Ron Paul Institute Accuses Netanyahu of ‘Playing the Holocaust Card’

Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu / AP

The Ron Paul Institute published a column on Friday arguing that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "played the Holocaust card" in an effort to manipulate the U.S. government into starting a war with Iran.

The column, written by Gareth Porter, also claimed that the Israeli Prime Minister’s recent address to congress greatly exaggerated the threat of a nuclear Iran and "served Netanyahu’s political interest in manipulating the policy of the US government and other other world powers."

In conjuring the spectre of Iranian genocide against Israelis, Netanyahu was playing two political games simultaneously. He was exploiting the fears of the Israeli population associated with the Holocaust to boost his electoral prospects while at the same time exploiting the readiness of most members of US Congress to support whatever Netanyahu orders on Iran policy. […]

Netanyahu was taking advantage of what former Israeli deputy national security adviser Chuck Freilich calls the "Holocaust Syndrome" or "Masada complex" that is woven into the fabric of Israeli politics. His ranting about an Iran intending to wipe out the entire country has appealed especially to his Likud constituency and other Israelis who believe that the outside world is"permanently hostile" to the Jewish people.

Other Israeli prime ministers have played the Holocaust card for domestic purposes too. Yitzhak Rabin actually started it during his tenure as Prime Minister from 1992 to 1995, pointing to the alleged "existential threat" from Iran in order to justify his policy of negotiating with the PLO. It was also Rabin who established the propaganda theme of Iran as a terrorist threat to Jews across five continents that Netanyahu continues to cite today. …

The demonisation of Iran has also served Netanyahu’s political interest in manipulating the policy of the US government and other other world powers. By portraying Iran as bent on the genocide of the Israeli Jews, Netanyahu has sought to get the Americans to threaten war against Iran, hoping for a real military confrontation that would lead to actual war with Iran that would reduce that country’s power. A key element in Netanyahu’s manipulation of the United States and other states has been the suggestion that it if they don’t take care of the problem he may be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The Ron Paul Institute has been criticized in the past for suggesting that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and other acts of terrorism were "false flag" operations. The think tank also regularly publishes pro-Kremlin propaganda. RPI was founded in 2013 by former Rep. Ron Paul, a long-time confidante of Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.).