Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, recollecting the slaughter of six million Jews in World War II.
The Associated Press reported that in Israel, “The mournful wail of air raid sirens pierced the air…and the country came to a standstill…” and “Looming over Israel's annual memorial for the Holocaust dead was the country's fear that the world would wake up too late to eliminate the threat of Iran's nuclear program, just as it woke up too late to eliminate the threat of Adolf Hitler.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has frequently denied that the Holocaust happened and he has often called for Israel’s destruction. Some government-funded newspapers in Saudi Arabia deny or downplay the Holocaust and the same is true for Hamas terrorists. According to the Associated Press, "Ignorance and even denial of the Holocaust is widespread in Palestinian society,” and "Holocaust denial is still common in the Palestinian territories.” Wherever Israel and Jews have enemies, Holocaust denial appears—not just in the Middle East, but also worldwide, among some anti-Semites.
There are Holocaust-deniers and there are Holocaust-enablers. Those who fail to prevent or stop a Holocaust are enablers.
George Santayana famously said that, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
In addition to remembering the past, it is critical to focus on the present in order to influence the future. And the present situation in Iran specifically and regarding Israel generally demands that we neither deny nor enable.
Today and tomorrow, President Obama is holding a meeting in Washington with the leaders of 46 nations to discuss how to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not attending. Fox News reported that last week that Netanyahu decided against joining the meeting out of concern that “some nations planned to use the conference to target Israel over its barely concealed nuclear weapons program.”
Part of the lesson of Holocaust-occurrence, Holocaust-denial and Holocaust-enabling is to distinguish between those who are good, those who are evil, those who must be stopped rather than appeased, and those who can—or cannot—be trusted.
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, I pray for President Obama to remember that lesson—today, tomorrow and sooner, rather than too late.
Communications consultant Jon Kraushar is at www.jonkraushar.net.