Steven Spielberg threw a Holocaust party and everyone, from Samuel L. Jackson to Kim Kardashian, was invited.
The gala evening for his Shoah Foundation began with a few jokes. Conan O'Brien's, “I called all my Jewish writers into my office and asked them for some Shoah jokes” really killed. Bruce Springsteen played "Dancing in the Dark" whose lyrics "you can't start a fire without a spark" couldn't possibly have been more appropriate considering that the literal meaning of Holocaust is "Sacrifice by fire."
Obama slipped in after his DNC fundraiser with Barbara Streisand and Jeffrey Katzenberg to shake hands with a bunch of studio heads, Jewish and non-Jewish, and accept an award as Ambassador for Humanity. There was no explanation as to what an Ambassador for Humanity does. Maybe he reaches out to space aliens. Or tries to commune with fish.
Last summer, Obama had forced Israel to release the murderer of Isaac Rotenburg, an elderly Holocaust survivor who had escaped a death camp and reached Israel, only to be killed by a member of Palestinian Authority leader Abbas' Fatah party.
Flanked by Spielberg and Springsteen, Obama told an audience of notables such as Kim Kardashian, Samuel L. Jackson, Tyler Perry, Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr. about the importance of Holocaust survivors and how he would like to help the Nigerian girls kidnapped by an Islamic terrorist group that his administration fought to keep off the terrorist list, but he just can't.
It's hard to find the time to fight Nigerian Islamic terrorists when you're so busy forcing Israel to free Islamic terrorists.
Cruise had delivered the introduction to the 2005 event at which Steven Spielberg appointed Bill Clinton as Ambassador to Humanity. Last year George Clooney, currently marrying a woman eager to defend every Muslim thug and terrorist, became Ambassador to Humanity. Before that it was the CEO of Walt Disney, the CEO of Comcast and Spielberg's pal Jeffrey Katzenberg.
To be appointed Ambassador for Humanity you have to run a Hollywood studio or be a top Democrat. If Hillary Clinton isn't named Ambassador for Humanity next year, it will only be because the world ended.
There was no word on whether Tony Kushner was in attendance. Kushner, Spielberg's longtime collaborator, had called the rebirth of Israel a "mistake", accused Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum, of a "Zionist agenda" and said that reciting "Next Year in Jerusalem" at Passover was "imperialism".
Spielberg had handed over the story of the PLO massacre of Israeli athletes to Kushner who turned it into an indictment of Israel and a defense of the terrorists. Munich was a work of historical revisionism justifying the murder of Jews and demonizing those Jews who fought back from a filmmaker who had built the “serious” phase of his career on exploiting the Holocaust.
Now Spielberg is working on yet another Jewish themed project with Kushner.
The Israeli response to the Munich Massacre embodied a “Never Again” attitude to the Holocaust in the truest sense. It was this “Never Again” stance that Spielberg, like so many Jewish liberals, tried to tear down and replace with tolerance memorials and vulgar parties.
What does the Holocaust mean to Spielberg? The Shoah Foundation is becoming a general purpose genocide studies outlet. It still has a preponderance of Jewish material on the Holocaust, but its modern orientation is turned away from the Jews. Its Center for Advanced Genocide Research aggressively shifts the focus to genocide prevention.
But not the genocide of Jews being aided and abetted by its latest Ambassador for Humanity.
After the jokes and musical performances, the speeches by Spielberg and Obama implied that the Shoah Foundation was working to prevent a repetition of the Holocaust. If anything it's the other way around. Spielberg and Obama have helped make another Holocaust possible
Obama bears the blame for enabling Iran's nuclear strategy, but Spielberg bears the guilt for celebrating him while he does it. Obama is married by family and ideology to two movements that have sought to exterminate the Jews. Spielberg's party circuit echoes with the shallowness and liberal pieties that prevented American Jewish leaders from challenging FDR's complicity in the Holocaust.
That battle was fought between Jewish studio heads who pledged their allegiance and silence to FDR and rebels like Ben Hecht. On one side was a cult worshiping a liberal leader and on the other were desperate advertisements such as "For Sale to Humanity 70,000 Jews Guaranteed Human Beings at $50 A Piece" and "Help Prevent 4,000,000 People from Becoming Ghosts".
None of the Ambassadors for Humanity of the time were interested. Instead they denounced the advertisements, pageants and protests for being too shrill, too abrasive and too hostile to FDR.
The leaders of liberal American Jewry have not changed. They continue handing out awards to their friends and providing cover for anti-Semitic liberal politicians. They clink their glasses and toast each other while their brothers burn. And they do it, obscenely, using the Holocaust.
Never again means nothing to them. Their apathy and empty internationalist pieties about the peoples of the world are the very "Again" that Never Again was meant to avert.
The world was never going to be a magical place in which no one would ever want to kill the Jews. When trying to come up with a plausible future the Science Fiction author Dan Simmons wrote, "The one constant thread between today and a thousand years from now will be that someone, somewhere, will be planning to kill the Jews."
It's a daunting thing to consider for anyone who has been raised in a progressive society which fancies itself the end of history-- but it is true.
