I don't believe in oppression Olympics.
Human beings the world over who are persecuted, subjugated, ethnically cleansed, left behind, or targeted for violence in any way — be they innocent children gunned down at an American school or a minority community trampled under the jackboot of a totalitarian regime — deserve our attention, compassion, and aid. We should be able to recognize the legitimate suffering of others without qualifiers or caveats or above all, feeling the need to displace one victim to make room for another.
Which is why I am so disturbed by the co-opting of the phrase "Never Again."
I'm not sure if anyone watched the Oscars — likely not, its ratings hit an all-time low this year, and rightly so. If you did bother to tune in, however, you may have caught the moment when host Jimmy Kimmel rattled off a list of solidarity hashtags and movements like MeToo. But, included in Jimmy's laundry list — right there at the end — was also a quiet mumble of... what was that I heard?
It was: "Never Again."
Of course Kimmel was not referring to the Holocaust or present day victims of anti-Semitism. That much was clear the moment he uttered those two inviolable words. No, he recited them as if they had just been coined by March for Our Lives, the political movement currently exploiting the tragic Parkland shooting and appropriating a solemn vow made by and for and to the Jewish people following our genocide.
#NeverAgain is now a solidarity hashtag. You can get your cool, #NeverAgain swag online and donate to the March for Your Life GoFundMe page, which to date, has raked in close to its $3.5 million goal. The New Yorker even published a column asserting how the Parkland survivors started the "Never Again" movement.
There is truly nothing sacred anymore. Absolutely nothing sacred in this cesspool of incessant virtue-signaling, political posturing and victimhood oneupmanship.
Never Again means something.
And it doesn't mean what the social justice interlopers now want you to believe it does.
Those two words — Never Again — have been immortalized as a way of searing into the collective psyche the horrors endured by the Jewish people —and the Jewish people distinctly — leading up to and during the Holocaust. Those words are recited with the purpose of ensuring that mass extermination will Never Again be revisited on the Jewish people.
We use it to remind us why a nuclear Iran — with its genocidal aspirations concerning Israel — must be stopped dead in its tracks. We repeat this sober and somber vow whenever innocent children — entire families — are murdered by Palestinian terrorists: by rocket or gunfire, by knives or vehicular rampage.
We use Never Again routinely in response to the rise in anti-Semitism worldwide.
We use it to decry the grim reality: that despite our innumerable positive contributions to the societies in which we've assimilated, we are being run out of the UK and France and Sweden and other so-called civilized Western democracies by Islamic radicals who open fire on our shops and cafes, assault us as we walk down our streets, firebomb our synagogues, attack our children in our schools.
We use Never Again to implore the elected leaders of said civilized Western democracies to see what is occurring right before their very eyes — that history is repeating itself — and do something about it.
We use Never Again to repudiate the anti-Semitism and hypocrisy of the Left, be it manifested by the BDS or Women's March movements, or by Democrats who vilify Israel and cavort with the likes of Louis Farrakhan. We use it to denounce fringe, alt-right groups that blame Israel and the Jewish people for the world's woes.
Throughout history, we, the Jewish people, have been run out — or burned out — of nearly every country in which we have settled. Even those we called home for millennia. We use two sacred words to remind the world why the existence of the Jewish State is so vital in ensuring that NEVER AGAIN will the Jewish people, specifically, have nowhere to run to when the hammer comes down. We use those words to convey, with gravitas, that our existence as a people, and that our homeland in Israel, is non-negotiable.
Those two words and their meaning do not detract from the legitimacy of any other victim in this world, nor does it negate our shared empathy for their suffering. The Parkland school shooting was a heartbreaking tragedy that should have been prevented. As a mother — as a human being — I stand in resolve with others of goodwill in finding a solution to ending the violence that has gripped our nation and continues to threaten the sanctity of our children's safe havens.
But by co-opting Never Again and applying it to something wholly unrelated to its true intent, those with a political agenda seek not to elevate a noble movement bent on safeguarding our children, but rather rewrite a history that must never be forgotten or adulterated.
So, to those who might be confused by the origins and true meaning of these sacred words, or to the younger generation for whom history — even as recent as the 20th century — is alien: "Never Again" means one thing and one thing only.
And don't let anybody tell you otherwise.