This is a post I have been putting off for weeks. In a way I guess, its proof that you can be critical of Israel and not be an antisemite, even though it remains true that in the staggering majority of cases it does mean exactly that.
A little while ago, the Polish government passed a very bad law for very good reasons.
In essence, it says that you cannot refer to any part of the Holocaust as being “Polish” or Auschwitz as a Polish death camp, because it was in reality, historically, and in fact a German death camp on occupied Polish territory by the Nazi government of the day.
The Poles, quite rightfully, do not wish to bear the burden of a historical atrocity for which they do not bear a responsibility.
The Israeli Government has come out strongly against this bill, and not at all for the reasons anyone should. The basic right of freedom of speech, especially political. But for another reason concerning its content.
Official statement by Polish Prime Minister:
I think it would be banal to talk about the Holocaust and its nature in this context. The fact is there are antisemites all over the world, and the Polish government explaining in very clear terms that they viewed their Jewish population as being Poles and that this was an affront and an atrocity against Polish people, is a perfectly respectable way to view this situation.
Concern should be at the enormous percentage of Islamic migrants to Europe who have been quoted very very often as saying “we love the Germans because of what they did to the Jews”.
This perception of the Poles means that they clearly see the Holocaust as an atrocity. An enormous one. And wanting to distance themselves from it is the right attitude, even if it is a spin of sorts.
And although I am not a scholar of this history to this level of detail, it is true that there are more Poles awarded the Righteous Among the Nations for people who hid, at the risk of their own lives and their families. Poland was the ONLY country in Nazi occupied Europe, where there was a death penalty for assisting Jewish people.
This can be seen clearly in Israel at the forest for the Righteous among nations at Yadvashem.
Poland: 6,706 honoured for their assistance to Jews.
Second is the Netherlands, with 5,595 and they did not have the death penalty for assisting Jewish people.
Remember, for Poland, this was at the cost of their lives if caught. Imagine yourself in this position. Refusing to help Jews under these conditions would not necessarily be antisemitism. It would just be a wise health decision.
Given this, the Poles have earned a right to distance themselves from Nazi atrocities and socialist ‘human-perfecting’ programs.