Holocaust education has become a thing in the US in the last twenty-five or so years. At the same time there has been a proliferation of Holocaust memorials and monuments across the US. As this has happened the slogan "Never again!" in connection with genocide and particularly genocide of the Jews has become common.
Here we are in 2023 and there are two main centers of Jewish life in the world: the United States and Israel with about seven million Jews each while the rest of the world might have in total another two million Jews. We are not quite back to pre-Holocaust numbers. We are still a small people in the big scheme of things.
Within the last month the genocidal Jew-haters of Hamas attacked the quiet agricultural towns, kibutzim and moshavs of southern Israel, near Gaza. I use the word "genocide" in its plain and simple meaning: it means to kill an entire people or ethnicity because of their identity.
It is true that Hamas also killed Thai and Nepalese farm workers in the south, some Arabs who were working there, including Bedouin, but Hamas was there for the Jews-to make an example of and kill the Jews. Moreover, Hamas leadership has made it clear in speeches and in writing, they are unembarrassed about this, that they want to kill or expel all the Jews in the Middle East. That is genocidal.
They would probably be happy enough to slaughter all the Jews in the US and to slaughter and convert the Christians also, if they thought they could get away with it. So on October 7 they killed approximately 1400 people in Israel, wounded another 4000 or so and kidnapped about 240 including infants and toddlers.
The events of October 7 were so horrific that the pathologists are still trying to identify bodies. People were dismembered, burned, decapitated, raped, tortured. The denial of the horrors in the Arab world began immediately and my impression is that most of the world either is unaware of what was done to the people of southern Israel on that day or even worse, they know and don't care.
Because many of the Hamas soldiers were carrying GoPro cameras and cell phones that record videos, there is real time video of some of the horrors being inflicted on the victims. Some of these were captured by the Israeli police and military when they arrived and fought Hamas and captured some of the murderers.
As the matter went on the Moslem world and the perpetual Jew-haters and Israel-haters denied that there had been a horrifying attack on Israel and that the atrocities had occurred.
To combat that denial the Israeli government made a compilation of the Hamas GoPro camera recordings and cell phone material-videos made by the perpetrators themselves- and showed it to the international press corps.
Most of this audience were hardened war correspondents and some of them were reported to have fallen ill and thrown up as they watched-others left during the screening because it was so horrible.
Even these war correspondents didn't like seeing people tied up and burned alive. Later that compilation was shown to the members of the Knesset that wanted to see it including the intelligent and articulate Arab member of the Knesset Mansour Abbas. It is reported that some of the viewers left after a few minutes-they found the video so disturbing, and that Mr. Abbas cried as he watched it.
But in the Arab world and in the West there were marches and rallies in favor of genocide of the Jews. "From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free" is a call for genocide of the Jews. "free" means free of Jews.
The leaders of Hamas actually say this out loud while most others ignore the implications of what they are saying. At these rallies, it turned out, many people waved Hamas flags, some waved Isis flags, and most called for the destruction of Israel which they falsely call "racist", "apartheid", "colonialist" and a host of other false labels and tags that appeal to the modern anti-Jewish sensibility.
I mean, it is no longer acceptable to say we are "Christ-killers" and educated people try to avoid the slanders of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" that we are intent on taking over the world and enslaving everyone else.
So these new Jew-haters (I prefer that term to 'anti-semites') accused us of genocide against the Palestinians, racism, apartheid, colonialism being "occupiers" and whatever else it is they can invent.
I am only going to deal with the claim of genocide against the Palestinians here. The fact is that many Jews are, like most Palestinians, of Middle Eastern origin. About half of the Jews in Israel do not have ancestors who ever lived in Europe. Rather, their ancestors going back in some cases to the destruction of the Second Temple have lived in North Africa and the Middle East. Those Jews look very much like the Arabs of North Africa and the Middle East.
Moreover, many of the Arabs in the areas in and around Israel only came here in the 1920s and the 1930s for work because of the building boom that was occurring because so many Jews were coming to Israel (before Statehood).
The point is that many of the Arabs who live in Israel came at the same time the Jews did-the claim that the Arabs have all been here for a thousand years is a myth.
In 1948 when Israel was established by the UN, there were about 300,000 people in Gaza which was part of Egypt. When Arabs fled Israel in 1948 because they did not want o be ruled by Jews, they were put in Gaza by Egypt which did not want them in Egypt proper.
Then in 1967 when Israel won the Six Day War Israel took over Gaza which had an additional influx of Arabs from Judea and Samaria who did not want to live there under Jewish rule. But Israel conquered Gaza in 1967 and continued to administer it until 2005, when Israel gave Gaza to the Palestinian Authority for Arab self-government. Israel has not been present in Gaza since 2005 and did not "occupy" Gaza.
In the 2006 elections in the Palestinian Authority, the Arab self-governing parts of Israel, Hamas won the election in Gaza. Hamas promptly killed their political opponents from Fatah and declared themselves an independent state and began their war on Israel. They have been at war with Israel ever since.
