 61% of Haredim do not participate in any form of commemoration, while only 5% of seculars do the same.
Arab-Israeli youth march with Holocaust survivors, fly Israeli flag
The long march from the gates of Auschwitz to the ruins of Birkenau’s gas chambers is not an easy one — Fasting for Ramadan, as almost half of the Israeli-Arab teens from the Atidna youth movement are, only makes it more physically and emotionally difficult.

“I want to give you a blessing for health,” Holocaust survivor Edward Mossberg, 96, told Atidna. “The most important blessing is from God — whatever your religion or beliefs.”

One hundred and three Arab-Israeli teenagers from across the country marched alongside Holocaust survivors and their progeny in the March of the Living on Thursday.

While the youth visited Yad Vashem and the Ghetto-fighters museum prior to trekking to Poland, “nothing could prepare for being at Auschwitz,” said Ali, the group’s social media manager.

The group toured Auschwitz on Wednesday.

Israeli and Emirati to Light Torch During March of the Living
For the first time, during Thursday afternoon’s March of the Living in Auschwitz, Poland, a commemorative torch will be lit by an Israeli representative of the third generation of Holocaust survivors and a representative of the United Arab Emirates.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Eitan Neishlos, grandson of a Holocaust survivor will light the Holocaust memorial torch with Ahmad Obeid al-Mansuri, a representative of the United Arab Emirates.

Al-Mansuri is a former member of the Federal National Council and founder of the Holocaust Remembrance Museum housed inside the Meeting of Civilizations Museum in Dubai.

It is the first and only Holocaust museum in the Arab and Islamic world.

Thursday is Holocaust Remembrance Day, in memory of the six million Jews exterminated by the Nazis during World War II.

After two years of interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the March of the Living is taking place in the presence of 25 delegations from all over the world. A delegation of more than 100 young Israeli Arabs are taking part in the event for the first time.
President Duda Who Outlawed Claims of Polish Complicity in the Holocaust to Lead 2022 March of the Living
The International March of the Living has announced on Wednesday that Polish President Andrzej Duda will lead this year’s historic March of the Living at the site of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau on Thursday.

In 2018, Duda signed into law the Amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance, making it illegal to accuse “the Polish nation” of complicity in the Holocaust and other Nazi German atrocities, a measure that has rattled Poland’s relations with Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who accused the Polish government of “Holocaust denial.”

The law makes it illegal to use the term “Polish death camps” in describing Auschwitz and other death camps located in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Israel retaliated in January 2020, when Duda was invited to a major Holocaust memorial event that was attended by A-list guests from around the globe but the organizers would not allow him to speak there, even though Russian President Vladimir Putin was allowed to speak and present his country’s version of WW2 unobstructed.

Duda was the presidential candidate for the right-wing populist and national-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party in the 2015 presidential election. The PiS chairman, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, was embroiled in July 2021 in a public confrontation with Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid over a proposed Polish law that would limit the ability of Jewish claimants to seek restitution for property they lost during and after WW2.

Holocaust denial still common in the Arab world but views are changing
“I watched movies about Holocaust before, and I thought that generally, I have more knowledge about this issue than many in my society. But only when you come here, to Auschwitz, do you truly realize the dimensions of the horror. They tried to wipe out the whole nation,” said Anissa Naqrachi.

Naqrachi, a Moroccan woman who is president of the Amal Arab Group for the Elimination of Child Marriage (AAGEEM) and of the Nour Foundation for Solidarity with Rural Women (ANSFR), sounded deeply moved while speaking with The Media Line from Auschwitz.

She arrived in Poland on Wednesday to take part in the annual International March of the Living along with Arab participants from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, and other countries, as part of a delegation that was organized by Sharaka (“Partnership”), an Israeli-Emirati NGO established in 2020 to promote dialogue between Israel and the Arab world. Almost a hundred Arab youth from Israel also took part in the March of the Living this year.

‘Just another Jewish hoax’
Until very recently talking about the Holocaust was practically taboo in the Arab-speaking world, where Shoah denial is still common. Sitcoms about the “fake Holocaust” have been hits in Egypt and Gulf countries, hundreds of books that denied the Nazi genocide were and still are sold in bookshops across the Arab world. In 2009, a quarter of Israeli Arab citizens denied the Holocaust, according to a survey carried out by the University of Haifa.

