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Remembering the Holocaust while anti-semitism rises

April 24, 2017

On the day of Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), we recognize the hatred the Jewish people have experienced. Antisemitism is a problem that Jews like myself have had to face in one way or another at some point in our lives. Whether it be Holocaust jokes or the graffiti of swastikas on desks in school, antisemitism is still present and strong in society.

Recently, we have seen people go into Jewish cemeteries and proceed to knock over gravestones and deface the Jewish deceased. There have been 32 incidents of anti-semitic acts in the southeast alone in the first three months of 2017 which include many bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers.

Even in politics, anti-semitism does not fail to take root. The state of Israel is constantly on their toes with their predominantly Muslim neighbors who would not care to see them gone. The United States has supported Israel because they are the only democracy that is present in the tense region of the Middle East. Or we have even seen the Press Secretary Sean Spicer call concentration camps “Holocaust Centers” and go as far as to say that Hitler did not use gas on his own people. Now if you ask me, I am pretty sure that the German Jews were in fact, his own people.

To show even more of the tensions between Israel and other Middle Eastern countries, the Israeli airline El-Al is not even allowed to fly over different Middle Eastern countries. As someone who has flown this airline firsthand, I can tell you that El-Al must take significant safety precautions to ensure the safety of their passengers. Airports will even station officers with automatic weapons in front of the El-Al terminal to provide further protection.

Now whether we like it or not, anti-semitism is still present in society but there are programs that aid in the suppression of anti-semitism. The March Of the Living is a program where high school seniors visit the concentration and death camps (which is what they are actually called) in hopes of “Never Forgetting” the events that unfolded during World War II.

Israel will constantly be under harsh criticisms from others due to the trends of history, however, we must do our part and not contribute to this anti-semitism. Furthermore, we must continue the memory of what happened in Nazi Germany where over six million Jews were brutally murdered, one million of them being children. Some may deny that the Holocaust even took place, but on Holocaust Remembrance Day, one of the most important dates in Judaism, we must preserve the memory of those who came before us and sacrificed themselves so that the Jews could be here today and practice their faith freely without fear of persecution.

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