“On International Holocaust Remembrance Day this past Sunday, Jan. 27, political figures across the globe tweeted out their thoughts on the commemoration of history’s greatest atrocity. Most of the messages were simple reminders that evil must be fought, that we must learn from history and that the victims must not be forgotten.
But a few directly undermined the message of the day. They did so with animus and intent. They did so by carving out the heart of the Holocaust in favor of trite, rote platitudes that could then be used as political hatchets against their political opposition.
Leading the way was open anti-Semite and British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. As National Review’s Julie Lenarz wrote, Corbyn once met with members of Hamas and Hezbollah, calling it his “honor and pleasure.” Corbyn described Raed Salah, a practitioner of the anti-Semitic blood libel, as a “very honored citizen.” He allegedly gave money to Holocaust denier Paul Eisen. He even hosted a program on the Iranian TV outlet Press TV. You can find photos of him attending a memorial for the Palestinian terrorist perpetrators of the Munich massacre. Corbyn’s anti-Semitism is so blatant and obvious that it has rent the Labour Party, even as the Conservative Party struggles to maintain control in Britain.
None of his past actions stopped Corbyn from issuing his Holocaust remembrance message: “In memory of the millions of Jewish people, and others, who perished in the Holocaust. Let us never allow antisemitism or any other form of racism to disfigure our society.” By zooming out from the Holocaust – a massacre of 6 million Jews for the crime of being Jewish – and thus turning the Holocaust into a rote lesson on “racism” writ large, Corbyn can disassociate his own support for genocidal anti-Semites from his supposed opposition to the Holocaust itself.
“The Holocaust must be remembered. Obscuring it with platitudinous statements uttered by anti-Semites isn’t just disgusting, it’s dangerous.”
The same holds true for Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the Women’s March. Sarsour is a supporter of the anti-Semitic boycott against Israel. In 2012, she tweeted, “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” and has publicly defended radical Jew-hater Louis Farrakhan. She has stated that support of Israel cannot coincide with feminism. Yet she, too, sent out a Holocaust Remembrance missive – this one curiously missing any mention of the Jews. “May the memories of those who perished inspire us to love and protect one another. May we never forget history so that we may never repeat it,” she tweeted. “May they rest in an eternal peace knowing that we will fight for each other no matter the consequences.”
Again, a message just vague enough with which to virtue-signal – all without ever having to acknowledge the real-life anti-Semitism in which Sarsour herself has engaged.
Her tweet is a convenient way of omitting the actual message of the Holocaust: first, that Jews must never again be dehumanized and murdered for political purposes; second, that anti-Semitism is not merely a subset of bigotry, but its own poisonous brand; and third, that mass murder is possible when purportedly civilized people forget the first two lessons. And yet, thanks to a deliberate campaign to obfuscate those first two lessons, enemies of the Jewish people can hijack Holocaust Remembrance Day to use as a political club.
One time, the Lubavitcher Rebbe was asked if the Holocaust could ever happen again. “Morgen in der fruh,” he answered. “Tomorrow morning.”
In a world in which Iran routinely threatens Israel’s Jews with annihilation, in which the Palestinian Authority and Hamas unite to teach their children about the eventual hope of a Judenrein Palestine, in which Jews across Europe live under the possibility of the knife, the Holocaust must be remembered. Obscuring it with platitudinous statements uttered by anti-Semites isn’t just disgusting, it’s dangerous.
Ben Shapiro is editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire.