The Holocaust and Modern Genocide
In a speech about the Holocaust and the atrocities of Bosnia, Rabbi David Saperstein said the following, "The Holocaust is used as the ultimate benchmark for our generation of the worst atrocity ever committed against one group of people. This comparison offers us a basis of measurement, a level of brutality that may in fact provide an impetus for action. The consequence of using Holocaust imagery in the case of Bosnia is quite significant. If the Serbs or anybody else are indeed guilty of committing Nazi-style' atrocities in Bosnia, then the West has the supreme moral justification to intervene, which it has done. When questions are raised, as they are now, whether the U.S. should remain as a peacekeeping/military force in Bosnia, memories of what the U.S. and other western nations did not do for the Jews of Europe come flooding back."
Today, an immense humanitarian crisis is gripping the Darfur region of Sudan as Janjaweed militias are attacking the civilian populations of the Fur, Masaalit, and Zaghawa communities in Darfur. The Reform Jewish Movement has been a leader calling attention to this modern-day genocide and pushing for an end to the senseless violence. For more information see the RAC issue page devoted to the situation in Darfur. That the world stood silent while atrocities were committed is the true lesson from the Holocaust that can be used as a comparison device to contemporary issues. This is the reason that the Reform Jewish community supported U.S. involvement in Kosovo and continues to advocate for the peaceful end to this humanitarian crisis. The Holocaust has taught us the price we pay when we stand idle.