Dani Dayan, chairman of Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center, joins host Allison Kaplan Sommer to discuss the war in Ukraine and how it affects his organization's main mission, preserving the memory of the Holocaust. He finds reason for concern in some recent developments:
“Both sides are trivializing and distorting the Holocaust. I regret that both sides are using their propagandistic comparisons to the Holocaust that are completely inaccurate and completely improper.”
Dayan chose to speak out after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the invasion is aimed at “denazification,” and a Kremlin spokesman mocked Yad Vashem and promised to organize a visit to “mass graves” in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, meanwhile, accused Moscow of “killing the victims of the Holocaust for the second time."
Dayan also addressed the criticism directed at his organization for signing a letter asking the United States not to sanction Russian billionaire and major donor Roman Abramovich.
Later on the show, Haaretz deputy-editor-in-chief Noa Landau explains why multimillion-dollar gifts to Yad Vashem, like the recent controversial donation by Abramovich, must end. She advocates a law that would require Yad Vashem be fully funded by the Israeli government so it can refuse private donations that could affect its mission.