Lipstadt Blasts 'Abuse' of Holocaust by Politicians

By Haaretz

Published December 16, 2011.

Renowned Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt says that American and Israeli politicians who invoke the Holocaust for contemporary political purposes are engaging in “Holocaust abuse”, which is similar to “soft-core denial” of the Holocaust.

“I think it is dangerous, just plain dangerous. It’s a distortion of what Israel is all about, what Zionism is all about,” said Lipstadt, who has just published a retrospective book “The Eichmann Trial” on the 1961 Jerusalem trial of the infamous Nazi criminal.

“When you take these terrible moments in our history, and you use it for contemporary purposes, in order to fulfill your political objectives, you mangle history, you trample on it,” she said.

In a hard-hitting interview with Haaretz, Lipstadt singled out Republican presidential candidates for rebuke, describing their “pandering” as “embarrassing” and “unhealthy”. Of last week’s appearance of the top Republican candidates at a Washington forum organized by the Republican Jewish Committee, she said: “It was unbelievable. It made me cringe. I couldn’t watch it.”

“You listen to Newt Gingrich talking about the Palestinians as an ‘invented people’ – it’s out-Aipacking AIPAC, it’s out-Israeling Israel,” she said. .”There’s something about it that’s so discomforting. It’s not healthy. It’s a distortion,” she said.

She also used the word “despicable” to describe settlers who use the term “Nazi” against IDF soldiers. “And it’s so inaccurate. And it’s such an abuse of history. The people who started it know it’s not true, but the kids, the yeshiva kids, and the high school kids – they don’t know it’s not true. And so when real Nazism comes around - no one will recognize it.”

For more, go to Haaretzcom



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