Clarity for the Deniers

[Washington Post] Michael Gerson - In Obama's Cairo speech he drew one vivid line. Holocaust denial, he said, is "baseless," "ignorant" and "hateful." He talked about the "evil" of genocide, repudiated "lies about our history" and challenged Iranian President Ahmadinejad to visit Buchenwald. Obama's intensity and clarity on this issue were unexpected - and needed. Holocaust denial has long been a staple of Middle Eastern anti-Semitism. The political purpose of Middle Eastern Holocaust denial is to delegitimize the State of Israel. Since Israel, in this view, was created by the West out of Holocaust guilt, disproving the Holocaust removes the reason for Israel's existence. Yet this conception of Israel's history is itself a distortion. Zionism existed well before the European genocide. The ties between Jews and the Land of Israel reach back for millennia. Israel does not exist merely because of Holocaust guilt. It exists because of its own tenacity, sense of purpose and national success.

2009-06-10 06:00:00

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