Twenty-five years ago today, on Holocaust Memorial Day, I walked alongside 6,000 Jewish teenagers from Auschwitz to Birkenau as part of March of the Living. Twenty-five years later, I am marching alongside almost 6 million Christians committed to stamping out the plague of anti-Semitism.
The organization I am honored to co-lead, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), was created for such a time as this.
For a few short decades, anti-Semitism was largely relegated to the shadows. But it has once again reared its ugly head – except now, the proponents of the world’s oldest hatred have a bright new shiny veneer.
We do not just stand up to the tyrants of Tehran but also to the radicals here in our own country. We do not just condemn the hatred of European thugs but also of American professors. And we cannot just fight against the violence of Hamas and Hezbollah but also of neo-Nazis like the domestic terrorist who murdered eleven people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and another who murdered one and wounded three others – including a nine-year-old girl – this past weekend at the Chabad of Poway synagogue.
For a few short decades, anti-Semitism was largely relegated to the shadows. But it has once again reared its ugly head – except now, the proponents of the world’s oldest hatred have a bright new shiny veneer. They wear business attire, not white sheets. They do not hide their faces, just their true dark hearts. And they are not found just on the right or left, but on the edges – though no longer the fringes – of both ends of the American political spectrum.
It is imperative that we who abhor anti-Semitism shine a bright light on the modern incarnation of this abomination. We must be unafraid to lay bare the hypocrisy of those who claim not to hate Jews, just the Jewish state. We must not be silent as anti-Semitic tropes are espoused by those who pontificate from the ivory tower or the halls of Congress.
It is imperative that we who abhor anti-Semitism shine a bright light on the modern incarnation of this abomination.
That is why CUFI has long supported the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act and have made that bill, which seeks to protect Jewish college students who are victims of unlawful harassment, a central piece of our 2019 legislative agenda.
That is why we held an event at a church in Charlottesville shortly after the murder that took place there during an anti-Semitic rally in 2017. And that is why CUFI recently launched our “Shine the Light” initiative to stand up to anti-Semitism in every church, campus and community in America.
As Jewish parents there are beautiful traditions we share with our children: Shabbat, Seder, learning our history together, to name a few. But there is also a moment in the Jewish parental journey that we dread: the conversation when you explain how 6 million of our people were murdered just for being Jewish.
Just a few months after we had the Holocaust conversation with our children in my household, we had to share with them the Tree of Life massacre. But, we also shared with them that the difference between 1938 and 2019 is that we are not alone.
We are blessed to be surrounded by millions of Christians who stand up and defend us.
They do it because their faith compels them to, but their love does not end there. The Christians with whom I work also stand with my people because they have learned the lessons of history.
They are ensuring that the memories of the victims we remember on this day are indeed a blessing. And they will never waver in their commitment to the concept of “Never Again.”
Shari Dollinger is the co-executive director of Christians United for Israel