J.J Gross

Never again?

Following the Shoah the slogan “Never Again” was received as the new orthodoxy. The new mantra obligated a Western world that had claimed ignorance of Auschwitz to prevent an encore of the German atrocities. Never again would there be mass extermination. Never again would there be the legitimized rape and enslavement of women. Never again would homosexuals be incarcerated and executed. Never again would humankind turn a blind eye to the execution of children.

Since then the Shoah has become big business — a global industry of sanctimonious mea culpas.

Thousands of Holocaust museums and monuments were erected to remind the world that, yes, “Never Again”. Resolutions were signed, laws promulgated, speeches given, new university majors created, movies produced, books published. Auschwitz itself has been converted into a virtual Never Again theme park, attracting millions of visitors. Even the Queen of England has placed a wreath.

Those of us with a keener historical perspective were never deluded. We never believed, even for a moment, that it could never again happen to Jews. But what we did believe, naively, is that it could never again happen to other people. Why? Because we, at least, would make sure it didn’t happen.

And yet, it is indeed happening. There is a holocaust going on just beyond our borders.

Mass murder is taking place. Entire tribes are being exterminated. Your girls are sold into slavery. Little boys are being crucified and beheaded. Homosexuals are being tossed off tall buildings. Christian communities are being decimated, their ancient churches and villages pillaged and burned.

That America, Britain, France and, of course, Germany are standing by and doing nothing comes as no surprise. They have made turning a blind eye into a virtual art form.

But what about us? What about the Jewish nation state which was created out of the ashes of the Holocaust? What is our excuse? Why do we have a Yad Vashem? How do we justify our craven passivity in the face of this horror show? What will be our explanation when the final body count is made? What will be our mantra then?

In anyone has no excuse for inaction it is the State of Israel. And if God forbid we allow this mass murder to continue unabated, we will certainly have no right to accuse others when the guns are pointed at us.

As the Sage Hillel said; “In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.” Someone has to make the first move. It won’t be Obama, or Hollande, Merkel or Cameron. Not unless we take the first step. Because our passivity is their legitimacy.

About the Author
J.J Gross is a veteran creative director and copywriter, who made aliyah in 2007 from New York. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a lifelong student of Bible and Talmud. He is also the son of Holocaust survivors from Hungary and Slovakia.
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