Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jews share a special bond with suffering people in Haiti, Darfur

By Barbara Yaffe

If solidarity is built through shared suffering, the state of Israel surely has a special bond with countries afflicted by crisis.

Israel, forged after the Holocaust, has been particularly quick to respond to the suffering of those affected by a genocide in Darfur, and more recently, the earthquake in Haiti.

Today marks the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a Polish concentration camp where Jews were gassed, starved or worked to death for no other reason than because they happened to be Jewish. Others, non-Jews deemed enemies of Hitler's Nazi regime, also were tortured and murdered in such camps, built in the 1930s and 1940s throughout eastern Europe.

In 2005 the United Nations General Assembly declared Jan. 27 to be an International Day of Commemoration to Honour the Victims of the Holocaust.

The world's Jewish community, having lost six million in the Holocaust -- six million -- sadly, has an intimate understanding of genocide and loss.

Indeed it's now a core concept of Judaism that Jewish people, who today number fewer than 13 million across the globe (5.3 million live in Israeli; another 5.2 million in America), must not stand idly by when the blood of others is being spilled.

This is the essence of the Jewish mantra, Never Again. Read more >>>>>>>>>

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