November 15, 2017 — Brussels
Last week, AJC’s Brussels-based Transatlantic Institute partnered with David Campbell-Bannerman, a member of the European Parliament, and the Board of Deputies of British Jews to host a symposium marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.
The Balfour Declaration placed the Zionist goal of a Jewish homeland in Palestine on the global agenda and set the stage for the creation of the Jewish state of Israel to arise from the ashes of the Holocaust in 1948.
But you wouldn’t know this from the description provided by a Palestinian representative to the European Union, who declared: “The creation of the State of Israel leaded [sic] to another Holocaust.”
Daniel Schwammenthal, director of AJC’s Transatlantic Institute, immediately rebutted the outrageous claim. “It is a form of Holocaust inversion. It is a form of Holocaust denial. … To say that this is the same as the industrial murder of six million people shows that, unfortunately, reaching peace will have to overcome still a lot of obstacles.”
The sentiment this Palestinian diplomat expressed is, unfortunately, not an isolated one. It has been cultivated by Palestinian leaders and their supporters for years. Equating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Holocaust is morally and intellectually outrageous.
How sad that we still need to be reminded: the Holocaust was not a war between two nationalities. It was the systematic murder of six million Jewish civilians ordered and carried out by a Nazi government that deemed Jews racially inferior. The Holocaust analogy both trivializes what the Jewish people endured at the time and clouds our understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how it might be resolved.