The Back Road: When ‘never again’ became ‘again’

The Back Road: When ‘never again’ became ‘again’

By Andrew Malekoff

Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” was a pogrom against Jews carried out by the Nazi paramilitary forces on Nov 9-10, 1938 in Nazi Germany. The name represents “the shattered glass that littered the streets after the vandalism and destruction of Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues, and homes,” according to the Holocaust Encyclopedia.

What followed were the mass arrests and transport of tens of thousands of Jews to concentration camps, designated for forced labor and extermination, solely because they were Jews.

Never again?

Fast forward 84 years to Oct. 7, 2023, and the unimaginable has become the new reality. NEVER AGAIN has become AGAIN when the terrorist organization Hamas visited their savagery upon the citizens of Israel in the deadliest slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust.

In an Oct. 12 broadcast by National Public Radio, Ali Barakeh, a senior Hamas official, said the Oct. 7 was carried out in response to “Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people in Jerusalem and the West Bank” and to “break the blockade on the Gaza Strip.” He said it was also intended to activate the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

“It’s beyond what anyone would ever want to imagine, much less actually see, and God forbid experience,” said U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. “A baby and infant riddled with bullets. Soldiers beheaded. Young people burned alive in their cars or in their hideaway rooms. I could go on, but it’s simply depravity.”

Is it unimaginable? History tells us it is not. Speaking before the Reichstag (German Parliament) on Jan. 30, 1939, Hitler forecast that the outbreak of war would mean the end of European Jewry—the “annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.”

What we know is that pogroms like Kristallnacht set the stage for genocide. What will history say about the Hamas terror attack against Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, almost one century later?

Sheer evil is an apt term to describe the horror perpetrated by Hamas on that fateful day when the “Final Solution” was graphically resurrected with the savage torture, massacre, and abduction of Jewish men, women, and children.

“Hamas has just two objectives,” pointed out Secretary Blinken, “to destroy Israel and murder Jews.”

Hamas, its allies, and apologists are spiritual descendants of the monsters who serviced and supported Hitler’s Third Reich, which was committed to wiping Jews off the face of the Earth.

One million Palestinians have been directed by Israeli authorities to travel south, along a densely populated corridor of roughly 25 miles along the Gaza strip. At the same time, Hamas has directed them to stay put, ostensibly to maintain them as human shields in the war against Israel.

Most disappointing is the absence of universal condemnation of Hamas’s inconceivable war crimes. Despite the atrocities committed by Hamas militants, including the burning and dismembering of babies in the presence of their parents, worldwide outrage is nonexistent, as people take sides.

As a Jew and defender of Israel’s right to exist I believe that without a plan for peaceful co-existence with Palestinians, the threat of Jewish annihilation will likely persist and proceed on a slow-motion pace towards mutually assured destruction.

(Author’s note: This was written on or around Oct. 10, 2023)


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