Never Again, Again?
By Natalie Leichtman
On September 11, 2001, the United States experienced a terror attack on a large scale, when planes were deliberately flown into the Twin Towers in New York City. We all still remember the horror, the tragedy, as well as the calls of “We Stand With You” and “Never Forget” and “Never Again”. But similar calls were made after Munich and the Holocaust.
As sobering as it is, there are students, young adults starting college, who were too young to remember this event, or perhaps not even born yet. They are only learning about it as an event in American history. But they may remember the calls, though - “Je Suis Charlie” after the Hebdo attack in Paris, or “Never Again” after the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Or after the attacks on Madrid, London, Mumbai, San Diego, Nairobi… the list goes on. They arouse sympathy, maybe a temporary revival when our hashtagged posts reappear in our Facebook memories, but for the most part, we call out “Never Again”, and then a few weeks or months later, it’s “Never Again”, again, but somewhere else.
And after all of these attacks, unfortunately Israel has the same response - “We feel your pain.” Never Again - but 9/11 was before the terror tunnels, arson fire, burning kites and explosive balloons from Gaza. Before the stabbing intifada. And the rockets continue to fall in the south, even to this week. And while towers may not fall, it is constantly shown in smaller, more insidious ways throughout the world, from the undermining of Israel’s legitimacy by BDS, to the swastikas sprayed on lockers, synagogues, tombstones and universities across the world. Holocaust denial, in its various shapes and forms, goes directly against calls of Never Again - what will we do when, in less than a generation, people might claim the Towers never stood? Where are our calls of Never Again, where will our calls of Never Again be?
But what can be done? The strongest way to combat hate is to come together, to unite. And there is no greater rallying point than Israel. By showing our pride and sharing our voices as ZionProud Virtual Citizens of Israel, we can increase truth and love in the world.
Let us reflect and remember, but resolve to not let the fear and the hate break us. We must rise ever stronger, ever prouder, and remain connected.