Yet another German has compared Israelis to Nazis, said Fania Oz-Salzberger in Tel Aviv’s Ha’aretz. On a recent trip to the West Bank, Gregor Maria Henke, the bishop of Eichstatt, said the “Ramallah ghetto,” where many Palestinians live, reminded him of the Warsaw Ghetto, where nearly half a million Jews were locked away with no access to the outside world. The comparison, of course, is preposterous on its face. More than 90 percent of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto died within three years of starvation, disease, or deportation to concentration camps. Still, by sending emissaries and holding press conferences to express outrage at the remark, Israel does itself no service. We are acting as if “the burden of disproving the bishop’s infuriating comparison” lies with the Jews. But this is a German problem. Nearly one-third of Germans see no “fundamental difference” between Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and Nazi treatment of Jews. That allows them a “false and self-righteous rejection of Nazi guilt.” It is Germans, not Israelis, who should denounce the bishop. “The historical burden is theirs. The obligation to cry out is theirs.”
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