Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. This solemn day must be remembered and discussed, regardless of what one’s race or creed may be.
The world must remember to never forget the horrors of the Shoah. The darkest moment in humanity, the most extreme example of the consequences of antisemitism and extremism. It is important to reflect on the rise in antisemitism in Europe that did not happen at once, rather it was a very chilling and gradual rise over many years.
When we remember the 6 million, we don’t just remember the number but we also remember every single soul who was lost because of being Jewish.
I recently visited Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. All in all, the visit was an eyeopening experience that I will remember long after my visit. It made me realize that education is more vital today than it has ever been before. If one is to ever visit Israel, a trip to Yad Vashem should be included in every itinerary. It is one of the few places in the world where the emotions you feel you cannot experience anywhere else.
Additionally, Holocaust denial and distortion are still present in today’s society. Swastikas are still found in Jewish communities and anti-Semitic vandalism is still a common occurrence. In the past 3 years, the Jewish community has been the most targetted group for hate crimes.
Antisemitism is still alive in 2020. It is seen on the far-left, the far-right, and through religion-based hatred against the Jewish people. It really is the only form of racism that unites 2 extremes together. The phenomenon of antisemitism has become common at post-secondary institutions. Jewish students are targetted simply due to supporting Israel. There is no difference between antisemitism and anti-Zionism.
Now more than ever, the State of Israel is a necessity for the Jewish people. It is a haven for anyone of any background and will always open its door to every Jew, regardless of where they were born or how they were raised. It is a beacon of light and hope, both figurately and literally. It deserves as much praise as it can for the miracle that it is.
The global community at large should always report antisemitism, in all of its forms, wherever it may occur. If you see something, say something.
Today and every day, humanity must do their part in never forgetting and remembering to remember the Shoah. It is only through education and remembrance that future generations will know what happened to the 6 million lost souls.
As a society, we must commit, now and until the end of time, never again.