Sunday, February 1, 2015
Never Again, by Rabbo Berel Wein
I am well aware that there is no use beating a dead horse and that the subject of the Holocaust is already in the minds of most of the world's population truly a dead horse. Last week the United Nations and over fifty countries commemorated the seventieth anniversary of the expulsion of the Germans from the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. This commemoration was marked by the usual plethora of high-sounding words and empty pledges regarding the fact that this type of genocide against Jews should never again be allowed. However, to my ancient and hoary ears it all sounded hollow and almost meaningless in face of the actual realities and facts that comprise the current state of world affairs. This anniversary, occurring so many decades after the event, took place with the presence of the backdrop of most of Europe engaged in its favorite hobby of anti-Semitism and blaming all of its evils on the Jews. Throughout Europe, from Berlin to Paris to London, in Madrid, Rome and Athens, the cry of “Death to the Jews” can be heard often and loud. It is difficult to believe in “never again” when so many millions are shouting “let us do it again.” Anti-Semitism is apparently an incurable disease that has rotted the soul of Europe for almost two millennia. Europe has never learned the lesson of the disaster that anti-Semitism brings upon it. It will take more than formal commemorations, museums, monuments and reassuring speeches to eradicate the scourge that has infested so much of the civilized world. Therefore the outlook for “never again” is fairly bleak.
In a powerful article written by Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post last week, he pointed out that the Islamic terrorists made an error in attacking the offices of Charlie Hebo. Had they contented themselves simply with killing Jews in the Paris kosher supermarket there would have been no demonstrations of millions of people in the streets of Paris objecting to the Islamic terrorist atrocities. No world leaders would have left their comfortable offices to march against terror if only Jews were the victims of that terror. Jewish children were slaughtered in Toulouse a few years ago and the world hardly noticed. Jews were killed in Brussels and after the usual official cluckings of regret everything went back to its previous state. Jews in Antwerp are very nervous walking on the streets of the city where they have lived as its citizens for many centuries. The Belgian government, like almost all of its counterparts in Europe, trumpets the cause of the Palestinians and condemns Israel at every opportunity. Overwhelmed with the flood of Moslem immigrants into its countries and unable to cope with the radicalization of so many of them, Europe has surrendered itself to institutional, diplomatic and economic anti-Semitism. There were no mass demonstrations against Auschwitz while it was occurring. The Jewish world then in denial and fear of the canard of “dual loyalty” remained mostly publicly silent while its brothers and sisters were being systematically annihilated. Sadly, it is apparent that there will be no mass demonstrations against new forms of Auschwitz if God forbid it repeats itself again. So the Jewish people and especially the state of Israel find themselves in a very difficult, problematic and dangerous situation. In effect, the only defense against anti-Semitism today is the strength of the state of Israel and yet we are constantly reminded by the world's media and diplomats that such a defense is unseemly and in fact somehow counterproductive to Jewish interests. In the woolly world that George Orwell foresaw and that we live in, this type of reasoning is constantly advanced and fostered. So currently “never again” is humbug!”
Iran is currently at war with Israel and the Jewish people worldwide. It uses its surrogates – Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, etc. – to wage constant war against Israel and its citizens and Jews everywhere, from Argentina to Mumbai. It is driving steadily and speedily towards achieving its goal of having nuclear weapons and the means to deliver those awesome weapons anywhere in the world. It openly threatens Israel with extinction. While the West and the United States dithers and puts its hopes in negotiations that even if successful will not guarantee that Iran will be devoid of nuclear weapons, Israel and the Jewish world finds itself at war with itself. The elections in Israel could not occur at a worse time then now and tragically are being conducted in a very disheartening and shameful manner and fashion. No matter who wins, we have already lost. Once again, the Lord has painted us into a very narrow corner. We must do all in our power to extricate ourselves from the siege that surrounds us and from the inner malaise that so weakens us. A realistic view of the true situation in which we find ourselves can serve as the beginning of policies that will enable us to say with some confidence “never again.”