Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day here in Israel. It seemed like current geopolitical threats were on the minds of Israel's leaders more than the genocide perpetrated by Nazis 65 years ago. I didn't listen to any of the speeches, but from the quotes I've read it seems like every single one of them mentioned Mahmoud Ahmedinijad, his Holocaust denial and the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons: President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Vice Prime Minister Sylvan Shalom and Knesset Speaker Rubi Rivlin are just a few examples.
My dear leaders, shut the fuck up! Yes, Ahmedinijad is a Holocaust denying, nuke-building son of a bitch who would like nothing more than to annihilate Israel. This is definitely a problem we have to deal with, but it shouldn't be exaggerated either. If you're whining hysterically in public, you're probably not really getting things done behind the scenes diplomatically.
Also, who the hell is Ahmedinijad to take over all of our discussions of the Holocaust? Sure, his speech at Durbin II on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day didn't help, but there are more important things to learn from the Holocaust, like how we should treat Holocaust survivors or the new survivors of the genocide in Darfur who now live in Israel as refugees.
How about asking ourselves whether "never again" only applies to Jews. The answer should be an unequivocal no. "Never again" should apply to all peoples and the genocides that have occurred before and after the Holocaust should also be addressed without minimizing the horrors of the Nazis, who ran the most efficient, meticulous, calculated and well-planned, as well as largest scale, genocide of all time. We should especially bring attention to the genocides taking place right now and the lack of international effort to stop them.
Maybe in August, around the 64th anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, if Ahmedinijad is re-elected president of Iran and the Obama administration doesn't seem successful in thwarting Iran's nuclear ambitions, Israel's leaders will speak about this favorite subject of theirs again.
The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P.
2 weeks ago