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Not Again is Now! Antisemitism Begins With a Lack of Knowledge of History

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

May 9, 2024

As a member of the Holocaust Education and Documentation Center I have always been supportive of their mission to educate and memorialize the stories of Holocaust Survivors. Their sole focus is to preserve the facts and history surrounding the horrific period of the Nazi Genocide. The genocide of not just Jews but other minorities, those with disabilities and sympathizers that tried to save individuals from the death camps.

As a note the war in Gaza is not a Genocide. It is a war against Hamas and hate. Israel, the US, and many other nations support the end of Hamas and other terrorist organizations. States want to see an end to Hamas. It is a war and Israel has the right to fight and defend its borders.

Antisemitism begins with a lack of knowledge of the history of the Jewish people. It also ties directly to the lies and propaganda that have been around for centuries. The State of Florida and 18 other states require Holocaust Education be taught in schools. This education is so vital for our citizens and students. Since 2022 there has been a push to make sure all states provide this curriculum.

While we have this education in Florida it is abundantly clear we have failed many of our students when it comes to history. This failure has created a vacuum that is filled by hate and those that want to see the end of Israel. Our Nation will be celebrating the important contributions of the Jewish people and individuals who have been an integral part of our society as a whole. This celebration should not be confused with or diminish the importance of Yom HaShoah which observation has fallen around the same time.

Yom HaShoah is a Day of Remembrance originally called the Holocaust and Bravery Day. It was declared law in 1951 by the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. It falls on the 27th of Nisan every year. The date was to mark the remembrance of the brave men and women that rebelled against the Nazis from the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland.

In 1942 after the invasion of Poland, 450,000 Jews were stripped from their homes, deported and transported to the Warsaw Ghetto. Children, elders, women and men all suffered unimaginable conditions. While some escaped 300,000 Jews were then transported out of the ghetto to the death camp in Treblinka where they were all killed, “The Final Solution.” The remaining 35,000 heard the story of mass murders at the death camp and rebelled. They fought capture for over 27 days. All but a few were killed when the ghetto burnt to the ground. The few survivors who were buried under rubble fought and survived for another two months.

The date usually falls between April and May. This Year it was on the eve of May 5th thru the 6th. There are actually three calendars; one is the Gregorian set up by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 and is also the civil calendar recognized around the world. There is a Jewish Calendar and Islamic Calendar which are both based on the lunar year. This is why most Jewish and Islamic religious holidays rotate within a months’ time.

I recently received a wonderful article from Rabbi Tennenhaus, President of the South Broward Chabad right here in Hallandale Beach. Since the War he has been spending time back and forth helping those in harm’s way. Even while he is abroad he still continues to help comfort those of us here in South Florida with his words and prayers. He is an amazing leader and had the goal of sharing some important facts on the Holocaust. You can read the article on: www.Chabad.org

What I found interesting is that within a course of 20 years from WWI to WWII Nazis developed a plan of propaganda and a strategic campaign. It was not about simply Germany but a plan to control the World based on their perceived superiority over every race. The jews gypsy were on the bottom. Step by step they indoctrinated people and then through political control and power set out to destroy any country that stood in their way. Sounds a bit like the two wars we are witnessing.

The past years have been very alarming to those of us that have studied history. They have been even more horrific for Jews like me watching and listening to what seems like history repeating itself. October 7th was not the Holocaust but was one of the most traumatic and horrific deadly events against Jews since WWII. Not again is Now! has been one of the calls to action.

We cannot and should not dilute the memory of the 6 million lost souls under the hands of Nazism. The attack on October 7th by the Hamas lead terrorists was a cowardly surprise. It is predicated on wiping out the Jewish Country of Israel. Genocide. In my opinion it was like 911 and the attack on America.

Now the most important goal is to get the hostages back, end Hamas’ reign over Gaza and peace. Our goal should be to support Israel first, and second, to address the sweeping indoctrination on our campuses and on our streets. I know Hallandale Beach and many of our neighbors north and south have stepped up and have spoken out. Our country has also stood up. Over 400 Mayors from around the nation have stood in solidarity to combat Antisemitism.

As we celebrate our Jewish History and remember the horrific history of the Holocaust we need to continue to stand with Israel. It is hard to see the destruction and loss of human life, but we cannot go back to a time when it is ok to hate Jews. A time when the world ignored the Holocaust. Let us pray for peace and let love prevail over hate.

Next Tuesday May 14th at 12:00 p.m. I will be honored to deliver my State of the City. The lunch is being hosted by the Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce. Please, if you would like to attend contact the chamber at: www.hallandalebeachchamber.com - Or call: (954) 454-0541 I hope you can join us. As always I will be reproducing my speech in the next few articles.

I can be reached at: jcooper@cohb.org. Or: joycooper@aol.com. Or Facebook Mayor Joy Cooper. You can always call my Office at: (954) 457-1318. Or Call/Text me at: (954) 632-5700. Working for you! Always have! Always will!

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