The Guardian reports: The deputy head of the Israeli military has been forced to backtrack after appearing to compare some attitudes in present-day Israel to “nauseating trends” in 1930s Germany.
In a hard-hitting Holocaust memorial day speech on Wednesday evening, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) deputy chief of staff, Maj Gen Yair Golan, made remarks that he felt compelled to clarify overnight on Thursday, insisting he had not “intended to compare Israel to Nazi Germany”.
Both the timing – on the day that marks the murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis – and the perceived comparison, touch on the most sensitive of issues in Israel.
Golan told an audience including a government minister and survivors of the Holocaust: “The Holocaust must lead us to think about our public lives, and even more than that, it must guide anyone who has the ability, not only those who wish to bear public responsibility.
“Because if there is anything that frightens me in the remembrance of the Holocaust, it is discerning nauseating trends that took place in Europe in general, and in Germany specifically back then, 70, 80 and 90 years ago, and seeing evidence of them here among us in the year 2016.
“After all, there is nothing simpler and easier than hating the foreigner, there is nothing easier and simpler than arousing fears and intimidating, there is nothing easier and simpler than becoming bestial, forgoing principles and becoming smug.” [Continue reading…]