Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Antisemitism Again

It is remarkable that on the very evening that the Jewish world is marking Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Iran's president speaks to the UN conference against racism and offers evidence that antisemitism is not yet the stuff of history books. We did not defeat antisemitism when the Nazis were defeated. There in Durban Ahmadinejad accused Israel of being a racist and oppressive regime. Yet it is his country that openly calls for the destruction of another. It is his country that marches ever closer to building nuclear weapons. (I do not believe that a militaristic theocracy led in part by a man bent on heralding a messianic cataclysm has the noble intention of nuclear energy rather than weapons.) It is this man who calls for the annihilation of the Jews of Israel. But rather than become depressed by his hate-filled words and disenchanted by the renewed evidence of the world's oldest hatred or become enraged at the UN's inability to quell antisemitism--at least at its conferences and its failure to protect all of its member states equally, I am going to focus on a positive note. The world appears to have changed--slightly. The European diplomats in attendance walked out when Iran's president began his tirade. And there is also this. In a small Palestinian village a new Holocaust museum opened. Yad VaShem helped to translate the exhibit into Arabic. The village's elder said: "If leaders on both sides know and remember what Hitler did, maybe we will have peace." I am still waiting for much of the Arab--and Persian--world to stop denying the Holocaust and learn from recent history. But perhaps this is a start. Perhaps such a museum and such public displays of disagreement will turn history.

1 comment:

ravsusie said...

It is nice that there is a ray of hope. This village sound very special.