The Next Holocaust

One spark could set off a hellish conflagration

By Aaron Zelman, Executive Director
© Jews for The Preservation of Firearms Ownership



The acts may be large or small. But the trend is ominous:

At a Muslim school in Ottawa, two teachers praise a student for writing a story in which fantasy "heroes" assassinate an Israeli official and bomb Israeli soldiers. The eight-page story, whose cover features a star of David in flames, was showcased for days in a school display before "shocked" school administrators noticed it.


The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, hosts (and warmly praises) Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who hates Jews and supports Palestinian suicide bombers. Then Livingstone likens a Jewish reporter to a Nazi concentration-camp guard.


In 2004 alone, 77 violent anti-Semitic attacks are recorded in Britain, along with several hundred acts of anti-Semitic vandalism and verbal assaults.


In France, acts of violence and vandalism against Jews double in the course of a year. Perpetrators appear to come from both the Arab-Muslim population and the "far right." Anti-Semitism is becoming so common and so frightening in France that Aliyah Day (an annual event for Jews considering migration to Israel) draws 4.5 times more participants in 2005 than in previous years.


Even in peaceful, tolerant Switzerland in March 2005, a synagogue is badly damaged and a Jewish-owned clothing store destroyed -- both on the same night, both by arsonists.


The problem is not only in Europe or Canada:

The Medium, an entertainment weekly published at Rutgers University in New Jersey "celebrates" Holocaust Remembrance Week 2004 with a full-page cover cartoon of a frightened, bearded man sitting on the edge of an open-doored oven. The caption reads: "Knock a Jew in the oven. Three throws for one dollar."


Brandl Rifka, serving time in a Florida prison, requests a kosher meal to break her Yom Kippur fast. Instead, she is served ham. It is part of a pattern of ostracism by guards and inmates, who try to hinder her practice of Judiasm.


In California, former prosecutor John Quatman tells investigators that for years he conspired with a judge, Stanley Golde, to keep Jews off juries in death-penalty cases, because the judge believed Jews wouldn’t vote for capital punishment.


At the University of California at Irvine, officials are silent when a Holocaust exhibit created by Jewish students is vandalized. But they vehemently protest when someone burns a Muslim group’s cardboard replica of Israelís security fence.


The twenty-first century is already the most dangerous time for Jews since World War II. Expect the prejudice and violence against us to get worse as the decades roll ominously forward.

The reasons are legion. And many ominous signs are screaming for our attention -- right here, right now, in the "civilized" world.

Holocaust survivors and their liberators are dying off. New generations are less concerned with the horrors Hitler inflicted, less aware of how those horrors were permitted to blight the world. To the young, the Holocaust was an anomaly. A freakish, once-in-history event. Something that happened long ago to people they didn’t know and don’t particularly care about.

The twenty-first century has also already been called "The Muslim Century." As populations in the Judeo-Christian western world stagnate or decline, populations in the Muslim world burgeon. Muslim countries are often crowded with unemployed or underemployed young men -- exactly the demographic most prone to violence. These cultures also tend to encourage a culture of righteousness and vengeance against all perceived enemies -- of which we Jews are Enemy Number One.
Hungry young Muslims from the Middle East or Africa flood into Europe. The resulting cultural disruptions also tend to create climates of violence, hatred, and fatal misunderstanding.

The United States once seemed isolated from all this. Then we received an explosive wake-up call on September 11, 2001, when we realized that Americans, too, can be the target of rage from abroad.

Yet even that wake-up call hasn’t really opened our eyes.

Those 19 suicidal hijackers and their wealthy backers weren’t attacking only America and its policies. They were attacking Jews. Or rather, they were attacking what they perceived to be a "Jewish" economic system and "Jewish" foreign policy.
Many people -- even a few "respectable" voices in the media have gone so far as to hint that Jews or Israel masterminded the September 11 destruction in some devious attempt to further gain sympathy and manipulate U.S. policy.

So the 9-11 attacks have, in a multitude of ways, been publicly aimed at Jewish people.

Instead of condemning this violent hatred, however, many more Americans -- especially on always-influential college campuses -- have joined in the hate-fest.

More and more intellectuals and members of the media condemn Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians. Questioning the motives of any government is politically fair game, and is often necessary. Israel should have no special exemption from criticism. But the dirty little secret is that many of the critics of the nation of Israel use that political stance as a publicly acceptable way of venting dislike for the Jewish people -- as shown by the example of the University of California at Irvine officials, who apparently considered bigotry against Muslim students to be a problem but bigotry against Jewish students to be acceptable.

