One dreads to imagine what Mgr. Hanke and Mgr. Mixa would tell German schoolchildren if they were to accompany them on a visit to Yad Vashem or on a tour of the former Warsaw Ghetto.
In the Netherlands, too, the remembrance of the Nazi atrocities is being abused to foment hatred against Israel. Five years ago, the Kristallnacht commemoration in Amsterdam was abused by official speakers, including the former Socialist Mayor of Amsterdam, who compared “Islamophobia” and the “discrimination against immigrants” in the Netherlands today with the Nazi excesses during Kristallnacht.
One of the most transparent examples of Holocaust abuse is perhaps the abuse of the suffering of Anne Frank. Last April, Giulio Meotti opined in the Israeli publication Arutz Sheva, that Amsterdam’s Anne Frank Museum would be better off closed because it “is now a place rampant with Antisemitism.”
The Anne Frank Museum, located in the house where the Jewish Frank family hid in a secret annex until they were arrested in 1944, is the most visited Holocaust memory site in Europe. The museum, however, is run by the Anne Frank Foundation which apparently sees its goal not just (1) to combat Antisemitism, but also (2) to propagate “equal rights,” (3) a “pluriform society” and (4) “active citizenship” as a defence against “prejudice, exclusion and extremism.”
The latter three objectives have completely subverted the former: the Anne Frank Foundation is pro-Palestinian and a vociferous critic of Dutch politicians who are critical of Islam and defenders of Israel. The Foundation has also warned that “Islamophobia” and “negative opinions” about Muslims are growing in the Netherlands.
The Anne Frank Museum, writes Meotti, has “sanitized Anne Frank’s story of almost all its Jewish references … The result is that the public is now completely desensitized to the unique catastrophe that was the destruction of European Jewry. The Museum has also turned into a powerful source of criticism of Israel in Europe.” “Israel,” the Anne Frank Foundation wrote in a report, “pushes Palestinians economically into a corner and humiliates them psychologically.”
In 2004, an exhibition in the Anne Frank Museum compared former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Adolf Hitler. The former Soviet dissident, Natan Sharansky, then a Israeli government minister, reacted indignantly , saying the museum was “showing contempt for the memory of the six million who were murdered in the Holocaust.”
Since 2004, however, the situation Anne Frank Foundation has not changed; it is still permeated with anti-Israeli bias. Although Anne Frank was murdered by the Nazis because she was Jewish, since then, Belgian educational organizations, British MPs, German Bishops and even the museum established to honor Anne Frank, attempt to convey the message that today’s Anne Franks are Palestinian girls about to be murdered by Israelis.
Not everyone agrees with this view of the state of Antisemitism in Europe. Writing in The Daily Beast, Jonathan Freedland, while conceding that “There are troubles for Jews,” writes: “[N]o, we are not living in a new dark age and, no, the lights are not going out all over Europe.” He mentions that in Britain, while “Jews here can feel unease at the tenor of the national conversation on Israel—a newspaper cartoon here, a politician’s turn of phrase there—but they also enjoy a Jewish life that is in many ways richer than ever before.” He goes on to mention a “festival of Jewish learning” called Limmud; Jewish Book Week, two sitcoms based on Jewish family life, and that “if the current polls hold till 2015”, Ed Milliband, “who repeatedly stresses the pride he takes in his Jewish roots,” is set to become Britain’s next Prime Minister under the Labour Party.
About the Author: Peter Martino is a European affairs columnist for the Gatestone Institute.
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