Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Swedish City Fails To Learn Lesson Of The Holocaust, Cancels Commemoration

The city of Lulea doesn't get it:
A northern Swedish city has decided to cancel a planned Holocaust Memorial Day torchlight procession due to the recent IDF offensive in Gaza, it was reported Tuesday.

The official reason given for the decision, made by the municipal board and local church in Lulea, was safety concerns, but Bo Nordin, a clergyman and spokesman for the church, cited the war in Gaza.

"It feels uneasy to have a torchlight procession to remember the victims of the Holocaust at this time," Nordin told Swedish National Radio. "We have been preoccupied and grief-stricken by the war in Gaza and it would feel just feel odd with a large ceremony about the Holocaust."
One of the reasons to commemorate the Holocaust is to find and internalize lessons to be learned from it. The Nazis did not simply take power and immediately start sending Jews to the gas chamber--there were incremental steps taken that led to the implementation of that policy. One of the lessons learned is the importance of standing up in self-defense in the face of evil.

The leaders of the city of Lulea apparently would feel better if Israel would continue to sit by while Hamas terrorists randomly fired rockets at its citizens. If indeed Lulea has a suggestionfor Israel on how better to deal with a group whose charter calls for its destruction, the city has not made it known yet. But Lulea is not alone, of course--there are plenty of world leaders out there who will decry Israel's every effort to defend itself whether by embargo or arms, while remaining silent on how Israel should act.

We Jews are familiar with this silence, and encountering it once again serves as the most ironic commemorations of the Holocaust.

More at Memeorandum

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