Home World Salvaging ‘Holocaust Education’ – Seth Mandel, Commentary Magazine

Salvaging ‘Holocaust Education’ – Seth Mandel, Commentary Magazine


In late October, Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan caused a slight stir by wearing a yellow star with the words “never again” on the badge.

The backlash—from his own country’s foreign service—was swift. “We always attack other countries when they manipulate the memory of the Holocaust, and here comes the Israeli ambassador and does the same on the most central stage of world diplomacy,” one official told Haaretz. Others called it a “media gimmick” aimed at building Erdan’s political standing with the Likud party.

One of Erdan’s critics was Yad Vashem director Dani Dayan, Israel’s former consul general in New York. In his own flourish of overstatement, Dayan said Erdan’s move “disgraces both Holocaust victims and Israel.” He explained: “The yellow star symbolizes the Jewish people’s helplessness and the Jews being at the mercy of others. Today we have an independent state and a strong army. We are the masters of our fate. Today we shall wear a blue-white flag, not a yellow star.”

Whether intentionally or not, Dayan was missing Erdan’s point. But Dayan’s jealous guarding of Holocaust memory is consistent, and thus arguably a positive. We got more insight into this outlook this week, when 50 “Holocaust researchers” unsuccessfully tried to pressure Dayan into lending Yad…

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