There was a time, not so long ago, when Holocaust denial was considered too toxic for secular leftist anti-Israel activists to touch. Not any more, because the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) is now using the winning entry from Iran’s notorious Holocaust cartoon competition of 2006. (See here, on SPSC website, inserted by SPSC to accompany a press release by the Israeli group, Gush Shalom. The story appears here in the Jewish Telegraph, including condemnations by local politicians.)
This is not to accuse the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign of indulging in Holocaust denial. Far from it. Rather, they have repeatedly utilised Holocaust imagery and abused Holocaust memory to launch the most repugnant attacks upon Israel and its supporters. (The logic is simple and seductive, as subverting the Holocaust undermines the most resonant moral and historical pillar for Israel’s existence.)
Overall, the leftist anti-Israel slide into Nazi-themed filth has been gradual but persistent. (For detail, see this article, “Holocaust Denial as an Anti-Zionist and Anti-Imperialist Tool for the European Far Left” by CST’s Dave Rich.)
It began with absurdly overblown accusations of Zionist complicity with the Nazi Holocaust, epitomised by the play “Perdition”.
It regressed into accusing Israel of being the new Nazi Germany, as seen throughout last year’s Gaza war demonstrations.
It debased Holocaust Memorial Day, using it for anti-Israel campaigning.
Now, it is now lifting cartoons from the world’s foremost pushers of Holocaust denial and antisemitism.
Every stage of this moral collapse has been led by some individual activist or group. Opposing voices have occasionally been heard from within the anti-Israel camp, but largely there was silence, followed by creeping support: until each stage of the narrative reached its tipping point and became embedded as part of accepted anti-Israel wisdom. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the widespread tolerance and subsequent promotion of the Israel equals Nazi Germany libel.
As shown in CST’s Antisemitic Discourse Report (lengthy pdf download here), Nazi-themed anti-Israel propaganda is a grotesque abuse of Jewish history and memory that causes direct and significant hurt to Jews; trivialises and essentially denies the enormity of the Holocaust; and attempts to displace Jews as victims of the Holocaust and supersede them with Palestinians.
The anti-Israel left must know the pain that all of this Nazi-themed filth causes to the overwhelming majority of Jews: but history would strongly suggest that Jews should not expect any comfort or sentimentality from this supposedly anti-racist element of our society.
This was the winning cartoon, used by SPSC. It shows the railway tracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
These cartoons were from the same competition as the one used by SPSC, and were amongst those winning “special awards”. The first implicitly denies the Holocaust. The second is a riot of antisemitic caricature and racism, with Holocaust denial thrown in for ugly measure.