If the majority of Europeans had stood up and said ‘NO’ to the Nazis and their collaborators,’ would the Holocaust have happened? Likely not. Back then, there were too few to say NO as most of the world cared little to nothing for Jews and thus turned a blind eye to the Jewish genocide going on about them.
Only at the end of WWII did the world see the Holocaust as the inevitable result of doing nothing to resist that ancient evil, Jew hatred, that denies Jews not only human rights but also the right to life.
Human rights discourse emerged in earnest in the aftermath of WWII. Principles developed that speak to recognition, tolerance and respect for human rights for the greatest and least of us and which imposed a duty on all to speak out and act against human rights abuse.
The reality is, however, that the international community too often has honoured international rights more in the breach than in the observance. The world did little to nothing to restrain evil in the form of the 1970s Khmer Rouge Cambodian genocide, the 1980s to 2005 Sudanese Muslim genocide of Sudanese Christians and animists and the 1990s Rwandan Hutu genocide of Tutsis, to cite several examples.
With memories of the Holocaust dimming, Western antisemitism has been steadily rising, especially in the EU, and combining with even more virulent antisemitism coming from most of the Muslim world. That antisemitism spawns anti-Israelism so mendacious and malevolent that it is indistinguishable from antisemitism.
The UN and its agencies have been complicit in fostering this global antisemitic malignancy. The UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), for instance, has consistently ignored practically all UN member human rights abuses while maliciously demonizing and delegitimizing Israel with baseless accusations of being a serial human rights abuser.
Like the multi-national, ethnic and religious horde of Jew haters, the UN has hi-jacked and grotesquely twisted human rights principles into an artifice to advance their ulterior immoral political purposes, which in the main is to mendaciously demonize and delegitimize Israel.
Jews and Israel are under existential siege by this diverse, evil, Jew- and Israel-hating horde.
To our grave prejudice however, global antisemitism / anti-Israelism has an unlikely ally in the allure of assimilative secular modernism. For decades, annual studies prove that assimilation has been relentlessly eroding our non-Orthodox Jewish numbers, Jewish life vitality and connection to Israel. Though Orthodox Jewry has sustained in spite of antisemitism and it has resisted assimilation, it is an open question whether their numbers will prove sufficient to ensure Jewish life as we now know it can survive long into the future.
These facts don’t lie.
Whatever our religious and lay leadership have been doing to combat assimilation, obviously is not nearly enough. To more effectively counter the erosive tide of assimilation washing over Klal Ysrael and, better yet, to turn it back, our religious and lay Jewish leadership must come up with a much more effective game plan that meets the forces of assimilation directly and head-on.
With the confluence of global antisemitism and the self-destructive consequences of Jews embracing assimilation, Jews’ strength and will to fight back to survive is steadily sapped. We might already be nearing a tipping-point choice of going all-out to fight back to survive or give up and fade away.
For many EU Jews, that tipping point has already been reached.
With resurgent antisemitism, combined with the flood of Jew-hating Muslims into the EU, most EU Jews know they are no longer safe. Knowing that, in effect, they are being ethnically cleansed from the EU, many have chosen not to fight, but instead to flee their homes to North America and Israel where there is no immediate threat from antisemitism.
We North Americans however, are not safe at all from assimilation which, to our extreme prejudice, is besieging us Jews and diminishing our communities daily.
Jews and good people all can find insight, strength, courage and determination to fight and turn back antisemitism – and its evil complicit ally, assimilation – if we just open our eyes, minds and hearts to the famous, axiomatic words of Edmund Burke: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Yes, such a war will be hard, nasty, and not for the faint of heart, but it must be fought. We Jews have already lost far too much ground and cannot afford to lose more.
The sooner we, as Jews, personally and collectively commit to making our prime directives the survival of our faith, heritage and Jewish life, the survival of the Jewish state of Israel and strengthening our mutually interdependent Jewish-Israel bonds, the better the chances we can assure ourselves and Israel the bright future for which we all hope and pray.