Saturday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945 (it’s marked on different dates in different nations, for instance, Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel is in April). At the link, you’ll find a round-up, with photos and video, of how the day was commemorated around the world. I’ve visited the Nazi death camps and stood in the doorway of the ovens at Auschwitz on three separate occasions. Once you have felt the evil and horror and tragedy all around you, you can never forget it.
I notice that some of the news stories about the event tried to put a partisan spin on it, remarking that it was especially important because of the rise of the alt-right. While that might be a legitimate concern, many world leaders now citing it have been inexplicably quiet about the rise of radical Islam, which poses a greater threat to both individual Jews and the existence of Israel, as well as their own role in fostering its spread through silence and appeasement. The genocidal anti-Semitism of groups such as ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah is perfectly in line with the views of Nazis. In recent years, two e-book versions of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” have reached the top 20 in iTunes’ Politics and Current Events downloads section, and I don’t believe they’re all being read by skinheads and history researchers. Yet many Western leaders have willfully turned a blind eye to that threat.
The leaders of Israel don’t have that luxury. To them, the phrase “Never again” isn’t just a political slogan or a reference to the horrors of the past that killed six million Jews over half a century ago. It’s a personal pledge, both to their ancestors and their children and grandchildren, to remember always to be vigilant or else risk it happening again.
Israel’s determination that there will never again be such a Holocaust is why Israel was willing to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons, even if it meant standing alone in the face of the world’s condemnation. Thankfully, it appears that they won’t have to stand alone now.