Questions for Holocaust Memorial Day

This is the third Holocaust Memorial Day I’ve tried to write about. Two years ago, it was a piece on why I did end up going to Yad v’Shem. Last year, it was a series of questions, reblogged below, as they are questions that still ring true. This year, I will simply review those last two pieces. I think that this year, my soul falls somewhere in a middle ground, a bit detached, maybe, a bit less urgent, a bit slow, a bit calm, neither going to Yad v’Shem nor calling on The Left. Just sitting in my kitchen and writing and thinking. So the question for this year might be: What is the best way to allow the Holocaust into my own sphere and actions, with all of its moral urgency, and staggering throat-choking grayness?

The Leftern Wall

Last year, I wrote a piece called “Detangling the Holocaust from Israeli-Palestinian Politics.” In it, I wrote about my initial reaction to the quick approaching Holocaust Memorial Day: a grim self-bracing for the deluge of badness that was sure to flow from the mouths of Israel’s political leaders as they wielded the memory of the Holocaust to justify horrible and oppressive policies. I wrote:

”I have become deeply frustrated by the political manipulation of the Holocaust to distract from Israel’s crimes against Palestinians. These crimes should not and need not be compared to Nazi crimes, but they are unjust and immoral in their own right.”

From there, though, I went out to challenge my initial reaction, accepting as accurate the analysis of Israel’s leaders’ exploitation, but questioning the fact that that was my first thought:

”…I, like many individuals on the Jewish left, have made a concerted effort…

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