April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Last week’s UN emergency meeting called by Secretary General Antonio Guterres is a flash from the past. Guterres assembled the world body to vote for a ceasefire, knowing that the U.S. would veto the vote. But he staged this in order to show the world the support of the world against the Jewish people. Today, Tuesday, December 12, there will be another vote, this time with the 193-nation General Assembly. I am sure the optics won’t look good.

Now let’s go back a bit, July 1938, Evian, France, the Evian conference. At the time, the League of Nations counted 42 countries as its members. Of the 42 countries, 38 assembled to discuss the Jewish immigration crisis caused by German Jews attempting to flee Germany/Austria. Not one country would take in any Jews, including the United States of America, then led by FDR (https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-evian-conference).

Until 1938, German policy was to expel Jews from Germany/Austria. However, once the world declared in a very loud and public voice, that there was no room for Jews, Hitler had his think tank come up with the Final Solution, formally presented at the Wannsee Conference, January, 1942 (https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/wannsee-conference-1942).

This solution, however, was conceived many months before. By the time Hitler met with Grand Mufti Hajj Amin al-Hussayni, in November 1941, Hitler was able to share his plans for the Jews of the world.

“Though not involved in the decision-making process concerning the ‘Final Solution,’ the Mufti’s Middle East politics, political strategies, and visions, including his contempt for Jews, drove him to collaborate intensively with the Nazis” (https://www.yadvashem.org/docs/haj-amin-al-husseini.html).

Hopefully everyone is able to see the patterns of history aimed at the Jewish nation. Many years ago when I was a young girl, I sat in our family sukkah hosting a family from the neighborhood. A very intelligent and caring woman turned to my father and asked: “What shall we do about the Palestinian problem?” And although it was a quick reply, it had depth, “Mrs. X, as soon as I have successfully addressed and resolved all the Jewish problems, I will work on the Palestinian issue.”

I understand the Jewish people are compassionate and generous and we worry about the world; however, charity begins in the home. Let us first focus on ourselves. Let us be united first for the Jewish nation’s survival. Beyond that there is much mending we must do amongst ourselves. First there is our own humanitarian healing. The world has quickly forgotten the over 1400 lives brutalized and killed, and the hundreds of survivors, and our own hundreds of thousands of displaced Jews. We must never be putting our own on the back burner. Then there is the political, too much to include in this short letter. Let’s not forget the spiritual. Each of us must consciously choose to be part of the greater whole. This is no small feat. Being mindful of who you are, which requires actively integrating our shared history and the promise of our shared future, understanding that there will be many bumps along this road.

If we are to truly be a light unto the nations let us address our own problems by first remembering the patterns of history and individually joining in the healing of our present and future.

Am Yisroel Chai!

Varda Hager
Teaneck

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