Netanyahu echoes Hitler. Will his followers call ‘anti-Semitism!’ on those who point this out?

Benjamin Netanyahu: echoing Adolf Hitler.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lowered himself to baiting his critics – trying to lure them into apparent displays of anti-Semitism – by paraphrasing Nazi tyrant Adolf Hitler in a comment on Twitter.

He stated, in a sabre-rattling speech aimed at Iran: “The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.”

As you can see from the response by Evolve Politics, Hitler said something almost identical in 1923: “The whole of nature is a mighty struggle between strength and weakness, an eternal victory of the strong over the weak.”

It is true that one of the examples of anti-Semitism listed with the IHRA working definition is “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”.

For some, that would be enough. We know several right-wing Labour MPs who would scream “anti-Semitism” if anybody compared Netanyahu with Hitler.

However – and this is a biggie:

The working definition of anti-Semitism itself states that examples such as that listed above are “non-legally binding”, only “to guide IHRA in its work”, and are indications of what “might” be manifestations, “taking into account the overall context”.

So – as Martin Odoni clarifies in this Critique Archives article, “the notorious ‘examples’ in the IHRA definition… are not meant to be seen as cast-iron proof of anti-Semitic attitudes. They are merely meant to be seen as clues for ‘where to look’, as it were. Where these behaviours are seen, the person or people demonstrating them might be anti-Semitic in their intentions, and so it is advisable to investigate.”

So the IHRA accepts that drawing comparisons between contemporary Israeli policy and that of the Nazis may not be inherently anti-Semitic – and one occasion in which it most certainly would not is if the Israeli prime minister paraphrased the words of Hitler.

Furthermore, such behaviour encourages unfavourable analysis of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians – not direct comparisons with the Nazis’ persecution of European Jews, although it is clear that, as Hitler believed the Jews to be weak, Netanyahu applies the same description to Palestinians.

So, in context, there is nothing anti-Semitic about this tweet by Craig Murray, no matter how much the pro-Israeli-government lobby rages about it.

This one, by John Clarke, is a valid expression of opinion:

And duncanpoundcake doesn’t go far enough: Hitler had shouted this crap, long before the Nuremberg rallies:

Marcus Chown’s comment can’t be touched because not only is he absolutely right, but he actually places Netanyahu’s remarks in their correct context:

But it seems the pro-Israeli-government lobby has the mass media neatly muzzled. Tom Clark of Another Angry Voice says it loud and clear:

Where indeed?

And Jill Segger teaches the lesson that Mr Netanyahu and all the supporters of his genocidal regime seem to have forgotten:

We are told – constantly – that the Nazi persecution of the Jews is, indeed, hateful to the Jews.

But the leader of what he himself has described as the “nation-state of the Jewish people” has not only embraced the rhetoric that informed that persecution – he uses it to justify doing what is hateful to his own neighbours in Palestine.

And, to their eternal shame, our mainstream news media are spineless, supine and silent.

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11 thoughts on “Netanyahu echoes Hitler. Will his followers call ‘anti-Semitism!’ on those who point this out?

  1. Zippi

    Hajo Meyer said, at one of the many conferences for which Jeremy Corbyn’s attendance landed him in trouble, that what he was hearing from the Israeli Government, about Palestinians, was what was said about him in Nazi Germany. For that, he was branded anti-Semitic, despite having survived 10 months in Auschwitz.
    Kenneth Stern, who was chiefly responsible for this “working definition” and its associated examples, himself said, in an open letter, in 2011:
    “The “working definition” is a useful tool to identify statements that merit attention on campus, but deciding whether a given remark is antisemitic can require careful attention to rhetoric, context, and even intent. As the AAUP has suggested, even objectionable statements can have content worthy of debate. Most individual remarks, moreover, do not rise to the level of creating hostile environments.”
    Interestingly, he said this, too, which the N.E.C. might want to take note of:
    “By trying to censor anti-Israel remarks, it becomes more, not less, difficult to tackle both antisemitism and anti-Israel dogma.”
    This singular definition (or anything that people might consider to be offensive) is being used as a stick with which to beat people; that was never its intent: ” The definition was never intended to be used to limit speech on a college campus; it was written for European data collectors to have a guideline for what to include and what to exclude in reports.” “It is a perversion of the definition to use it, as some are doing, in an attempt to censor what a professor, student, or speaker can say.. To assert this not only contravenes the definition’s purpose (it was not drafted to label anyone an antisemite or to limit campus speech), it also harms the battle against antisemitism.”
    This is perhaps the most interesting statement: “It can, for example, be a starting point for needed discussions about antisemitism and how we define it.” Other than the fact that Kenneth Stern always refers to it as a “working definition,” this statement highlights that fact that it does not ultimately define anti-Semitism. That being the case, why are people so keen that £abour adopts it? Have any other Parties adopted it into their codes of conduct? Interesting, that.

  2. Carol Fraser

    He’s meddling in British politics. There’s evidence to suggest he’s part of the Corbyn smear campaign. Furthermore I now wonder what the appalling Priti Patel was doing in Israel. She was paid off £17K, was she orchestrating this campaign?

  3. Tony

    “So the IHRA accepts that drawing comparisons between contemporary Israeli policy and that of the Nazis may not be inherently anti-Semitic.”

    Similarly, it is not anti-English to point out that the British government carried out Nazi-like experiments on its own citizens and Indians (who were citizens of the British Empire at the time).

    When any state behaves in such a disgusting manner, people have not just a right to raise it but a duty to do so.

    1. Zippi

      Exactly. Saying that any people is immune from committing such acts is tacitly giving permission for them to do so.

  4. John.

    Nutty giving the signal that Palestine’s days are numbered and that the lunatic US sponsored criminal cult of colonial imposters he heads are about that business.

    Once Palestine is stolen and reduced to a mention in the pages in history books, the cult will then move on to engineering conflict and aquiring land in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq.

    The Zionist criminal cult will not stop unless and until it is made to stop.

    Little wonder the cult seeks to silence all dissent and opposition to their murderous land and resource grabbing international crimes.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Israel is already trying to legitimise its illegal acquisition of land in Syria – the Golan Heights.

      1. Zippi

        This is one of the things that Hayo Mayer was saying; it used to be anti-Judaism; he said that “anti-Semitism” came out of Nazi pseudo-science. The fact that “the Jews” are not a race makes no sense of the word in those terms.

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