Welcome to the world of the New anti-Semitism. While it does not replace the classical Anti-Semitism, which is well-known for its caricatures and the association between Jews and money, it rather adds a more modern touch to it, adjusting it to a broader audience who are clueless to their anti-Semitism.
The New Anti-Semitism is not direct and straight forward. It does not compare Jews to vermin or directly ask people to carry on Hitler's legacy. It does something much worse: The New Anti-Semitism uses an innocent and peaceful rhetoric to gradually delegitimize the state of Israel and the right of the Jewish people to their own country. By using the same method many anti-Israelis often use, the new anti-Semites create hatred toward the Jewish people as a whole by modernly turning us into a villain of some sort. With a fair share of lies and that peaceful rhetoric, “the Jew” becomes a person to blame for all the world's suffering, and the Holocaust turns into an event that is only second to what the Palestinians are going through nowadays.
In 2007, Iran’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, spoke in front of students at Columbia University. When he was asked by a student if he personally believes that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, his reply was: "I believe a great atrocity was committed in the Second World War. The question that needs to be asked is what is the crime committed by the Palestinians in that atrocity?” The immediate response was murmuring and whispers that spread throughout the room like wildfire. Some students even shouted at him, attacking him for his indirect, yet confident Holocaust reduction, and the strange connection he suddenly made with today’s Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Instead of lowering his head and apologizing, Zarif looked straight up and confidently stated that while he acknowledges that “the killing of Jews” during WWII did take place, he does not understand why the Palestinians, who were not even involved in that war, still have to be victimized for it. Just like that, he turned the Holocaust into a non-issue, not even calling it by its name. When the shouting continued, he shamelessly accused the audience of depriving him of his freedom of speech.
This is merely one small demonstration of the New Anti-Semitism - and keep in mind that not all audiences have the wisdom and intelligence to notice it like those students. Instead of denying the Holocaust, this rhetoric wisely connects it with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and thus incites hatred toward “The Jews” for surviving the Holocaust and later forming an independent state. It is very important to remember that while the State of Israel often makes the connection between the Holocaust and the state (משואה לתקומה, From Holocaust to Heroism), it is not an actual narrative. Many of the Jews who founded the state of Israel lived there many years before the Holocaust took place.
This approach is spreading quickly and is no longer used exclusively by Iranian leaders. The Holocaust has no direct relation with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Genocide of the Jewish people did not directly cause the ongoing dispute over the small, strategic piece of land at the heart of the Middle East, and the survival of a few 70 years ago is heroism, not an attempt to bring suffering into the world. But with enough free time, malicious intentions and viral activity, any story can be believed to be the objective truth.
The story that presents the apparent suffering of the Palestinians as the immediate result of the failure of Hitler’s plans, makes innocent and clueless people hate others on the basis of race and religion. This type of hatred is not a legitimate criticism and there is no room for it in the world. This type of hatred can easily lead to action and history CAN repeat itself. This type of hatred is, indeed, anti-Semitism in and of itself and we must stop it now, while we still can. We must take action to expose anti-Semitism for what it is. Standing by is tantamount to agreeing. Disagree.
Listen to another example of the New Anti- Semitism by Geroge Galloway, UK Member of Parliment: