“It never happened, and anyway the Jews deserved it”.
As a one-sentence summary of how admirers of Nazi Germany explain the systematic annihilation of European Jewry during World War II, this will do as well as any. Unsurprisingly, it is also how Hamas apologists have gone about justifying the atrocities the terror organisation carried out on 7 October while at the same time denying that they even happened.
Following a statement from the SA Jewish Board of Deputies expressing its abhorrence over Ronnie Kasrils publicly praising and celebrating Hamas’ murder spree, two responses have appeared in this forum. One is by long-time local Hamas cheerleader Iqbal Jassat and the other by Kasrils himself. Both combine elaborating on why Israelis had it coming with assertions that the reported atrocities never actually happened but have been concocted, in Jassat’s words, as “part of the Netanyahu regime's elaborate propaganda campaign”.
When Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D Eisenhower visited the Ohrdruf concentration camp in April 1945, he realised that a day would come when people would deny that the horrors that he witnessed there had ever taken place. He therefore invited the media to document the scene and also compelled the local German population and soldiers not fighting at the front to witness the atrocities for themselves.
His foresight would indeed be useful in countering subsequent attempts to portray the Holocaust as a Jewish fabrication. Had Eisenhower been present in the wake of the 7 October massacre, however, he may have felt that there was no need to take such steps, since in this case, the perpetrators themselves made sure to record their crimes and thereafter - joyously, proudly and triumphantly – to publicise them to the world.
Footage captured by body cameras worn by the attackers, security cameras, vehicle dashboard cameras, social media accounts and videos from mobile phones leave no room for doubt as to what transpired on that harrowing day. To counter inevitable attempts to deny or downplay the extent of the atrocities, compilations of this material, included the killing of children, brutal gang rapes and decapitations have been screened before the UN General Assembly and shown to political leaders and journalists the world over, including in South Africa.