Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is the day when the world remembers that 6 million people were killed in the holocaust. This day was chosen by the United Nations in 2005 for this remembrance.
Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp on January 27, 1945 – 76 years ago. Nazi forces killed more than 1.1 million people – mostly Jews. The Soviet soldiers were met by starving prisoners, terrible conditions, and more than a million corpses. They were horrified, just as most humans would be.
There is little doubt that the Nazi hatred for Jews caused the Holocaust. People worldwide cried, “Never Again.” Yet, hatred for Jews is growing around the world. Nations surrounding Israel were focused on driving the Jews into the sea. Anti-Zionism is growing with members of the U.S. Congress leading the charge. Chris Gacek and Arielle Del Turco shared some of their thoughts on this topic in an article published at The Daily Signal.
Anti-Zionism is particularly active on American university campuses, where the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions [BDS] movement singles out Israel for economic punishment.
According to U.N. Watch, Israel has received 112 condemnatory resolutions from the U.N. General Assembly since 2015, many times more that of notorious human rights abusers like North Korea, Myanmar, and Syria over that span of time. This wisely disproportionate targeting of the Jewish state indicates a prevalent anti-Jewish sentiment among world leaders.
In its annual report in 2020, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom expressed serious concern over the rise of anti-Semitism in the world, especially in Europe. It cited the examples of a 27% increase in anti-Semitic acts in France in 2019, a 7% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom in 2019, and a pattern of anti-Semitic bullying in Sweden.
As the situation has grown more perilous for Jews in Europe, a 2019 survey found that 41% of young Jewish Europeans have considered emigrating from their native lands out of concern for their safety.
Many Jews are now making plans to leave for Israel as many European governments have lost control of the situation, with anti-Semitism becoming more widespread and violent. This reality would have been unimaginable 20 years ago.
Iran remains the country with the greatest hatred for Israel and is “the only government in the world that denies the Holocaust as a matter of state policy.” With support from former President Donald Trump and his administration, Israel made peace deals with four Middle East nations during 2020.
The historic Abraham Accord has just been signed between the United States, Israel, Bahrain and the United Aram Emirates [UAE], essentially bringing peace between Arab nations in the Middle East and Israel…
Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have already been working hard on normalizing relations lately, including a recent agreement to allow Israel and the UAE to fly commercial flights through Saudi airspace. Now, with this recent agreement including the country of Bahrain, things are moving rapidly towards stability in the region.
Later, Sudan’s new, transitional government, agreed to recognize Israel. Still later, Morocco re-established formal relations with Israel. The four countries moving towards peace with Israel are Bahrain, United Arm Emirates (UAE), Sudan, and Morocco. There was peace in the Middle East until President Trump left office. The day after his inauguration, President Joe Biden sent troops into Syria, so it looks like peace was short lived for now.
Anti-Semitism is growing in the United States, and its growth “has its roots in the political fringe-right” according to Gacek and Del Turco. They use the recent attacks at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Chabad synagogue in Poway, California, as evidence of the hatred of Jews in America. They also emphasized that the attacks made it plain to other Americans that Jewish synagogues were not safe in America. Gacek and Del Turco indicated that younger Americans are not being taught about the Holocaust.
Unfortunately, studies show declining knowledge about the Holocaust among younger Americans. One survey found that 63% of American millennials and Generation Z did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, and over half of those thought the death toll was fewer than 2 million.
Another article tells us that two-thirds of millennials do not know what Auschwitz stands for and what took place there. Many cannot place the Holocaust within the framework of World War II. This is a disastrous place for our nation to be.
The rising generation has not been taught correctly about the Holocaust. Many of them have not heard the commitment “Never Again,” so how can they honor it? Parents and public education systems let down the rising generation when they did not teach correct history. How can we ever hope to have peace in the world when the truth is withheld and lies are allowed to spread and hatred to fester?
It is right that there is a day set apart to remember the Holocaust and “to recommit ourselves to protect the Jewish people” from persecution and death. They are persecuted and killed because they have “a set of unique religious and cultural beliefs that make them distinct.” They will not yield their allegiance to a “higher authority.” As Christians and Americans, we should stand with the Jews every day of every year.