Thiessen: The rise of anti-Semitism on the left

OSWIECIM, POLAND — Recently, the State Department revised its definition of anti-Semitism to include “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” — an apparent response to the rise of the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) movement whose supporters routinely make such comparisons. That is a good thing. Just a few days ago, I sat in the former SS headquarters of the Auschwitz concentration camp with Piotr Cywiński, director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Speaking beside a window overlooking the gas chamber and crematorium where countless souls perished, he explained that there is no difference between hatred of Israel and hatred for Jews.

“It’s the same old story with some different words,” he said. “If you are speaking with somebody who is defending some anti-Israeli ideologies, maybe not in the first minute, maybe not in the second minute, but in the third minute you will find that the same old story accusing Jews of every bad thing in the world. For me, that’s very, very clear. I never saw any anti-Israeli theory that was not anti-Semitic.”

In an interview, my American Enterprise Institute colleague Danielle Pletka and I asked Cywiński about politicians such as Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who recently said that boycotting Israel is no different from boycotting Nazi Germany.

“I can’t see why people feel free to compare Israel to the Nazis,” Cywiński said. “I don’t want to comment on it on an intellectual level. It’s simply an insult. It’s an insult to the victims and an insult to the survivors and an insult to a whole country, to a whole society.” There was a time, he said, when “if somebody would [say] something like this, it would be the end of his political career. Now it’s a question of two days maybe …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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