Daily Israel Report

Sharon Used Holocaust Imagery In Opposing Uprooting

As the controversy over Nadia Matar's use of Holocaust imagery to describe the expulsion plan is upstaged only by the nationwide strike, it turns out that Sharon himself used similar terminology.
First Publish: 9/21/2004, 3:44 PM / Last Update: 9/21/2004, 4:18 PM

As the controversy over Nadia Matar's use of Holocaust imagery to describe the disengagement/expulsion plan is upstaged only by the nationwide strike, it turns out that Prime Minister Sharon himself used very similar terminology just a few years ago.

Matar, of Women in Green, wrote to Evacuation Administration head Yonatan Bassi this week, telling him that his "appeasement letter" to the residents of Gush Katif is "even worse" than the Judenrat's letter to Berlin's Jews in 1942. Matar quoted the 1942 letter as stating, "We strongly request that you follow the instructions and carry out all of the preparations for the transport in a calm manner". She then wrote to Bassi, "You are a modern version of the Judenrat - but actually much worse. For in the Holocaust, the Nazis forced those Jews to [be members of the Jewish Council], and it's very hard for us to judge them today. But today, no one is standing with a gun at your head and forcing you to cooperate with the deportation of the Jews of Gush Katif and northern Shomron..."

Many public figures protested the use of the Holocaust comparison. However, a Chabad site has now republished the text of an interview from nine years ago in which Ariel Sharon himself made the same comparisons.

In reference to then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin's plan to uproot Jewish communities from Gaza, Sharon said, "It must be understood that this government, and those who head it, have been stricken with madness and have lost all restraint... Though no current situation should ever be compared with the Holocaust, I would still like to mention that before the Holocaust, as well, the Jewish leadership said then: There is no alternative."

The full Hebrew text can be seen here. Internet users with Hebrew fonts can do a search for the word "tze'irim" to locate the article.