The 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz later this month on Jan.
27 may well have been ignored by much of the mainstream press, if not for a
costume party attended by British royalty.
The pictures of Britain's Prince Harry who ranks third on the list of
those who might one day replace Queen Elizabeth II wearing something that
resembled a World War II German army uniform, replete with a swastika armband, not
only engaged the royalty-mad English tabloids but made headlines around the
And the subsequent suggestions that Harry might be forced to attend the
memorial ceremony at Auschwitz as some form of penance has elevated the anniversary
from the back page to the front page.
Some hope the firestorm of anger directed at the second of the late Princess
Diana's sons might help those who wish to promote Holocaust education.
Presumably, Harry's shirt will serve as an incentive to worry more about Holocaust
denial and the need for even more teachings about Nazi horrors.
But as much as the dimwitted royals deserve the abuse they are receiving,
permit us to observe that all this carrying-on over a 20-year-old's sick joke is
obscuring the real story about anti-Semitism in the Europe of 2005, not that
The fact is, you don't need an invitation to a royal costume party to see
vestiges of the culture of Jew-hatred these days. Much worse things than the
sight of a tabloid celebrity wearing a swastika are available to be heard and seen
in London, Paris, and in many other European and Asian capitals, not to
mention the United Nations.
As a U.S. State Department study reported last week, anti-Semitism continues
to plague Europe. In particular, the willingness of many in the European media
and other members of its intellectual elite to demonize the State of Israel
and foment hatred of Jews continues without much notice.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, traditional European anti-Semitism was spread
to the Arab and Islamic world. But in the last few decades, immigrants from
the Islamic world have become a bridgehead for Jew-hatred in Britain, France,
Germany and other European nations.
But rather than focus on this virus, the same sources who howl about Harry
have either downplayed the rise in anti-Semitism or become willing accomplices
to a movement that seeks to delegitimize Jewish national identity and Israeli
self-defense. For all of the condemnations of the famous prince, anger over
slights to dead Jews is but cheap talk when it is not matched by fury at Islamist
and Palestinian terrorism, whose end goal is the annihilation of the
descendants of Hitler's victims.
Those who truly care about the memory of Jewish martyrs don't need Prince
Harry or any other intellectually challenged British royals marring the Auschwitz
anniversary with crocodile tears. The fact that the Los Angeles-based Simon
Wiesenthal Center is pushing for Harry to go to Auschwitz speaks volumes about
the failure of some of those who seek to represent Jewry to understand this
This month, we should embrace Auschwitz's survivors and remember the millions
who perished there. But we also have the right to demand that the
international media pay at least as much attention to the very real and dangerous
symptoms of contemporary anti-Semitism as it does to Harry's shirt.