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Comparing Israel to the Nazis, is it anti-semitic.


ffc

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Nov 6, 2007
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5,167
I know this is a very sensitive topic and I will try to approach it in that way.

The recent controversy in the British Labour Party has highlighted the IHRA definition of anti-semitism .

https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/working-definition-antisemitism

The definition includes some examples to help guide people and organisations in the eradication of anti-semitism.

To my mind most of the examples are perfectly rational and depict clear, intentional anti-semitism.

However, there are, probably, two examples which require clarification. It is these examples which the British Labour Party has resisted implementing in full, pending further discussions.

One relates to referring to Israel as a "racist endeavour", which may need a different thread to address it's complexity, particularly in regard to the manner in which Palestinians may perceive Israel and it's foundation.

The other is as follows,

"Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis."

I am not sure if I have ever done this during discussions on this site. I don't think I have, but I can't be sure.

Without doubt to compare a jewish state to the Nazis is extremely provocative, indeed offensive. However, are there occasions when it is justified.

Here are some examples of people who have used the comparison,

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/IDF-general-in-bombshell-speech-Israel-today-shows-signs-of-1930s-Germany-453142

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/18915

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajo_Meyer

https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-calling-rivals-nazis-an-israeli-tradition-1.5313246

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEYz00MqCx0

https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/glenda-jackson-calling-israelis-nazis-is-not-hate-speech-it-s-free-speech-1.21473

The examples range from senior IDF commanders, Israeli intelligence chiefs, holocaust survivors, to a couple of Labour MP's. They are all zionists, in the sense that they support the right of Israel to exist, as a jewish state, and to defend itself when necessary. Yet they all use the example and, presumably, under the IHRA definition they would be guilty of anti-semitism.

I don't think anyone can realistically compare Israel's treatment of the Palestinians to Nazi Germany, certainly not at the height of the holocaust. There are no extermination camps, no mass executions. But there are now racist laws, collective punishments, dehumanising language from political and religious leaders, the use of excessive force against unarmed resistance, etc. These are traits of pre-holocaust Germany. There are lots of other examples in history to use, the most obvious is apartheid era South Africa.

But sometimes is the Nazi comparison valid? Or at least more effective in grabbing people's attention.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israel wrestles with Nazi insults
 

Clanrickard

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
33,054
I know this is a very sensitive topic and I will try to approach it in that way.

The recent controversy in the British Labour Party has highlighted the IHRA definition of anti-semitism .

https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/working-definition-antisemitism

The definition includes some examples to help guide people and organisations in the eradication of anti-semitism.

To my mind most of the examples are perfectly rational and depict clear, intentional anti-semitism.

However, there are, probably, two examples which require clarification. It is these examples which the British Labour Party has resisted implementing in full, pending further discussions.

One relates to referring to Israel as a "racist endeavour", which may need a different thread to address it's complexity, particularly in regard to the manner in which Palestinians may perceive Israel and it's foundation.

The other is as follows,

"Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis."

I am not sure if I have ever done this during discussions on this site. I don't think I have, but I can't be sure.

Without doubt to compare a jewish state to the Nazis is extremely provocative, indeed offensive. However, are there occasions when it is justified.

Here are some examples of people who have used the comparison,

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/IDF-general-in-bombshell-speech-Israel-today-shows-signs-of-1930s-Germany-453142

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/18915

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajo_Meyer

https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-calling-rivals-nazis-an-israeli-tradition-1.5313246

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEYz00MqCx0

https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/glenda-jackson-calling-israelis-nazis-is-not-hate-speech-it-s-free-speech-1.21473

The examples range from senior IDF commanders, Israeli intelligence chiefs, holocaust survivors, to a couple of Labour MP's. They are all zionists, in the sense that they support the right of Israel to exist, as a jewish state, and to defend itself when necessary. Yet they all use the example and, presumably, under the IHRA definition they would be guilty of anti-semitism.

I don't think anyone can realistically compare Israel's treatment of the Palestinians to Nazi Germany, certainly not at the height of the holocaust. There are no extermination camps, no mass executions. But there are now racist laws, collective punishments, dehumanising language from political and religious leaders, the use of excessive force against unarmed resistance, etc. These are traits of pre-holocaust Germany. There are lots of other examples in history to use, the most obvious is apartheid era South Africa.

But sometimes is the Nazi comparison valid? Or at least more effective in grabbing people's attention.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israel wrestles with Nazi insults
The answer obviously is yes.
 

former wesleyan

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Nov 29, 2009
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25,821
If you look at the Glenda Jackson example, don't forget she co-sponsored an Early Day Motion along with Corbyn and McDonald to rename Holocaust Memorial Day as Genocide Memorial Day. So she has the same agenda as many others which is to imply that it's not anti-semitism unless it kicks the door in wearing shiny boots and the full Hugo Boss kit. So there seems to be a contradiction here; if you neutralise or downplay the Holocaust what is the point of calling the Israelis Nazis ?
 

razorblade

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So much is compared to the Nazis these days that it has become absolutely meaningless which is what happens when words become so overused you forget what the true meaning of it really is.
 

Travis Bickle

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Using the plight of the Jewish people to excuse the apartheid rampant criminal butchery of the Israeli regime is antisemitic and disgraceful.

