“Never again,” the world long repeated. The immolation of Jewry in the Shoah shall never again darken the name of humanity, we proclaimed . . . for decades. The word “genocide” was coined after the Holocaust to name the attempt to eradicate an entire group of human beings. International bodies were set up to keep a watchful eye on “human rights.” Research organizations, educational initiatives, museums, memorials, and bequests were arrayed against the evil of calling for the annihilation of the Jewish people. “Never again,” we solemnly affirmed. “Never again shall we let the Jewish people be destroyed.”
It all unraveled in an hour.
On October 7, 2023, a swarm of hate-filled Hamas terrorists entered the state of Israel, ravaging music festivals, kibbutzim, and private homes, slaughtering as many civilians as possible. The short-term goal was to kill Jews. The long-term goal was, and remains, to kill all Jews. In this respect, Hamas and its deputies differ in no way from the Nazis .
A sizeable portion of the American Left stood up and cheered. American academia turned out to be a particularly nasty cesspool of anti-Jewish hatred. American Democrats flooded the airwaves with revolting fake news. Worldwide, pundits and politicians attempted to justify the beheading of babies, the rape of children, the kidnapping of the elderly, and the coldblooded murder of the disabled .
“Never again” became for many in America and around the globe “Job well done.” In an instant, the solemn-sounding promise of the past three-quarters of a century was revealed as empty. It was for our benefit; we wanted to believe that humanity had put its barbaric past behind. And then, last month, nearly eighty-five years after Kristallnacht, a global faction of anti-Semites rose up to celebrate the massacre of Jews—and called out loud for more .
“Never again” is not the first hypocrisy I have seen exposed these past couple of years. In June of 2022, I watched many of my fellow Americans shed tears of joy as our own Nuremberg Code , the Roe paradigm, came crumbling down. I shared their joy, but also harbored some trepidation. Roe v. Wade was a legal construct. What underlay it, though, was a culture of death not likely to be dissuaded by mere legal formalities.
There was some reason to hope, of course. Thanks to the work of dedicated prolifers over the decades since the fateful day in January 1973 when Roe was decided, a nation-wide network of over 3000 pregnancy centers was created, many outfitted with sonograph machines, dedicated to helping women keep their babies. National polls indicated that Americans largely agreed that life in the womb should be respected. But that was easy to believe when abortion was available on demand. What would Americans think now that Roe had been overturned?
Over the past year and a half or so, as the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which returned abortion legislation to the states, have worked through the body politic, my trepidation has been confirmed. Many Americans who once claimed to favor protections for the unborn seem to have changed their minds now that abortion is no longer a federally protected right. Some states, it is true, have banned or greatly restricted abortions. But other states, as well as the federal government, have been working to make abortions even easier to obtain than during the long Roe years. Just-in results from a November referendum in Ohio exemplify the post-Dobbs reality: yet another state has voted to write abortion into its constitution. Kansas, Montana, Nevada, Maine, Michigan, and other states also have similar measures in their state constitutions. Virginia and Kentucky referendums also tally as pro-abortion wins.
“America is a pro-life nation,” prolifers were saying not so long ago. I thought so, too. But now I look out at America and see another hypocrisy exposed. We thought we were making big gains, getting many to agree that human life begins at conception, and that the weakest of our human family must be given the strongest protections. Some of that may have been wishful thinking, I’ll admit. But the numbers don’t lie. People who said they had pro-life views before don’t say so any longer.
“Never again,” some declared. “Human life should be cherished,” declared others.
And then, in the first instance, the killing started again; in the second, it threatened to stop. And all the fine phrases and noble sentiments of the last 75 years evaporated.