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December 22, 2014 7:41 am

Time to Rethink Holocaust Remembrance Day?

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Auschwitz Entrance. Photo: Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.

Auschwitz Entrance. Photo: Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.

JNS.orgDo we need Holocaust Remembrance Day?

Since some of you may be incredulous that I even asked that question, let me first explain why I am doing so.

Over the last week, a scandal has erupted in Ireland regarding whether or not Israel can be mentioned at the forthcoming official Holocaust commemoration on Sunday, Jan. 25. (The official international remembrance day follows two days later.) It was Yanky Fachler, the avuncular Irish-Jewish broadcaster who has been master of ceremonies of the event for several years now, who alerted the outside world to this development when he released a letter from Peter Cassells, the chair of Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland (HETI), informing him that he could not say the words “Israel” or “Jewish state” in any of his remarks.

After a subsequent tussle with HETI, Fachler was informed that his services as MC would no longer be needed. At the same time, Jewish leaders around the world, along with leading Irish personalities like Alan Shatter, a Jew who until recently served as Minister of Justice, condemned the decision on uttering the word “Israel” in no uncertain terms. Ironically, at this year’s ceremony in Dublin, Shatter underlined the centrality of Israel to our understanding of the legacy of the Holocaust when he said, “Holocaust denial is the favorite sport of some, in particular in Europe, and in the Middle East. It is the first cousin of those who still see Jews, for no reason other than they are Jewish, as legitimate targets for hate speech and random violence and of extremists who would, if they could, bring about a second Holocaust by the extermination of the 6 million Jews who today are citizens of the state of Israel.”

In other words, to prevent another Holocaust, Jews need to be able to defend themselves from outside persecutors—and to do that properly, they need a state.

For what it’s worth, HETI has since clarified that there “is no ban on mentioning Israel at the Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in Ireland. Israel will be referred to and the Israeli ambassador has attended and participated in the ceremony since its inception in 2003 and will do so again in January 2015.” But there was no apology for the initial decision, and more importantly, no explanation as to how it was reached. When I recently spoke to Yanky Fachler, he told me that while it was unlikely that HETI would reinstate him as the commemoration day’s MC, he wouldn’t want the role anyway, given the lack of answers from the organization over why it deemed the mentioning of Israel to be, as the Germans might say,verboten.

I don’t know whether HETI will ever provide us with an unvarnished account as to how it arrived at, and then apparently revised, its ban on the mentioning of Israel. I’ve tried to get answers from Peter Cassells, but his office has remained silent.

What I do know is that the controversy in Ireland neatly captures the tension between those who want to emphasize the universal lessons of the Holocaust and those who place the accent on what the extermination of 6 million of our people means for future generations of Jews.

That tension shouldn’t really be there. There is no reason why we cannot first mourn those Jews who died solely because they were Jews and salute those who resisted the Nazi menace even as they suffered from hunger and cold, while at the same time pointing to the Jewish experience during World War Two as a moral lesson against both future genocides and those that have occurred since the Nazi defeat in 1945 (in Rwanda, Bosnia, the Kurdish region of Iraq, and too many other locations).

It seems that HETI, as Fachler pointed out to me, cares more about dead Jews than living ones. That’s certainly one potential explanation as to why HETI believes it’s manifestly alright to grieve for those who died, but deny the right of their descendants to express pride in the central achievement of post-Holocaust Jewry: the creation of the state of Israel.

Look at where this leads us. Increasingly, Holocaust education is becoming general tolerance education. From warning against the evils of genocide in general—a legitimate and important thing to do—we now wield the Holocaust as a tool to combat ills from the bullying of overweight kids to anti-immigrant rhetoric. And that means we lose our perspective. You don’t need to invoke the Holocaust to explain why harassing someone over their appearance or their origins is wrong.

Equally, this same emphasis on one human family is diluting the particular lessons of the Holocaust for Jews, as well as providing an opportunity for anti-Zionists—of whom there are many in Ireland, as is the case elsewhere in Europe—to scorn and demean the idea that Jewish sovereignty is the best answer to the persecution of our people.

So if commemorating the Holocaust in the public sphere requires Jews to play down their affiliation with Israel, and to elide the intimate connection between what the Holocaust represents and the significance of a Jewish state in our own time, then I’d say we are better off without Holocaust Remembrance Day.

