Once again, I am ever amazed by rabbinic colleagues who would give neo-fascists and other right wing, Holocaust denying countries a pass for past crimes and present, despicable legislation. Some have cited having friends that they have in these countries as if friendship trumps all other factors when we confront what fascistic malevolence is occurring in different Eastern European countries and capitals. Others have enjoyed kayaking or paddle boarding on lakes and streams, participating and luxuriating in the natural beauty of the Eastern European country they’ve visited, and urge others to visit and do the same as if the allurement of scenery could excuse myriad murders of Jews from the past and the threat thereof in the present.
Where, I ask, is common sense and a sense of justice and prudence in all of this?
I have stated before that I believe that the air in Europe is poisoned with the gasses that murdered millions of my people. That is not the full extend of the reality. Hundreds of thousands were murdered by their very country men and women who vied with the Nazis to see who could be more brutally capable of eliminating the local Jewish population, people who had been their neighbors for decades if not centuries.
Now comes both the geniuses of the Polish parliament and the spineless Polish president who have created and signed into law a bill that would imprison anyone claiming that any Pole had any part in the Holocaust. This antisemitic attempt to rewrite, revise or wipe away history altogether deserves no quarter, and demands a response which would deny Poland of any of our material support whatsoever.
Instead, there are colleagues who would urge continued visits and would become complicit in this terrible and dangerous farce. I would ask these rabbis, “Is there no limit to which you would go in bending over backwards to excuse this dastardly law and all its implications? Is having friends in a country reason enough to turn your backs on myriad souls who were slaughtered wholesale by the millions and whose country men and women now wish to white wash and sweep away any involvement on their parts? Have you no understanding of what your position implies? Have you no sense of history or feel for the truth? Are you not aiding and abetting a historical revisionism?
This is altogether beyond me.