Editorial: Bill will help keep memory of Holocaust alive – Reading Eagle

Posted By on May 21, 2020

We live in an era so filled with partisan rancor that even a public health emergency that has killed tens of thousands is seen by many as another political talking point.

Thats why it was so refreshing to see a moment of bipartisanship in Congress last week on an issue thats hardly new but is always worthy of attention.

The Senate unanimously passed the Never Again Education Act, which authorizes spending $10 million over the next five years to further Holocaust-related programming and educational materials in middle and high schools.

The bill, which had already passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, was sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Bill co-sponsor Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada, explained the idea behind the measure well in a Twitter post.

This important bill will provide our teachers with the resources they need to teach our students the lessons of the Holocaust, Rosen wrote.

Theres far more to Holocaust education than informing young people about the past. Its about making them sensitive to the dangers of anti-Semitism at a time when expressions of hate are becoming all too common once again.

Failing to educate the next generation would only make history more likely to repeat itself, said Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., another co-sponsor of the bill.

It was heartening but hardly surprising to see broad support for the measure not just from Jewish organizations but from Christian groups as well.

If there exists a silver bullet to defeat the spread of bigotry and hatred, it is education, said Pastor John Hagee, chairman of Christians United for Israel. Through this legislation, teachers around the country will have federal support in their efforts to stamp out antisemitism by teaching about its abhorrent consequences.

While educating young people about the Holocaust is of paramount importance, its equally critical for adults to remember the tragic lessons of that horrific period in history.

For starters, that means refusing to tolerate even casual forms of anti-Semitism. From those seeds grow the most bitter fruits. One of the most troubling aspects of contemporary life is peoples growing comfort in delivering expressions of hate in public forums, especially on social media.

Lets all work together to change the tone of our discourse and try to understand one another rather than staying on constant attack.

In the spirit of Holocaust education, we urge people to cease using Nazi analogies in attacking contemporary American public figures. Last week the Berks County Republican Committee was rightfully criticized for a Facebook post that referred to Gov. Tom Wolf as a Nazi. Unfortunately such analogies are all too common on both sides of the political debate.

All should take to heart the words of the Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia on the subject: Holocaust analogies should only be used when referring to actual genocides, full stop.

May the passage of the Never Again Education Act help not just children but our political leaders and the rest of us absorb and apply the lessons of the Holocaust to make todays world better.

Editorial: Bill will help keep memory of Holocaust alive - Reading Eagle

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