CSA image

 

Feb 2007 Journal

previous article:Speaking again: hidden children of the Holocaust (Review article)
next article:Towards a victim mentality (book review)

Letter from Israel

The not-so-hidden agenda behind the 'Holocaust conference' recently organised by Iran's President Ahmadanejad is, naturally, to deny that the Shoah ever happened. How anyone can come up with such a preposterous idea, especially considering the numerous eye-witnesses and copious documentation bequeathed by the perpetrators, is difficult to grasp.

There is method in Ahmadanejad's madness, however. If Israel exists because of the Holocaust, one need only to deny the latter in order to delegitimise the former. Ahmadanejad thinks that Israel should be wiped off the map. Hence, once the Holocaust is dismissed from history, Iran can finish the job undertaken by the Nazis.

Israel did not come into existence as a result of the Holocaust, though it undoubtedly helped. The fact is that numerous Jewish towns, villages, agricultural settlements and institutions existed before 1948, when Israel gained independence. Zionists had been settling the area for at least 60 years beforehand. Incidentally, the internationally renowned Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is currently celebrating its seventieth anniversary.

Israel gained its independence once the British Mandate ended. The UN resolution of 1947 called for the partition of the area between Arabs and Jews. At that time, the Jewish population of Israel was 650,000 and already then had all the trappings of an independent sovereign entity, including the Jewish Agency, the Federation of Labour, and a Provisional Council of State (later the Knesset).

I recently read a book containing the diaries written in Hebrew between
1919 and 1936 by Yemima Tchernovitz, a girl who later became a leading author of children's literature in Israel. The vivid accounts of the life of young people in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in those years and the sense of mission at being present at the creation of an independent entity long before the Holocaust occurred or the State of Israel was established, are truly inspiring. No one who reads the book can have any doubts about Israel's existence long before the 'Final Solution'.
Dorothea Shefer-Vanson

previous article:Speaking again: hidden children of the Holocaust (Review article)
next article:Towards a victim mentality (book review)