Yesterday, as the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we heard the reminders we all know too well: “Remember!” and “Never Again!” The Jewish community knows all too well that antisemitism and other forms of hatred are still tearing our world apart.
Next Friday, the 2022 Winter Olympics will begin in China.
“A hundred times over I thought, when the footfalls of guards woke us in the night, that our time had come to be executed. When a hand viciously pushed clippers across my skull, and other hands snatched away the tufts of hair that fell on my shoulders, I shut my eyes, blurred with tears, thinking my end was near, that I was being readied for the scaffold, the electric chair, drowning. Death lurked in every corner. When the nurses grabbed my arm to ‘vaccinate’ me, I thought they were poisoning me. In reality, they were sterilising us. That was when I understood the method of the camps, the strategy being implemented: not to kill us in cold blood, but to make us slowly disappear. So slowly that no one would notice.”  
These are not the worlds of someone who was tortured by the Nazis during the Holocaust. These are the words of Gulbahar Haitiwaji, a Muslim Uyghur, who was imprisoned from 2017 to 2019 by the Chinese government. The imprisonment and torture of the Uyghur Muslim community by China continues to this day. The United States has declared China’s actions to be genocide and crimes against humanity. If you are not familiar with the horrors going on, I encourage you to read the United States Holocaust Museum’s detailed report here.
Yesterday, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, nations across the world stopped, seemingly united against allowing genocide and crimes against humanity to rear their ugly heads once again.
How united can the world be given that these nations, including the United States of America, will be marching together next Friday to begin the Winter Olympics in China? How hypocritical can we be, as Americans, as Jews, as people who supposedly stand against genocide and crimes against humanity, to take part in, tune in to and do anything to support the 2022 Winter Olympics, a gathering that proclaims to “contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play”? What about all the corporate sponsors of the Olympic games? Are “Remember” and “Never Again” just things we say, or do we actually live them? What will you do when the Olympics begins next week? What will the world do?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: