Another Holocaust Day has passed, but have we learned anything?

Published 8:47 am Monday, May 6, 2019

By David Rubin
Former mayor of Shiloh, Israel
Another Holocaust Day has passed but have we learned anything?
Just days before the May 1-2 Remembrance Day, we witnessed the lethal shooting in Chabad of Poway in San Diego County, a second shooting in a synagogue in six months.
Clearly, there is a rise in anti-Semitism in the U.S. and worldwide. But why?
The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, just three years after the Nazi slaughter of six million Jews, was an incredible juxtaposition of events, unparalleled in history. The United Nations voted unanimously to give Israel their own country, a refuge, a land of safety for the Jewish people.
How has the world changed since then? Instead of evolving, the world largely seems to have moved backward.
Despite the world’s opinion of Israel or of the Jews, in Israel, we continue to remember the Holocaust, not just on Holocaust Day, but every day.
How do Israelis commemorate Holocaust Day? We have a nationwide siren in the morning and everything in the country stops — cars, people, construction sites — everyone stands for a moment of complete silence and reflection. After that, there are official ceremonies, speeches, and educational forums all over the country.
Some people ask, “Was the State of Israel established because of the Holocaust?” The Jewish people were exiled from their sovereign country by the Roman conquerors almost 2,000 years ago. Then, about 150 years ago, small groups of Jews started returning, but in the first three decades of the 20th century, the pace of Jewish return increased. The efforts to bring in Jewish refugees and overturn the British colonial rule had become more intense and urgent in the 1930s with the rise of Hitler, and that intensity reached its peak during and after the Holocaust in the 1940s, culminating in Israel’s reestablishment as a sovereign nation again in 1948.
The nature of anti-Semitism has changed in recent years. There is a new wave of anti-Semitism that uses classic anti-Semitic tropes to attack Israel, claiming it is not an attack against the Jews, just against Israel. But they are disingenuous in their claim because when they attack Israel they are creating an atmosphere conducive to attacks on defenseless Jews in other countries, such as the United States.
How do we know that such an atmosphere leads to violence? It’s simple. Dangerous words lead to more dangerous actions. Adolph Hitler also started with words.
Perhaps the biggest instigator of this neo-anti-Semitism is in so-called respectable media like the New York Times that has been playing with fire for years with their fiercely anti-Israel rhetoric, but recently they’ve ignited the flame. The blatantly anti-Semitic cartoon that they published in late April revealed the very fine red line that connects anti-Israel media to anti-Semitic attacks.
In a world where many nations are drifting away from supporting Israel and the Jewish people, President Trump has bucked that trend, standing up for Israel, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing war-won land as sovereign Israel land. I have written about this in my book, “Trump and the Jews.”
Since some people accuse me of being too serious much of the time, I dedicated Trump and the Jews to the so-called “Basket of Deplorables.” Growing up in supposedly sophisticated New York City, I viewed from a distance “the hicks” and “the rednecks” who lived in other parts of the country.
According to the common wisdom, they were ignorant country bumpkin racists and even anti-Semites.
Some 40 years later, having lived in Israel for 26 years, during which time I have visited almost every American state on my speaking tours, I am convinced that such an understanding of middle America was seriously biased, not due to malice, but definitely based on an intolerant worldview that many on the Left possess.
Hillary Clinton’s statement, made during the 2016 presidential campaign succinctly expressed that unfortunate bias, which is as bigoted as the worldview that it claims to find so detestable.
So, I dedicated this book to the “Basket of Deplorables,” the millions of Americans who still believe in God, liberty, the traditional family, and the bond between America and Israel.
While Trump can be a blunt instrument, oft with thin skin and a sometimes course mouth, he has courage. And we need a U.S. president to act with boldness, courage, and conviction. I believe President Trump does just that.
While not a Jew by any definition, Donald J. Trump is a New Yorker in the truest sense of the word. The accent, the style, the brashness, and the chutzpah — all stereotypes of the outer-borough New Yorkers.
Prior to this president, Jews typically supported Democrat presidents. But with the Trump presidency, things have changed. Jews are doing the “unthinkable.” They are migrating from the Dems to the Republicans, and for good reason. President Trump, being the man of action that he is, having moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and supporting Israel’s right to assimilate fairly-conquered territories into Israel as sovereign land. As a Jew, I ask, “What’s there not to like about a president like this?”
(David Rubin, former Mayor of Shiloh Israel, is the author of the new book, “Trump and the Jews.” Rubin is founder and president of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund, established after he and his then three-year-old son were wounded in a terror attack. He can be found at or at

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