A Dozen Reasons Why Israel Should Do Away With Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Drivers stand in silence as the siren for Holocaust Remembrance Day sounds in Jerusalem. Credit: Emile Salman

Holocaust Remembrance Day should be canceled, because the few who do have someone to remember will not forget those who died, and those who do not cannot truly remember.

Holocaust Remembrance Day should be canceled, because I do not want to hear a Knesset member reading out the names of my family members who died in the Holocaust in the “Every Person Has a Name” ceremony. The dead had names, and I was named for two of the dead, but their names don’t mean anything to the Knesset members who recite them.

Holocaust Remembrance Day should be canceled, because it is an unnecessary opportunity for an unapologetic peek at the pornography of death. Anyone who feels compelled to look at pictures of executions or a final glimpse of victims before they die are invited to watch the colorful videos of Islamic State.

Holocaust Remembrance Day should be canceled, because anyone who genuinely wants to remember the destroyed Jewish study halls in Poland has no need to take part in the March of the Living at Auschwitz, they can see them in Jerusalem’s Mea She’arim.

Holocaust Remembrance Day should be canceled, because a large proportion of the victims of the Holocaust were ultra-Orthodox Jews, and their followers in Israel and abroad do not accept the day as a fitting date to mark the destruction. It would be better to adopt the tradition and to append the lamentation for the Holocaust to the Tenth of Tevet or the Tisha B’Av fast days, on which in accordance with Jewish tradition all of the bitter tragedies of our people are mourned.

Holocaust Remembrance Day should be canceled, because the siren that is sounded to mark it is a foreign custom. Jews say Kaddish and study Mishna.

Holocaust Remembrance Day should be canceled, because I hide my face in shame when I see young Israelis walking around in Poland wrapped in Israeli flags, like fans of Beitar Jerusalem in the streets of the capital after their soccer team has beat Bnei Sakhnin.

Holocaust Remembrance Day should be canceled, in order to put an end to the chain of intolerable cliches uttered on this day by every public figure who has an opportunity to speak.

Holocaust Remembrance Day should be canceled, because we must not ground our existence here solely on our being perpetually persecuted. If we do not distinguish ourselves culturally and religiously, it would be better for us to assimilate among the nations.

Holocaust Remembrance Day should be canceled, because it has become a tool in the hands of ultranationalist ideologues. From the beginning, Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Day, as Holocaust Remembrance Day is properly known, was created for controversial political reasons in order to emphasize and glorify the ghetto revolts. But as with many other things the Labor movement introduced in Israel, this day too was coopted by other ideologies. Today it serves to inculcate the axiom according to which the whole world is against us and anyone who criticizes us is part of the axis of evil that seeks to destroy us.

Holocaust Remembrance Day should be canceled, because it’s possible that Iran would need to be bombed even if Hitler had converted to Judaism, or perhaps Iran does not need to be bombed, despite Hitler. The day does not particularly contribute to rational decision-making on the issue.

Holocaust Remembrance Day should be canceled, because it would be better to study the era of the Holocaust in a rational manner, above all, and to take from it the universal lessons as well: The danger of turning into beasts also looms over members of the chosen people.

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