‘A society that facilitates anti-Semitism has no moral credibility’

June 28, 2019

FREEDOM THREATENED: “A society, or a political party, that tolerates anti-Semitism or any hate, has forfeited all moral credibility. You cannot build a future on the malign myths of the past. You can sustain freedom on the basis of hostility and hate.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sachs on a debate on anti-Semitism in the House of Lords. Picture courtesy of Cooper Niall.

 

 

A MEMBER of the House of Lords and former Chief Rabbi claims the spirit of anti-Semitism has returned and the country had forgotten its recent history.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who served as Chief Rabbi to the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, was speaking in a debate in the House about the unwanted global resurgence of anti-Semitism on 20 June.

‘Rabbi didn’t know Ghetto was in centre of Warsaw’

The Rabbi recently went to a conference in Warsaw, a city he didn’t know particularly well, was unaware that the Warsaw Ghetto, which existed between November 1940 and May 1943, was pretty much in the centre of town.

He told fellow peers: “With its nine foot high walls, topped by barbed wire, holding 400,000 Jews, its existence must have been known by everyone in Warsaw. It was there that Jews were systemically starved and enslaved in the summer of 1942 – 254,000 of them were sent by train to their deaths by gas in the extermination camp called Treblinka.

‘This happened in open view and no one spoke out’

“In April and May 1943, the Germans set about the destruction of the ghetto and the extermination of its population, 300, 000 of them killed by bullet or gas and 92,000 died through typhoid and starvation. This happened in open view in one of the great cities of Europe and no-one protested.”

The Chief Rabbi put these words into context by singling out Lord Singh of Wimbledon in the chamber to imagine his own community being within a ghetto in London whilst they were being eliminated with no-one outside knowing what was happening.

He said: “Try to imagine 400,000 Hindus or Sikhs within ghetto walls in the middle of London. Imagine passing those walls every day knowing that behind them thousands were dying or sent to their deaths and no one saying a word. How did it happen?

‘It has reborn and mutated and then been tolerated’

“It happened because in the heart of emancipated Europe, anti-semitism was dismissed as a primitive prejudice of the Middle Ages, it was reborn, was mutated and was promoted and tolerated throughout Europe.

“By no means was it confined to Germany. If you had asked at the beginning of the 20th Century, where were its epicentres? A reasonable answer would have been the Paris of the Dreyfus trial and Vienna under its mayor Karl Lueger.

“People who should have known better gave it respectability and that created the climate for a great crime against humanity. And that is where we are today.”

Antipathy and complacency, he said, has enabled it to return as it had in the 19th Centuries despite the fact that most Western societies had eliminated the hatreds of the pasts.

‘Jews not safe in any European country’

He said: “Today there is hardly a country in the world, certainly not a single country in Europe, where Jews feel safe.
“It is hard to emphasize how serious this is, not just for Jews but for our shared humanity, and not for what it just represents now, but the danger it signals for the future.

“A society, or for that matter a political party, that tolerates anti-Semitism or any hate, has forfeited all moral credibility. You cannot build a future on the malign myths of the past. You can sustain freedom on the basis of hostility and hate.”

  • SOME of the Jewish community believe wider society should observe the Noahide Laws which they claim are “pillars of human civilization” and as they say everyone is “descended from Noah”, the Seven Laws of Noah should be for everyone. There is more information listed here.

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