In this country, some of the apparent bigotry may seem merely distasteful rather than violently harmful. The Rutgers University student publication, The Medium, features a lot of offensive humor, aimed in many directions. Their cartoon inviting readers to "knock a Jew into the oven" appeared to be drawn by someone with ninth-grade skills and sixth-grade mentality. And the editors of the publication later apologized for their grotesquerie.

But as far as we heard, those supposedly educated university students never apologized for earlier writing "Die, Jew, Die!" in a mock classified ad. And it’s clear that they never really understood why their cartoon was an ominous sign of the times, rather than merely the irreverent bit of "wit" they might have intended it to be.

Growing anti-Semitism isn’t the only danger signal

Anti-Semitism was merely one part of a whole culture of attitudes and activities that led to the Nazis’ "final solution." Many of those same traits are growing in America today.

First is the widespread worship of the state -- the belief that central government knows best and that government must (and can) solve all problems. In our country, we see galloping growth, not only in the federal budget, but in central control. A nationalist government now inserts itself into everything from the schooling of our children to decisions about our health. Even our churches and synagogues are beginning to turn to the state for handouts to fund their traditional social programs (and obligating themselves and their members to the inevitable control that goes with government funding).

Along with state-worship comes an inevitable surrender of personal morality. Already it’s common for mindless millions to assume that if something is illegal, it must therefore be immoral, and if something is legal, it must be moral -- even if their own upbringing, religion, or conscience tells them the opposite.

This is a surrender of a very deep part of the individual soul to the state -- and an extremely dangerous trend. As detailed by Richard Lawrence Miller in his book Nazi Justiz, every horror Hitler’s minions committed was scrupulously legal -- under an immoral concept of law.

We are also a nation that’s shockingly ignorant of history, geography, comparative religion, logic, and genuine scientific processes (as opposed to government-funded science-by-consensus -- a type of pseudo-science is used to support a political agenda). Our children are taught what to think, not how to think. Therefore they lack the ability to recognize propaganda and the ability to think independently and critically about what political and cultural leaders tell them.
As in Nazi Germany, medicine -- which ought to support the health and well-being of individuals -- is now being turned into the pragmatic "socio-scientific" discipline that too often serves death, not life.

For example, examine the provisions of the Appleton Consensus, a set of suggested international guidelines for deciding whether physicians should end a patient’s life, rather than prolong it. Although the document pays lip service to patient and family wishes, its real spirit is contained in passages like these:

1. Society must establish the limits and the priorities for life-sustaining treatment options.

3. Cost effectiveness should be used whenever feasible to inform decisions about appropriate life-prolonging treatments.

5. Society must be willing to adjust its expectations so that its selected limits become accepted practice and/or legal norms.

In other words, health care is to be rationed, and decisions on who receives care are not to be based on the needs, means, or wishes of the individual, but are to be by and for "society."

We must never forget -- although in fact we’ve already forgotten -- that the largest professional group within the Nazi party was physicians. Nazi doctors were so eager to "purify" the human race and eliminate the "unfit" that their enthusiasm for sterilization and euthanasia actually had to be curbed by Nazi officials!

And we must also never forget -- although again we’ve already forgotten -- that the march toward the death camps began with the "benign" social-hygiene agenda of the eugenicists. It began with concepts like sterilization of the "feebleminded" or "inferior," and the idea of sending "undesirables" off to camps for their own and society’s good.

And do you know where the Nazis first learned their concepts of "superior" races and elimination of the "unfit"? From American and British "scientific" social reformers of the early twentieth century. The eugenics movement that ended in Hitler’s death camps began here with liberal, educated do-gooders.

State worship and a culture of death are dangerous to everyone. But especially to members of minority groups -- whether they be Jews, disabled people, or (someday) Christians. Once people with vast, uncurbed power decide that the "good of society" requires ostracizing or eliminating any group, death will reign.

It’s also worth noting that, among the men and women who formed the Appleton Consensus, three participants who vehemently opposed euthanizing individuals for some mythical social good were Jewish.

All the more reason to target Jews. When institutions want to turn to killing, Jews will often stand in the way.

One spark is all it will take to ignite violence

When I speak of growing anti-Semitism, I must make one thing very clear. Free speech -- including opinions against my own people -- is a right. Fools who publish ugly cartoons shouldn’t be punished (though neither should they be subsidized by taxpayers). The most vile opinion in the world is, and should be, an opinion vigilantly protected by the Bill of Rights.

We have no right to censor our enemies -- nor should we ever claim such a right. But if they commit, or actively threaten, violence against us, we have every right to defend ourselves, our families and our institutions. All Jews (and for that matter all individuals of conscience) should be prepared and proficient at self defense.