That doesn’t mean Jews should forget about the Nazi extermination—nor will they, as the enduring power of Yom HaShoah in Israel attests. But surely it’s better to just commemorate it amongst ourselves, and stress to the outside world that self-determination isour antidote to centuries of anti-Semitism, than to be forced into ugly compromises about when we can or can’t mention Israel.

Ben Cohen is the Shillman Analyst for His writings on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics have been published in Commentary, the New York Post, Ha’aretz, Jewish Ideas Daily and many other publications.

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  • Robert Weintraub

    Before the Holocaust the expulsions from Spain were the memory most mentioned by Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe. Worse tragedies such as the “Cossack rebellion”
    in the Ukraine in the 17th century and the killing of Jews following WW 1 also in the Ukraine terms than the Spanish were almost never mentioned.

    Could it be that Jews had been more accepted in Spain and, therefore. the expulsions less understandable?

    What ever lessons the Holocaust teaches American Jews uniting behind Israel and a pro Jewish policy domestically is not one of them,

    American Jewish voting has been for the last hundred years overwhelmingly pro big government programs This is so although because of higher Jewish income Jews benefit less than other ethnicities.

    Voting support by American Jews for Israel is pathetic. It was clear from Obama’s statements before the election and the harsh reception at the Democratic convention in 2008 of a pro Israel resolution that Obama would be less friendly toward Israel than the prior Bush administration. Yet almost 80% of the Jewish vote went to Obama. In 2012 and almost 70% went to Obama.

    Intermarriage among American non Orthodox Jews are above 50%.Among the children of intermarried parents intermarriage rates are still higher. Jewish birthrate among non Orthodox are the lowest of any ethnicity. What, then, are the lessons of Holocaust commemoration?

  • .…/how-to-stab-a-jew-…/2014/12/27/

    ‘How to Stab a Jew’ Going Viral on Palestinian Authority Social Media [video] Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

  • I have resigned from the interfaith association and will not again participate in their interfaith holocaust SERVICE WHICH I ORIGINATED. I AM A PAST PRESIDENT.

    HATIKVAH has been included in every service since I created interfaith holocaust services in 1974 with no objection. N0 ONE HAS EVER WALKED out, sat down OR OBJECTED until recently. IMAMS have sat down or left before Hatikvah.

    – In 1944, Czech Jews spontaneously sang it at the entry to the Auschwitz-Birkenau gas chamber and, as reported by a member of the Sonderkommando, were beaten by SS guards.

    The link is clear, the Arabs were against Hatikvah before there was Israel or even before the myth of Palestinian people. Furthermore, Jews sang it while being led to their death. How dare anyone allow individuals to leave in protest during Hatikvah with the canard they are commemorating the Holocaust but against the State of Israel. Just keep quoting Dr Martin Luther King, Jr “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”


  • Robert Weintraub

    I think it is important for Christians to be reminded regularly that centuries of demonizing Jews made it easy for Hitler to carry out the Holocaust with negligible opposition either within Germany, allied and occupied countries.

    As far as American Jews are concerned it’s hard to see any positive effects of annual Holocaust programs.

  • Jews have put all their eggs in the Holocaust education/remembrance basket, depending on it to fend off Shoah, The Sequel. Our faith has been misplaced, I fear. For what has happened is that a false dichotomy has been established: The “good Jews” are the dead ones who were murdered during the Holocaust; the “bad Jews” are the living ones, especially those living in Israel.

    Call it “unintended consequences, squared.”

    Clearly, this state of affairs does not the Jews of today, ones who must live with Zionhass–the Jew-hate of our time–now spiraling out of control.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    Europe hasn’t learned a thing about tolerance in a thousand years. So there’s no point in flogging it anymore. After all, we don’t demand the Arabs hoist these affairs, do we? No they simply want us all enslaved or dead. So if the Europeans want to hug themselves about the Hugenots or the Armenians or 20 other massacres or mini-genocides, who cares and god speed. But worrying about whether the memory of Arbeit Macht Frei is kept alive is fairly pointless when it comes to Europe. Soon enough the people who deny it happened will be street brawling with the people who want another one. And as far as we should be concerned they should kill each other to the last man standing.

