UNESCO’s page announcing this year’s International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, which occurs on January 27, states that it was established … to “urge Member States to develop educational programs to instill the memory of the tragedy in future generations to prevent genocide from occurring again.”
The organization also quotes Director General, Mrs. Irina Bokova, from September 27, 2015: “The prevention of genocide starts on the benches of schools… Education can help prevent hate speech and undermine prejudice.”
While these words are true, they also underline the very real danger of another holocaust happening in the foreseeable future. When you consider the unbridled hate speech against Israel taking place on college campuses all over the US and the UK, and compare it to the antisemitic atmosphere that prevailed in Nazi Germany, you cannot help but think that what is happening today is the exact opposite of Bokova’s vision for education.
There is bashing of Israel on campuses from California to New York: “Professors harangue and mock Jewish students in class, and give them bad grades for presenting a diverse view of the Middle East conflict.” In the UK, “Hundreds of British academics have sparked outrage by declaring they will boycott all Israeli universities.”
It may not be pleasant to hear, but this “education” toward hatred will continue until we do our job. What is our “job”? It is to unite. We were not chosen to be rulers of the world; we were chosen to offer the world a way to unite above all differences so that people will be able to love one another as themselves.
But to do that, we have to go first. We achieved unity when we first became a nation, and the task we were given, to be a light for the nations, entails just that: bring the light of unity to the world, since the world is sinking into ego wars and pathological narcissism.
Our nation was forged around the ideology of mercy and brotherly love, when strangers agreed to unite and bond as equals. We became a nation when we pledged to be “as one man with one heart.” Since then, it has been our duty to keep this connection and pass it on, namely to be a light for the nations — not out of enfranchisement, but out of servitude! The service of the Jews to the world is to execute and set an example of love of others.
Over time, we have abandoned the unique connection we had cultivated and we became self-centered. But now that we are all interdependent, humanity is seeking a way to live together peacefully, but cannot find one. Until we learn how to be as united as before, the world will not learn how to do this and will continue to blame us for its woes.
It may sound arrogant, but we are already blamed for everything that’s wrong with the world, so it makes sense that we can also undo what we are accused of doing. All our problems are either created or aggravated by the alienation among us. If we could transform alienation into connection we would solve most every problem. But as long as we Jews do not set an example, there will not be unity and mutual responsibility at the level required to transform our lives. The result will be continued tragedies, and holocausts … until we learn what we must do, and do it.