More than 400 Jewish leaders, Holocaust scholars, and rabbis sign a statement condemning charges that the Israeli operation in Gaza constitutes “genocide.”
As officials of Jewish or Holocaust-related institutions, or scholars of Holocaust and genocide studies, we are deeply troubled by the false accusations of genocide that have been made against Israel in recent days.
On July 9, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in a speech in Ramallah, accused Israel of “committing genocide.” On August 1, on Al Jazeera’s English-language TV broadcast, Fatah foreign affairs spokesman Nabil Sha’ath described the situation in Gaza as “a Holocaust.” Also on August 1, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan accused Israel of “Hitler-like fascism.”
The Holocaust was the deliberate, systematic mass murder of six million innocent Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. By contrast, Israel is acting in legitimate self-defense against Hamas terrorism. Israel has no interest in harming innocent civilians, and indeed has done its utmost to avoid civilian casualties, whereas Hamas deliberately targets Israeli civilians. Any comparison between Israel and the Nazis outrageously distorts Israel’s actions and trivializes the enormity and nature of the Holocaust.
Notable signatories include: Leon Wieseltier of The New Republic, Rabbi Mark Dratch, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, and Prof. Deborah Lipstadt.