Jewish community accuses Guardian of 'new lows' with 'crass' Israel-Holocaust article

A piece in the Guardian accused Israel of 'weaponising the Holocaust'


LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21: A general view of the Guardian Newspaper offices on August 21, 2013 in London, England. It has been reported today that Prime Minister David Cameron had asked senior civil servant Sir Jeremy Heywood to contact the Guardian newspaper over protectively marked information leaked by Edward Snowden. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

Members of the Jewish community have accused the Guardian newspaper of "sinking to new lows" after the publication of an opinion piece that accused Israel of "weaponising the Holocaust."

The comment piece by Israeli-American historian Raz Segal, who has described Israel's treatment of the Palestinians as a "textbook case of genocide" asserted that the "Israeli settler state" was misusing the legacy of the Holocaust to win sympathy from Western leaders like US President Joe Biden.

Segal also asserted, without backing up the claim, that: "Israeli war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law are beyond dispute."

Following the publication of the article, the Board of Deputies of British Jews issued a statement harshly criticising the paper.

In a post on Twitter, the Board said: "The Guardian's decision to publish an opinion piece titled 'Israel must stop weaponising the Holocaust' was unbelievably crass.

"The article's failure, for example, to acknowledge the decades-long comparison of Israel to the Nazis - including in Hamas's genocidal founding charter - sums up the astonishing lack of judgement exhibited. Its publication marks a new low for the paper."

Former Guardian writer Hadley Freeman also accused the paper of "moral bankruptcy" saying: "I try to avoid criticising my former employer. I also support the freedom of opinion writers to write whatever they believe. But it is also my right to say: wow, this is intellectually, historically and morally bankrupt."

Segal, who is employed by Stockton College in New Jersey, also asserted in a piece for left-wing outlet Jewish Currents that Israel was using the Holocaust to boost its weapons industry.

In a statement, the Guardian said: "Our opinion columns often provoke robust discussions given the varied viewpoints of writers and readers and we value all feedback. The Guardian has consistently described the events of October 7 as an unjustified attack on Israeli civilians, as did this column, written by Raz Segal, an Israeli associate professor of Holocaust and genocide studies. We encourage our readers to review this column in full - excerpt provided below.

"This historical context in no way justifies or excuses the mass murder of 1,500 Israelis on 7 October, which constitutes a war crime and crimes against humanity. This was the single largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, which deeply shocked Jews and many others around the world. The context of the Hamas attack on Israelis, however, is completely different from the context of the attack on Jews during the Holocaust."

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive