International Holocaust Memorial Day

International Holocaust Memorial Day

“As part of the Young Leaders of Yad Vashem, I find it imperative to spread
awareness to as many people as possible, Jew and non-Jew alike… We may
carry their names, we may tell their stories, but we can never forget their
sacrifice. It is Yad Vashem that has ignited the fire and it is up to us to spread
the flame.”
Rachel Shnay

All around the world today the awful and evil deeds of the Holocaust, perpetrated by the Nazis and their many collaborators, are being remembered. Chiefly the martyrs of this diabolical program of industrial killing are being remembered and honored just as they were last week at the sacred and solemn assembly that took place at Yad Vashem to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of those still held hostage in Auschwitz-Birkenau. As heads of state gathered to say, “Never again” the facts on the ground all over Europe, in America and beyond tell another story. Antisemitism is on the rise everywhere and again on the streets of Europe we hear the cry, “Kill the Jews”. In Belgium awful images of rat-like looking Orthodox Jews have been paraded through the streets and in Brooklyn New York, Jews are now routinely attacked and beaten up. Once again, the Jews are being discredited and delegitimized with the end goal being their destruction. We cry never again but in reality, this has to be coupled with action. Who do we think will stop these antisemitic attacks?

A recent study has found that much of the antisemitism in Europe is being driven by the huge Middle Eastern communities that have migrated to the continent. The same is true of America where we now have Muslim Congresswomen who routinely mainstream antisemitism, attack Israel and the local Jewish community and refuse to condemn acts of Islamic terrorism. For them, “Some people did something on 9/11.” All over the middle East the discredited book, “The elders of the Protocols of Zion” is still being published and sold, as is Hitler’s, “Mein Kampf.” In addition, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is a Holocaust Denier and continues to call for the killing of Jews while he honors those who actually do so. The danger signs are everywhere just as they were in the 1930s. If good people do nothing, then this evil will gather momentum and it is.

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem stands as a beacon of remembrance and warning and we should heed its message on this very important and solemn day. This should be coupled with a prayer that asks the God of Heaven what we can do to make good our declaration of, “Never Again.”

Malcolm Hedding