Middle East Eye columnist ‘regrets’ using term ‘Holocaust industry’
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Middle East Eye columnist ‘regrets’ using term ‘Holocaust industry’

CJ Werleman suggested on Twitter yesterday that Israel exploits the legacy of the Holocaust as cover

Twitter
Twitter

A podcaster and columnist for the Middle East Eye and The New Arab has apologised for using the term “Holocaust industry” on social media.

CJ Werleman, who has 132,000 followers on Twitter, suggested Israel exploits the legacy of the Holocaust as cover for its “crimes against humanity in Palestine.”

“The Holocaust Industry (aka Israel Lobby) has long sought exclusive rights to the term ‘concentration camp’ in order to prevent you describing Gaza in that way,” he wrote, using the term coined by the author Norman Finkelstein who claimed the  Jewish community exploits the memory of Shoah for personal gain.

Werleman wrote in another tweet: “Norman Finkelstein’s mother survived the Warsaw Ghetto. He explains how Israel hijacked the memory of the Holocaust to garner diplomatic cover for its crimes against humanity in Palestine.”

Following immediate criticism, Werleman clarified that he believed 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, highlighting his commitment to exposing genocide.

“OMG- I can’t believe I’ve now got to add this stupid disclaimer, especially given my journalism career is entirely devoted to exposing/preventing/stopping crimes against humanity & genocide,” he wrote. “The Holocaust happened. 6 million Jews were killed by fascist Nazi psychopaths. Fact!”

However, it wasn’t until several hours later that Werleman issued an apology, writing: “I do regret using that term, and sincerely apologize to anyone I unintentionally caused pain. I used the term with specific reference to Finkelstein’s book, but now understand how its title can be misused by Holocaust deniers, and other antisemitic types.”

Credit: Twitter

This comes several days after the US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez described the border detention facilities along the southern border as “concentration camps”.

The remark sparked controversy in the US, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy demanding an apology. “To take somewhere in history where millions of Jews died…and equate that to somewhere that’s happening on the border…she owes this nation an apology,” he said.

However, Ocasio-Cortez defended her use of the term, tweeting on Tuesday: “For the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps. Concentration camps are considered by experts as ‘the mass detention of civilians without trial’. And that’s exactly what this administration is doing.”

CJ Werleman, The Middle East Eye and The New Arab were contacted for comment but did not immediately reply.

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