Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Inevitable Yom HaShoah post

Today was Yom HaShoah - the day on which Jews mourn those who were killed in the Holocaust, and where we gather together to say "never again."

And when we say "never again," we mean never for all peoples, not just Jews - for while Jews took the brunt of Hitler's wrath, there were still many others who suffered under his rule. And so we must not only concentrate on anti-Semitic loonies like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but also on other genocidal, repressive regimes like Sudan and Burma.

We must work not only to eradicate such regimes but to make it inconceivable that a government or a people could support genocide or mass murders. It is noteworthy that no government in this world is free from the sin of supporting genocide. (Okay, maybe Tuvalu. Or Tonga.) Even Israel - who one would expect to be especially sensitive to the issue - has blood on its hands, having supported genocidal regimes in 1970s-80s Guatemala. And every enabler gives an excuse to try to make it more palatable. How many unsavory regimes did the U.S. support under the banner of stopping Communism? And how many maniacs are supported by us and other countries under the banner of maintaining an important alliance? Or stabilizing a region? Or "protecting" a certain set of values?

It is upon the citizens of the world to take their governments to task, since leaders are often so blinded by the power games of world politics that they fail to grasp the human consequences of their actions. Let us then add to our Yom HaShoah mantra:

Never again. No excuses.

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