Yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel. Here we are almost seventy years since the Nazis were militarily defeated by the “allied forces,” there are hardly any more survivors still alive and Holocaust memorials are bigger than ever in Israel.
Israelis commemorated Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day Sunday night, marking the start of 24 hours during which schools, government offices, the IDF and local municipalities will hold ceremonies to honor those murdered by the Nazis and their helpers.
The national flag was lowered to half mast at 8 p.m. at the start of the main ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke and Six Holocaust survivors lit memorial torches in memory of the 6 million Jews who were murdered
The IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz led the March of the Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau. Even on our small old TV screen, you could see the tears he fought to hold in during the ceremony. In Israel, even the greatest generals are Jews who can cry when confronting the Holocaust.
CONSIDERING all of the Holocaust history which is part of Israeli culture, are we immune from another massive slaughter of Jews?
Prior to Nazi Germany’s systematic murder of six million Jews and a few million other “undesirables” by Nazi standards, the world, including the victims thought the idea of such a slaughter totally impossible, unthinkable.
Step by step and stage by stage, there was denial and confident misreading of the signs. Those who did see the dangers, like Ze’ev Jabotinsky were condemned and shunned by the mainstream Jewish World.
The following is a translation from Yiddish of Jabotinsky’s touching and sad speech in Tisha B’ev, Oct. 24, 1938, Warsaw, Poland. It was his prophetic warning to his people, to the masses of his brothers and sisters:
“It is already three years that I am calling upon you, Polish Jewry, who are the crown of World Jewry. I continue to warn you incessantly that a catastrophe is coming closer, I became gray and old in these days, my heart bleeds, that you dear brothers and sisters, do not see the volcano which will soon begin to spit its all consuming lava. I see that you are not seeing this because you are immersed and sunk in your daily worries. Today, however, I demand from you trust. You were convinced already that my prognoses have already proved to be right. If you think differently, then drive me out of your midst. However, if you do believe me, then listen to me in this 12th hour: In the name of G-D!! Let anyone of you save himself as long as there is still time, and time there is very little. (complete article here)
Remember, too that the allies’ defeat of the Nazis had nothing whatsoever to do with rescuing Jews. They fought to save European countries and Great Britain from Nazi rule. And remember that the military experts, post 1967 Six Days War were certain that the Arabs would never dare risk attacking us again.
We should be seriously worried by the rise in anti-Semitism.
A new report published Sunday, the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, noted a 30 percent increase in anti-Semitic violence and vandalism worldwide in 2012.
The report, by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, said the past year had seen “an alarming rise in the number of terrorist attacks and attempted attacks against Jewish targets, and an escalation in violent incidents against Jews worldwide.”
The report presented an extensive review of various anti-Semitic trends, including anti-Semitic discourse in the public and political spheres and similar expressions on the Internet, especially in social media. Facebook and Twitter, the report said, have become a breeding ground for anti-Semitic and fascist groups promoting hatred against Jews.
It’s dangerous to ignore and whitewash such things. Remember that most people, including Jews and Israelis refuse to take Arab threats to destroy and annihilate the State of Israel seriously.
About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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