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Periodically on this site, people have voiced their annoyance about the reminders that are posted regarding Holocaust Memorial Day, which is observed today. In Israel, everyone stops for two minutes at the sound of sirens to honor those lost. Those of us old enough to have been taught about the Holocaust in school or by our parents already know the story, yet there are some who would prefer not to be reminded of this tragedy. Given how blessed Jews are to live in this country, how often does the story need to be repeated?
In a survey conducted in 2020, an alarming number of respondents knew little about this period:
The survey, touted as the first 50-state survey of Holocaust knowledge among millennials and Generation Z, showed that many respondents were unclear about the basic facts of the genocide. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered, and over half of those thought the death toll was fewer than 2 million. Over 40,000 concentration camps and ghettos were established during World War II, but nearly half of U.S. respondents could not name a single one.
Yet we can still ask, why do we have to remember this terrible event? Jews need to remember because throughout our existence we have been the scapegoats of countries and civilizations. In many cases, we were determined to “fit into” the wider community, wanting to be appreciated and accepted as dedicated citizens and contributing members of society. Our desire to fit in and in many cases assimilate has come back to haunt us, as one country after another has decided throughout history to humiliate, ostracize, and in some cases kill the Jews. Yet today, many Jews have still decided that they want to be like everyone else; many Jews on the political Left are one example. And some societies still refuse to accept our allegiance and dedication to their countries; anti-Semitic acts frequently occur in European countries.
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But I would like to propose that in recent years and now in 2021, the Holocaust has a lesson for all of us; our entire country has slowly been telegraphing the message that unless we succumb to the dominant forces of Leftism, we could be in danger. In fact, those opinions are being stated publicly, saying that we must be “de-programmed” or even killed. If you listen carefully, you will notice a few parallels to the rhetoric before World War II:
- These people are evil.
- They are irredeemable.
- They are hateful and greedy.
- They are racists and white supremacists.
- They don’t care about saving the earth.
- They don’t care about equality or fairness.
- They are irrational religionists.
- They are arrogant and think they are better than us.
- They are potential domestic terrorists.
- They love guns and violence.
And this list is incomplete.
If you compare this rhetoric to those used against the Jews in the past, you will find many similarities.
I would also suggest that if we try to convince the Left that we are good human beings; if we try to fit in as American citizens and be widely accepted; if we point to our acts of charity and generosity—the Left simply may not care. They are convinced that we are every worst stereotype of evil that people can imagine. And more.
So, what can we do?
First, we have to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. We are not just talking about the future of our country; we are talking about potential action against us as individuals. So when you hear of people being censored, fired from their jobs, driven off the internet; when you hear stories of proposed gun buy-backs, religious organizations being discriminated against; virulent attacks on free-speech—what are we to think?
I am not suggesting that people be paranoid. But we must be vigilant. We must speak out against injustice. We must continue to write, publish and gather together to discuss the actions of the Left and condemn them as often as we can.
Or there will be no rights to protect.
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We can’t take our rights for granted. We cannot assume that our freedom is so woven into the fabric of our country that it can’t be lost. Like the Israelis today, let’s take a moment to stop and reflect on the lives lost to protect our freedoms, and how we can prepare for the months and years ahead.
Let’s take a lesson from the Jews.Published in