February 5, 2019


Holocaust scholars slam Netanyahu's deal with the devil (Akiva Eldar, February 5, 2019, Al Monitor)

Just over 18 months after starring at the leadership summit of the central European Visegrad Group in July 2017, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will host the leaders of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia Feb. 18-19 in Jerusalem. [...]

Yair Lapid, the chair of centrist Yesh Atid and a second-generation Holocaust survivor, was the only senior politician to speak out against the hosting of the summit in Israel. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had pushed through legislation degrading to victims of the Holocaust, he said. When this law was first debated in Poland in 2016, Yehuda Bauer, the pre-eminent Holocaust historian who serves as an academic adviser to Yad Vashem, told Haaretz that the legislation bordered on Holocaust denial. Lapid also pointed to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who had engaged last year in a campaign bordering on anti-Semitism. "This is a loss of all national pride and international damage," he tweeted Jan. 28. Lapid urged Netanyahu to curb his "lust" for campaign photo ops and forego hosting the summit. Nonetheless, let us not forget that Lapid himself was silent over reports of Israeli arms sales to despicable regimes accused of war crimes.

Retired Ambassador Colette Avital, the chair of the Israeli umbrella organization of Holocaust survivor groups, was less diplomatic. In an interview with Al-Monitor, she accused Netanyahu of providing a "seal of approval to leaders and regimes with neo-Nazi leanings, hurting Holocaust survivors and the memory of its victims." The former Labor Party Knesset member added, "Motivated by narrow interests, the prime minister is helping those rewriting history -- those who love Israel but hate the Jews."

Posted by at February 5, 2019 3:32 PM