  • BH in Iowa

    No surprise to see a Shoah commemoration turn into a European ‘nakba day’

  • Tom Tuey

    I am not a Jew but I agree…why bother iin Europe and
    like countries…it appears that they simply do not care
    or are too oppressed by the drudgery of making a
    living to pay even courteous interest…..I truly wish that all Jews would vacate Europe Union and every
    where els and return to their ancestoral home..
    Israel …for their sake.. Our government told the
    Native Americans in one “treaty” …that “as long
    as the grass grows and the rivers flow” that the land
    being treated for would be theirs(NA’s)….well….
    u don’t have to be a history major to know what
    happened..and any agreement with any of the EU
    nations will by the sins of the father be the same…
    I would not trust them for any reason and certainly
    not one that was only benefiting the Jew….I applause
    Rabbi Eckstein for his aliyah program….may God
    continue to protect Israel….confusion to her enemies!

  • Peter Smith

    Perhaps the notion that the “Bloody Sunday” massacre (on January 30 1972 the British Army of occupation in Northern Ireland murdered 13 innocent Catholic demonstrators in the Bogside) did not occur , will make the Irish “Hizbullistas” re-think their misguided stance.This is just a thought,though!!!!!!!!!!

  • Irena Braun

    The Irish are nice people! They just learn slowly. Even slower than the rest of Europe, which is truly unfortunate. They had their own problems and were wrapped up in these for a very long time. Now, attempting to empathise with others without much experience, they follow wrong models. That is all. The Irish people need to receive facts and figures and a good history lesson regarding the Jewish Nation. I would recommend Melanie Philips, she could clarify even the most misguided notions.Well? Any volunteers???

    • My name is Patrick Dempsey! I am an Author on The Holocaust of The Jews of Europe. I am Irish and speak for 6,000,000 Jews of Europe Murdered from a remit of 11,000,000 Jews of Wannsee which included 4,000 Irish People, because they too were of the Jewish Faith! My work can be found at:-

      I am always interested on what can Promote Remembrance of the 6,000,000 Murdered Jews and will continually seek out those who have a similar capacity to secure their Memory. I have recently visited Auschwitz/Birkenau and have Blogged my experience:-

      I have been countering much of what the deniers seek to conceal, The Truth, and am very conscious that we will never know the full cost to Humanity, to History, to us of the Catastrophe. But what I will always suggest, that while the 6,000,000 figure might not be a Certainty, we can NEVER rule out the awful fear that far in excess of that Number might well be concealed, confined within the terms of The Holocaust Murders of The Jews of Europe.

      So it is with Belzec, where I myself have sought to revise down from the 1,250,000 I assessed toward the 600,000 that seemingly is more acceptable to those looking for the Capacity to Murder that fully existed within each and every Death Camp and Camp. To that end, we look to newer Technologies to add to what We know is the Truth, but which can all too easily conceal the eventual detail of that Truth, hidden by numbers, accounts and a statistical analysis which will never be complete! Any assistance I, or My efforts can deliver, will be in furtherance of that specific need to Remember that 6,000,000 Jews were Murdered while we stood idly by and allowed for this to happen!


  • Efram

    It is sad and twisted that it has come to this, but it has. Ireland is full of Anti-Semitism, to the point it is systemic. Couple that with the Holocaust museum in Hungary in which Jewish participation has been banned, and one of your points, that they would rather mourn dead Jews than celebrate live ones, is all too accurate. As a Jew hater, it is much easier to feel sorry for those who are no longer here, than to tolerate Jews in the present. It is not a coincidence.

    • Back in my University Days I had more disputes with Irish-American Students>the Irish think that they were the only group that was discriminated against…AS a matter of Fact I believe they have no idea about the Holocust,,,> You must remember they sided with Germany during the Second World War..So how would ever Admit it happened..


    Why not have ‘genocide day’ to commemorate all genocides in the world, not just the Jewish one?

    • We have a Genocide Day! We remember WWII. We recall Rwanda! We remember Croatia! But Holocaust Memorial Day is to Remember in clearly acknowledging that the term ‘Genocide’ was deemed appropriate for the most despicable crime ever to be perpetrated against a People. That the 6,000,000 were Jewish People gives us The Holocaust, and hence Remembrance of that fact!

