“Silence is despicable; it leads to a loss of flesh and blood.” Ze’ev Jabotinsky
Between Monday night, April 17th, and sundown Tuesday, the 18th, is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Its full name is Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה; in English, it translates to “Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day.” The day is more commonly known as Yom HaShoah (יום השואה), a worldwide day of remembrance for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its allies. Part of the remembering is that as the news about Hitler’s extermination of the Jewish people began to leak out to the world—there was silence.
The hatred of Jews has afflicted people of diverse ethnicity, religions, and political views for over three thousand years, Ever since the Egyptian Pharoah enslaved the nascent Jewish nation.
Even in the U.S., a great nation that has always been an oasis of freedom for Jews, Antisemitism is alive and well but mostly ignored. That silence allows the hatred of Antisemitism to fester.
For example, Al Sharpton has made a career of spewing hatred for Jews. Despite that, he spreads anti-Semiitism the media covers almost every speech he makes and praises him as a human rights leader, never mentioning his history of Jew-hatred..” When the anti-Semitic Sharpton celebrated his 65th birthday in 2019, both New York Governor Cuomo and Senator Schumer went to the celebration to praise the Jew-hater. The politicians and press ignored his hatred, promoting silence.
In 2021 UN Watch, an accredited United Nations NGO, tried to present the results of a study that revealed some of those UNRWA school employees are promoting anti-Jewish hatred to the UN Human Rights Council.
“As revealed in the report, UNRWA staff stationed in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan have publicly incited antisemitism and terrorism. Among the educators who have used their personal social media channels for such propaganda is UNRWA Gaza math teacher Nahid Sharawi, who shared a video of Adolf Hitler with inspirational quotes to “enrich and enlighten your thoughts and minds.” A UNRWA teacher in the West Bank, Husni Masri, posted antisemitic conspiracy theories according to which Jews control the world, created the coronavirus, and seek to destroy Islam.”
About 30 seconds after the presentation began, UN Human Rights Council President Nazhat Shameem Khan stopped the video. She claimed the report contained unacceptable “personal attacks” and ruled the presentation statement “out of order.” Ms. Khan was trying to create silence about Antisemitism.
Barack Obama was on a phone call with Jewish leaders trying to sell the Iran deal. During the 20-minute call, Obama said over and over those opponents of the Iran deal come from the same “array of forces that got us into the Iraq war,” he said a “bunch of billionaires who happily finance super PACs” are “putting the squeeze on members of Congress.” with the claim Jews are leading the effort to kill #Irandeal. And the ‘Same people opposing the deal led us into the Iraq war” In other words, he promoted the “Canard: Jews got us into Iraq War.”
@nathanguttman @ChemiShalev @kampeas Jews are leading effort to kill #Irandeal. “Same people opposing the deal led us into Iraq war.”
— William Daroff (@Daroff) July 30, 2015
You probably never heard about Obama’s Antisemitic claim during that call because it was met with silence.
There was also silence when Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said she believed the anti-Semitic claim that AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) has too much power over Congress. Sorry Maxine, but if AIPAC had all that power you claim, your butt would have been tossed out of Congress years ago. But there were no reports about Ms. Waters’ hatred causing a job loss.
The antisemitism of the famous people above is just a minuscule part of the growing anti-Jewish hatred. We don’t know about most of the hatred because silence has normalized antisemitism and allowed it to rise.
Each Passover, we sing “Ve’ hi She’amda La’avotainu Ve’lanu” (“This is what has stood by our fathers and us”) to remind us that in every generation, our detractors try to physically destroy us. God is there to save us from their hands. But God doesn’t want us to sit back and watch him “fix” things. No, we must act.
After leaving Egypt, the newly freed slaves see Pharaoh’s troops bearing down on the Israelite nation, trapped against the sea. Moses starts praying to God, but God says, stop praying and do something!
“And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward.
In the case of modern Antisemitism, going forward means don’t be silent—act.
Yom HaShoah is not only about remembering the horrors of the Holocaust but also about speaking out, fighting the silence about the Antisemitism growing in the U.S. and throughout the world.
Jabotinsky correctly said silence “leads to a loss of flesh and blood.”
We must demand the silence about Antisemitism ends. It’s the only way to ensure that ‘Never Again’ is never forgotten.