We are at an inflection point and everyone has to make a decision. Will you work towards a better future and stand up for what’s right, or will you sit on the sidelines as our community slides into a darker, more troubling period in the human story.
The barbaric massacre of Israelis that occurred on October 7th, the worst of its kind since the Holocaust, can’t merely be a wake-up call; it has to spur all of us into action. Compounding the tragedy has been the response, particularly among people under the age of 30.
A HarrisX poll conducted in mid November illustrated just how uneducated young people are today about what happened on October 7th and the war between Israel and Hamas.
- 30% of people under 34 believe the killing of civilians was justified
- 33% of 18-24 year olds side with Hamas and do not believe Israel has a right to liberate the hostages
- 34% of 18-24 year olds believe Hamas respects the rights of ethnic and religious minorities
These numbers are staggering and portend a future, when these are leaders in business, politics and academia that is not just hostile to Jews but openly call for our elimination.
Unsurprisingly, these findings align with ignorance about the Holocaust. The Economist recently reported that 23% of people under 30 believe the Holocaust is a myth and only 46% of all age groups believe denying the Holocaust is antisemitic.
These numbers tell all of us we have a role to play in supporting the truth and educating our broader community about the Holocaust, its modern parallels as well as Jewish history and discrimination.
Seeing what Mitch Chargo has built in such a short time with the Institute for Holocaust Research and Education I jumped at the chance to join IHRE’s Young Professionals Thought Leadership Panel. The idea that we are supposed to be a “light unto the nations” has never rang more true. It is time to lead by example, stand up for what’s right and educate others so they can be inspired to do the same.
As one of my favorite Jewish thinkers, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z’l said “antisemitism is never ultimately about the Jews. It is about a profound human failure to accept the fact that we are diverse and must create space for diversity if we are to preserve our humanity”.
We must make space for diversity of backgrounds but also, and increasingly importantly, diversity of thought and belief rooted in truth, not opinion.
Through IHRE I plan to do just that and hope you will join us.