Israeli Professor and Holocaust Researcher Daniel Blatman compares Israel's Political and Military elite to their Nazi equivalents
The headline of this piece is taken from the open letter “J’accuse” by the novelist Emile Zola to France’s president on January 13, 1898. It’s about the injustice caused to Alfred Dreyfus, and about shattering France’s legacy of liberty, turning anti-Semitism into a force unifying the haters of equality. It’s about the lies and malice in the army and the corruption, distortion of truth, ignorance, violence and deceit. Zola protested all these things and accused those responsible. In Israel on the eve of our 70th Independence Day, we are also accusing.
We are accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of selling his soul to the devil of incitement, fearmongering and racism. Circumstances gave him a chance to appear before the world as a leader who courageously says the right things: We will deal with the distress of tens of thousands of unfortunate human beings based on the values of justice and humanism.
Now, a few days before Holocaust Remembrance Day, when we remember the Jewish refugees who could find no safe haven to which to flee, we will put an end to this difficult humanitarian problem. My fellow citizens, a worthy leader would say, this is the way, it’s the right and proper way and there is no other. But Netanyahu, who is chiefly to blame for Israel’s current situation, chose to remain a pathetic and scared leader without moral backbone.
We also accuse Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who defends an army that commits war crimes against civilians demonstrating against their poverty and distress while they are imprisoned between the sea to the west and fences, snipers’ rifles and tanks to the east. We accuse him of incitement against the country’s Arab citizens, corrupt politics and hooliganism, and of using the norms of a regime that no longer exists, which are poisoning the shaky Israeli democracy. We accuse him of encouraging incitement against elected officials – Jews and Arabs – who were legally elected to the Knesset and faithfully represent their constituencies.
We accuse the heads of the army and the security agencies of failing to protest against the political leadership and warn that after 50 years of occupation and oppression the Israel Defense Forces is losing the ability to distinguish between what is permissible and what is forbidden. The army’s spokespeople sometimes sound like the officers of armies whose leaders were accused of collaborating with the worst crimes of the 20th century. Senior German and Japanese officers and commanders gave exactly the same reasons when they tried to explain the injustices in occupied Russia and the Philippines.