“It sounds totally macabre to me,” former Ambassador Colette Avital, chairman of the Center of Organizations of Shoah Survivors in Israel, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.
The “it” refers to the Miss Holocaust Survivor Beauty Pageant, held in Haifa and put together by an Israeli nonprofit, Helping Hand for a Friend. Fourteen women survivors of the Shoah, aged 74 to 89, participated in the event. How bizarre? The winner, Chavah Hershkowitz, 78, “wore an ankle-length black skirt and long-sleeved jacket, her bright-red lipstick matching her toenail polish,” according to one newspaper article.
If this event were held in any other country under the auspices of any non-Jewish group, we would be falling all over ourselves to condemn it as trivializing the Shoah. That it happened in Israel only makes it that more egregious.