    • A Zionist

      This is exactly what the Israel and Jew haters want: to “downplay” the Shoah and to relegate the “Final Solution” to one of many acts of genocide. While many different kinds of people were murdered by the Nazis, the “Final Solution” was explicitly for and directed only against, the Jewish people.

      It is a perverse form of both denial and envy of the Jewish people and the Shoah. Anti-semitism today is rising, yet the European Parliament has denied a special agency to investigate anti-semitism. This seems contrary to the EU’s Fundamental Right’s Agency who, in November 2013, noted the rise in anti-semitism in Europe and how Jews were questioning whether Jews should leave Europe.

      Even today, the Shoah has the power to force people to confront anti-semitism. Today, it is politically correct to refer to the racism of colour and Islamophobia. Anti-semitism is relegated to an after-thought, at best, a deliberate attempt to suggest that anti-semitism no longer exists or does not have to be taken seriously. How many more Jews have to die to force the Europeans to acknowledge their complicity in the deaths of millions of Jews by condoning the murderous behaviour of Arab terrorists?

      By holding Holocaust Memorial Day, it forces all those haters of Jews to acknowledge that the Final Solution will be a reminder of the evil of anti-semitism.

      • Liz Wagner

        Most respectfully, I would argue Anti-Semitism is not even an “afterthought.” Any recognition of anti-Jewish action, speech, content, etc. is to be denied, ridiculed or ignored. Jews are to be seen as eternal thieves who, in addition to stealing all that is material have stolen the ethereal and abstract, too. In this case, Jews are being blamed for the perceived crime of having stolen the spotlight on other suffering minorities and are now banned from the minorities “club.”. Today’s Israel/Jew haters have turned us into predators of “Palestinians” and, therefore, legitimate targets of their hate.

  • How about a ban on mentioning Ireland?

    • 4,000 Jews of Ireland were targeted for Slaughter, so please Ireland will Remember The Holocaust! There is no doubt, at least to those with a rational mind, for Historians, Writers, Witnesses, and especially for those under the yoke of hitler’s oppression, that hitler himself, once he had gained a mandate for power, he would find his target. From his earliest days he had set his sights firmly upon a demonstration of hatred for the Jews of Germany and Austria and World Jewry became targetted.

      Hitler had a global view had been formulating since the German defeat in WWI and the major protagonist to him was an irrational, ill fated hatred toward World Jewry. To hitler, the Jewish Conspiracy was not merely a Communist plot, it was a Capitalist venture, a Left and Right assault upon Political thought, an assailing of Negative and Positive thinking and a scapegoat for all the ails of the World.

      In effect; hitler blamed the Jews for the Sun not shining and for the Rain coming out of the Skies! The Jews could do no right, not a Jewish Physician who saved Lives, nor a Jewish Soldier whose Bravery was commended. No Jewish Banker, who made his money in exactly the same fashion as all of World banking, nor a Jewish Wholesaler whose profit margin was squeezed so that they could subsist with their entrepreneurial business.

      None of these Jews could do any right! Stereo typical and rancid Racism was hitler’s format for that convulsion toward power! It is clear too, from the muddled, illogical and totally radical view of hitler, clearly contained within the laboured tome of Mein Kampf, that he sought to become a committed antisemite. Once achieved, and in order to garner support for a Worldview, his Weltanschauung, that would deliver him power in Germany, he would fully secure the demise of The Jewish People.

      Their very existence throughout the World.Of course that strategy had not been a totally Annihilatory one, in the first place, though he had conceived of the obvious fact that many Jews would die in order to secure his lie. That fabricational fiction, which was was to secure in his own mind that the assault upon the Jews was somehow pre-emptive, convinced no one.

      So for hitler, the staging would be a graduated process by which we would see the Jews marginalised from Society, contained behind brick walls and finally ‘resettled’ away from the Communion of Christian German peoples. Here too, hitler’s romance with the idea that he could emulate all that Napoleon had gained, and go a stage further with a venture into the expansive Russian State, was gaining a delusional momentum!

      Here is where the procession toward The Holocaust developed. In the mind of an irrational thinker, whose Political idea was suspended upon a Eugenic notion, hitler’s need for an object for his profanity, for focusing away from the daily grind was found in the The Jewish People, Men, Women and Their Children. Initially, he developed and enumerated upon the very idea that those he considered unworthy of life, and these were fellow Germans and Austrians could be Murdered.

