Holocaust and Pandemic: Common Points and Differences!

I am not going to deny that the current handling of our global pandemic is strangely reminiscent of the 1930s in Europe. I even recently wrote an article about that very fact. It frightens me to see how people are being handled and even categorized based upon their decision to receive medical help or not. This is even becoming more divisive than the current political climate that has already become a tragic tear in the fabric of America.
Yet, if we simply state that this reminds us of the Holocaust and how the Jewish people were treated, we are not doing justice to the current situation and we run the risk of minimizing the Holocaust and trivializing its legacy. There are some common points between the two but there are also some differences that need to be recognized.

• People are being stigmatized: There is a feeling of disgrace and even disapproval of those who differ in opinion from both ends of the issue. What happened to having an opinion, sharing it with others and simply and cordially agreeing to disagree? I fear that that ship might have sailed.

• Privacy is being infringed:
In our age of information, instant communication and "smart" everything, our privacy is constantly shrinking.  We gladly give away information for the added convenience of speaking orders to a machine and waving our hand in front of a scanner or our smart tech at a pay station. This is not going away anytime soon, if ever. The current crisis invades our privacy as it demands that we divulge private information about ourselves for "our safety" or "the safety of others".

• The authorities are checking identity documents: In some countries, the government is trying to enforce a verification process that demands people have an ID document with their current health status.

• People are exposing their own neighbors: We are starting to see people exposing those they don't agree with or those who they feel do not comply with what is in force. Trust is becoming a very rare commodity.

• People are being conditioned: It is not just about those who do not wish to receive medical attention, but also about those who do and who are being conditioned for further compliance to whichever organization, government or individual that will come in our future. They are also being conditioned to view other people with different opinions as potentially dangerous

• People are being separated: In some countries and in various cases, people are being placed in facilities for quarantine. There is a positive aspect of keeping infected people away from healthy ones; yet, in the current case, it would seem that healing is less important than being separated and ostracized.  Some see it as a modern Ghetto, but I wouldn't go that far.

• Property is not being confiscated: During the Holocaust, Jewish property was being confiscated. I remember my father's stories about his father having to relinquish his radio set, his bicycle and any other means by which he could connect and/or communicate with the outside world.

• People are not being singled out for race or ethnicity: Outside of some minority groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, Gypsies and mentally impaired people, the Holocaust primarily and wrongly targeted the Jews as a subhuman race in need of extermination like vermin.

• People are not being placed in forced labor: During the Holocaust, people were being forced into camps, first for internment, but they rapidly became labor camps so that the Nazi regime could get free labor during wartime. That was just temporary before the camps became death camps.

• People are not being killed:
Although emotions are running high and misinformation is coming from both sides of the medical care debate today, people are not being killed for disagreeing. During the Holocaust, there was only misinformation coming from one side and it was always against the Jewish People. Placing them first in the camps for “labor”, was only temporary.  They quickly became the death camps where six million were lost.

Those are the main commonalities and differences, and we should be very careful before we claim that this situation is similar to the 1930s and the Holocaust. Am I concerned? Absolutely! Could it get worse? Of course it could - and it very well might!

As Bible students and modern-day disciples of Yeshua the Messiah, the one aspect about all this that we do not want to miss, is the coming of the Antichrist on the world scene. That event is a sure thing and when it takes place, all of the points made above will become a reality beyond what anyone could fathom right now. Following are some scriptural truths about the Antichrist.

• The Antichrist is a coming global human ruler – Daniel 7-12
• He will be a Gentile – Revelation 13:1
• He will be revealed after the departure of the Holy Spirit (after the Rapture) – 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7
• He will rise to absolute power – Daniel 7:8208:23
• He will sign a seven-year treaty with Israel – Daniel 9:27
• He will break his treaty/covenant in the middle of the seven-year Tribulation – Daniel 9:27Matthew 24:21; Revelation 13:14-15
• He will claim that he is God – Daniel 11:36
• He will persecute the Jewish People (and all those who take the mark of the beast) – Daniel 7:21
• He will set up and start “the abomination of desolation” – Daniel 12:11
• He will invade Israel – Daniel 11:40-45; Ezekiel 38-39
• He will conquer – Daniel 11:38-44
• He will be defeated – Daniel 7:11269:27

Let's not jump the gun, but let's be diligent about the current events. There are obvious similarities and they are frightening. Things will eventually go south for mankind and get a lot worse, but we also must remember that our hope is and should continue to be in the Messiah of Israel, His redeeming atonement for us all (Isaiah 52:13-53:12) and His imminent return. It is those who have placed their trust in Yeshua of Nazareth who will join Him before it gets to the point of “the abomination of desolation”. Are you in?

Why Do We Have to Explain Concentration Camps in 2019?

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) recently made a statement on Twitter that has garnered a lot of attention from both the Right and the Left. She said" The United States is running concentration camps on our southern borders, and that is exactly what they are...If that doesn't concern you...I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that we should not...that NEVER AGAIN means something and that the fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing."