Unfortunately, the intellectual and moral climate that’s developing now in the western world -- developing rapidly in Europe and more slowly in the U.S. -- will lead to mass violence against Jews and friends of Jews if it isn’t torn out at the roots. Anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry should never be censored. But if we are to survive as civilized beings, such vileness must be swept away through a vast change of hearts and minds.

Otherwise, the potential consequence are nearly all dire.

Consider a near future in which today’s anti-Semitic college students have grown up and moved into positions of influence, and in which the will of the state and a pragmatic culture of killing the "unfit" has become the norm.

What happens:

If the United States government turns its back on Israel, and thus gives tacit approval to attacks on both Israel itself and Jews wherever they may be?

If an economic collapse or depression hits the U.S. or Europe and desperate people, seeking a convenient target for blame, focus on "the Jewish bankers" or "Jews in the media" or just "the Jews" in general? Two thousand years of history warn us to beware of exactly this.

If a Muslim theocracy gains powerful influence in politics? Muslim extremists don’t need to become an absolute majority to wield terrifying influence, even here in the U.S. Couple the explosive growth of Arab-Muslim populations with Black-Muslim populations (including violent converts from America’s exploding prison population). Add the ever-present, and growing contingent of other anti-Semites. Let them make a strategic alliance with some other power-craving faction -- and Jews can be crushed.

If the world’s moral leaders fail to defend the Jews? During his long reign (and even before that) Pope John Paul II was an ardent and vigorous defender of the Jews. He made it clear to his worldwide flock that anti-Semitism was a terrible evil and a danger to all. But the Catholic church hasn’t always been a friend to Jews, even in recent "enlightened" centuries. The church’s record during the twentieth-century Nazi Holocaust was mixed, at best. What if a future pope keeps silent in the face of anti-Semitism? Or even subtlely encourages it?

If a charismatic politician is elected to the presidency at some moment of crisis? In the name of "patriotism," "freedom," or "democracy," he tells us that the Jews are subverting all that is wholesome and holy about America. "Curb the power of the Jews," he cries, "and America will be a great, sovereign nation once again!" And with symbolic eagles flying and marches playing, Americans (who’ve always been just a little prejudiced, anyway) revel in the chance to vent long-held resentments. Prejudice becomes patriotism. Hatred becomes health.

Let just one of these things happen and a new holocaust could ignite. A nation that has forgotten history, a nation that stamps approval on bigotry, a nation in distress, a nation that considers killing the "unfit" a pragmatic public good, is fertile ground for genocide to grow.

Jews have been a traditional target. Given the growing hatred, we probably will be again. But history teaches that no group is exempt. Christians have also been targets -- and may be at some future date, if Muslim extremists or dogmatic atheist rulers get their way.

I don’t have a crystal ball. I can’t say when -- or even if -- a new holocaust will overcome us. I don’t mean to suggest that any government in the western world is actually planning such a horror (though trusting the goodwill of any government is always a mistake).

My point is that the attitudes and actions that preceded the Nazi Holocaust are growing again. We see the danger signs everywhere -- from the examples given at the top of this article to the bizarre prison death of Jewish Defense League leader Irv Rubin in 2002 -- a death that was officially ruled a suicide, but shows earmarks of murder and cover-up.

More "polite" versions of anti-Semitism are becoming acceptable, even trendy, among opinion-makers. If even just a handful of these "leaders" decide to move the masses … well, again history shows us what a propagandized, stirred-up, follow-the-leader population will do.

If the new holocaust strikes, it might seem almost an accident. The citizens of America or Europe may look around afterward and ask each other, "How did that happen? What did we do?" Just as many have been asking for the last 60 years.

But by then it will be too late. The time to address prejudice and prevent genocidal violence is now.

And if the intellectual, political, and media elite won’t put a stop to anti-Semitism, state-worship, or the culture of death, then the time for individual Jews to prepare for self-protection is also now … if it’s not already past the hour.


Jewish self-defense

As I’ve written elsewhere, a Judeo-Christian America has been the best thing that’s ever happened to us Jews. Nevertheless, we can’t rely on the goodwill of Gentiles, or a Gentile government, to protect us forever. We’ve never been able to. Jews who fail to appreciate this historical reality are dangerously naive.

We must be prepared to defend ourselves, whether against the casual anti-Semitic violence of the streets or future mass violence from a government gone mad. Self-defense, by definition, can’t be delegated to police, soldiers, or any state agency.
Our own safety, and the safety of our families, institutions, and communities, ultimately depends on us.

On the website of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (or linked from it), you’ll find many articles on Jews and self-defense. The following are just a few:

The Beast Reawakens: A personal challenge to all Jews to defend themselves
by Aaron Zelman (

At What Point Does Paranoia Become Prudence?
by Chuck Klein (

What are Islamic Schools Teaching?
by Daniel Pipes

See additional articles at


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