      Those, whose only crime was having been born different to all others, was to become a stage on the road to Annihilating The Jews! Whether with deformity, with an opposing opinion, with an anti-Humanitarian concern, those with social concerns and with Genetic differences, all would be targetted! Any feature that could separate a person out from a conforming view or from his own myopic mindset, hitler would fix a course of conflict.

      That conflict would secrete a Genocidal intention behind a War of conquest. The initial burst of hate that hitler filed, was in an impure eugenics programme that rode alongside his Jew hatred! This shifting of aims moved more radically toward a far more bloody resolve. Those with a diverse Ethnical backround, with a Geneology of Biblical proportions or with a simple Religious preference, borne of 3,000 years of Religious Belief, made the Jew a prime target!

      hitler found a resolve then in destroying them all! Here, and we do not need to dig too deep into the pseudo racial theory hitler had often pronounced! We know enough from History that hitler used the Jews to rally the bully in Humanity. Set upon his course to destroy all Jewish presence from the midst of Europe, he would then ensure the very traces of Jewish existence was wiped out, once the shield of World conflict had been engaged!

      Here, and where the argument that persists to this day is not merely anchored to a lack of a paper trail, hitler is the Signatory of The Final Solution of The Jewish Question, die Endlosung der Judenfrage. Here, at the cross roads of a former Territorial Resolve, that motion was becoming a Destructive Solution. hitler is first and foremost the Architect of all that emanated from his dictatorial presence!

      Once enunciated, there was that grouping of bureacrats who would secure for posterity the ambiguity of a totally wielded power diminished in a curious fashion by some lack of a paper file? Hitler had Invaded Poland and swept across Belgium, France, Holland and Luxembourg and secured huge victories. No matter the muted but escalating terms that would suggest any amelioration of positions, Annihilation would always emerge as the focus of his intentions, especially toward The Jewish People!

      We know here, from Himmler’s meeting with higher nazi echelon’s and Gauleiters in Berlin, December 10th. 1940, that at this juncture, this was still a territorial consideration.

      “..By resettling ..Jews out of ..European economic area to a yet to be determined territory. In ..framework of this ..5,800,000 Jews will be affected.” Adolf Eichmann.

      However, a hiatus had been reached and 5,800,000 Jews and more, would be substantially affected and would be systematically Destroyed!

      hitler was in ebullient mood, with all of Europe prostrate before him. The reaches of Russian wealth and space, Lebensraum, and his much vaunted confrontation with World Jewry was within earshot of those, like himmler, heydrich or eichmann who would deliver the necessary administrative expertise to a Humanitarian Catastrophe. The Holocaust was a staging post closer and that led toward an inestimable confrontation with a World already steeped in the knowledge of hitler’s hatred for The Jews.

      The World was not only privy to what those intentions were, an enactment setting forth the Legally Immoral Nuremberg Laws of 1935, but with the moribund Destruction of Jewish Life, Limb and Livelihood during the Kristallnacht pogrom of 1938 visibly and physically stated. The Jewish People were moved Centre Stage in what hitler now viewed to be, a confrontation of epic proportions, an Earth shattering and Death dealing blow and all orchestrated toward a growing Jewish and even World awareness!

      Under hitler’s tutelage, and administered in order, by himmler, heydrich and eichmann, plans were established to deal a deadly blow to the Jews of Europe. The figures, census and populace of the Country’s mentioned have been drawn up with the Destruction of 11,293,300 Jews a demanded, selective and concerted undertaking. The Final Resolve, which developed into The Final Solution of The Jewish Question, die Endlosung der Judenfrage, became the wholesale Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, Men, Women and Their Children. A figure, extrapolated from the very detailed account drawn up by hitler and his minions calculates in cold relief a Destructive process which required a term, Genocide to incorporate its very strategy for the Destruction of these Jewish People! These are the Factual calculations brought to bear once hitler had fully moved away from any Territorial Solution and settled upon the Mass Murder of all of these 11,000,000 Jews in what History knows is, The Holocaust of The Jews of Europe!

