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Tel Aviv University
Maariv reports that RAN HACOHEN (TAU, comparative literature) claims that “Israel is fulfilling Hitler’s dream”

Who can write that “Israel is fulfilling Hitler’s dream”?

Venomous comparisons of Israel with the Nazis must be condemned, not helped by identfying their writers as members of the Israel's legitimate left wing
, Maariv

The following article is not recommended reading for especially sensitive people. I admit that I vacillated before deciding to publicize it, not only because it is nauseating but also because the very act of publicizing these ideas could promote them. Several months ago, I hesitated before publishing an article about an exhibition in the Tel Aviv Museum in which Israel was presented mainly as a Nazi entity. The article actually did some good. As a result of protests and requests by a few intellectuals, some pictures were removed from the exhibition. Too little; too late. This time, the subject is not an art exhibit but rather an article. In this case, too, I believe that the public’s right to know is the overriding consideration. Therefore, consider the article a public service.

Under the title “Who Won World War II?” an Israeli university profession wrote on a popular internet site:

“Nazi Germany lost the War. But almost sixty years after its defeat in the battlefield, Hitler's concept of war – part and parcel of his overall Weltanschauung – icelebrates a rising tide in the global ideological arena. Israel's assassination of Hamas' leader Sheik Ahmad Yassin is a milestone in this process of barbarization of the human kind.”

After the scholarly author explains to us how Israel is following in Hitler’s footsteps, he continues: “Yassin's killing was meant to change the rules of the game: to signalize that the aim of this war is to annihilate the enemy, not just to defeat it, and that from now on, everything is possible”.

In the previous paragraph, the author quoted Adolf Hitler's words: “The aim of war is not to reach definite lines but to annihilate the enemy physically. It is by this means that we shall obtain the vital living space that we need".

The article concludes, “Unless we renew the struggle for the legacy of the Allies who won World War II, and get rid of all those responsible for the barbarization of the human kind, Israel's assassination of Sheikh Yassin may enter history as the moment in which Hitler's concept of war for annihilation, of contempt for the basic convictions and conventions of humanity, celebrated its triumph, shared and imposed by the axis of Sharon, Bush and Bin Laden”.

This is hardly the first time I have read absurd articles attacking Israel in the international press. Many of the most strident are written by Israelis and Jews. However, I will admit that never before have I read anything so venomous. The article was written by an Israel named Ran HaCohen (no relationship to MK Ran Cohen). He purports to teach Comparative Literature at Tel-Aviv University. Yes, there is such a stain there. He also works as a translator and literary critic.

I could continue by asking questions, many questions. Mainly I would ask, “What happened to us that on the eve of Passover, one of our own could revive the blood libel and turn Israel into an heir to Hitler’s legacy of annihilation”?

Considering the quotations, I do not think that there is anything to add. However, since I know how some readers will respond, I feel an obligation to clarify this point. Don’t say, “leftist”. To the contrary. In another article, the same Ran HaCohen accused not only Meretz but also Hadash of being parties that serve the occupation, and made it very clear that he does not belong to the “Peace Camp”. In his view, Meretz is a center-right party.

As I have written in the past, some of the people who lead the fight against anti-Israel propaganda, which is sometime anti-Semitic as well, are people whom we identify as “leftists”: Alain Finkelkraut, Bernard Henri-Levy, Alan Dershowitz, Amnon Rubinstein and many others. I assume that Yossi Sarid and Yossi Beilin would also consider the ideas espoused by this literature professor an abomination. Ran HaCohen, even by his own definition, is not a member of the camp we call “left”. He is part of the brown-red coalition of the extreme right and extreme left, which spreads libels around the world, in order to delegitimatize the State of Israel.

Therefore, it is no wonder that HaCohen’s article gets top billing on the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic site of the Holocaust-denying historian David Irving. Exactly four years ago, Irving lost a libel suit against Prof. Deborah Lipstadt after she had claimed in a book that Irving was a Holocaust-denier and anti-Semite. The British High Court upheld Lipstadt’s claims in one of the most important legal rulings related to Holocaust denial. Many things can be said about Irving but he definitely is not a “leftist”. If Irving admires HaCohen, he must have a good reason. Somewhat ironically, the headline on the page is “The International Campaign for True History”. Yes, this article is well suited to two people who disseminate the truth: Irving and HaCohen.

It is interesting to note that the article by HaCohen that Irving choose to place in his display window attacks the liberal image of Ha’aretz newspaper and claims that it actually serves the continuing occupation. Therefore, anyone who claims that HaChohen’s defamatory words represent the “left” will only do him a service. Don’t fall into that trap.

(2004-04-09 08:31:12.0)
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