Monday, May 2, 2011

Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Day

Today is Holocaust memorial day in Israel. The editorial in Haaretz reminds readers of the moral lessons of the Holocaust as well as the lessons Israelis have learned about having a strong state of one's own.

"One [moral] lesson must be that such horrors can arise within a purportedly enlightened society, even one with a democratic government, and that it is perilous to overlook worrying signs - such as incipient indications of nationalism or damages caused by racism - that presage a descent down a slippery slope with all the attendant consequences.

"From this standpoint, there is reason for concern in Israel. From one Holocaust Remembrance Day to the next, our society has deteriorated, as seen in the appearance of worrying indications of hatred of foreigners and the oppression of the 'other,' along with palpable cracks in the resilience of democratic governance here. This must be of concern to each Israeli every day of the year, but on Holocaust Remembrance Day, it takes on special significance." -- Israel should have learned the Holocaust's lessons of nationalism

This suggestion can apply anywhere in any democracy, I think. And I believe that one can honor the 6,000,000 while still trying to see a broader lesson in the horrors of those events.

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