Prof Lipstadt: Threats from Palestine activists are antisemitism pure and simple

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Prof Lipstadt: Threats from Palestine activists are antisemitism pure and simple

Holocaust historian said: 'when you begin to depict Israel and the giver of genocide, when you begin to talk about Israel as Hitler, that is soft-core denial'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Prof Deborah Lipstadt speaking at HET's Annual Conference 2018
Prof Deborah Lipstadt speaking at HET's Annual Conference 2018

Professor Deborah Lipstadt has described the threats made to the Jewish community on the streets of London in recent weeks by pro-Palestinian activists as “antisemitism pure and simple.”

Addressing a Holocaust Educational Trust hosted an event for its Ambassadors on Wednesday the eminent Holocaust historian and activist said: “When you begin to attack Jews in the streets of London and begin to say horrific things like ‘rape Jewish women’ that is antisemitism pure and simple.”

The American academic also spoke of how some anti-Israel protesters had resorted to what she said was “softcore denial” of the Holocaust during the current outcry over Israel’s actions against the Palestinians in Gaza.

She said: “Someone who says there was no gas chambers is looked upon as an idiot or a hater.

“But there is softcore denial that we see very strongly. It doesn’t deny the facts of the Holocaust, it changes and mould the facts.

“One need not agree with the policies of the state of Israel. But when you begin to depict Israel and the giver of genocide, when you begin to talk about Israel as Hitler, that is softcore denial.

“That is a form of distortion.”

Lipstadt, best known for winning the libel suit filed against her by the Holocaust denier David Irving in 2000, had spoken to HET ambassadors who are exploring recent projects on antisemitism, Holocaust distortion and misconceptions of the Holocaust alongside experts in the field.

Karen Pollock CBE, Chief Executive, Holocaust Educational Trust said:““Sadly antisemitism remains engrained in our society. Recent weeks show there is a lot of work to do: There are those determined to denigrate the memory of the Holocaust at any opportunity and as antisemitic incidents have risen by 568%, we know the scale of the challenge.

“Amidst these febrile times, I am proud that we have a generation of young Ambassadors committed to learning more about the Holocaust and modern-day antisemitism. Together, we can build the next generation of allies, who stand side-by-side with the Jewish community in our battle to end anti-Jewish hate.”

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