In my Shanghai visit I stayed in a rather fancy Western hotel. Already on my arrival just after checking in, while attending the tourist desk, a familiar golden Menora * shined at me from one of the tourist brochures. I picked it up, “The Jews in Shanghai”, it said: the story of 30.000 Jews who found shelter in Shanghai between 1933 and 1941. I guess that you can no longer imagine a metropolis on this planet unless it has some relevance to the Holocaust or the Jews. Visitors to Shanghai have a lot to choose from: temples, sight seeing, shopping, new developing markets, food, Chinese folklore and ofcourse even a bit of ‘Shoa business’. I honestly believe that no one, except a few Jews, is interested in the historical role of Shanghai in the Holocaust. And yet, the brochure was there for a reason. Many Israelis and Jews are visiting Shanghai in the last two decades, as China and Shanghai are the future and the Israelis know it very well.
In the breakfast at the hotel I could hear a lot of Hebrew. They were not Israeli tourists. They were actually ‘selling and buying’. They were meeting local businessmen already at 8.00 am. But it wasn’t just business. The Israeli infiltration is noticeable on every possible level.