Yeshiva World News
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s remarks on anti-Semitism for the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism on Wednesday aroused controversy and raised the ire of right-wing politicians.
“The anti-Semites weren’t only in the Budapest ghetto,” Lapid said. “The anti-Semites were also slave traders who threw people bound together with chains into the sea. The anti-Semites were the Hutu in Rwanda who massacred Tutsis. The anti-Semites are Muslim fanatics who have murdered millions of other Muslims in the past decades.”
”The anti-Semites are ISIS and Boko Harem. The anti-Semites are people who beat LGBT people to death. The anti-Semites are those who hunt people not because of what they did, but because of who they are, because of how they were born.”
“Anti-Semitism isn’t the first name of hate, it’s the family name. It is anyone who hates so much that they want to kill and eliminate and persecute and expel people just because they are different.”
Lapid, who is the son of a Holocaust survivor, went on to speak about the Holocaust and in seeming contradiction to his earlier remarks, admitted that “there hasn’t been anything like the Holocaust in the history of humanity.”`
Lapid’s remarks aroused outrage among right-wing politicians, especially opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu, who slammed Lapid’s remarks during a press conference on Thursday. “Yair Lapid erred in minimizing the concept of anti-Semitism and stating that it is not only hatred of Jews but hatred of people for whoever they are. Although anti-Semitism is part of the general human phenomenon of xenophobia, it differs in its intensity, its persistence over thousands of years, and its murderous ideology nurtured over generations to legitimize the extermination of the Jews,” Netanyahu asserted.
“Lapid’s statement minimizes the uniqueness of hatred of Jews throughout history and the magnitude of the tragedy of the Holocaust that destroyed a third of our people. It is a scandalous and irresponsible statement that distorts history and empties the concept of anti-Semitism of all meaning. If all terrible violence is anti-Semitic, then everyone is anti-Semitic and then no anti-Semitism really exists.”
“If this is what the Foreign Minister says, how can the State of Israel continue to demand of countries around the world to continue to especially invest in protecting Jewish communities abroad from anti-Semitic attacks and the never-ending war of incitement against our people? It’s not for nothing that the majority of broad-minded and educated leaders in the world understand that anti-Semitism is a unique phenomenon that must be specifically condemned in order to combat it.”
“The simple historical truth is that anti-Semitism is hatred of Jews and the new anti-Semitism is hatred of the Jewish state. It’s worthwhile for Yair Lapid to understand this and correct his words immediately. If Lapid is interested in understanding the concept of anti-Semitism in depth, he is invited to read the important words that my father, the late Prof. Ben-Tzion Netanyahu, z’l, wrote in the first chapter of his foundational and revolutionary book on the origins of the Inquisition,” Netanyahu concluded.
Religious Zionism MK Ofir Sofer also slammed Lapid, saying: “The official Foreign Minister of the State of Israel, Yair Lapid, redefines anti-Semitism, and legitimizes anti-Semitism in a way that borders on denying the existence of hatred of Jews. These are statements that the Jewish people have fought for years. What an embarrassment.”