A quick search on Twitter and Facebook yields many thousands of results that link to Holocaust denial articles and many angry posts claiming that the extermination of six million Jews is not more than “another Jewish hoax, meant to extort the world.” Activists who tried to teach the Holocaust and organize visits of Palestinians and Israeli Arab citizens to Nazi death camps were condemned.

In March 2014, Professor Muhammad Dajani of Al-Quds University took a group of 27 students to Auschwitz. Upon their return, Dajani was labeled a “collaborator” by Palestinian media and activists. The situation appears to have changed in recent years, especially following the signing of the Abraham Accords normalization agreements.

Iranian Media Outlets Issue New Outburst of Holocaust Denial on Yom HaShoah
The Iranian regime marked Yom HaShoah on Thursday with a renewed outburst of Holocaust distortion that ranged from outright denial of the Nazi genocide of the Jews to its justification.

In a lengthy interview with state broadcaster Channel 3, Mehdi Taeb — a senior official with a regime-affiliated think tank — lambasted the Jewish people as the “masters of inventing lies,” of which the Holocaust was supposedly one.

“Everything that we have been told was narrated by people who have been accused of telling lies — not just now, but throughout history,” Taeb said, in comments translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“Who? The same people who claim that they had been burned,” he continued. “They were, and still are, the masters of inventing lies. They are the ones who make these claims. Therefore, the mere claim that Jews were burnt is in doubt.”

Taeb cited the discredited claim made by several Holocaust deniers that the gas chambers in Nazi extermination camps were a fiction. “You claim that six million were burnt. If you wanted to burn 50 people a day in the gas chambers they show, it would take 30 years,” he stated. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), 2.7 million Jews perished in gas chambers, with at least another two million murdered during mass shooting operations.

Taeb’s blatant Holocaust denial was matched by an editorial in the official Kayhan newspaper praising Hitler’s hatred of Jews.

“By expelling them from Germany, Hitler showed he was smarter than all current leaders of Europe,” the editorial stated.

Antisemitism, Holocaust Denial In Qatari Press
Articles about Israel in the Qatari press, which is known for its anti-Israel bias, also feature antisemitic messages and tropes. These articles, both reports and op-eds, create an identity between Israel and Jews as another dimension of their attacks on Israel. Antisemitic motifs are especially conspicuous in cartoons published in the London-based Qatari daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which represent both Israel and Jews using the antisemitic stereotype of the black-robed, bearded and long-nosed Jew.[1]

The antisemitic messages and tropes in the Qatari press are drawn both from Islamic sources like the Quran and the Hadith (sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad) and from Western sources. In the Islamic sources the Jews are often described as the enemies of Islam, as cunning and treacherous violators of treaties, and as murderers of prophets, who were cursed and punished by God.[2] Among the antisemitic motifs mentioned in the Qatari press is the story of the Apes and Pigs, found in both the Quran and the Hadith, according to which Allah turned some of the Jews into apes and pigs for disobeying him and fishing on the Sabbath. Another is the hadith of the stones and the trees, which states that, on the Day of Judgement, the Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them, and the stones and trees will call the Muslims to come kill Jews hiding behind them.

Western antisemitic texts mentioned in the Qatari press include the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which are presented as authentic. Qatari press articles describe the Jews as seeking to take over the world and the global economy, or as a burden for mankind. Others present them as responsible for all the wars and catastrophes in the world, such as the 9/11 attacks and even the current war in Ukraine.

Alongside antisemitic content, the Qatari press periodically publishes articles that accuse Israel of perpetrating a holocaust against the Palestinians. Others deny the historicity of the Jewish holocaust, of the extermination camps or of specific testimonies, like Anne Frank's.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani recently objected that the accusations of antisemitism against Qatar are groundless because they refer to criticism against Israel. In a March 26, 2022 speech at the opening of the Doha Forum, he said "that these allegations are wrongfully directed at anyone who criticizes Israel's policy, and that this undermines the fight against actual racism and antisemitism."[3]

This report presents examples of antisemitism and Holocaust denial in the Qatari press since the beginning of 2020.[4]

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