She has received a lot of criticism almost immediately after her tweet and continues to experience the "aftershocks" or her seismic faux pas. People have accused her of undermining the horrors of the Holocaust, comparing the incomparable, being ignorant of the facts of history and of course, being anti-semitic. In my eyes, all these accusations have some validity, yet, I cannot help but wonder why in 2019 we have to explain what a Nazi concentration camp was and why nothing, at least in America, even comes close to them?

Only 80 years after the building and filling of Nazi concentration camps, and the horrors that they entailed, we should not have to explain what they were to anyone. That is of course if the Holocaust had continually and properly been taught in schools and universities. We are always going to run into the occasional nutcase denier of major historical events or conspiracy theorist, but with the proper world history education, they should be easy to spot and debunk. Today, sadly...Not so much! So, to defend the memory of Holocaust victims and their surviving families, we have to explain, compare and defend the meaning of "Concentration Camps." Sad, but necessary!

One possible reason for ignorance is that people simply don't care. The 21st century has catapulted people into a world of virtual self-gratification with very little needs for factual and historical truth. Between artificial intelligence, social networks and a postmodern approach to everyday life, people don't see the need to live within reality anymore. To a degree, we all are invited to make our own reality, and it doesn't have to fit a grand narrative such as the biblical worldview. It simply has to satisfy our desires, not even our needs. We rename things, we ignore the original meaning of things or worse, we ignore that events ever happened. But as much as people try to erase history, history is here to stay. History can be ignored or re-interpreted, but it cannot be erased.

Some will say that AOC didn't really compare what takes place on our southern borders to the camps of the Holocaust because she never mentioned the words "German" or "Nazi" in her tweet. Unfortunately for her, she chose to politicize two words that put together, represent the timeless somber motto of the surviving global Jewish community; NEVER AGAIN! Once the word was out the connection was made, and since she has not recanted or apologized, it is hard to believe that she didn't mean to draw some kind of parallel. Of course, comparing our current administration to a Fascist government added insult to injury. Furthermore, after using "Concentration Camps" and "Never Again!" in a political context, she received an invitation to visit Auschwitz with Edward Mossberg who survived the camps and offered to be her private guide. She declined. What a missed opportunity to rectify her faux pas. There are only two reasons for that, she is either too proud to learn and be corrected or too antisemitic to care. Maybe a bit of both. Interestingly enough, her reason for declining was a bizarre statement about the Far-Right trying to politicize the incident. She said' "The last time you went on this trip it was reported that you also met w/ fringe Austrian neo-Nazi groups to talk shop, So I’m going to have to decline your invite. But thank you for revealing to all how transparently the far-right manipulates these moments for political gain.”

AOC and those who back her up like Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, fail to understand the many differences between Nazi concentration camps and ICE internment facilities. While I do not expect AOC to read my commentary and honestly compare the two, I hope that some people, not so keen on the differences, would take the time to compare. Here are just a few things that you will not find on our southern borders:

• Forced labor
• Starvation
• Electrified fences
• Beatings
• Tattooed identification number
• No bathrooms
• Firing squads
• No doctors

And that is only a few of the elements you would find in Nazi concentration camps. These camps were designed to corral Jews in large numbers and create a war forced labor contingency. The work conditions and lack of food and hygiene were such that they quickly became death camps, and that is even before the full implementation of the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" with the running of places like Auschwitz-Birkenau. When the death camps were implemented, you could add these to the list:

• Gas chambers
• Crematoria
• Gruesome experiments on inmates including babies
• Long death marches in the snow

Yet, one of the most obvious differences between the Nazi Death Camps and ICE's detention centers is how people got inside them. During the Holocaust years, the Nazi war machine was systematically rounding-up Jews, outside of Germany, all over Europe through the railway system. They [the Nazis] went out of their way to gather Jews, put them on trains and send them to the camps. Let me repeat myself...the people were hunted down to be put in forced labor camps and later in death camps...THEY WERE HUNTED DOWN!

The migrants of today, coming to America, for whatever reason they might have–and many do have valid reasons to come– are coming to our country knowing that they are going to have to come through the ICE system (as understaffed, overworked and beyond capacity as it is). They are coming through knowing that if they want to have a chance to stay in the USA legally, they have to go through the system. And when I say "They", I mean anybody who wants to come to the USA, not just an ethnic group or religious group, anybody. They want to come to the USA for asylum and for a better life, and THEY ARE NOT HUNTED DOWN!

Could the "accommodations" be better on our borders? YES! But, please, do not compare ICE detention centers to Nazi concentration camps. By doing so, you are insulting the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, you are diminishing a world event that is already running the risk of sliding into oblivion, and you are politicizing a situation without any foundation to do so.

It is fascinating to me how the same group of people can from one side of their mouth state that maybe the Holocaust never happened or was grossly exaggerated, and from the other side of their mouth, use its terminology and history to validate their own agenda. Well, it's not really fascinating, it's more disturbing and despicable!