War between Israel and Gaza: Leave the Holocaust alone | International

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A man places the bodies of victims of an Israeli bombing in Gaza during the funeral, in Khan Younis on Tuesday.MOHAMMED SALEM (REUTERS)

The Jewish philosopher Leo Strauss coined the idea that when someone draws a comparison to Hitler in an argument it means they have already lost it. Since the Hamas terrorist attack against Israel and the response with massive bombings on Gaza, comparisons have multiplied. During the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared this Tuesday: “Hamas are the new Nazis.” He also maintained that Israeli children had to “hide in attics like Anne Frank.” Previously, he had compared the crimes of the Palestinian Islamist militia with Babi Yar, the extermination of the Jews of Kiev by the Nazis, who murdered 33,771 people in a ravine near the capital on September 29 and 30, 1941. Ukraine.

Likewise, there have been numerous comparisons of Israel with the Nazis, in demonstrations, on social networks and by leaders. The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, he wrote on October 10 on his X account (the social network that was previously called Twitter): “Gaza today appears as destroyed or more so than the Warsaw ghetto” after “the Jewish and socialist insurrection, that concentration camp was destroyed by Nazi barbarity.”

What is happening in the Middle East is so serious, so horrible, the human cost is so horrifying — Gaza authorities maintain that 750 Palestinians have died under bombardment on the Strip in the last 24 hours alone; The Hamas barbarity of October 7 demonstrated such a profound dehumanization of its victims that any comparison with the Holocaust is not only false, but seems to minimize the current horror.

The Holocaust is a crime that does not allow comparison, but unfortunately it is not the only genocide that the 20th century or the 21st century has known. In their murderous raid, Hamas militants shot men, women and children, the vast majority of them civilians, murdering people just for being Jewish, just for being born. It is a crime against humanity. Why do we have to bring up the Holocaust?

The Shoah represented the first and only attempt to industrially murder an entire human group, the Jews, and was the culmination of a project, Nazism, based on racism and crime. Historian and BBC journalist Laurence Rees finished his 2018 book The Holocaust asking precisely this question: Is the Holocaust a unique event in history? His conclusion was clear. "In recent times I have come to agree with the late Professor David Cesarini who, in a conversation we had a few years ago, put it very eloquently: 'Never before in history has a leader decided that, in a space delimited time, an ethnic or religious group had to be completely eliminated and that all the necessary equipment to carry out this end would be created.' “That is unprecedented.”

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An Israeli soldier this Tuesday in front of the remains of victims of the Hamas attack on October 7.
An Israeli soldier this Tuesday in front of the remains of victims of the Hamas attack on October 7.ABIR SULTAN (EFE)

The Babi Yar massacre, which Netanyahu has cited—the Israeli politician has already manipulated history and the Holocaust on other occasions—is a clear example: for the first time it was not a massive reprisal against civilians, nor a shooting of Jews. in the open air as had taken place in Poland and Russia since the beginning of World War II, but the Nazis wanted to systematically exterminate all the Jews of Kiev. The death camps, like Auschwitz or Treblinka, were also unique: killing factories with gas chambers.

The Holocaust is a unique crime, but it also represents a teaching of how far human violence against human beings can go when a process of dehumanization is set in motion, when it is considered that the opposite does not deserve to live just because of the fact that exist.

Several jurists – including the former president of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Lord Neuberger, and the lawyer and writer Philippe Sands – published a letter in the Financial Times in which they showed their horror at what was happening “as Jews, with family and friends directly affected by the tragedy that has befallen Israel.” They considered that Hamas had committed crimes against humanity and war crimes by violating the Geneva conventions and that Israel had the right to defend itself, but they showed their "enormous concern" about the response of the Jewish State - more than 2,300 children have died under bombs since the beginning of the offensive. “In these times of pain and terror, the notion that there are laws by which we must all live is challenging but essential. “Jewish history teaches us that we cannot renounce them,” his article ended. The Holocaust is unique and therefore also represents a teaching: the abyss exists and has no end.

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