Never again, or always the same?

It’s Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) in Israel. Always a difficult day.

Here’s one perspective:

Israel HaYom, May 2, 2019

The article (from Israel HaYom ) connected to the pictures is entitled:

“Europe was anti-Semitic and will remain anti-Semitic – the answer is a strong State of Israel”

The text then goes on to add:

“The Europeans like to put the responsibility for the Holocaust on the Germans alone, and to [conveniently] forget how the rest of the “enlightened” continent cooperated enthusiastically with the Nazi extermination machine. They did not give up hatred of the Jews, but instead camouflage it as hatred of the State of Israel”

Or, to put it another way, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

The bottom article reports on President Rivlin’s speech last night. He commented about how Europe was haunted by the ghosts of the past.

And of course Bibi’s speech got a mention, too. He said that contrary to what happened in the Holocaust, this time around Israel is building alliances against a dangerous regime (Iran).

(In Bibi and Rivlin’s speeches, there were undercurrents and some give and take about Israel’s ties with some less than pleasant regimes, but that’s for another time.)

Bibi’s speech underlines why some (emphasis is on “some”) people see him as the only one who can defend Israel. The not so small irony is that the violence around Gaza escalated last night. First the peace loving residents of Gaza launched friendly firebombs into Israel (at least one destructive brush fire was started). The IDF responded with air attacks. Then the pacifists of Gaza upped the ante by launching a couple of rockets. It certainly doesn’t look like Bibi deserves his reputation on that score.

While we remember the victims of the Holocaust, contemporary events force us to look into the future and wonder if “never again” is a certainty, or a possibility. Has Europe got over its anti-Semitism? Will it ever?

Israel is strong, but the struggle is never-ending.

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In other Holocaust News

“A tasteless attempt to recruit Holocaust victim Anne Frank to the case of weakening European copyright protection has backfired on the EU’s only Pirate Party MP, Julia Reda.”

It’s a tale that makes me scratch my head in befuddlement; how could people be so crass, insensitive, and irresponsible? But enough about Ken Livingstone. For the run down on Julia Reda’s daft stunt, check out Andrew Orloski‘s report at the Register, here.

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Your Yom HaShoah Reading

“On Thursday, Israel will mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah. As has been the custom for over six decades, a 2-minute air raid siren will be blared across the entire country and citizens from all walks of life will interrupt their daily routines for a moment of solemn reflection. Jan. 27 of this year also marked the decade anniversary of the United Nations-designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which member states are encouraged to commemorate. Though an Israeli initiative, International Holocaust Remembrance Day has gradually been subjected to the universalizing prescriptions of those who would water down the particularly Jewish aspect of the Nazi extermination of the Jews.”

The start of James Kirchik‘s thoughtful and insightful piece at the Tablet. Read it all, here.

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The Yom HaShoah Siren

The Yom HaShoah siren is a terrible, painful thing to hear.

It is a sound firmly rooted in the past, but calling out to us here and now, across the ages.

It is a sound that affects each of us standing in respectful silence, differently.

We may remember, we may mourn, we may mark, we may mull, we may malign.

And we also may momentarily feel a spark of pride at what has been achieved since the Holocaust: a living, thriving, vibrant proof of survival of the Jewish people and more.

When the siren ends, we return from the past to the present, and think about the future.

Past? We have remembered.

Present? We remember.

Future? We will always remember those who perished; we must.

We think thoughts both negative and positive.

Negative? Never again.

Positive? Never again will the Jewish people have no land to call their own. Never again will the Jewish people have no sanctuary from tyranny, oppression, and hate.

And at the end, we know:

Am Yisrael Chai. עם ישראל חי

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A thought for Yom HaShoah

“The Anti-Defamation League is calling the Stanford incident “an important teaching moment” in which the “university needs to make it clear to students and student groups that singling out identity and questioning on those kind of issues is discriminatory.” They’re right about that, but the problem won’t be dealt with by ignoring the clear connection between the worldwide BDS—boycott, divest, sanction—movement and anti-Semitism. That’s a stand that many supporters of Israel have refused to take believing that crying anti-Semitism will cloud the issue and make it harder to advocate for Israel. But divestment advocates are making it increasingly obvious they have no scruples about the link between Jew hatred and treating Israel as a pariah state. BDS isn’t about a political dispute within Israel, its borders, or sympathy for the Palestinians. It’s a war on Jews.”

USA.

University.

Stanford.

A war on Jews.

What more of a wake up call does there need to be?

Read Jonathan Tobin‘s well directed piece at Commentary. Then pass the word on: antisemitism is alive and well.

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Remembrance

It will soon be Independence Day in Israel. Know how I can tell? The flag sellers have started popping up at all the major road intersections, flags in hand, money bag on their belt.

Before that joyous occasion arrives, there are some somber moments to stop and remember the fallen.

First, up, Yom Hashoah.

From the Times of Israel:

Tonight, Israelis will start commemorating Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, during which schools, government offices, the IDF and local municipalities will hold ceremonies to honor those murdered by the Nazis and their helpers.

Events will start at 8 p.m., when the national flag will be lowered to half mast. The main ceremony will take place at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in attendance. Six Holocaust survivors will light memorial torches in memory of the 6 million Jews who were murdered.

You can read the whole thing here.

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