Do we really need to talk so much about the Holocaust?

The further we move away from an event, the harder it is to remember it, its details and even its outcome. Any event enters the annals of history the minute they take place, and there is nothing man can do to erase that event from our collective memories. Nothing can take it away unless it is an event that the vast majority of people wish to forget or even tell the rest of the world it never happened. There are four types of people in any event of history: the victims, the helpers, the perpetrators and the bystanders. As it pertains to the Holocaust, they all need to be remembered.

Not only do we run the risk of forgetting an event, but we also run the risk of allowing history to repeat itself. When it comes to the Holocaust, it would be tragic on both levels. In January 2020, we remember the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau (1/25), and we also commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day (1/27). As Forty heads of states and key representatives gather to pay tribute to the victims and the helpers (Righteous Among the Nations), the rest of the world is invited to post a photo of themselves with the hashtag #WeRemember.

The beauty of a hashtag is that it inserts itself into the worldwide web to never disappear or be changed, and that has power in and of itself. Once composed and posted, a hashtag serves as a beacon bringing people to a particular topic, where all similar hashtags congregate. It can be very helpful. The downside of a hashtag is that too many people use them as gimmicks to satisfy their own conscience. Can someone post #WeRemember or #FightAntisemitism and feel satisfied that they have done their good deed to speak up against the Holocaust and antisemitism? Sure they can, but does it really help?

Hashtags alone only serve to point to the gravity of the Holocaust and the danger of the new antisemitism, as much as a repeated word can. Hashtags will not defeat Holocaust deniers, historical revisionists and antisemites. Hashtags are the bumper stickers of the twenty-first century, they make a statement in passing as they move to their eternal abode in cyberspace.

They don’t speak up, they don’t sign petitions, they don’t march on the street in protest, they can’t teach history, ethics or morality. We need people for all that. Create all the hashtags you want, they might tug on the strings of our hearts, but until we move into action, nothing will change.

We can do so much more:
• Visit one of the numerous US-based (30 states) Holocaust memorial/museums like the one in Washington DC or even Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. If you cannot visit a museum, get online to their sites and learn from their extensive databases and research tools.
• Read on the topic. Start with the autobiographical short book "Night" by Elie Wiesel. Move on to "The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945 by Lucy Dawidowicz. Then in an effort to understand how the Holocaust further affected Jewish/Christian relations, read "The Jewish People and Jesus Christ After Auschwitz" by Jakob Jocz.
• Please, share your knowledge with the next generation. Two-thirds of millennials do not know what Auschwitz was. Additionally, 22% of Americans have never heard of the Holocaust.
• Attend marches and/or protests in your city or near you if they take place to show your support to the Jewish community and your disagreement with the enemies of Israel.
• Be ready to even go further by helping Jewish people in dire need. We can be proactive in 2020 instead of reactive in the 1930s and 40s. Things might get worse before they get better.

The African American communities should not stop telling their people about slavery and segregation, just like the Native American communities should not stop educating their young ones about the poor treatment and fate of their forefathers. So, why should we stop speaking of the Holocaust and why should we let those who deny it, get away with it?

Remembering a happy and positive moment requires no action but simply bring pleasure as we reminisce. When we are called to remember a somber moment on mankind's timeline, remembering the event is just the tip of the iceberg. Sharing our memories, past experiences and teaching others about those events is key. Very soon, all the survivors of the Holocaust will be gone and the task of continuing to honor their memory will fall on those of us who still believe that the Holocaust happened and it could happen again.  So, YES, we need to continue talking about the Holocaust, today more than ever!

How can the UN both remember and ignore the Holocaust?

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article entitled "Are we talking too much about the Holocaust," in which I came to the conclusion that it was not that we speak too much of the Holocaust, but maybe that we speak of it in the wrong context. As we are days from remembering the Jewish Catastrophe as an international community, I cannot help but ponder on the United Nations' double standards about the tragic event that took the life of six million innocent Jewish people.

Every January 27, the international community remembers the Holocaust with various services, memorials and exhibits across the globe. That date also coincides with the anniversary of the Liberation of the "Death Factory" at Auschwitz-Birkenau. International Holocaust Remembrance Day was initiated in 2005 by the United Nations through UN Resolution A/RES/60/7. It is different from Yom Ha Shoah (Day of the Catastrophe) or Holocaust Remembrance Day that was initiated by David Ben Gourion in 1953 and takes place every year in Israel on the 27th of Nisan.

The United Nations has been making efforts to remember the Holocaust, and that is commendable. I am not sure why it took the international community 60 years to declare a day for Holocaust memory, especially in light of the death of more and more of the survivors in the last few decades and the push by many pseudo-historians to deny that it ever took place. Nevertheless, the UN do recognize the Holocaust. But there are two sides to that coin!

I find it interesting that the United Nation's webpage for the event has the following statement: "Denying historical facts, especially on such an important subject as the Holocaust, is just not acceptable. Nor is it acceptable to call for the elimination of any State or people. I would like to see this fundamental principle respected both in rhetoric and in practice by all the members of the international community". (UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.)

The UN found it crucial to include "Nor is it acceptable to call for the elimination of any State or people" in their statement, most likely referring to the Nazi regime's attempt at completely destroying the Jews. But when we look at the UN's role in contemporary antisemitism and demonization of Israel, one wonders if it applies to current events?

Furthermore, UN Resolution 60/7, seems to be suffering from a very strong case of double standards when it comes to the Holocaust, Israel and the Jewish people, especially in light of Resolution 2334 passed in November 2016. Amongst other things, the text of UN Resolution A/RES/67 states that they urge, reject and condemn, but do they?

• Urges Member States to develop educational programs that will inculcate future generations with the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide, and in this context commends the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research; yet many Arabs members of the current UN either finance the Palestinian cause or heavily promote its revisionist narrative.

• Rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or part, yet the UN has no problem supporting the Palestinian Authority whose leader Mahmoud Abbas wrote his dissertation on Holocaust Denial.

• Condemns without reserve all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief, wherever they occur; yet UN member states turn their back on crimes against humanity committed by the Hamas, victimizing the Palestinians while demonizing Israel.

Now we have Resolution 2334 passed last November that literally makes the building of more settlements illegal in Israel. This is added to UNESCO's shameful decision to call the Temple Mount by its Arabic name and stripping it from all its Jewish roots, thus fueling and validating further Palestinian violence in that area. The recent Paris Conference sanctioned by the UN would have liked to see Israel going back to pre-1967 borders. These are the indefensible lines that Jewish diplomat Abba Eban rightfully called the "Auschwitz Borders."

I place very little faith in the ethics of the United Nations. It is true that it is through that organization, Israel was voted into a modern state in 1947. Since then, the UN has passed more resolutions against Israel than against many other countries combined. So when they say "The Holocaust was a turning point in history, which prompted the world to say "never again". The significance of resolution A/RES/60/7 is that it calls for a remembrance of past crimes with an eye towards preventing them in the future, this means very little to most Jews.

Words without actions carry no weight, especially in the case of the Holocaust! How can the UN both remember and ignore the Holocaust? Well, they can't! In the meantime, countries AND individuals can do their part to remember and tell the future generations. We can start by visiting the Shadows of Shoah site that very tastefully give an eternal voice to the few surviving victims of the Shoah.

Because of them and for the rest who speak no more...NEVER AGAIN!