Photo Credit: Yad Vashem
The Boemestrasse Synagogue in Frankfurt, Germany, burning on November 10, 1938.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has slammed a plan by the German Goethe Institute in Tel Aviv to hold a conference equating the Holocaust with the “Nakba” – an Arabic word meaning “catastrophe” that is used by the Palestinian Authority and some Israeli Arabs in reference to the 1948 establishment of the State of Israel.

The conference is an initiative of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation of the Germany ‘Di Linka’ party.

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Entitled “The Holocaust, the Nakba and the German Culture of Remembrance,” the event was originally planned to take place Wednesday, the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom that launched the Nazi Holocaust.

The German group behind the conference rescheduled it for November 13, however, following a firestorm of protest. The group has declined to cancel it altogether despite calls to do so from the Israeli government.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “shock and disgust in the face of the blatant scorn of the Holocaust, and the cynical and manipulative intent to create a bond whose entire purpose is to defame Israel,” the ministry said in a statement, and called on all parties involved to cancel the “outrageous” event.

The ministry called the event “shameful and disgraceful,” adding in its statement that the conference “should not take place on any date in the calendar and not only on the anniversary of Kristallnacht.”

Israel’s former Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, also attacked the plan to hold the conference.

“On the day of remembrance for the pogroms of November 1938, the Goethe Institute and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation decided to downplay the memory of the Holocaust. And of all places – precisely in Israel,” Prosor said.

“This is unacceptable and disrespectful.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.