Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

The Evil of Holocaust Denial

I am a champion of a two-state peace in Israel, Palestine. I have argued that the U.S. should be talking with our adversaries in Iran and I have been very discouraged at the return of Iranian hardliners after reformers had made so much progress in pushing Iran toward true democracy.
But all that aside, I must say that the Holocaust denial conference organized by Iranian president Ahmadinejad has sickened and outraged me. My next door neighbors growing up, the Goldbergs, were Holocaust survivors with numbers tattooed on their arms. My maternal grandfather saw the liberation of some of the death camps at the end of WWII. The Nazis themselves kept meticulous records of this most systematic of genocides. Holocaust denial, along with Holocaust relativizing, is now widespread in the Middle East and part of a growing anti-Jewish plague (fed by the Palestinian-Israeli conflict) around the world. It must be denounced wherever it raises its ugly head.

The U.S. is not blameless: we turned whole ships of fleeing Jewish refugees from our shores and we refused to divert any planes from the war effort to destroy either the death camps or the train tracks leading to them. And anti-Semitism was common enough among my own fellow Baptists that many here initially cheered Hitler prior to the war. And anti-Jewish beliefs are still common throughout the world. None of this justifies the policies of the state of Israel toward the Palestinians (as many Jews themselves point out)–but neither does the actions of Israel justify the evil of Holocaust denial or the resurgence of anti-Judaism and anti-semitism. I am sickened beyond belief.


December 14, 2006 Posted by | antisemitism, holocaust, human rights. | 3 Comments