The inhumane Israeli regime has many qualities similar to that of Nazism.
 

GDPR

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Comparing anyone to the Nazis is usually just wrong-headed. They really were sui generis.
 

ffc

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Nov 6, 2007
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You will find that 99% of the time, the comparison is used to be hurtful to Jews nearly all of whom would have lost family under the Nazis.

https://www.economist.com/bagehots-notebook/2016/04/28/guest-post-why-comparing-israel-to-the-nazis-is-always-anti-semitic
But it is used regularly by people who have lost family in the holocaust.
Hajo Meyer lost his mother, but still used the comparison. Likewise Kaufman lost family to the Nazis.
The debate in Israel about the use of the term is far from one sided. Many Israeli citizens think there are occasions when the term is justified.
Is it the kind of term which could be used by jewish people, without being anti-semitic?
But could not be used by any non-jewish person, as they could never understand the sensitivity of using it.
 

Dame_Enda

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Well Israel constantly compares its critics to the Nazis. The IHRA definition is unreasonable insofar as it equates the State of Israel with the Jewish people. The growing American Jewish criticism of Israel, and the fact Holocaust survivors (including one BBC mentioned as appearing at an event called "Never again for Anyone" with Corbyn) are increasingly seeing parallels between what happened to them and whats happening to the Palestinians suggests it a legitimate comparison to make. Israel is not yet at the stage of exterminating the Palestinians in numerical terms. But the segregation is a daily fact of life in the West Bank and their military has shown its quite prepared to fire with reckless abandon into civilian populations and destroy their homes. How IDF soldiers can sleep at night as parents after shooting Palestininian children dead is a matter for their conscience I suppose if they have one.
 

Wascurito

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Such comparisons serve to minimize the full horror of what the Nazis did and that's the intention of some of those making the comparison.

Is it anti-Irish to compare the 1845-50 famine in Ireland with e.g. shops running out of food due to weather-related panic-buying?
 

Dame_Enda

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[video=youtube;uDwjQ9EHNa8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDwjQ9EHNa8[/video]
 

IvoShandor

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yes
Comparing anyone to the Nazis is usually just wrong-headed. They really were sui generis.
I wouldn't go quite that far. I'd put 5 other regimes (3 in scale, 2 for cruelty and madness) on a par with them, but it's true:they hold the place of eh, "honour" in that small select company of monstrosity.

Such comparisons serve to minimize the full horror of what the Nazis did and that's the intention of some of those making the comparison.
exactly.

...parallels between what happened to them and whats happening to the Palestinians suggests it a legitimate comparison to make..
it's still a bad idea.

Israel is not yet at the stage of exterminating the Palestinians in numerical terms. But the segregation is a daily fact of life in the West Bank and their military has shown its quite prepared to fire with reckless abandon into civilian populations and destroy their homes.
This is the point. I agree those things are bad, but they're still at two utterly different scales of atrocity. Its a grim point to have to make but oppression at the Israeli scale or much worse is sadly commonplace across the globe. If people want slam Israel they can look to Burma, Iraq, Eritrea, Pakistan, Syria, Sri Lanka or the 'Stans for comparisons. No need to bring the Nazis into it.
 
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Lúidín

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You can compare the actions of a regime to the actions of another regime in one or several respects. (People often say I have the smile of Liam Neeson but that's as far as the comparison goes.)

For example, you could compare the actions of the British Army in Belfast during the internment round-up to the actions of the Black and Tans in that they were breaking down doors and dragging males into the street. This does not necessarily mean that they were an indisciplined band of thugs who opened fire randomly on hurling matches.

So with Israel, it is fair to compare the treatment of the Palestinians under Israeli rule with the treatment of Jews, Roma and Slavs under Nazi rule in so far as they are regarded as non-people or sub-people and are subject to random killings, imprisonment and daily humiliation and abuse.

No one could compare the Holocaust, the greatest crime in human history, to anything, no matter how heinous, carried out by any other regime.
 

michael-mcivor

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Oct 15, 2011
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Wonder who the Nazis were compared to in the 30s- the British empire was one comparison back in the day-

Zionists like killing those less armed than them- actually that’s like the Nazis-
 

yanshuf

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Joined
Aug 23, 2004
Messages
12,998
You can compare the actions of a regime to the actions of another regime in one or several respects. (People often say I have the smile of Liam Neeson but that's as far as the comparison goes.)

For example, you could compare the actions of the British Army in Belfast during the internment round-up to the actions of the Black and Tans in that they were breaking down doors and dragging males into the street. This does not necessarily mean that they were an indisciplined band of thugs who opened fire randomly on hurling matches.

So with Israel, it is fair to compare the treatment of the Palestinians under Israeli rule with the treatment of Jews, Roma and Slavs under Nazi rule in so far as they are regarded as non-people or sub-people and are subject to random killings, imprisonment and daily humiliation and abuse.

No one could compare the Holocaust, the greatest crime in human history, to anything, no matter how heinous, carried out by any other regime.

psshhh...

A progress (I think)
 

yanshuf

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12,998
Wonder who the Nazis were compared to in the 30s- the British empire was one comparison back in the day-

Zionists like killing those less armed than them- actually that’s like the Nazis-

The leftistics in Ireland like to support people who hate Jews and try to kill them (the Arabs), actually, that's like the nazis
 
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