Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. As one of Power Line’s Gentile contingent, I feel that the day shouldn’t go unrecognized. But what to say about it? A few things–modestly, I hope.
First, anti-Semitism is back again. Apparently there are some anti-Semites associated with the right, although I can’t say that I have ever encountered one. Respectable anti-Semitism exists only, as far as I know, on the left. Jeremy Corbyn and Ilhan Omar exemplify the anti-Semitic left in England and the U.S., respectively. But the rot goes much deeper.
There is a reason why the Labour party is happy to have a blatantly anti-Semitic, pro-terrorist leader as its shadow Prime Minister. On the left, there is considerable support for those hateful views, and not much opposition. Likewise, there is a reason why Democrats like Chuck Schumer–himself a Jew–has nothing bad to say about the endorsement of the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” movement by Ilhan Omar and other young Democrats who have captured the imagination of the party’s rank and file. The future of the Democratic Party lies with the likes of Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not Schumer and his ilk. And Schumer knows it.
Speaking for myself, I couldn’t have imagined thirty years ago that anti-Semitism would ever again be a live issue. But in 2019 it is, thanks to the left.
Second, anti-Semitism has always been a species of tribalism. As such, it now has a lot of company. Liberals divide the United States into tribes: are you African-American? You can do no wrong! Native American? Rarer, but better yet! On the other hand, are you a white male? OMG! You may be only 16 years old, like Nick Sandmann, but you are responsible–somehow–for all the ills of history. What I am trying to say is that anti-Semitism has spread. The same people who hate Jews hate Christians, often even more. The time has come to push back against tribalism in American politics.
Finally, all of the above pales in the context of the unique horror of the Holocaust. “Never again” is the motto of Holocaust remembrance. I don’t think anything like the Holocaust will happen in our lifetimes, if only because there are quite a few Gentiles who would go to the wall rather than see fellow citizens massacred without protest. But the evil impulses that gave rise to the Holocaust haven’t gone away. We struggle against them daily. So, in the current highly ambiguous environment, we celebrate Holocaust Remembrance Day, 2019.