Tomorrow, Thursday, January 27, is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Precisely a week prior to the event, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that condemns denial and distortion of the Holocaust. Interestingly, the timing of the resolution, January 20, 2022, is also the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, where the Nazis devised the plan for “the final solution to the Jewish question.” How symbolic it is that on the day when the Nazis determined to extinguish us, the UN resolved to condemn any attempt to deny or play down that attempt. Regrettably, a symbol will not prevent the recurrence of genocide against the Jews.
The nations’ lofty words are empty since their hearts are filled with hate toward us. Just as they would not help us before WWII, when they knew that we were heading for extinction, and just as they refused to bomb extermination camps during the war although they realized what was happening there, they will not lift a finger for us now. If anything, whoever perpetrates the next genocide against the Jews will find many willing partners eager to “pitch in.”
The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is just another opportunity for UN functionaries and bureaucrats to justify their bloated salaries. No one attributes any importance to it.
In fact, if you examine the statistics, you will find that since the 1947 UN resolution to establish a Jewish state and an Arab state in Palestine, the UN has been doing everything it could to go back on its decision and leave the land entirely for the Arabs. Their remorse, therefore, over their inaction during the Holocaust, is phony.
As is becoming increasingly clear, the situation of the Jews around the world has not improved. The Holocaust may have given us a few quiet years, but these are gone, and the curve of Jewish welcome in the world is sloping sharply down.
The obvious odium that the world feels toward the Jewish state reflects its feelings toward the Jews in general. The bias against Israel is a convenient way for the nations to express their feelings that no matter how hard the Jews may try to justify their existence, the world will always find them guilty of every woe and every hardship. The harder they try to appease, the more they will meet contempt.
The only time when Jews are welcome is when they are united among themselves. When there is cohesion among them, the hollers against them subside and everyone respects them.
Jewish unity is our only protection against the violent hatred of the world. It is as the book Maor VaShemesh writes, “The prime defense against calamity is love and unity. When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come over them. Similarly, the book Shem MiShmuel concludes, “When [Israel] are as one man with one heart, they are as a fortified wall against the forces of evil.”
Our unity protects us not because we are stronger than the entire world when we are united. We are not. Jewish power was never about military strength; it was always about spiritual fortitude rather than physical might. When we are united, we are the example that the world wants to see, the “light unto nations” we were destined to be. Deep down, every non-Jew feels it and reacts accordingly when we are united.
In fact, over the generations, there have been very keen people among the antisemites who were aware of the nature of their hatred. They knew that they hated us for not being who we are meant to be—a light of unity for the nations. Some of them were even able to articulate the nature of that light, and stated that their grievance against the Jews is that they are not setting an example of unity, and thereby causing the world not to be able to unite.
One of the most striking examples of such a keen perception is the most antisemitic document ever written in the United States: Henry Ford’s The International Jew—the World’s Foremost Problem. In this hate-filled composition, you will find some of the most appalling statements about the Jewish people. Yet, alongside those outrageous accusations, Ford wrote that Israel’s unity will “prove a great and serviceable factor in bringing about human unity, which the total Jewish tendency at the present time is doing much to prevent.”
In other words, in one sentence, Ford both claims that Jews must promote world unity, and accuses them of working hard to prevent it. As for how the world can learn from the Jews how to unite, Ford advises that “Modern reformers who are constructing model social systems … would do well to look into the social system under which the early Jews were organized.”
The choice is ours. We can unite and lead the world by example, or we can remain divided and suffer the consequences. If we do not want the world to set up another memorial day for Jewish victims, we should heed the words of our sages and our haters. Both are right, and both urge us to unite.