In an April 13 Associated Press story on a German film about Hitler currently being screened in Israel, reporter Josef Federman includes a shockingly inflammatory statement alleging Israeli manipulation of the memory of the Holocaust.
While Federman acknowledges that "The Holocaust is perhaps the most sensitive issue in the Jewish state," he follows this with: "[Israeli] Politicians routinely refer to the slaughter of 6 million Jews by the Nazis to score political points and justify Israel's tough policies against the Palestinians."
This is not merely an example of inappropriate editorializing in a news story.
By presenting his statement as fact, Federman and the Associated Press in effect lend support to claims that Jews routinely exploit the Holocaust for their own gain, as argued by Holocaust revisionist Norman Finkelstein. (A New York Times book review labeled one of Finkelstein's books "a novel variation on the anti-Semitic forgery, 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.'")
The statement also in effect legitimizes comments such as those recently advanced by New Zealand MP John Tamihere saying he was "sick and tired of hearing how the Jews got gassed."
Federman provides not one example of the supposedly "routine" reference to the Holocaust by Israeli politicians, and the record does not support Federman's contention.
Moreover, such presumptions about the motivations of those politicians who might cite the Holocaust belong squarely in the realm of opinion and have no place on the news pages.