Three quick thoughts as I write this blog:
- First, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is visiting Auschwitz again. In 2009, he visited the notorious death camp and declared that the prophecies of Ezekiel chapter 37 had come true, that the death and destruction of the Holocaust had led to the prophetic rebirth of the State of Israel, just as the Bible promised it would.
- Second, the Prime Minister warned during his 2009 visit to the Nazi concentration camp that Israel had to be vigilant to make sure another Holocaust never happened. Now, Netanyahu is vowing to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons and wiping Israel “off the map.” This , in combination to other statements made by Israeli officials this week, suggests the Israeli government may be approaching the point where it will launch a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, in a scenario that could echo the one I laid out in my most recent novel, Damascus Countdown.
- Third, the Prime Minister’s 2009 visit inspired me to visit Auschwitz. I finally was able to visit with several pastor friends in November 2011. This, in turn, prompted me to write a novel about World War II, the Holocaust and Auschwitz in particular. I literally turned in the manuscript to my publisher, Tyndale House, today. It will release next spring, Lord willing.
Consider the latest news coverage of the Prime Minister’s visit to Poland this week, and to Auschwitz today:
“The world knew about the Holocaust and did nothing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said from the Auschwitz death camp Thursday, vowing that Israel would take matters into its own hands to prevent a second Holocaust,” reported the Times of Israel.
“The Allied leaders knew about the Holocaust as it was happening,” said Netanyahu, while during Block 27 in the world’s most notorious death camp. “They understood perfectly what was taking place in the death camps. They were asked to act, they could have acted, and they did not. For us Jews, the lesson is clear. We must not stand idle before the threats of annihilation. We must not bury our heads in the sand, or let others do our work. From here, the place that provides testimony for the will to eradicate us, I, the prime minister of Israel, the Jewish state, tell all the nations of the world: The State of Israel will do whatever is necessary to prevent a second Holocaust.”
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began his two-day visit to Poland, which Germany’s Nazis occupied during World War II and where they committed the worst crimes ever against the Jewish people, with a stern warning about a potential Holocaust from Iran,” reported the Associated Press. “Netanyahu said Wednesday the upcoming ‘so-called’ Iranian presidential election will ‘change nothing’ in the Islamic republic’s quest for nuclear weapons and that the regime will continue to pursue a bomb aimed at destroying Israel. Iran insists its uranium enrichment program has only peaceful goals.”
“Iran’s election overseers have approved a list of would-be hopefuls, most of them loyalists favored by both the theocracy and the military, and any future president will likely side with the supreme leadership’s nuclear aspirations,” the AP noted. “‘This is a regime that is building nuclear weapons with the expressed purpose to annihilate Israel’s 6 million Jews,’ Netanyahu said, alluding to the number of Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II. ‘We will not allow this to happen. We will never allow another Holocaust.'”
“Israel considers Iran its greatest threat because of its support of Islamic militant groups, its arsenal of long-range missiles and primarily its advanced nuclear program,” notes AP. “Netanyahu’s comments in Warsaw carried added significance since they came a day before he travels to the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz in southern Poland, where he is to inaugurate a new pavilion meant to educate visitors about the Holocaust and the Nazi Germany’s quest to exterminate the Jewish people. Netanyahu, whose father was born in Warsaw, has an emotional connection to the Holocaust, although he has faced criticism for citing it frequently in the context of current events, notably regarding the potential nuclear threat from Iran. For years, Netanyahu has used his annual address on Israel’s Holocaust remembrance day to caution about the danger of a nuclear Iran and vowing that ‘never again’ will the Jews be powerless to defend themselves. Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Netanyahu remained undeterred by the critics, insisting the intentions of the Iranians are just as murderous of those that existed in World War II.”
“The comparison is intentional,” said Netanyahu. “Does Iran want to destroy the state of Israel, first and foremost its Jews? The answer is yes. Here is where the comparison diverges, since there was no state of Israel back then that could defend itself. The difference is not in the hatred of Jews and the will to destroy them. This is something that is pretty consistent in history and even modern history. The Holocaust didn’t change this situation.”