      Russia had by far the largest Jewish Population of 5,000,000 Jews within her borders, which included the Ukraine and Byelorussia. These were in hitler’s direct line of fire once he launched the attack on Russia, Operation Barbarossa, June 6th. 1941. Next came the territory of Poland, controlled by hitler after he had invaded the Country on September 1st. 1939. Known throughout History as the General Government, this Cemetery for The Jews of Europe contained some 2,284,000 Jews. Hungary contained some 742,800 Jews who remained pretty much unmolested until 1944, when Hungary decided to jump the imploding nazti ship! Two areas of France, under hitler’s jurisdiction after he Invaded Belgium, France Holland and Luxembourg, May 10th. 1940 were Vichy France, or that unoccupied part of France controlled by a collaborative Government, and a directly administered France. Vichy contained some 700,000 Jews while Poland’s Eastern Territories held 420,000 Jews. The Bialystok region had some 400,000 Jews. Romania had 342,000 Jews within her borders while island England had a population of some 330,000 Jews. Then came the Occupied regions of France with its 165,000 Jews. Holland had 160,800 Jews while Germany itself had some 131,800 Jews. Slovakia had 88,000 Jews to be Murdered while the Protectorates of Bohemia & Moravia had 74,200 Jews who could be Killed. Then came Greece’s 69,600 Jews and Italy’s 58,000 Jews. Turkey had 55,500 targeted Jews and Bulgaria had 48,000 Jews set to be Destroyed. Austria had 43,700 Jews with Belgium having 43,000 Jews and Croatia 40,000 Jews. Lithuania had some 34,000 Jews, Switzerland some 18,000 Jews, with Serbia 10,000 Jews, Sweden 8,000 Jews, Spain had 6,000 Jews and Denmark would have its 5,600 Jews set to be Murdered. Ireland’s 4,000 Jews lay at the mercy of hitler’s clear intention and while My own Country prevaricated and settled upon an unconscionable neutrality, which fully played into the hands of hitler’s designs for ALL Jews, the wholesale Slaughter of these Jewish People was underway. For Latvia’s 3,500 Jews, Portugal’s 3,000 Jews, Finland’s 2,300 Jews and Norway 1,300 Jews were in hitler’s sights! Estonia had some 1,000 Jews and the tiny Jewish Population of Albania, some 200 Jews was not to be forgotten. This totalled some 11,293,300 Jews who were to be Murdered. Of course, by the time this Statistical analysis was laid before hitler, many of these Jews had already been Murdered. In fact, Estonia had already been declared ‘Judenrein’ or Free of Jews! Murdered!

      • Micha’el Bloch

        Why then have the Irish adopted this hatred towards Hebrews and their state:Israel ? Hating Israel is the same as hating Hebrews and Zionists ! What is a Zionist – simply a person that supports Israel – whether an Hebrew or a gentile.
        I went to school in South Africa and a lot of Irish were in my class – all Catholics; all mentally lazy and prone to fighting against all and sundry ; mainly amongst themselves. Only one of whom ; with whom i had many fist-fights was an anti-semite who used to draw swatikas on his shirt collar ; for the rest they were quite nice fellows. You’d have thought that the hatred and anger of the Irish would be directed against the English who organised their own little Holocaust against them at the time of the POTATO BLIGHT ; and ensured their death in Ireland by having the Irish die an agonising death through starvation and disease. I tend to think that the reason for the Hebrew hatred is their Catholic upbringing which has transferred itself to hatred of Israel – the state of the Hebrews.
        By the way – please refer to my nation as either the Hebrews or the Judeans – “Jew” is a corruption of the english word for Judean.
        Micha’el Sarya Bloch – ISRAEL

  • I see a different starting point in EU Holocaust Remembrance Day on the anniversary of the Russian liberation of Auschwitz. Although schools use the day as a starting point for discussing racism and attempted genocide, the purpose of the date chosen is to remind us that even in the heart of ‘civilised’ Christian Europe there could be the greatest descent into the vilest barbarity, that the people who brought us Mozart and Beethoven, could also bring us ‘racial science’ and the Holocaust, pseudoscience and the evolution of supeior races and survival of the fittest. We remember Churban Europa on Tisha B’Av. On Holocaust Remembrance Day we remember the failure of Western civilisation. Just to note, Republic of Ireland sent Germany a letter of condolence on the death of Adolf Hitler, and Churchill had a plan in case Germany invaded Britain via ‘neutral’Ireland! Plenty to talk about without mentioning the State of Israel!

