‘Never again’

‘Never again’

As a community, it behoves us to unite and condemn all forms of antisemitism. And to strive to ensure that "never again" means "never again".

•ONE of the most antisemitic tracts ever written, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, available for sale on Amazon.

• A rabbi, shot while fighting a terrorist who stormed his synagogue and who killed one of his congregants.

• Calls for a ban on swastikas after a Nazi flag is flown over a house in Victoria.

Just three of the stories covered in this week’s AJN – the same week in which we look ahead to International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

“Never again,” we say.

But while we may dismiss current manifestations of antisemitism as isolated incidents and a far cry from the state-orchestrated and socially accepted persecution that led to the industrialised slaughter of the Holocaust, nonetheless, targeted hatred against Jews and Jewish institutions persists and, evidentially, is on the rise.

That world leaders are gathering this week at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and next week at Auschwitz should offer some reassurance that there is a global determination to ensure the crimes of the past are neither forgotten, nor repeated.

Contrast these international summits with the one held in Evian in July 1938, when the world effectively washed its hands of the crisis facing European Jewry.

Nonetheless, every day we hear of Jews being beaten up on the streets of New York, Paris or Berlin. And every day, we read of another shule or cemetery being vandalised in the UK, Greece or Poland. 

It is of some comfort that we also read of rallies, of tens of thousands gathering – Jews and non-Jews– to condemn these incidents, standing shoulder to shoulder in the face of antisemitism.

It is saddening by contrast, that there are those within our own community bickering over who is responsible for the hatred, in an attempt to score political points. The left blames the right, and the ascent of Trump. The right blames the left, and elements within Islam.

The reality is there is left-wing antisemitism and right-wing antisemitism, and there are those both Christian and Muslim who find cause to hate Jews within their scriptures.

As a community, it behoves us to unite and condemn all forms of antisemitism. And to strive to ensure that “never again” means “never again”.

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