It’s that time of the year again.
A time when world leaders get together, bow their heads, and remember all the dead Jews – while ignoring the living ones.
A time when world leaders speak solemn words about fighting against intolerance in the world – while their own countries are sinking in it.
A time when world leaders pat themselves on the back and show how wonderful they are in fighting against Jew hatred – while continuing to promote it in international forums.
And even as they gather in Jerusalem – the capital of the Jewish people for 3000 years – many still even fail to recognise that!
It’s hard not to look at International Holocaust Remembrance Day without a degree of cynicism and scepticism. Not because it’s not worthy, but because it’s less about remembering Jews and more about international leaders promoting themselves.
These leaders who gather together and stand shoulder to shoulder, speaking in solemn voices with bowed heads and stiff resolve will always have something to say about the Jews who have gone, but when it comes to the threat against the Jews of today, find their voices strangely missing.
The French President Macron will commemorate the Holocaust in Jerusalem vowing to never forget, yet just a few kilometres away, will meet with the terrorist leader Mahmoud Abbas who wrote a paper largely denying that what Macron is remembering ever happened. And even worse Abbas will say that the Holocaust was not a result of hatred of Jews, but rather because of the way Jews behaved. So in other words, Jews were responsible for the genocide unleashed upon them. 3 year old kids and small babies unable to speak deserved to die.
This is the man who the French President is meeting and shaking hands with warmly.
German leaders will also remember – vowing that they have a special responsibility to the Jewish people and to Israel – yet this responsibility seems to be missing at every UN vote when they consistently vote for resolutions that condemn the Jewish State.
And the Polish will continue their revisionist policies towards the Holocaust ignoring the reality that even before the Nazis arrived, their country was awash in Jew hatred, and even when the Nazis were gone, that hatred never left with them.
It’s no surprise then that the hatred of Jews is not diminishing, but increasing at alarming rates. And while there is no single reason, a large part of it comes from leaders of countries who continue in their campaign to demonize the Jewish state and doing their best to paint them as the ones who somehow have to give into appeasement and into the barbarians surrounding them to somehow secure peace. This is exactly what they did with Hitler and exactly why World War 2 started in the first place.
These leaders who think they fight for the cause of justice and morality by relentlessly attacking Israel and supporting her enemies are standing on the wrong side of history – just as they have before.
This is why when it comes to remembering the Holocaust, world leaders cannot be relied on to keep its memory – only Jews who understand exactly what giving into terror means.
Because we do remember. We remember it all.
We remember how the French authorities enthusiastically rounded up the Jews in the Vélodrome d’Hiver in Paris, exceeding even Nazi expectations – an action that led to their murder. We remember how the world ignored our desperate cries, refusing to give them safe refuge when they knew exactly what that refusal would lead to. We remember how many of us were murdered not by the Nazis but by their neighbours who saw the opportunity to attack what were once their friends and neighbours.
So we have learnt from our past and the indifference of the world that ultimately the one safe place we can be is in our Jewish State of Israel – a state that will guarantee that no desperate cry of our people will ever be unheard of again.
And we cherish it and we stand with it, through all its flaws and all its successes, through all its failures and all its achievements.
And we defend it – in whatever way we can, through words or through deeds or through actions.
Because ultimately, “Never again” is not just about honouring the past, but safeguarding the future.