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Syria is not Comparable to The Holocaust


Depite how vile the killing of civilians in Syria may be, it is not genocide.

Syrian American protesters gather outside the U.S Capitol urging Congress to support U.S. President Barack Obama in striking Syria for using chemical weapons against its own people September 9, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama is scheduled to address the nation on the issue tomorrow night, with votes in the Senate and House likely to take place later this week. (Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Commentary by Rabbi Aryeh Spero, author of Push Back and is the president of Caucus For America. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, National Review, New York Sun, N.Y. Daily News, American Thinker, TownHall, Policy Review, Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Judaism, Tradition, Midstream, Jewish World Review, and the Jewish Press. He is a regular, featured commentator for American Morning News (TRN) on issues regarding Israel and the Middle East, the Jewish community, and religion and morality, and has called upon for commentary by TheBlaze for Faith issues. He can be contacted at 

Some are arguing that the lesson of “Never Again” impels the West to embark on a war against Syria for its reported use of chemical weapons. The analogy between what happened in the Holocaust and what is happening today in Syria is erroneous.

Rabbi Spero believes that the world cannot invoke the memory of the Holocaust to intervene in Syria. In this photo, protestors in Washington, D.C. invoke Nazi Germany in hopes of getting the U.S. involved. Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Holocaust was undertaken by Adolph Hitler to extinguish an entire race, the Jewish People. It was ideological, a “Final Solution,” and thus extended beyond Hitler’s German borders. Assad, as evil as he is, is not engaged in genocide against a particular race, nor in a “final solution” of a particular people, rather in a civil war against those of his own people opposed to him within the borders of his own country, Syria.

“Never Again” should be a lesson that the world will not again stand by and allow a worldwide genocide against a particular people simply because of who they are. It was not meant as “never again” will the world stand by as civil war between warring factions takes place.

As to the Jews in Germany, and all of Europe, had they been saved they would not have turned around and built concentration camps to destroy their former German tormenters. In Syria, however, those that we intend to save from the hands of Assad will most certainly – as we see in each Muslim clash – become tormenters of the people and tribes now in power we intend to defeat.

The Jews were a peaceful people and utter victims, whereas it is difficult to assign total innocence and victimhood to any of the internecine warring factions in the Syrian conflict.

No one during the war years in Europe suggested that America go to war specifically and only to save the Jews. They simply urged Roosevelt, who had entered a war in Europe for vital U.S. interests, to calibrate portions of the existing war to rescue European Jewry. In contrast, what is being urged today is for the United States to embark on war exclusively to save one side in a civil war, indifferent to the fact that no vital U.S. necessity is at stake. Furthermore, as history has shown, our desire to help will be labeled an intrusion into Islam's "holy soil," resulting in further aggression against Christendom.

We, the United States, have not been attacked by Syria nor is the Administration saying that we are pre-empting a planned attack by Syria against America.

It seems immoral for the United States once again to put in harm’s way its young men and women for the sake of saving others, and to rescue those who, once saved, would likely turn their terrorism against the United States. In morality, one must first protect those under one’s personal responsibility before risking them on schemes that are not rooted in self-defense. Responsibility to one’s family and country comes prior to theoretical and universal urges to “do something.” Often the “do something” we do is shortsighted and symbolic, ignoring the facts on the ground and consequences that may turn out to be more horrific.

This country has gone to war o n behalf of rescuing Islam from Islam for the last 23 years – in Kuwait, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, and now, perhaps, in Syria. Four administrations. How long will America’s young men and women be configured as cannon fodder for endless Islamic barbarism against other Islamic barbarism? How long will we view American life as readily dispensable and place America’s financial health and treasury in service to situations that never result in positive change or peaceful permanence?

For a few, the Holocaust has a silver lining and is almost redeemable if, in their view, the lesson of the Holocaust can be applied to new situations. Indeed, even for some Jews, Jewish historical experience – be it tragic or celebratory– is only verified and made legitimate if it can be universalized. But the lesson of Never Again does not apply to the situation in Syria; and as a Jew my actualization for “Never Again” is the defeat of Islamic terrorism and Al Qaeda, as opposed to taking sides in feuds between Arabian strongmen.

If there recently has been genocide against a race or a religion, the victims have been Christians at the hands of Islamic rebels all across Africa and other parts of the world. Yet the selective liberal moralizers of the West have been silent regarding the genocide against “infidels” confronted by Conversion or Death.

The use of chemical weapons is abhorrent, but in itself represents an escalation of killing in degree, not category. What is happening in Syria does not fall under the category of Holocaust against a particular people, rather the age-old quest by a power hungry man to remain in power.

It is time that the world ask extravagantly wealthy Arab and Muslim countries: W hen will you step up to the plate and finance the wars and send your young men to defend your own Muslim brothers and sisters?

The Left has been boisterous over the last fifty years against any wars undertaken by the United States in its own interests. The Left considers U.S. interests somehow invalid. It prefers wars of symbolism over facts on the ground, wars where it feels good about its intentions though it personally does not suffer or make sacrifices. Forty years ago, the Left felt enlightened and “moral” by fleeing Viet Nam, though the actual consequence of that feel-goodism was the butchery of two million Cambodians.

Most believe the beneficiary of a U.S. attack on Syria will be the Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. Obama’s simpatico and identification with the Muslim Brotherhood is well documented. During our war to protect Kuwait, the Left cried, “No blood for oil!” Today it seems its rallying cry is, Yes, blood for the Muslim Brotherhood.

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