The Jewish lesson of the Holocaust is this: Jew hatred is real, it is dangerous, and it is not possible for Jews to depend on others, no matter how well-intentioned they may seem, to protect them. For almost two thousand years, the Jewish people depended on others, and the result was periods of tolerance interspersed with persecutions, expulsions and murder.
Generations of Jews have learned this lesson from events: Herzl learned it from the Dreyfus case, and Jabotinsky from the Kishniev pogrom of 1903. Unfortunately, the history of modern Israel is also filled with such “teaching moments.”
There is a solution to the problem. It doesn’t end Jew-hatred and it doesn’t absolutely guarantee Jewish survival. But it is the best chance for the latter, in both the physical and cultural senses. It is, of course, Jewish independence — that is, Zionism.
So here is my idea for an appropriate Holocaust remembrance event: a teach-in on the subject of Jewish history, in which people would learn not only what Hitler did, but why, and how this was part of a long tradition of evil.
And it wouldn’t hurt to add a discussion of the history of Zionism and the state of Israel, to counteract the poisonous Arab narrative. Because acting justly in the present requires correctly remembering the past.
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About the Author: Vic Rosenthal created FresnoZionism.org to provide a forum for publishing and discussing issues about Israel and the Mideast conflict, especially where there is a local connection. Rosenthal believes that America’s interests are best served by supporting the democratic state of Israel, the front line in the struggle between Western civilization and radical Islam. The viewpoint is not intended to be liberal or conservative — just pro-Israel.
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