Thursday, October 1, 2009

Justifying the Holocaust and Promoting a Second One

by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

No. 88, 15 October 2009 / 27 Tishrei 5770


Holocaust justification consists of "explaining" that the Jews caused their enemies' anti-Semitism and therefore were responsible for their own later destruction. The first part of this argument was prominent outside Nazi circles as well before World War II and occasionally returns nowadays.

Holocaust promotion is the encouragement of genocide against the Jews or against Israel, the Jewish state. Sometimes this is done explicitly by promoting the idea that Jews should be killed. On other occasions it is the logical outcome of proposed policies. Holocaust promotion typically results from perverse "ideological" positions. In the decades after World War II, the encouragement of the continuing murder of Jews came mainly from old Nazis, neo-Nazis, and some parts of the Muslim world. Holocaust promotion, however, remained a marginal phenomenon in the postwar period of the twentieth century.

Campaigning for the mass murder of Jews is often done without specific reference to the Holocaust. Although most current Holocaust promotion focuses on the destruction of Israel, it also at times aims at Jews elsewhere. Sometimes the perpetrators refer to Hitler or the Germans as having failed to complete the extermination of the Jews and say their activities should be continued. One prominent variant of Holocaust promotion is propagating the view that the Jewish state is illegal and has no right to exist. The only possible way of achieving its elimination is by genocide and mass murder, though this is rarely stated explicitly.

The Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the first head of state since World War II who regularly calls for actions that are tantamount to incitement of genocide. As such he is the prime contemporary example of a Holocaust promoter. His appeals of the last few years for the elimination of Israel-which is equivalent to mass murder-were preceded by those of Ayatollah Khomeini and several other Iranian leaders. Ahmadinejad has greatly increased the intensity of such calls.


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