When we think of Germany under the Nazi regime, we have images of a military police state in which the people were coerced to acquiescence, and to speak against the regime would have meant the loss of one’s life. However, Hitler also had a stunningly effective propaganda strategy that aided in the control of the people—a strategy still in use today.
The Big Lie
The “big lie” is an expression coined by Adolf Hitler to describe his technique of telling a lie so colossal that no one would ever suspect it was not true. He first described this concept in Mein Kampf (German for “My Struggle”), the autobiographical manifesto outlining his plans for ruling Germany.
He surmised most people would never think of fabricating colossal untruths, so they would not believe others had. In other words, Hitler understood that people would see the world through the lens of basic honesty and would assume that same trait in others.
Use of Propaganda
Propaganda was the tool Hitler would use to convey the big lie and garner support of the masses. Successful propaganda would speak to their emotions more than to their intellect, be limited to a few points, and would harp on slogans. He said that the repetition of simple slogans was necessary for the masses to retain them.
Hitler’s words ring with a chilling truth. In spite of how evil his plan was, he knew how to get it past the people. When he became the Head of State in Germany, Hitler implemented his strategy precisely. He fabricated the “big lie” of the evil Jew causing Germany’s troubles, and he used propaganda to instill it in the minds of the people, preparing the way for the extermination of the Jewish people.
Hitler’s strategy is still working today. Mein Kampf was translated into Arabic back in the 1930s and has been one of the all-time best sellers throughout the Muslim world since. Mein Kempf means “my struggle” within the Nazi context, while jihad, a major tenant of Islam, also means “struggle.”
It is no coincidence, therefore, that Muslim leaders, such as Iran’s Supreme Leader, have adopted Hitler’s strategy. They are propagating the “big lie” of the evil Jews (particularly Israelis), using emotionally charged slogans and anti-Semitic cartoons to get the support of the people and prepare the way for the final annihilation of Israel. Anti-Semitism is not limited to Iran but is at epic proportions throughout the rest of the Muslim world where conspiracy theories run rampant and all types of lies are easily believed about Israel and the Jewish people.
One of the “big lies” circulating even throughout the West is that Israel is an apartheid state. The accusation is a serious one, claiming that the world’s one and only Jewish state is racist, with institutional discrimination and legal oppression of non-Jews. The proponents call for the international community to impose boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) to pressure the “evil” Israelis.
The inspiration for this campaign comes from the dismantling of South Africa’s apartheid regime in 1994 after several years of protests and the imposition of international sanctions. The goal of the campaign against Israel is the same: that one day she too will be dismantled.
The accusation, however, is not true. Admittedly, the Arab minority in Israel has unique challenges over and above the usual minority difficulties due to the security situation. However, Israeli Arabs study in universities with Jewish students, shop in the same malls, and take the same buses. They have their own political parties and representatives in the Israeli Knesset, have become famous athletes, have won Miss Israel competitions, and have even served as Supreme Court judges.
Clearly, this is not an apartheid state. Nevertheless, many university students around the world are being taught this slogan as though it were fact. This “big lie,” with its catchy slogans and anti-Semitic cartoons, is meant to prepare the way for Israel’s political annihilation by progressive westerners and military annihilation by Iran and jihadists.
We must all arm ourselves with the facts and speak up against this evil campaign. We must also call for a robust effort at the government level to bring international compliance with standards of education and press that are free from anti-Semitism.
- by Susan Michael, ICEJ US Director