Both are dedicated to the anti-totalitarian and liberal democratic Left worldview of the late, much-missed Norm Geras.
The first post is Tom Doran’s excellent response to a Max Hastings article from 34 years ago accusing Israel’s then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin of “play[ing] the Holocaust card.” (He responded to a more recent Hastings piece here.)
Look at those Jews, bringing up the Holocaust again, so typical… But why, on a moment’s reflection, should Israeli statesmen never mention the Shoah? Israel is one nation for which “existential threat” is not an abstract cliche, but simply a memory. It is never far from the minds of Israeli leaders, and with good reason.
Still images of [Israeli] jets over Auschwitz adorn the office walls of many an Israeli general or politician, I am reliably informed, and the reason has nothing to do with bitterness or revenge. Put simply, Zionism is founded not, as its critics claim, on the embrace of victimhood, but its rejection. Hounded from country to country, expropriated, beaten, humiliated and killed in their thousands and millions, the Jewish people finally said, in as many words, “OK, we get it. You don’t want us, and you won’t protect us. In that case, we’ll simply have to do it ourselves”.
And so they did, and will never be forgiven for it.