In Israel’s official Holocaust Day commemoration ceremony, Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a speech that is worthy of review. In it, he exposed the manner in which he perceives Israel - in the world and in history. This entire speech is one of fear and fear mongering.
In his speech Netanyahu compared, for umpteenth time, between Iran and Nazi Germany, and called for a preventative strike that will prevent Iran’s nuclear capabilities. The comparison with Nazi Germany is of course intended to frighten the local and international publics, and to obtain from them permission to attack Iran. “Iran must be stopped from obtaining nuclear weapons; it is the duty of the whole world, but above and beyond it is OUR duty. Today, the regime in Iran openly calls and determinedly works for our destruction. And it is feverishly working to develop atomic weapons to achieve that goal... The memory of the Holocaust goes beyond holding memorial services; we will never bury our heads in the sand”.
I do not share the comments by various analysts that this is simply a manipulation of public opinion. Israel’s prime minister is truly frightened. He is a prisoner of the view that “the entire world is against us” and “in every generation they wish to annihilate us”. In essence, Israel’s prime minister is expressing a post-Zionist view, for didn’t Zionism intend to eliminate this fear from the heart of Jews? Didn’t Ben Gurion and other leaders of the Zionist project wish to establish a sovereign state and Hebrew army in order to provide Jews, wherever they are, with a feeling of confidence grounded in the sense that “never again another Auschwitz and Treblinka”?
And now, more than six decades after Israel’s declaration of independence and despite the massive military might of the state of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu is bringing fear back to the official discourse.
Anyone who dared to mention the genocide of European Jewry in the same breath as other mass slaughters in modern history is told defiantly that there is no basis for comparison and that the Holocaust is a singular event. Now Israel’s prime minister and president are comparing Ahmadinejad and Hitler, and Iran with Nazi Germany: “humanity must learn the lessons of the Holocaust and to stand up to the existential threats before it is too late. Iran is the centre of terror and represents a threat to world peace”, stated President Shimon Peres at the same memorial ceremony.
While I doubt the veracity of Shimon Peres’ fear, I believe that Benjamin Netanyahu is indeed afraid, and as such I am afraid; there is no advisor worse than fear to one portending to lead. Fear paralyses rational thinking and results in the taking of irresponsible steps. And perhaps this is the reason behind the recent spate of statements by former heads of Israel’s military establishment against the approach of Netanyahu and Minister of Defence Barak in everything concerning Iran. They are also afraid – not of Iran, but of Netanyahu.