Preventing The Next Holocaust
Holocaust Remembrance Day is about remembering and honoring the victims of the Holocaust. It's also about reminding us to make every effort to prevent such a thing from happening again.
But herein lies a potential danger. Everyone is so used to the notion of "Never Again" that they are hyper-vigilant to prevent another Nazi Holocaust. Not only Jews, but even non-Jews and even many enemies of Israel are care against things that were precursors to the Nazi Holocaust - racial profiling, antisemitic cartoons, and so on.
But who says that a Nazi-type Holocaust is the only type of Holocaust to worry about?
There are all kinds of existential threats to the Jewish People. We can be pretty confident that there won't be another Nazi-type Holocaust, with racial profiling and ghettos and concentration camps. But there's other ways in which major tragedies can occur.
In a seminal essay published in the Jerusalem Post several years ago, "This Holocaust Will Be Different," historian Benny Morris lays out a terrifyingly plausible scenario in which Iran destroys Israel with a nuclear weapon. He also explains why even if they don't use such a weapon, merely possessing one would be enough to cause Israel to crumble away.
But it's not only Iran that threatens Israel. Egypt and Jordan are not exactly good friends. Hezbollah poses a serious threat. If the Palestinians ever get a state, that could inflict much more damage on Israel than Gaza.
Now Israel has a very powerful army. But, contrary to what many armchair generals on social media seem to think, Israel really does have to take into account, to a certain degree, what its Western allies are saying. It relies on these allies for all kinds of vital political, economic and military cooperation. And such alliances are looking extremely precarious.
Consider this. Israel buys hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of arms from the UK. If Corbyn becomes prime minister - a once unthinkable scenario which is now looking extremely likely - those contracts will probably end, as will all political and security cooperation.
I find it sadly laughable that many Jews think that the threat posed by Corbyn is that they will be subject to antisemitic harassment. Growing up in Manchester, I suffered from that all the time! I would constantly have random people in the street spitting on me, hitting me, cursing me, yelling "Hitler should have gassed you all." It was awful, but it wasn't an existential threat. The real danger of Corbyn is not that he empowers antisemitism towards Jews in England, it's that he is utterly hostile to the State of Israel. And England as a whole has a serious problem here - it is absolutely normative belief in England that Israel is a brutal regime which commits atrocities upon the innocent Palestinians. It's not England's antisemitism to British Jews that we need to worry about, it's their hostility to Israel.
Nor can the United States be completely relied upon. Many Jews are drunk on Trump's warmth to Israel, apparently unaware that he's not going to be President forever, that (possibly due to Trump and/or various Jews) the Democrats have a level of hostility towards Israel never seen before, and that in general the next generation of people in the US is far less sympathetic to Israel's security situation. AIPAC always hosted all the Democratic candidates - this year, not a single one came.
Every one of us has to work hard at building up support for Israel. We need to explain to people why there is a blockade on Gaza, and why Israel had to resort to live fire at the so-called border "protests." We need to explain how most of the Palestinian's problems are of their own making, and why there are no easy solutions that maintain safety for Israel's citizens. We need people to understand (as Corbyn fails to do) why Western countries are generally the good guys and Russian, Iran and North Korea are the bad guys. We need people to understand why democracies are superior to dictatorships, why free societies are infinitely better than fear societies. We do need to tackle antisemitism also, but it's more important to show people how their attitude to Israel - whether or not it is related to antisemitism - is morally wrong.
The Nazi Holocaust will not happen again. But we still need to fight to make sure that no other type of Holocaust happens, either.