JUSTICE - No. 68

7 Summer 2022 The Iranian regime uses the terms “Zionist” and “International Zionism” in precisely the same way as Hitler used the terms “Jude” and “Weltjudentum” – as the embodiment of evil. From this follows a dystopian moment in both cases: Just as Hitler ’s “German peace” required the extermination of the Jews, so the Iranian leadership’s “Islamic peace” depends on the elimination of Israel. At this point a remark often attributed to Elie Wiesel comes to mind: "When someone says they want to kill you, believe them." The international community, however, seems not to want to acknowledge this murderous ambition. It even shrinks back from calling the Iranian regime’s antisemitism by the name which defined Nazi Germany’s policies with respect to the genocide of the Jews. Words, however, matter. They shape our way of thinking and determine our actions. The term “antisemitic” possesses a historical dimension. To speak of antisemitism today when referring to current politics and affairs is to recall the Wannsee Conference and thus the dangers associated with this monstrous irrationality. It calls on us to mobilize not only our historical knowledge, but also our ongoing historical responsibility. Eighty years have passed since the Wannsee Conference. Its echo, however, still reverberates, along with the willingness to propagate and prepare for a new genocide. It is our urgent task today to prevent this from occurring. n Matthias Küntzel, Member, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and Advisory Board, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), is a political scientist and historian.

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