  • TheAZCowBoy

    Yup, you’re right – who cares what happened to the Jews in Europe? (The Rothchild’s have ‘Reaped what they sow,’ for 3,000 years, ya know?).

    In AmeriKKKa, the 9m native Americans massacred by the Aztec bloody Europeans and a museum/Holocust memorialto them is what we need in America. Indeed, these are the people of America!” (Not the ARROGANT INCORRIGIBLES European athiest (G-dless) AshkaNZAI’s!).

    Srry, better luck next time!

    • Lynne T

      What is it like to live in a head that is as screwed up as yours?

    • I CARE!!

  • I wish someone could explain to me this obsession with Jews and Israel by people like the Irish, in this instance, who are not impacted at all by the existence of the state of Israel. History has shown that the nations all over the world do not like Jews. That is their right. What is emphatically NOT their right is harming Jews, just because they don’t like them. Spain had its inquisition that killed hundreds of thousands of Jews, just because they were Jewish; England evicted them at one time, the Arab nations evicted them recently.
    If they agree that disliking, or even hating someone does not in and of itself give the right to harm or kill, they ought to be in favor of the existence of Israel, so the Jews can live there instead of, for instance in Ireland. Why would an Irishman be against the right of Jews to have their own country, just like the Irish do, and as the League of Nations determined is their right within the Treaty of San Remo, in 1920, to live there undisturbed and not impose their presence on the Irish?

  • I think it is more important that the world remembers and commemorates the Holocaust. I, and others like me in Israel or elswhere, so caLLED “SECOND GENERATION” will never forget. I, that grew up without grandparents, aunts or uncles, sisters or brothers – I don’t need Yom Ha’shoa to remember. The world – needs, more NOW thaN EVER. When the question of the right of Israel to exist is questoned daily, the world has to be reminded.

  • Ruth

    Dear team, After All these years what do people like my mother do. I have to keep Some info away not to upset her. This world is becoming very mean for the servivers of 1940-1945 . And what about US? The world is lossing it’s grip and what’s next? What can we All do to help? MY HEART HURTS !!!!!

    • There are 6,000,000 Reasons:-

      Always to Remember, Never to Forget!

  • I think that it’s unfortunate that G-d is left out of the discussion when stating that the Jews achieved the Creation of the State of Israel . There is a chasidic teaching that a ‘gevura’ a hardship is followed by a ‘chesed’ , a kindness. The State of Israel was ultimately achieved, or returned to us by the Hand of Hashem., a great kindness to His people. We should recognize His role in the overall picture as well as His constant Hand in triumphing over our enemies again and again , including since the State of Israel was established. And ironically, the rest of the world respects us more when we acknowledge our role as Jews within the context of Torah and our connection to G-d.

  • steven L

    There are genocidal fanatics in the West. More than ever we need remembrance day. You are giving up on educating ignorant people and that is catastrophic. Ignorance is the arrogance of intellectual who then spread propaganda. US and EU academia combine antisemitism to ignorance in an attempt to destroy IL and Jews.

  • To equate the Holocaust with the Nazi extermination alone is to do a grievous injustice to European Jewry of the 1933-’45 period. Many men and women during German occupation, when later in the ghettos, and then finally in the camps resisted dehumanization in brave and creative ways. Some dared to try to help others at risk of life and limb, and their story belongs in our commemoration of the Holocaust along with our never-ending rage against Third Reich excesses, world indifference, and persistent antisemetic assault. We ought turn commemoration into an insular matter, but instead upgrade its content to salute resistance to dehumanization – and thereby reinforce our timeless role as a light unto the nations.

  • odette rosen

    I agree with Mr. Ben Cohen. There is no need to remind the world about the holocaust and expect them to feel sorry for us. Most of the world does not care. If it did, the holocaust would never have happened. We only need to remind ourselves and make sure it never happens again, by strenghtening and supporting Israel. I watched a program regarding all the efforts the french made, in order to save their art from looting by the germans. Saving artwork was more important to them than saving human beings. I rest my case.

  • Julian Clovelley

    Primarily the choice as to how the Holocaust should be commemorated should be with the bereaved and with the survivors. As time passes the choice should lie with their families. They are the people I would consult

    To avoid the intrusion of politics into the matter it would seem that non Jews commemorating the events should restrict their focus to the twentieth century period up to the end of the war, and most especially the period between about 1929 and 1945

    In this I have some sympathy with the controversy in Ireland. But it could have been handled better.

