The BBC must immediately and unequivocally apologise for stating that “The Holocaust is a sensitive topic for many Muslims because Jewish survivors settled in British-mandate Palestine, on land which later became the State of Israel.”
The line appeared in a BBC News article about German Muslim schoolgirls who went on a visit to concentration camps in Poland suffering racist abuse from local people. The line has now been removed.
The Holocaust is indeed a sensitive topic for many reasons, not least because six million Jews were systematically massacred. It should not be a sensitive topic to Muslims, or anybody else, because of the foundation of the State of Israel. Zionism, the movement to create the modern State of Israel began decades before the Holocaust, and had the country existed at the time of the Holocaust, millions of innocent Jewish civilians may have lived.
For the BBC to lend credence to the notion that it is legitimate to be “sensitive” about the Holocaust because of the existence of the State of Israel invokes antisemitic notions that the existence of the State of Israel is in some way racist, and it is offensive to tar “many Muslims” in this way. The International Definition of Antisemitism states that “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour)” is antisemitic.
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