In Europe, evoking the memory of Auschwitz has become difficult; tomorrow, it may be impossible.
The ceremony marking the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp was held on January 27 -- and will likely be the last commemoration of its kind. The Nazis wanted a Europe without Jews. They killed six million, but in their ultimate goal, they failed.
Three hundred survivors were invited; all were more than eighty years old. Although filmed testimonies will remain, there may be no more direct witnesses.
While European political leaders speak of Auschwitz with the solemn formula of "never again," it increasingly seems meaningless. Surveys show that in most European countries, including Germany, a growing number of people want to turn the page, and say they want forget about the Holocaust in a way they do not say they want to forget about, for instance, the Crucifixion.
When articles on the Holocaust are published in major European magazines, an increasing number of people leave comments to point out that the Holocaust was just one genocide among others, and there is no reason to insist on this one in particular.
When other genocides are evoked, the fate of the Palestinians also quickly takes center stage, even though the Palestinians repeat almost daily that they would like to kill the Israelis, while the Israelis say they would like peace. The Israelis have never said they would like to kill the Palestinians.
What follows are usually bitter, politically motivated denunciations of Israel by Europe, masquerading as human rights.
Despite the monstrous crimes committed by the Islamic State, Boko Haram or Iran; despite two hundred thousand dead in Syria; and despite the massacres of Christians and Yezidis in Iraq, for European journalists, the Jewish state remains, it seems, the favored prime target.
Where else in the middle east but Israel can a journalist lead a comfortable life, file a story along the only lines his editor will like by noon, go to the beach, and have dinner with his family? Maybe if he bashes Israel enough, his story will even make the front page, and he will receive an award for courage in journalism. So, in the international media, Israeli Jews are often libelously described as criminals who simply are doing to other people what was done to the Jews seventy years ago.
Despite the increasingly savage state of the world, with an openly genocidal Iran -- soon to be a nuclear, if it is not already -- and with the squalid brutality of dictators such as Bashar al-Assad, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Kim Jong Un and Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, Israeli leaders remain the ones many Europeans love to accuse, hate and demonize.
The desire to forget the past, to hurl degrading charges against Israeli Jews, to slander the Jewish state, and to demonize Israeli leadership displays a growing animosity against Jews, in addition to encouraging renewed anti-Jewish violence on European soil.
The attacks are denounced by journalists and political leaders, but their denunciations always sound sanctimonious and thin, condemning the "anti-Semitism" they themselves have been encouraging. Most European journalists and political leaders claim to fight anti-Semitism. Most do not. They almost never address the harsh words used about Israel, Israeli Jews or Israel's leaders. They speak and act as if those words had no influence. Their denunciations therefore always sound devious and glossy.
The long, persistent, European hatred of Jews, which led to Auschwitz, was a crime so sickening that, for a few decades, Europeans were crushed with shame. Since then, they seem to have sought unceasingly to alleviate this burden.
One attempt, Holocaust denial, merely sparked outrage and horror for a while. Attempts to trivialize the Holocaust persist. The growing desire in many Europeans to forget about those events could even be making trivializing the Holocaust a success.
Another attempt is to slander Israel. If falsely accusing it of being a criminal state; and Israeli Jews of being unacceptable; and Israeli leaders of having dark plans, then Europeans can see themselves as less criminal and allow themselves to feel less guilt.
Slandering Israel in Europe is also effective because, although it comes from both extremes, it mostly comes from the "left."
The "left" portrays itself as "anti-fascist"; anyone who does not agree with their views must therefore be a fascist.
They describe Palestinian Arabs as victims, which they are – but not because of Israel. No Palestinians are now governed by Israelis, only Arabs. Israel forcibly evacuated all the Jews from Gaza in 2005, so it could be, for the Palestinians, a "Singapore on the Mediterranean." Israelis left greenhouses in perfect condition for them, so the Palestinians could start out with a solid economy. The Palestinians destroyed the greenhouses within hours. Hamas threw Fatah members off the tops of buildings until Fatah ran away. Hamas now rules Gaza in a unity government with Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority. Support for Abbas's Fatah is support for Hamas.
