Netanyahu: Lapid destroys the very concept of anti-Semitism

Opposition leader slams Foreign Minister for saying other forms of hate and violence are the same as anti-Semitism.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Foreign Minister Yair Lapid's remarks at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism Thursday.

"Yair Lapid erred in watering down the concept of anti-Semitism this week and stating that it is not only hatred of Jews but hatred of people wherever they are. He said: "The anti-Semites weren't only in the Budapest Ghetto. The anti-Semites were also slave traders ... It is anyone who hates so much that they want to kill and eliminate and persecute and expel people just because they are different," Netanyahu began.

"Although anti-Semitism, hatred of the Jews, is part of the general human phenomenon of xenophobia, it differs in its intensity, its persistence for thousands of years and the murderous ideology that has been nurtured for generations to legitimize the extermination of the Jews," the opposition leader said.

"Lapid's statement undermines the uniqueness of hatred of Jews in history and the magnitude of the tragedy of the Holocaust that destroyed a third of our people. It is a scandalous and irresponsible statement that distorts history and empties the concept of anti-Semitism of all content. If all terrible violence is anti-Semitic, then everyone is anti-Semitic and there is no anti-Semitism to begin with.

"If this is what the Foreign Minister says, how can the State of Israel continue to demand that the nations of the world continue to make a special effort to protect Jewish communities abroad from anti-Semitic attacks and a stubborn war of incitement against our people? It is not for nothing that most enlightened and educated leaders in the world understand that anti-Semitism is a unique phenomenon that must be specifically condemned in order to fight it," the opposition chairman added.

"The simple historical truth is that anti-Semitism is hatred of Jews and the new anti-Semitism is hatred of the Jewish state. Yair Lapid should understand this and correct his words immediately. If Lapid is interested in understanding in depth the concept of anti-Semitism, he is invited to read the important things that my father, the late Prof. Benzion Netanyahu, wrote in the first chapter of his foundational and revolutionary book on the origins of the Inquisition. ," Netanyahu concluded.

Lapid said at the forum: "The anti-Semites weren't only in the Budapest Ghetto. The anti-Semites were also slave traders who threw people bound together with chains into the sea. The anti-Semites were the extremist Hutu in Rwanda who massacred Tutsis. The anti-Semites are Muslim fanatics who have murdered millions of other Muslims in the past century. The anti-Semites are ISIS and Boko Haram. The anti-Semites are people who beat LGBT people to death. The anti-Semites are those who hunt people not because of what they did, but because of who they are. Because of how they were born."

"Anti-Semitism isn't the first name of hate, it's the family name. It is anyone who hates so much that they want to kill and eliminate and persecute and expel people just because they are different," Lapid said.



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