I recently returned from Israel as a participant in the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey’s Rediscover Israel Mission. Among many poignant and memorable moments, one stood out for me. It was at Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the Holocaust. It was a message from a survivor who, to paraphrase, said if anyone — whether representing a country, organization, or group — says they are going to kill you, wipe you off the face of the earth, or annihilate you, take it very seriously. Do not assume it as political or baseless rhetoric. Hitler did that beginning in 1933, which led to the near genocide of the Jewish people.
It’s too easy to think the times are different, and with the State of Israel, that it could never happen again, and God willing it won’t. However, with Holocaust deniers spreading, the survivors passing on, and the world’s too convenient ability to forget history, we can never assume it won’t repeat.
With Iran’s Ahmadinejad and his surrogates Hamas and Hizbullah all calling for Israel’s destruction, we cannot sit idly by. As George Santayana said, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Our Torah reminds us in every generation enemies rise up against the Jewish people.
I strongly urge everyone to write our president, secretary of state, senators, congressmen, secretary general of the United Nations, and anyone else involved in the debate of those threatening the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Make your voices heard. Remind them of history and the critical importance to stand up forcibly and clearly against the forces of evil and not let history repeat itself.