(Re: ‘Never again’ is happening again, Feb. 1, 2024)
To the Editor:
Jennifer Scarlott’s scurrilous missive published in the Feb. 1, 2024 issue of The Riverdale Press warrants focus on several important issues.
Too many in our small Bronx enclave have for far too long lived in a cocoon, untouched and unaware of the nature or scope of what, in my opinion, has for some time been a rising tide not just of virulent antisemitism, but hatred and assault against various perceived minorities, religions and genders or sexual orientations other than their own.
Garbed in one pretentious guise or another and spread alike by those of the extreme left as well as the extreme right, these purveyors of hate and distrust appeal to man’s most base emotions. Their predecessors, the hate-mongers and know-nothings of the period 1933 through 1939, paved the way for the butchery of millions during the Holocaust that ensued. They succeeded because too few were willing at the outset to stand up and shout “Enough!!!” — and mean it.
Is history repeating itself? Aldous Huxley is credited with having aptly stated:
“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”
That Ms. Scarlott appears, as I read her tirade, to equate with Nazis those who defend and seek to protect their assaulted country against promised repetition by the same evil-doers, tells me that she is among those who have not learned the lessons of history. Her nonsense, which is how I personally view Ms. Scarlott’s vile assault on Israel and the Jews rightfully bent on defending their nation, their race and their religion, has no place in a civil society.
Hateful speech is harmful speech. And that is especially true when, in my opinion, it is nothing more than a baseless attempt to excuse the inexcusable barbarism committed on Oct. 7.
Consider the following: on Oct. 7, 2023 a barbaric Hamas horde invaded Israel, stormed its adjacent kibbutzim (or villages), burned and pillaged their homes and occupants, raped not just the elderly but infants, decapitated babies, and gleefully butchered some 1,200 people. Because those savages proudly videotaped much their handiwork, and those horrific Hamas tapes have now been viewed by many, among them the media and governmental officials, Hamas’ inhumanity is a matter of indisputable public record that cannot be denied.
Photographic evidence shows “innocent” Gazan civilians defiling the nude corpse of a murdered female hostage as her remains are paraded through Gazan streets. At a civilian music festival a participant is raped, her breast sliced off by her assailant and she then is shot to death. There, sadly, is much more. Yet, Ms. Scarlott terms all this — even the rape of young girls and old women — as simply a “Hamas military raid.” REALLY!!!
There is, however, an important lesson to be learned. Next time someone seeks to condone such bestiality or challenges the right of Israel to respond in self defense, including eradication of the means for promised repetition, ask them to demonstrate what public condemnation they uttered promptly following the Oct. 7 Holocaust, the butchery of some 1,200 people and the hostage taking of some 200 more (many of which apparently have since been slaughtered). The silence or non-response of such apologists will say it all and define them.
Ms. Scarlott may (to use her term) “march” with what I view as the enablers and apologists for the Oct. 7 Holocaust. They include those who excuse the random stabbings and other daily assaults on Israeli civilians that have occurred for some time in the name of driving all Jews (as well as Christians and others of faith) “from the river to the sea” in order to make way for those who have already reduced Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen — indeed much of the Middle East to a cesspool.
It is high time to awaken to what some are at long last beginning to recognize as a clear and present danger to democracy. There are all too few Ritchie Torres’ in Congress or in other leadership positions. It is high time as well to treat as pariah those who demonstrate they lack a moral compass or even a filter to aid them in discerning what is blatantly wrong. It takes courage to unmask and then shun them. However, the alternative — silence — just encourages more of the same.
Charles G. Moerdler