It’s wrong of Israeli left-wing pundits to rebuke Benjamin Netanyahu for refuting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial because that denial is not merely a fringe opinion that scandalizes its holder, it’s a broader, insidious phenomenon that nullifies Israel’s raison d’etre and is a not-so-subtle warrant for genocide, argues Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, in The New Republic. Paradoxically, Oren says, the erasure of the Shoah is tied to an ongoing anti-Zionist campaign that uses Nazi atrocities, which exist only as thought analogies, not real historical events, as a means of browbeating empowered Jews: “The Goldstone Report,” Oren writes, referring to the U.N. findings on alleged war crimes committed by Israel in its invasion of Gaza last winter, “goes further than Ahmadinejad and the Holocaust deniers by stripping the Jews not only of the ability and the need but of the right to defend themselves.”
Given Oren’s state employment, his essay might be written off as the work of a stooge—were it not for the fact that his civilian scholarship and analysis has appeared in TNR for years and been taken quite seriously. Bibi may be ideological, but he’s not stupid, and Oren’s appointment looks now to be almost enough to make up for the disaster of Avigdor Lieberman’s.
Deep Denial [TNR]