Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Legitimizing the new anti-Semitism
It's been fully a week since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a Holocaust Remembrance Day statement absent of any specific mention of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust, and the only mainstream media mention of the breathtakingly glaring omission was in the conservative-minded Toronto Sun.
I posted about Trudeau's whitewashing of Jews from the Holocaust on my Facebook page, and was met with a chorus of "What makes the Jews so special?" and "Jews don't have a monopoly on suffering". The kind of anti-Semitic tripe that used to be spoken privately in whispers is now stated openly and boldly, and the cue is coming from the highest office in the land.
No one is denying there were other victims, but the overriding agenda of the Holocaust was the extermination of European Jewry. The industrial scale killing factories built specifically to facilitate the genocide of the Jews also proved to be convenient for dispensing with Soviet prisoners of war, political opponents, gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled and other "undesirables", but the Jews were always at the front of the line at the gas chambers, and their total destruction was the Nazis' priority. The Holocaust was also the culmination of centuries of Jewish persecution, and became a defining moment in the rich and tragic history of Judaism and a catalyst for the creation of modern day Israel. It only requires a rudimentary knowledge of history to understand what makes the Jews unique in the context of the Holocaust, and how failing to acknowledge their central place in it is at best woefully ignorant and at worst a deliberate and sinister sop to anti-Jewish interests. Either - or both - could be true in the case of a Prime Minister lacking in intellectual credentials and with a history of openly pandering to fundamentalist Islam, including normalizing Canadian relations with Iran, which makes state policy of denying the Holocaust and openly clamoring for the destruction of Israel.
The most disturbing and disappointing element of Trudeau's blunder isn't the free pass he's getting from the mainstream media. They've been in his pocket all along. What's unsettling is the dearth of strong reaction from the Jewish community itself. Among the few Jewish organizations that commented publicly, the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs said it accepted the explanation from the Prime Minister's office that Trudeau's statement was a first draft issued in error, which ranks right up there with the-sun-was-in-my-eyes and my-dog-ate-my-homework as credible excuse-making. The notion that the PMO would inadvertently release a public statement about something as profound and sensitive as the Holocaust is as ludicrous and insulting as the suggestion that Trudeau "forgot" to mention the Jews. Meanwhile, the statement remains unchanged on the government's website several days after the "correction".
Maybe the deafening silence from the Jewish community has something to do with a Jewish tradition for keeping disagreements within the family, or maybe it's a reflection of widespread Jewish support for Trudeau in the bigger political picture. Either way, I never thought I'd see the day when the 6 million would be thrown under the bus for the sake of social peace and/or political expediency. That it's happening within the lifetime of some Holocaust survivors and at a time when anti-Semitism is enjoying a resurgence unprecedented since the end of World War Two should be troubling to anyone who's taken the time to learn the lessons of history.
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