Jews who survived the Holocaust were among those who founded the IDF. Mynd: Avshalom Sluk/Facebook

Hate Will Not Prevail

Five years ago, Icelandic Eurovision contestants went onstage and performed a song called “Hate Will Prevail.” The song’s less than inspiring title is accompanied by lyrics that seem otherwise completely devoid of content. Who is the hater? Who are the hated?

The most prevalent hatred of past years, decades, and even centuries is undoubtedly antisemitism. For long stretches of time, imprisonments, torture, and executions of Jews were everyday occurrences. And nowhere did antisemitism take on a more vicious form than during the Holocaust.

Although the Icelandic word Helförin (The Journey to Hell) isn’t a direct translation of the English word Holocaust, it’s nevertheless very appropriate. The German Nazi Party’s decade-long extermination campaign against the Jewish People was analogous to a journey to Hell.

Drawing direct comparisons between the Holocaust and other events is problematic, especially drawing contemporaneous comparisons. We have yet to see anything that resembles the Nazis’ focused determination in their efforts to exterminate the Jewish People.

In the minds of Jews, the Holocaust may as well have happened yesterday. The trauma of the Holocaust still rests in the heart of every Jew born today. And even though eighty years have passed since the end of the Holocaust, the Jewish people are far from being safe.

A few weeks ago, the world’s media outlets took note as the heads of three prestigious universities appeared in court, testifying that it “depends on the context” whether calls for the genocide of Jews constitute hate speech. Incidentally, such calls for genocide are regularly heard at mass protests.

But in general, most media outlets don’t seem interested in seriously covering antisemitism and decisively condemning it. This reticence is probably owing to the fact that the most prominent modern antisemites aren’t Europeans but rather militant Islamists. But calling militant Islamists antisemites isn’t a slanderous accusation. Their own slogans and manifestos bear ample witness to that.

For example, the slogan of the Houthi movement that controls a large part of Yemen includes the phrase “Curse upon the Jews.”

Furthermore, the charter of the Hamas terror group includes these words: “Servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.”

In this case, it’s untenable to resort to the old chestnut of “one man’s freedom fighter being another man’s terrorist.” These movements are literally founded on hatred—hatred of those who dare to stand out and be different from others. Hatred of Jews.

But hate will not prevail. The Jewish nation will not perish. The Jewish nation is strong and can withstand all hardships. After the Crusades, after the pogroms, after the gulags, after the jihads, and yes, even after the Holocaust, the Jewish people are still here and will remain here.

This article is dedicated to the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.

The author is a board member of the Icelandic branch of MIFF (With Israel for Peace) and a member of the Jewish Culture Association of Iceland.

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