Israel's Holocaust problem

I don't usually like to post about Israeli internal affairs here unless they have an Arab angle, but two stories in the past few days drew my attention. One was that Israeli banks and Bank Leumi in particular are conspiring with the government not to return money that belongs to Holocaust survivors and their descendants. After the fuss made over the Nazi-era money in Swiss banks, this is absolutely incredible. It also raises the question of double standards when Israel uses the memory of the Holocaust to advance its own interests but then helps its own banks get away with the same type of craven mentality found at Swiss banks.

The other thing is that settlers against the Gaza pullout are now saying Sharon's plan amounts to a new Holocaust. What the hell is wrong with these people?

I have only a basic understanding of the attitude of the founders of Israel and the Holocaust (largely through Tom Segev's The Seventh Million, which I read a long time ago) but I wonder if the whole sekkes vs. sabras problem somehow lingers...
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.