Letters to the Editor

Genocide comes again unless we heed history

This year, Holocaust Memorial Day, Yom Ha'Shoa in Hebrew, is commemorated on Sunday.

This day turns on the biblical imperative, "zachor." As Jews, we are commanded to remember, to never forget the crimes of the German people, its Nazi leaders and the myriad European collaborators, which resulted in the extermination of 6 million Jews, a full two-thirds of European Jewry.

This was not the first, nor unfortunately the last, genocidal attack against a race or people. In his landmark text, "A Lethal Obsession," Robert Wistrich wrote, "Hatred of the Jews has been an astonishingly resilient and persistent phenomenon throughout the ages."

Today, this ugly specter is again on the rise around the world. In the guise of anti-Zionism and anti-racism. Holocaust-inversion is being used to attack the "Jew" among the nations, Israel. An alliance of the political left and radical Islam uses the Arab-Israeli conflict to try to demonize and delegitimize the nation state of the Jewish people, and by extension, the Jewish people themselves.

Throughout Europe, South America and even in the U.S. and Canada, Jews are increasingly vilified, targeted for verbal and physical attack. Words and actions that only recently were beyond the pale, are now rationalized and increasingly accepted by a "mainstream" society of rapidly changing demographics, and they spread unchecked by the Internet.

As Wistrich summarizes, "Unless it is checked in time, the lethal triad of anti-Semitism, terror and jihad is capable of unleashing potentially universal conflagration."

William Bilek

Hilton Head Island