International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today Jan 27 is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by the Red Army in 1945 at the end of WWII, commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  I watched the ceremony held at Auschwitz on TV in Israel, at which several people spoke including three survivors.  They all said the obvious, that it was evil and that we must never let it happen again, and this can be done by educating our youth and by concerted action by the 40 national leaders who were present.

I disagree, education doesn’t work, we’ve been trying that for the past 70 years and anti-Semitism is at an all time high and is rising.  Head of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder pointed out that again Jews are afraid to be themselves in most of the capital cities of Europe.  Jews are attacked in Paris, London, Uppsala, Malmo, Budapest, and in fact Europe is now a dangerous place to be a Jew again, like 1938.  The two new factors are the Islamic population that is endemically anti-Semitic and the popular and irrational hatred of Israel, the Jewish State.   The Times of London had an editorial suggesting that we stop commemorating the Holocaust.

I think there is an alternative lesson that we Jews learnt and that is that we must have guns to defend ourselves and we must have a State to defend.  The State of Israel was not founded because of the Holocaust, its beginning goes back to the first aliyah in the 1880s.  But there is no doubt that the lesson of the Holocaust, that Jews who are undefended and unarmed are subject to the whim of the surrounding peoples, was hammered home by the immense and terribly violent and cruel murders of the Jews throughout Europe (only the Jews of Denmark and Bulgaria survived WWII intact).   I am a Zionist and I believe that the only guarantee of the survival of the Jewish people is the State of Israel defended by an effective and powerful army and air force.

Furthermore, the plaintive requests by the survivors to the national leaders who sat through the ceremony will hardly make any difference.  They all have priorities, they will mobilize their police and their army, such as in France and Belgium, after the attacks occurred.  But, they cannot keep this up and they cannot protect all Jews all the time.  The problem is popular hatred of Jews as it was before that has many sources and is currently unconstrained in Europe.   Time to face the facts, the only place for Jewish survival in the long term is in Israel, with perhaps some possibility of the USA, although the status of fear for Jewish students on the campuses does not lead to great hope for the future.

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4 thoughts on “International Holocaust Remembrance Day

  1. I disagree with you Jack, “education does work”.

    Antisemitism is certainly more prevalent today, especially post-Holocaust, than it should be, because education on the evils of antisemitism has been so poor. The contempt and vilification of Judaism is rooted in Christian and Islamic sources and politicians should be pressurised to mandate their correction in schools. The Churches and the Mosques have, for centuries, portrayed the scheming money-grabbing Jew as the root of all evil, their Ministers too, must be made to re-educate their flocks to understand the truth.

    I had cause recently to read again about the hoax massacre of Deir Yassin in 1948 and the official rebuttal by Hazem Nusseibeh fifty years later. Had I not chosen to educate myself, I too, would have been outraged as Simon Sebag-Montifire puts it, in his book “Jerusalem”, that the “Jews committed the worst atrocity of the 1948 war”.

    The Arab world well understands the power of education, especially as applied in it’s PR against Israel. There is no alternative to the promotion of peaceful coexistence by education, unless that is, you have an never ending supply of bullets and the ongoing will to fire them!

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    • I agree that education is necessary. But, for me it is not enough. It must be backed up by real defensive measures.
      The only way to counteract violence is with effective defensive measures, including arms.

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  2. No country in which Jews have prospered has failed to eventually turn against us. I can see this happening in the USA in the not too distant future. Every Jew in the world should learn Hebrew and visit Israel often enough to be familiar should they need to move there one day.

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