AFTER THE war, world Jewry adopted “Never Again,” as our rallying cry. But “Never Again,” is just a slogan. It fell to the leaders of the Jewish people to conceive the means to prevent a recurrence of the Holocaust.
These leaders came up with two very different strategies for protecting Jews from genocide, and their followers formed separate camps. Whereas in the early years, the separate positions appeared to complement each other, since the 1970s the gulf between them has grown ever wider. Indeed, many of the divisions in world Jewry today originate in this post-Holocaust policy divide.
The first strategy was based on international law and human rights. Its champions argued that the reason the Allies didn’t save the Jews was because the laws enjoining the Allies to rescue us on the one hand, and prohibiting the Nazis from killing us on the other were insufficiently strong. If they could promulgate a new global regime of international humanitarian law, they believed they could force governments to rise above their hatreds and the shackles of their narrow-minded national interests to save innocents from slaughter. Not only would their vision protect the Jews, it would protect everyone.
The Jews who subscribed to the human-rights strategy for preventing another Holocaust were the architects of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the Genocide Convention. They were the founders of the international human rights regime that now dominates so much of Western discourse on war and peace.
Unfortunately, the institutions these idealistic Jews designed have been corrupted by political forces they had hoped to defeat.
Consequently, the international human-rights regime they created has failed completely to accomplish what they hoped it would accomplish. Instead, the regime they created to protect the Jews is now a key weapon in the political war being waged against them.
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A secondary casualty of the failure of the human rights paradigm has been intra- Jewish relations. Faced with their preferred paradigm’s failure and corruption at the hands of anti-Semites, many Jewish human-rights activists have opted to abandon their fellow Jews and Israel in order to maintain their allegiance to the corrupt, anti-Semitic human-rights model.
PARTICULARLY ANNOYING to these human-rights followers is the stunning success of the other post-Holocaust Jewish strategy for giving meaning to the slogan “Never Again.”
That policy is Zionism.
Zionism doesn’t concern itself with how people ought to behave, but with what they are capable of doing. Zionists understand that people are an amalgamation of passions and interests. The Holocaust was able to occur because the only people with a permanent passion and interest in defending the Jews are the Jews. And when the Nazis rose to power, the Jews were homeless and powerless.
Jews who embrace the human-rights approach criticize Zionism’s vision as lonely and militaristic. What they fail to recognize is that every successful nation depends on itself, and lives by the sword.
Only those who deter aggressors are capable of attracting allies. No one will stand with a nation that will not stand up for itself.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, which we marked on Monday, is nestled between Pessah and Independence Day for a reason. In both ancient and modern times, the only way for Jews – or anyone else – to protect their freedom and their lives is by being capable of defending them, in their own land.
The pseudo human-rights campaign against Israel being carried out in the name of fashionable anti-Zionist anti-Semitism represents a complete vindication of the Zionist model. Zionism is the only way to ensure Jewish survival. It is the only way to ensure that in the face of growing threats, “Never Again” will mean never again.
The column is worth reading in full.