When reporters compared Israel's bombing of Lebanon to the Warsaw Ghetto, as they had previously compared the falsified destruction of Jenin to the Warsaw Ghetto, some might have noted the bitter irony of comparing Jews to Nazis while comparing the fanatical cult intent on a renewed genocide of the Jews which itself engages in Holocaust denial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. But this is part on the ongoing trend of the exploitation of the Holocaust that has its roots in the hijacking and expropriation of the murder of six million to serve everyone's pet cause.
In 2003 the animal rights organization PETA unveiled a new campaign titled, 'Holocaust on Your Plate.' The ads for the campaign featured a photo of a Jewish concentration camp inmate side by side with a cow. Controversial campaigns were nothing new for PETA which had put up ads trying to tie New York Mayor Rudy Guliani's cancer to drinking milk and handed out cartoons to children warning them that milk would make them sick and a handbook warning children that if their father goes fishing he might decide to kill their dog too.
In 2005 PETA apologized for causing any pain but not for the campaign and shows every sign of continuing to use Holocaust images and analogies and metaphors in its propaganda literature. Other animal rights organizations quickly picked up on the idea. The National Primate Research Exhibition Hall, compares itself to the Holocaust memorial at Auschwitz. The Consistency in Compassion Campaign (CCC), a project of the Northwest Animal Rights Network of Seattle, Washington, used images of murdered Holocaust victims in a pit juxtaposed with photos of dead cows. Over half a century after the Holocaust the popular propaganda of Streicher and Goebbels which depicted Jews as subhuman and of no more worth than animals had been resurrected and lived again on the pages of popular magazines and advertising billboards across America and Europe.
PETA had a long history of vandalism, pornography and slander behind them all of it played out as publicity stunts to ensure the maximum attention from the press; still some might have thought that it had gone too far and risked alienating the urban based demographic it was targeting. This exploitation though was just the opening shot in what would become a PETA campaign against the Jews. Like their European animal rights counterparts who have in many cases successfully targeted Kosher slaughter, banning it outright in Sweden and pushing its outlawing in England; PETA moved towards its goal of barring the slaughter of Kosher meat by targeting Kosher meat plants.
Not satisfied with merely abusing and exploiting the Holocaust and comparing Jews to animals, much as the Nazis themselves had, PETA would begin a campaign targeting Kosher slaughter of animals that continues to this day. This is typical of organizations that exploit the Holocaust, which begin by denigrating the Holocaust and conclude by turning on Jews themselves because after all displaying contempt for suffering is the prelude to inflicting it.
In exploiting the Holocaust in this way PETA was following a long trend of organizations exploiting the Holocaust for their own causes. In 1997 when Scientology wanted to protest the legal restrictions placed on it by the German government, it took out full page ads in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and numerous other major papers signed by major Hollywood celebrities such as John Travolta, Oliver Stone and Dustin Hoffman comparing Germany's treatment of Scientology cult members to the Holocaust. Scientology had always had close ties to Hollywood numbering many celebrities as members including John Travolta, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. A large publicity campaign was put out playing on the theme of, "first they came for the Communists", a notorious forged line of prose sunk into collective memory that makes the argument that any societal persecution or discrimination of anyone is itself the opening number to genocide.
The fuss faded but Scientology marched on. In 2003 again Scientology launched an exhibition in Berlin claiming that psychiatry was evil and had caused the Holocaust. "It is a cold, hard fact that psychiatry spawned the ideology which fired Hitler's mania, turned the Nazis into mass murderers and created the Holocaust," was a typical line from the display. That psychiatry was heavily associated with Sigmund Freud, a Jew, who himself faced persecution by the Nazis and whose daughter had to flee them, would be of no concern to Scientology. Himself committed to a psychiatric hospital the founder of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard had an obsession with the evils of psychiatry and viewed them as competition for his own supposed inventions of curing psychological problems using wires attached to tin cans.
The most recent scandal on this subject is a documentary put out by the Christian Coral Ridge Ministries entitled 'Darwin's Deadly Legacy' seeking to blame Darwin, Darwinism and Evolution for Nazism and the Holocaust. The ADL's condemnation of the ministry's documentary as exploiting the Holocaust only opened up a new can of worms. The ministry retorted by arguing that Hitler was an evolutionist, which may be the case but so is much of Europe and the United States. A prominent Jewish figure attached to the Christian religious right responded with an article accusing the ADL of defending Darwnism, though there is no line in their press release defending Darwin or Darwinism.
With many fundamentalist Christians enmeshed in fighting creationism vs evolution battles in public schools, evolution is to many fundamentalist Christians now the key evil, a position that must be inevitably propped up by referencing the Holocaust. As animal rights activists view eating meat as the ultimate evil and Scientologists see psychiatry as the ultimate threat, fundamentalist Christians follow the pattern by exploiting the Holocaust to fight their own ultimate threat. By co-opting the Holocaust each of these groups tries to stretch out a symbol for ultimate evil to fit their own worldview. To animal rights activists the Nazis were supremacists, to the Scientologists they were psychiatrists and to Christians they were secular godless evolutionists. What all of them agree on is that the Nazis were not what they actually were, which is the bigoted murderers of Jews. These different factions may differ on the details but all of them agree that rather than being the enemies of the Jews, the Nazis were in truth the enemies of Scientology or Christianity or all life on the planet and the Jews just happened to get in the way.
This indeed is the narrative of Christian religious historical revisionism on the Holocaust which postulates a secular godless mechanistic materialistic Nazi regime that persecuted Christians and Jews in the name of abstract rationalism. That this worldview is entirely divorced from history makes no real difference, it is a convenient attempt to avoid coming to terms with the reality that Nazi anti-Semitism was the outgrowth of a thousand years of Christian anti-Semitism.
