New York Daily News

IGNORE HATE TODAY, DIE TOMORROW

BY A.M. Rosenthal

Jews, listen and you will hear the sound of breaking glass.

Even if you squeeze your hands over your ears, you will still hear it. Breaking glass, burning synagogues and diplomats making filthy anti-Semitic remarks mean that a sickening number of people around the world, many in high office, would have no great objections if the concentration camps arrived again, and would even take pleasure in speeding their coming.

Jews and Christians have been deceiving themselves that the most violent and virulent anti-Semitism campaign since Hitler has involved only Muslim states. That languor of eye, ear and brain could become our eternal sleep. The noise and stench of hatred are soiling us again, now not just from Muslim countries but from lands we consider our friends.

The American press is generally doing a miserable job of reporting this outbreak. But when the information does trickle in, we sit around saying, "Well, what can we do about it?"

German Jews asked themselves the same question while the Nazis were slithering to power. Then they couldn't even ask the question, because they were being strangled.

When it was all over -- or supposed to be -- those still alive said, "Never again." It meant never again would anti-Jewish hate be allowed to become slaughter.

But it was supposed to mean something else, too. Never again would those whose fate was to be hung by the neck pretend that they did not see the nooses. And yet, here we are. Staring at the gallows

This year, a French ambassador to England described Israel as feces. A Saudi newspaper -- controlled, of course, by the government -- wrote that Jews make holiday pastry with human blood.

It is the old blood libel, and if you don't know what that means, be ashamed of yourself. It means the blueprints for the new camps are probably already drawn.

But what can we do? We hear that whine again and again -- sometimes from ourselves.

We can use our political, ethical and financial resources against the Jew-haters now crawling out from the moldings of fancy English homes and Belgian and French political offices. We can look them squarely in the eye.

Most important, we can turn to our own leaders of government, industry and commerce. Americans cannot rely only upon foreigners to fight anti-Jewishness abroad.

The first thing we can do is decide to do something. President Bush has so far shown the bravest and clearest mind among the world's "leaders." He does not try to define the killers by nationality or religion but by their belief that the only important weapon of their warfare is terrorist murder.

Dissemination of Jew-hate is a prelude to suicide terror just as certainly as making the bomb is the prelude to exploding it.

In Israel today, America tomorrow.

Bush can speak that truth and make sure his administration does the same. His administration should make it clear to the murderers that they will be judged in Washington by their incitement to murder, before the new bombs of the suicide killers go off in American cities.

Americans and their government should boycott any country or international organization that allows any official to tolerate the growing international anti-Jew movement.

Yes, movement. These are not isolated incidents -- not when the same hatred is being thrown around by propagandists in Paris as well as Baghdad.

We have already been told that boycotts for the benefit of humanity and survival have no great impact. Tell that to the former apartheid leaders in South Africa now scrounging for jobs. We have been told we have a lot of money tied up in foreign trade in countries that permit or encourage anti-Jewish campaigns.

If some American entrepreneurs insist on bolstering the Jew-hating countries with American money and trade, the rest of us must turn our assets and banks against them and remove any respect and social acceptance.

These Americans will become our opponents -- people we fight, not woo. Most important, our souls will be made stronger and cleaner if we show ourselves and the world that we indeed mean it when we say "never again."

 

ADDENDUM:

In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me -- and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

-Martin Niemoller



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