“Never again!” – Again!

First, it was the Armenian genocide. It was followed by the Holocaust. After the deaths of six million of our Jewish people we cried out, “Never again”. But our cry was not loud enough to penetrate the ears of those who did not want to hear.

Once again we are witnessing another destruction of life and property. And again, as in 1914, Turkish forces have their hands covered in the blood of innocent men, women and young children.

How long will the massacre and executions of civilians go on? Yesterday armed Turks stopped a car in which a 35 year old Kurdish woman, a beloved leader for the rights of her people, was pulled out of the car and was executed on the spot.

I heard no raised voices in protest. As in the Holocaust of the Jews (1939-1945) the world was silent !

America, the “land of the brave”, acted cowardly by withdrawing its troops from the region in Syria and abandoned her Kurdish allies to Turkish slaughter.

It sickens me. It is like a knife stuck in my back. What have the Kurds done to be subjected to slaughter?

Their only “crime” was to protest against those who denied them freedom and independence in a state of their own.

Jews of Israel. Fellow citizens. Why have your voices been silent? We must not sit idly by and watch the tragedies north of our border. We must make demands upon what is left of our so-called “government” to open our doors to the elderly and to the young children. We must create a haven of safety and security for them. Have we forgotten the safety and security which was denied to us by Nazi Germany and its allies and collaborators?

Have we forgotten the verses of a Hebrew proverb: “im ain ani li mi li, u’kshe ani l’atzmi, ma li, v’im lo achshav, aimatai”…. “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now…. When?”

If we are only for ourselves, what are we? And then…the eternal question. WHEN?

When will we act? When will we help? When will we demand aid to the suffering Kurds? And, if not now… WHEN?

The suffering of the Jewish people at the hands of Christians and sometimes of Muslims for two thousand years can fill hundreds, perhaps thousands of libraries with the books and manuscripts documenting the persecution and execution of an entire people?

Have we forgotten the words of our national anthem, Hatikvah (the Hope), which we sing?

“Od lo avda tikvatenu, ha tikvah bat shnot alpayim, lihiyot am chofshi, b’artzenu, eretz Tziyon v’Yerushalayim”… “We have not yet lost our hope, our two thousand year old hope, to be a free people in our own nation, the land of Zion and Jerusalem”.

And in 1948 we saw the dream of two thousand years become reality.

That is what our Kurdish friends dream of…to be a free people in their own nation, Kurdistan.

How can we, as a people, as a nation, sleep soundly at night in our comfortable beds knowing that not too far away from us an oppressed and persecuted people by Turkish hands is calling out to us for our help.

V’im lo achshav….aimatai? And if we do not help now…. WHEN?

There must never be another “Never Again” again !

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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