After all if we divorce Christian anti-Semitism from Nazism, it's reasonable to ask then, why the Jews. If the Nazis were operating in a purely evolutionary realm of Eugenics, then the Jews were hardly inferiors by any objective statistical standpoint. With Jews vastly overrepresented in medical and scientific professions and even among the war heroes of WWI, it would be quite impossible for a rational scientific analysis to conclude that Eugenics mandated destroying the Jews. It is only when Eugenics was used to justify an pre-existing anti-Semitism and a pre-existing desire to destroy the Jews, that such a conclusion can be reached. Eugenics and evolution therefore becoming nothing more than rhetorical justifications, rather than ideological underpinnings for any effort to destroy the Jews.
With that idea discarded Christians may argue, as the Pope attempted to do, that the Nazis hated Christianity and killed Jews to get to the Christians but then one has to wonder why the Vatican remained intact and why priests sat there hearing confessions from SS men with fresh Jewish blood on their hands who with their consciences fresh, went out to kill again. Mostly one has to wonder why this novel idea didn't occur to the Catholic Church or to the American Churches during WW2, at least insofar as saving the Jews or at least speaking out against their slaughter.
Finally if the Nazis were out to wipe out Christianity they might have tried shuttering the churches, banning religion, burning all the bibles and executing all the clergy. Instead German churches continued to run praying for the victory of Germany in the war and German churchgoers continued sending millions in tithes to the Vatican, at a time when Germany was losing the war and desperate for funds. It is manifestly irrational to argue that the Nazis hatred for the Jews whom they tried to exterminate was merely a subset for their hatred of Christians, whom they did not try to exterminate and whom in any case were the Nazis themselves. To talk of Nazis hating Christians makes no sense because the two were one and the same.
Tens of millions of German Catholics and Lutherans who voted for Hitler, cheered at his rallies and served in the Wermacht and the SS and implemented the Holocaust and the conquest of Europe did not suddenly become pagans overnight. Norse altars did not replace churches during or after the war. The vast majority of Germans continued believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior co-equal with their belief that the Jews were an alien evil race that needed to be eradicated. There is no contradiction there since European Christians had believed much the same thing for many centuries and occasionally tried to implement it. The Nazis were subjectively no different from the Christian crusaders who massacred every single Jew in Israel and covered the German Jewish communities in blood as they marched their way to the Holy Land slaughtering men, women and children.
The new revisionist historical narrative as promoted by the Coral Ridge documentary attempts to reassign that evil from Christian hearts to Darwinian ones, even as it then blames the Jews in the form of the ADL for defending Darwinism. As with PETA and Scientology, once the Holocaust is lifted from being motivated by anti-Semitism to being motivated by Psychiatry, Darwinism, the Jews quickly then become identified with the very evils the revisionist history of the Holocaust postulates were the real motives of the Nazis. To PETA Jews are butchers of animals, to Scientology Jews are psychiatrists and to fundamentalist Christians Jews are the teachers and defenders of a godless secular morality. Not all of them, just the ones that won't stand together and join ranks with them in their act of historical revisionism and fight the real evils of hamburgers, psychoanalysis and dinosaurs.
When bombs fall on Beirut and the terrorist murderers of Jews are compared to the martyrs of the Holocaust, it is merely the logical conclusion of the intellectual processes of a world that has written off the Jewish Holocaust fragmenting it into a thousand other Holocausts to fit each ideological faction's worldview. To liberals there was no Jewish Holocaust only a universal one against racial and ethnic minorities which conveniently Jews are no longer numbered among. To conservatives there was no Jewish Holocaust only a religious one, primarily aimed at Christians, which Jews are not numbered among. To animal rights activists there was no Jewish Holocaust, only one aimed against all life on earth. To Scientologists there was no Jewish Holocaust, only psychiatry run amuck.
All these groups, opposed as they are to each other, agree on one thing, there was no Jewish Holocaust. The murder of the Jews was just a subset of a larger issue and the Jews have no right to use this universal idea of the Holocaust for any narrow religious or nationalistic claim. The Jews are allowed to commemorate the dead but not to agitate against a repetition of the Holocaust against those Jews still living. That far and no father. The Holocaust can be trotted out on behalf of Muslim Albanians, Catholic Croats, Animist Sudanese and any and every other people. It cannot however be used to defend the right of those same survivors of the Holocaust to found a nation of their own and defend its narrow borders against a fanatical ideology of 1 Billion that seeks to wipe them and theirs off the earth.
This ongoing exploitation of the Holocaust happening day by day, every time some columnist, tv personality, activist, writer, actor or random idiot flagrantly compares something to the Holocaust. It is why it is crucial to maintain the true memory of the Holocaust as an attempt to eradicate the Jewish people and not as fodder for the rhetoric of any faction with a political or social agenda. It is important to remember the dead but also the living because the dead cannot be killed again but the living can. Walk the empty streets of Tsfat and know that it can.
It was not the psychiatrists or the evolutionists or the meat eaters who came for us in 1939 but a collective worldwide ideology of whom modern Islam is merely the latest thrust. An ideology that rode with Nevuchadnezzar and Sisra, that strode confidently with Haman and Hitler, with Stalin and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. That spoke through the mouths of Kings and Popes, clergymen and atheists, Communists and Nationalists, Crusaders and Cossacks in a voice of death. It speaks now through Mullahs in turbans and beards but it is still the same voice, the same echo ringing through history when Pharaoh and Nimrod spoke it long ago. Walk the streets of abandoned northern cities as if half a century of Jewish history had been turned back in a moment and know it still lives.