So what about the claim of Israeli "genocide' of the Gazans specifically or Palestinians more generally? Well, today just in Gaza they number about 2.2 million, a seven-fold increase from 1948. So, if we are committing genocide against the Palestinians generally or against the Gazans more specifically, we are doing a surprisingly bad job of it. Let's be clear: to say that Israel is committing or even attempting genocide is a bold-faced lie. So is the falsehood that Israel is an "apartheid state" although that is an essay for another day.
In the meantime there have been many sources of worry to Jews in the West. When Jewish students put up posters showing the faces of the kidnapped Israeli children and urging that they be brought home, some Jew-haters go around tearing them down and saying that they don't believe that the kidnapping even occurred or that they deserved it.
Others, take the view that to "oppressed people" everything is allowed and therefore justify the rape, murder, torture and kidnap of Jews. Still others claim that the Israeli military's tactics are too harsh on the people of Gaza and that a humanitarian ceasefire is necessary to protect civilians. That call for a humanitarian ceasefire is almost never accompanied by a demand that Hamas free the Israeli hostages who have been held captive for almost a month.
Thus, the appearance is that those calling for a ceasefire want a ceasefire just when the Israeli military is starting to close in on Hamas and getting ready to demolish them. In short, calls for a ceasefire just as Israel is striking back seem tactical, sleazy and dishonest, an attempt to protect Hamas.
Even more surprising is the fact that on the whole feminists have not denounced Hamas for the use of rape and sexual abuse as a tactic to abuse, control and humiliate Israeli captives and victims (many of whom Hamas raped and then murdered).
And the pinnacle of the surprises has been that some gay people in the US and Europe also are shouting for the destruction of Israel by Hamas although Israel is a modern democratic state where gays have equal rights and Gaza, ruled by Hamas, has a strict Islamist ideology regarding homosexuality in which homosexual acts are punishable by imprisonment and even death. I can only explain this to myself by saying that their hatred of Jews is stronger than their feminism and their LGBTQ activism.
In this age of Holocaust education in American schools they do not teach that there are still many who would be happy if there was another Holocaust of the Jews. Instead, they try to use the Holocaust as a lesson about general morality and about humanitarian values.
I am told that it is common in such classes to ask the students what they think they would do if they had been a European or a German in the 1930s and 1940s and they saw the destruction of European Jewry in progress around them. Most people, I think, flatter themselves to believe that they would have done the moral and upright thing-they would have resisted the evil attempts to wipe out the Jewish people.
In the US, the New York Times recently published the falsehood that Israel intentionally bombed a hospital in Gaza just on the say-so of the Hamas Health Ministry when the truth was that the explosion complained of was a misfired rocket from Gaza that hit the hospital parking lot. On some college campuses Jewish students have been told they can not participate in activities because they are Jews, or even worse, Zionists.
A professor at Cornell University gave a speech at a pro-Palestinian rally and said that he found the attacks on Jews by Hamas "exhilarating." When Jewish youngsters post pictures of the kidnapped Israeli children in public places with a "bring them home" message Jew-haters routinely rip those down as if either those children had not been kidnapped and are not still in the hands of Hamas or as if Jewish lives do not matter.
Marches and demonstrations in America routinely call for the destruction of Israel and the murder of the Jews with the call "From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free." They usually don't say the last two words out loud but leave those words implied: free "of Jews."
Now is the time that people have to make a choice about where they stand. This is more real than the Holocaust education classes in which young people are supposedly taught a universal, humanitarian lesson about values.
The current attack on Israel is an attempt to "cleanse" the Middle East of Jews (Hamas actually uses that language). That effort is under way now. The American government, the Biden administration, has had the good sense to see it for what it is. As recently as yesterday, November 1, 2023, Hamas fired rockets into Israel, a fact that much of the American media seems to have missed.
They are still trying to kill us, and Iran's other proxies Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen have joined in and are also firing rockets at Israel.
Just as the young people in Holocaust education classes are taught, on the whole, to be critical of the Germans who although not committed to Nazi principles remained silent in the face of the genocide because it was the safe and convenient thing to do, I believe that our generation of Americans and Europeans will be judged for how we responded to this attempt to murder and expel the Jews from the Middle East.
There is probably little we can do to convince the committed Jew-haters and Israel-haters. So far the American government mostly has it right and is committed to preserving the State of Israel and the Jews in the Middle East. There are, however, influential forces in the U.S. working towards the goal of destroying Israel and the Jewish people.
Allow me to ask you to show your support for the Jewish people and for Israel publicly and openly in your communities and to your senators and congressmen so that thirty years down the road no one has to say: "We tried to educate people about the Holocaust, about the modern hatred and murder of Jews but we didn't get the message across." Because "Never Again" is now.
Krampner is a graduate of the University of Wyoming College of Law, who lived in Wyoming and practiced law in Wyoming for 32 years. He also holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Maryland. He currently lives in Jerusalem, Israel, where he continues to follow Wyoming politics.