Guest Post By Laura Rosen Cohen: Freedom Makes Us Free

Earlier this week, with predictable aplomb, Bernie Farber-CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, published an Op-Ed piece in the National Post commemorating the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Equally predictable was his oft-repeated thesis that bad words led to the bad deeds of the Holocaust.

The time has come for right thinking Jews to repudiate this noxious and self-serving claim once and for all, and to permanently halt the use of the Holocaust as a tool for individuals and organizations to censor freedom of speech and ultimately, freedom of conscience and thought.

Mr. Farber’s piece was published in the same week that American broadcaster Rush Limbaugh was accused by Abraham Foxman of the Anti Defamation League, of being an anti-Semite. The two events may seem unrelated at first, but actually do form a distinct and unconscionable pattern within the Jewish communal world. It is a result of the fact that the most prominent and vocal Jewish organizations around the world today are primarily liberal organizations, merely run by people who were born Jewish. Their agendas are not particularly Jewish, but jive coincidentally quite well with most “progressive” social activist tendencies.

Time after time, when Jewish “leaders” resort to their default position on hate speech and fatuous accusations of anti-Semitism, I am called upon by my exasperated pro-Israel gentile friends to explain why these “leaders” seem so hell bent on alienating them with their knee-jerk anti-Christian biases and their frankly completely un-Jewish moral support of censorship-such as the Canadian Jewish Congress’s support of the CHRC “Hate Speech” and other “Hate Crime” legislation.

Some of these “leaders” are Holocaust survivors, and some are children of survivors. Many are Jewish only in name, and use their Jewish-sounding names to invoke a certain sense of kindred, or communal values even while aligning themselves with the issues of the most marginal importance to the Jewish community. Indeed, barely a month after the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner by yet another Muslim terrorist, and several months after the worst jihadist terror attack on North American soil since 9/11 at Fort Hood, Mr. Farber puzzlingly turns his organizational focus once again back to Darfur, Rwanda, Kosovo and Cambodia.

The road from Auschwitz to the jihad against Jews and western civilization is a clear drive from Haj Al Amin Husseini to Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Nasrallah and Saudi Wahabism-but liberal Jews seem ever more unable and unwilling to traverse that moral ground.


It is easier to fight the war that was essentially already won. Although reprehensible, it is easier to wrap oneself up in a pseudo Jewish identity entirely based on the Holocaust than to invest the intellectual capital required to understand our current enemies and the threat facing our civilization. It takes a bigger investment in time and thought to study and understand the real, underlying message of Jewish living-“to life”, “/l’chaim/”, and being a Light Unto the Nations. Not by liberal activism under a superficial cloak of Judaism, but through celebrating life, and the commandments given to us by G-d passed on throughout the generations of Jewish history.

It is easier to frame one’s nominally Jewish life in familiar, au courant fashion such as “social justice” and “/tikkun olam/” (‘repairing the world’) rather than struggle intellectually and morally the real dangers facing us today.

The real danger facing the Jewish people, and the civilized world is not Nazi words-it is deeds; beheadings, suicide bombings and highjackings with the umbrella name of “jihad”. Furthermore, it is morally and intellectually dishonest to point to insulting words as the root cause of the Nazi dehumanization of Jews.

It was the disassembling of Jewish civil liberties and civil rights that began the downward spin toward hell on earth. The descent began when Jews were stripped by the state of their rights to own property and businesses. Their physical property and humanity were legally expropriated. When the state took away the Jews’ freedom to marry whom they chose, and when the state legally defined the Jews as less than human, the descent was unstoppable.

If today, someone calls me a dirty Jew, I care very little-and frankly don’t need the state to fight my battles. If suddenly, in Canada or America, the state were to suddenly decide that because we are Jews, that we are not legally entitled to own property or that we are no longer legally full humans, equal under the law, then, Houston, we would have a problem and civilized, western societies such as ours would reject the state’s totalitarian, antisemitic plans.

Ironically, it is Jewish liberals like Bernie Farber and Abe Foxman who share a profound sense of cognitive dissonance about the role of the state in protecting Jews. The Nazi state and its laws enabled the dehumanization of Jews-not words and insults. Concentrated, dictatorial legislative powers were Hitler’s best weapon and were among the Nazis most profoundly and rapidly absorbed anti-Jewish functions within German society.

It is therefore incumbent upon us to realize that it is not work that makes us free.

Freedom makes us free.

And there are many among us, Jews and gentiles alike, who will continue to resist even the slightest, /almost/ imperceptible incursions into our personal liberties: speech, thought and conscience among them – even when made with the most noble of intentions and ostensibly to honour the dead.