    Holocaust education is something that should be included in school education, as is the entire question of genocide

    It will always be difficult to deal with such a terrible subject. One can only try lovingly and respectfully to do one’s best. Sometimes this is best done by recounting a real specific event. There are many such accounts on Yad Vashem’s website. If I have offended a affected person in what I have said here I unreservedly apologise

  • Liz Wagner

    This was my reaction to the HETI outrage, too. If after all this time, and all the education that’s been done around the Holocaust, Europeans, Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims still harbor such discomfort and animosity around Jews and the Jewish homeland—not to mention Holocaust denial—we don’t need their begrudging remembrances. Let Jews have our own programs of remembrance.


  • Yes, we need Holocaust Remembrance Day in spite of how “neo-libs” dilute its connection to the rebirth of Israel. Whenever Jews are required to avoid any public mention of Jewish Israel, during Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Israeli flag should be proudly displayed. The world must never forget what Nazi Germany did to European Jewry nor try to disconnect the link to Jewish Israel.

  • JoshuaBecher

    We must allways remember & remember the holocaust surly it’s not apleasnt memory but we can’t forget so that we don’t repeat

  • SHmuel HaLevi

    No problem. Basically the ever shining stain of the Galut Jew props forth in full perverse darkness.
    Lets all reconsider then… We in Eretz Israel, who risk our lives “serving” for every Jew’s safety as far as we can, will consider also to dim down the Diaspora Jews needs for protection that the Israeli serving people provides to them directly or indirectly. Why, in case of emergency they must not be given express entrance to Israel, emergency shelters and budgets, at best lets offer just routine tourist visas following the natural process of review followed for other visitors.
    Basically Mr., go jump…

    As to gideon Levi and his gangs of crude renegades. The disgraceful, inimical Islamic publication in Hebrew, “ha’aretz”, is not “left of center”. it is the outright arm and voice of mortal enemies. The disgrace and now criminal, tried to illegally visit Islamic infested areas to provide help to the enemy. levi performed actions worse than the actions of the nyt’s if that is at all imaginable.
    gideon levi committed very much the same crime as Peres, Beilin, etc, did in Oslo, where they joined Arafat and intentionally betrayed all of us to the Muslims bestial, slaughtering death squads. Criminals? YES! The Law forbade such contacts.
    The criminals in custody are not left of center, they are outright renegades, traitors, vicious enemies, unJews, Judenrat and capos.

    • Micha’el Bloch

      I agree with Mr Ha Levi – Gidon Levi and Ha’aretz are a scandal and disgrace – were there a death penalty in israel i would be in favour of dispatching him and his ilk ! As to the writer of the article Ben Cohen – he too it would appear is of the ilk of Gidon Levi – a Kapo and self-hating Hebrew !

  • Theodore Sternberg

    I agree with your conclusion. Think what weird compromises we’d have to make if we were going to bring non-Jews and a universalist message to our other observances, such as Yom Kippur or Succot.

  • Arthur Cohn

    Jews did not.There was no rational reason why the Nazis chose to kill Jew s. They had the false crazy idea that the Jews ran the governments of their enemy nations. The British, Russians And Americans had armies to fight back, but the Jews did not.

  • EthanP

    The Holocaust is the “existential” Jewish event of our times.The major event of Jewish history since the ‘Bar Kochba’ revolt. The Holocaust should be commemorated as we do Pasach or Rosh Hashanna.

  • Fred

    What a load of rubbish. I am a Holocaust survivor & 2 of my brothers fought for Israel’s Independence. I and they were proud, now some Johny come lately is diluting & refuting s fact of life & hope to please the enemies of Israel no mater what shade. Victims of the Holocaust paid a high price to be relegated to the ashes . Am Israel chai…

  • Eric R.

    It is time to get rid of it in Europe, since it is obvious that the filthy Euronazis have not learned anything from it.

    Actually, I take that back – the filthy Euronazis DID learn something from the Shoah. That is, the next time they work to exterminate the Jews, they will finish the job.

    At any rate, it is incumbent upon Jews in Europe to boycott these ceremonies.