Never Again was never meant to dissuade the sort of people who would like to kill Jews. That was never a realistic option. It was meant to remind Jews not to allow the sort of leaders who would let it happen again to take the wheel. Unfortunately they never stopped being in charge.
Spielberg's vulgarity is nothing new. Neither is his contempt for Israel or inability to understand the Holocaust in any terms other than a jumping off point for international civil rights activism. He only happens to be slightly more famous. America's liberal Jewish leaders have brought their communities to the brink of extinction with their rubber chicken dinners and their glass and chrome awards. Now they are also becoming collaborators in the destruction of the Jewish State.
American Jews do not have leaders. They have liberal spokesmen whose job is to move them into line for the latest liberal cause. The Holocaust they are carrying out will be slower and less violent, but it will complete the process of reducing 6 million Jews to half that number. Whether they will also succeed in wiping out half the Jewish population of the world by destroying Israel is still unknown.
Despite the explosion in Holocaust museums and memorials, it remains an abstraction to them. A war crime. A human rights violation. A failure of tolerance. No matter how much money they throw at commemorations, they cannot come to grips with it because they do not understand it as a Jewish phenomenon. They are trying to understand a human experience from the outside-in through books and videos. But you don't understand an experience by watching it. You understand by living it.
We cannot live through the Holocaust, but we can do and live in a potential Holocaust. I don't refer to Neo-Nazi leaders living in trailer parks and collecting food stamps while doubling as informants for the FBI and fundraisers for the Southern Poverty Law Center. Despite the occasional act of violence, they stopped being relevant a while back.
Genocide is not a threat when it comes from obvious villains. Serial killers aren't the monsters that everyone fears. They are the friendly next door neighbor with a basement full of bodies.
The Nazis have become omnipresent villains, but before the war they were the personable serial killers next door. The political and economic programs of Germany and Italy were influential in Washington D.C. Hitler’s columns ran in American newspapers and the excuses made for Nazism by the media sound familiar when contrasted with the modern excuses for Islamic terror.
The New York Times wrote that that the “men around Hitler hold diverse views.” The AP assured readers that “Nazi Drive on Jews Under Control Now: US Investigation Shows No Cause for Protest.” INS, a forerunner of UPI, conveyed that the “Hitler regime was doing its best to curb further persecution” of Jews.
The State Department said that physical mistreatment of Jews "may be considered virtually terminated."
Now the serial killer next door is a friendly Muslim immigrant. No one is allowed to suspect him of anything, profile him or spy on his mosque until the bomb goes off at a synagogue or until the plane flies into a New York skyscraper. He is the moderate PLO leader whose followers call for blood. He is the newly moderate President of Iran, smiling and shaking hands, while the technicians move the radioactive work of genocide forward.
If Never Again is to stand for anything, it must challenge the official reassurances that nothing is wrong even while the fire begins to burn. If the foundations, organizations and assorted rubber chicken party circuit stops that exploit the memory of the Holocaust are to justify their seven-figure fundraisers and six-figure salaries, when a mass movement threatens to kill all the Jews and then kills some Jews, they should at the very least pay attention, instead of making excuses for them and for their politicians.
Spielberg's Shoah Foundation with its empty awards and vulgar gaiety, its Holocaust jokes and humanitarian trophies isn't the cure, it's the disease. It's another of the cancerous blooms eating alive what is left of American Jewry. It's not what we ought to be supporting, it's what we need to be fighting.
What we need is not a perfect remembrance of the Holocaust, but a perfect awareness of it. We must resist the abstracting of history. Instead we must realize that we are living history. Time has not ended. There is no wall of glass between ourselves and the past. The past is not a foreign country. It is this dying moment. And the one after that.
A thousand years from now someone will still be plotting to kill the Jews because the future is simply someone else's past, just as the past was someone else's future. We can meet the inevitability of that with despair or denial. We can meet it with empty humanitarianism that defies human nature. Or we can meet it with courage and resistance.
It is tempting to surrender to the Carpe Diem of the Shoah Gala and get in line to become appointed Ambassadors for Humanity. Why not believe in peace, hope and change? Why not act as if the moment and the lifetime are all that matter and that all our answers must be found here or nowhere at all? Why not allow ourselves to be defined by an ideology that says history is over and we are it?
Because that too would be a Holocaust of another sort. A mass extinction event and a death of the soul. If we are to survive, then we must think generationally. If we are to survive, we must live as part of history. And if we are to have hope, it cannot be in the humanitarian Tikkun Olam redemption of the moment, of some secular singularity of hope and change that will transform the world. That hope is for those struggling against the inevitability of their mortality and clinging to the moment.
Our hope is not in mortality. It is in immortality. We are not the end of history. We are part of a living thing that stretches through history.
Jewish history is not a subject of study. It is either life or it is death. Either Jews will inhabit their history or they will perish outside it.
Again, will come, again and again.
Never Again is not a conviction that history will end. It is the hope that Jews will one day come into the conviction of their heritage, the faith of their fathers and the courage of their kings.