Every year the Holocaust Remembrance Committee runs a coterminous week with November 11, our Remembrance of the victims of war. Those weeks are well planned but sadly are stuck in its focus on the events of the Holocaust in the war years 1939-45. Lessons seem not to have been learned about the meaning of this racist madness.
As a longtime Holocaust educator who regularly took his students to November seminars and as one led seminars on Holocaust education I read with interest the musings of Toronto Star columnist Rabbi Dov Marmur (October 28) who wrote about the importance of the week.
I seconded the Rabbi’s words in his October 28 column: ”the primary purpose of Holocaust Education Week is to tell the truth and point to the implications”.
Sadly the “implications” seems to have been lost on many members of the Canadian Jewish establishment here in Canada. Their silence on the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people under occupation in the land of the biblical prophets is indeed lamentable.
All hope however is not lost. Many in Israel see quite clearly what the lessons of the Holocaust are.
The former speaker of the Knesset Avraham Burg phrased it well “‘Never again’ includes everything; it will not happen again to anyone, anywhere, anytime… after the Shoah, genetic Judaism must end.”
Holocaust to be sure is not happening in Israel but relentless ongoing dehumanization of Palestinians proceeds apace. Dehumanization was the basis of the Holocaust. This assault on Palestinian dignity is rife in Israel. It is the elephant in the living room which Rabbi Marmur glides over.
Holocaust Remembrance Week needs another interlocutor—Palestinians.