DANIEL VAUGHAN: America Must Ensure "Never Again" Becomes A Reality
Whether one tours Yad Vashem, Auschwitz, or the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, there's one overarching takeaway: Never again. In the 1930s and 40s, the Nazis tried to hide the mass genocide of Jews across Europe. When the world learned of the great crimes against humanity the Nazis had committed, it swore never to allow it to happen again - we built memorials, educated, and reflected.
On October 6, 2023, Never again became "again." At the time I'm writing this, more than 1,200 are dead from a brutal and barbaric attack by the terrorist group Hamas. That number is expected to rise. Hamas entered the country with one goal: murder, mutilate, rape, and destroy any Israeli they could find.
More Jews died from this Hamas attack than at any point since the Holocaust. Israel is now at war, and the stakes are clear: the right to exist. It's not about land, history, or anything else. Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran do not believe Israel has the right to live, and it's up to Israel to defend itself.
From Hiding Atrocities To Livestreaming Them
The Nazis tried to hide their atrocities. Hamas is live-streaming them. We know what has happened across Israel mainly because Hama terrorists filmed, live-streamed, and took pictures of all their acts. They gleefully murdered, raped, and pillaged and sent that out to the world.
If you've ever wondered what you would have done after learning about the Holocaust in the 1940s, congratulations. History has returned, and what you would have done then is what you're doing right now.
This isn't a stretched analogy, either. In New York, "Pro-Palestinian" protestors cheered dead Jews and waved swastikas on their phones at Israelis. At the legendary Sydney Opera House in Australia, Jews were told to stay home. At the same time, radicals took to the street yelling, "gas the Jews," "F*** the Jews," and "Allahu Akbar." Police are actively investigating that event. You could find other similar events elsewhere in the world.
Believe People When They Tell You Who They Are
In her column, Bari Weiss had a poignant line: "Hamas broadcast the slaughter. I thought it would be enough."
It's not. Just as people reject the reality of the Holocaust, they deny the reality of Hamas live-streaming barbarism. They disavow it not because of education but because of something more fundamental. They hate, despise, and agree with the end goal of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran: Kill all Jews.
I keep using a line in describing videos of these mobs, which Weiss used in her column: When people tell you who they are, believe them.
When babies are murdered and beheaded, when women are raped and executed, when families are tortured and burned alive, when all these things happen, and more, but yet you find yourself on the side of the perpetrators, it's clear what you are. This isn't about shaming people or education. When a great evil arises, it is paramount to those with truth to identify it, call it out, and drive it back.
History Has Returned
History is replete with inflection points where the world comes face-to-face with the very worst versions of humanity that exist. Those dark forces never disappear completely; they just get arrested for seasons before roaring back. We are at one of those points in history. History has returned, and it shocks the conscience of a modern world that believed it had evolved beyond its past.
But yet here we are, with Jews dead in the streets and rallies cheering those deaths. When evil gets greeted as a hero, and good is met with death, civilization cannot hope to last.
In all previous eras, Jews regularly met massacre with little way to answer. The Post-WWII order saw fit to give Jews land, nationhood, and the ability to defend themselves. One of the lessons of history was that if left to the community of nations, Jews could not depend on anyone else to protect them. That duty had to fall to themselves because, eventually, everyone turns on them.
That's why stories of Hamas seeking a truce have already been floated. Hamas wants to jump in, cause as much death and destruction as possible, and then face no consequences. The state of Israel was designed to answer these exact situations when no one else would do it. That's why Israel is justified in seeking maximum vengeance against Hamas - this is fundamentally why modern Israel exists at all.
America Must Be The Great Friend Once More
The United States needs to stand with them the entire way. The great experiment of American democracy stands out for multiple reasons in history. But one of the most peculiar is that the United States of America is one of the only countries in human history that didn't just tolerate Jews but held great friendship and love for them. We get this from our first President, George Washington, who wrote a letter to a synagogue saying:
May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.
May the Father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.
As a country, Americans are saddened by the deaths of so many of our friends. We mourn their loss and stand with their families. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem and ensure there is no daylight between us and them. And then we help arm them to the teeth so they may severely answer the charges of those who want to eradicate them. History has returned, but I pray America answers as she has in the past and makes "Never Again" a reality.