Politicians should keep their grubby hands off Yad Vashem

Opinion: The capricious, short-sighted behavior that characterizes parts of the has infiltrated considerations regarding the appointment of a chairman to head Yad Vashem.
Alon Goldstein|
I remember my first visit to the newly constructed main building of Yad Vashem just over 20 years ago. A Christian, Zionist friend from Germany was visiting Israel and asked me to accompany him to the just-inaugurated site. Before entering the building and embarking on the blood-curling journey, both of us froze where we stood, as if we understood that this was a place to enter slowly, with forethought of mind and heart and with reverence.
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Now, as I watch the news, I remember my anticipation ahead of our tour and my tears of emotion at its conclusion. It was a matter of time, but now hands oiled with the filth of crude politics were being placed on this historic and undeniably important institution. The capricious, irrelevant and short-sighted behavior that characterizes parts of the Israeli government, was now contamination the question of who should lead this institution.
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יד ושם
יד ושם
Yad Vashem
(Photo: marcobrivio.photography, shutterstock)
According to a Chanel 12 report, Netanyahu's wife Sara was enraged at the performance of singer Keren Peles at a ceremony at Yad Vashem. Peles is regarded by Mrs. Netanyahu, as an enemy of the state because she spoke out against the government's legislative push to overhaul the judiciary, Dayan invited Peles to sing and for that, the chairman must pay.
Education Minister Yoav Kisch, who holds ministerial authority over Yad Vashem, was quick to deny the allegations but said that Dani Dayan was being probed for abusive behavior to employees and irregularities in the management of the museum.
I have no way of knowing who is lying but based on past experience and the grandstanding of some members of the government, it appears that one minor consideration was absent from the decision-making process, namely what would be the right thing to do in order to ensure the memory of the Holocaust in Israel and abroad, for generations to come.
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שגריר ארה"ב הנכנס, תומאס ניידס, לצד דני דיין ביד ושם
שגריר ארה"ב הנכנס, תומאס ניידס, לצד דני דיין ביד ושם
Dany Dayan with then U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, lighting Hanukah candles at Yad Vashem
(Photo: Yad Vashem)
The contempt in which our leaders regard the mission of Yad Vashem and its chairman joins many other circumstances that have become part of our lives, of late. They all articulate basic principles: You are not a good politician if you have failed to compare your political adversary to a Nazi. You have no values unless you "recognize" trends. You have no "likes" on social media unless you use antisemitic images against other Jews who hold differently. Views. Leaders on the left and on the right adhere to the rule: Hate thy brother - or disappear.
Blurring the truth in the minds of ministers and lawmakers from the coalition and the opposition places all of us at risk. Politicians live in a world of animosity and conspiracies. They think that what motivates them, also motivates citizens who for the most part seek no more than prosperity and some peace and quiet.
The elected leaders live in an imaginary world in which the fact that the school year had begun as it should, without a teacher's strike, is presented as a magnificent achievement. A world in which a clip posted on social media constitutes the Information Ministry's official responsibility. A world where the IDF and Shin Bet work for terrorists, and where Yad Vashem can become a tool in a political dispute.
אלון גולדשטייןAlon Goldstein
If Jews in Israel do not forcefully defend the memory of the Holocaust as a national mission, propagate its horrors and rely on education to prevent its repetition, no one else will take on the challenge. If leaders continue to consider Yad Vashem as an arm of their political party, there to provide its members with jobs, and a stage for "our kind" of artists, Haters of the Jewish people will view it accordingly, as one more Jewish fake.
No one survived the slaughterhouse that is our politics. No sacred cows remain untouched. The IDF and Shin Bet were already thrown on to the fire by Likud's Tali Gottlieb who announced that they were working on behalf of terrorists. Another of the coalition's members will surely step up to burn more and offer the scorched meat to our enemies.
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טקס הנחת הזרים ביד ושם
טקס הנחת הזרים ביד ושם
Yad Vashem Hall of Remembrance
(Photo: AFP)
In the name of the six million victims of the Holocaust, In the name of my grandparents who survived to tell the truth about what had occurred and in the name of my children who were raised with the story of their courage and are now already sickened by the debasement of the memory by politicians, I say to them: You are lawmakers, some even ministers, but you are no more than a stain on the pages of Jewish history. Keep your grubby hands off the Holocaust. You've caused enough damage already.
Alon Goldstein is VP of content at Yedioth Ahronoth Group
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