An article this weekend from the Washington Post details the growing internal outrage within Israel against members of their Ultra Orthodox community, centered around the Ultra Orthodox’s use of Holocaust imagery in a protest against opposition to their calls to persecute women.
Indeed, the protest didn’t just use the imagery but explicit references, with the rabbi leading the group saying “The Israeli media’s incitement is reminiscent of the German media’s before World War II” and referring to secular criticism as a “spiritual Holocaust.”
The backlash has been significant, with Israeli leaders and Holocaust survivors alike condemning the protesters for wearing concentration camp outfits and insisting that “We must leave the Holocaust and its symbols outside the arguments in Israeli society.”
Which is certainly a noble sentiment, but at the risk of stating the obvious Israeli leaders have been doing materially the same thing for years. Indeed, I cannot recall the last time a prominent Israeli government official spoke at a Holocaust commemoration event and didn’t use it to shill the international community for some war (usually against Iran).
If internal protests that most of the world are never going to see “harm the memory” of the Holocaust by exploiting it for political gain, surely high profile international speeches by top Israeli leaders using comparable tactics must be doing exponentially more harm.