But many Europeans – even now, faced with the same terror attacks Israel has faced for years -- do not let such facts get in their way. Never mind that the Palestinians had built secret death-tunnels for surprise attacks to kidnap and murder Jewish civilians Never mind that the Palestinians continually call for the death -- not just of Israelis -- but of Jews. Never mind that Palestinians rejected every partition, land or peace offer, granting them 98% of what they asked, since 1947. Many Europeans still describe Israeli Jews as fascist torturers, sometimes comparable to the Nazis.
Slandering Israel is effective in Europe today because there has been a shift in its population. Millions of Muslim migrants have come there. Now they are European citizens. Even if many originally came to Europe seeking economic opportunity, they are often defined by Europeans as victims of racism and oppression. So, the thinking goes, if you are a victim of racism and oppression, how can you be racist yourself?
Many Muslims have been indoctrinated from childhood to hate Israel, hate the Jews and hate the West. This view is helped along by genocidal Islamic texts; the Palestinian media, both Hamas and Fatah; the international media, who only accept articles that have an anti-Israeli angle, and European-funded, non-governmental organizations which pretend to defend "human rights" but instead are dedicated to the political agenda: trying to dismantle Israel.
European governments and the European Union each year spend hundreds of million of euros– transparency and accountability rigorously kept hidden -- for the political agenda of trying to bring Israel to its knees, diplomatically and economically. This international agenda is spurred on with the encouragement of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC], composed of 56 states plus "Palestine," and which makes up the largest bloc at the deeply corrupt United Nations.
In Europe today, slandering Israel is widely conveyed by European Muslims, and if a political leader or journalist does not agree with what they say, he must be a racist.
Hatred of Israel so permeates the European atmosphere that almost no journalists or political leaders -- with the exception of a courageous few, who are immediately and harshly punished -- seem prepared to confront it in a way that might actually bear results.
A few years ago, attacks against Jews in Europe could be violent, but rarely led to assassinations. But all this started to change in 2006, when a group in Paris kidnapped and tortured a young Jew, Ilan Halimi, for three weeks before finally killing him. In 2012, the man who attacked the Jewish school in Toulouse also wanted to kill Jews, and did. The man who attacked the Brussels Jewish Museum in 2014 wanted to kill Jews, and did. He did. The man who entered kosher supermarket in Paris on January 9 wanted to kill Jews, and did. The man who attacked a synagogue in Copenhagen on February 14 wanted to kill Jews; perhaps to his disappointment, he killed only one.
In response to the attacks, some extremely praiseworthy Muslims were among the 1,000 people in Norway, who, in solidarity with the Jews, formed a "ring of peace" around the main synagogue in Oslo. "We do not want individuals to define what Islam is for the rest of us," said one of the demonstration's organizers, Zeeshan Abdullah. But more attacks in Europe will follow.
European populations remain passive and inert. They reacted in Paris on January 11 mostly because famous cartoonists were killed two days earlier than the attack on the kosher store. Had it been only Jews that were killed, there probably would have been no crowd reaction at all. There were no crowds after the Toulouse or Brussels killings. There was also, before the Muslim ring in Copenhagen, a small crowd reaction after the murder there – most likely because the killer had also attacked a meeting on free speech.
World leaders link arms at the Paris anti-terror rally on January 11, 2015. Guy Millière writes that had it been only Jews that were been killed, there probably would have been no rally at all. (Image source: RT video screenshot)
Israel's Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has repeated that at least now there is a Jewish state where Jews can live freely.
While there were 9.8 million Jews in Europe in 1939, there are now 1.4 million: 0.2% of the population.
Seventy years after Auschwitz, a Europe without Jews now seems a possibility.
 Manfred Gerstenfeld, Demonizing Israel and the Jews, RVP Publishers, 2013.
 Gabriel Schoenfeld, The Return of Anti-Semitism, Encounter Books, 2005
 Robert Wistrich, From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel, University of Nebraska Press, 2012.
 Robert Wistrich, op.cit.
 Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West, Anchor Books, 2010.