'Night of Broken Glass' in Jerusalem

Kristallnacht began on November 9, 1938 in Berlin. Are we on the same track again?

Giulio Meotti

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giulio meott
צילום: עצמי

Seventy six years ago, within just one day, the entire citizenry of Germany turned against the Jews. 

The pogrom, known as 'The Night of Broken Glass', or Kristallnacht, November 9-10, 1938, saw Nazi thugs plunder Jewish businesses throughout Germany, torch 300 synagogues and round up about 30,000 Jewish men for deportation to concentration camps.

Some 90 Jews were killed in the eruption of violence. Anti-Semitic violence in Berlin was fuelled by Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister. 

In Jerusalem these days we are witnessing a kind of new night of broken glasses.

The glasses are not those of Berlin’s commercial shops, like 76 years ago, but those of the Israeli cars smashed by Arab stones and Israeli train stations smashed by Arab cars. 

The shocking memories of synagogues ablaze in Gush Katif was a sight unseen since the Nazi Kristallnacht and was then repeated in the State of the Jews because the deserted and desolate synagogues were left intact for the Arab vandals. 

Jews are not deported to concentration camps any more. Yet - without making a comparison to Nazi horrors - they are arrested and deported from the Temple Mount, the most holy site in the world for the Jewish people. 

And Jews, like they were 76 years ago, are killed in Jerusalem just because they are Jews. 

Anti-Semitic propaganda today is not fuelled by a Nazi minister, but by Hamas terrorists, Palestinian Authority officials, Islamic clergy and Jordanian apparatchiks. 

There is another similarity with what happened 76 years ago. The Jews are blaming other Jews for the violence plaguing them. 

After the Nazi Kristallnacht, many Jewish leaders blamed a Jewish hero, Herschel Grynszpan. On the morning of Nov. 7, 1938, this Jewish boy walked into the German embassy in Paris and shot German official Ernst vom Rath, to avenge his Jewish parents - who had been killed by the Nazis. 

Today some Israeli Jews blame the “right wing public” for terrorism in Jerusalem, including the rabbis, activists and MKs who want to pray on the Temple Mount, Har Habayit. 

76 years ago, the Jewish expression of defeatism was “don’t provoke the Nazis”. Today it is “don’t provoke the Palestinians”.

I stand with the heroes who, like the boy who dared to enter the German embassy in Paris 76 years ago, today try to enter the Temple Mount.