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One of the lesser-known heroes of the Holocaust was a man named Rudolf Vrba, a Slovakian Jew who managed to escape from Auschwitz in 1944. Together with fellow escapee Alfred Wetzler, Mr. Vrba put together a collection of sketches, stories and descriptions of the concentration camp where he personally saw Nazis murder thousands of Jews. Their report would eventually wake up the world to the mass exterminations happening at Nazi death camps.

“Eventually,” however, is an operative word; the Auschwitz Report, as it was later known, was shelved, passed around and skeptically reviewed. As Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland chronicled in his book The Escape Artist, the head of the U.S. Office of War Information initially refused to publish the report since he thought it was too outlandish to be believed and thus would destroy the credibility of the department.

The Nazis went to great lengths to conceal the scale of their genocide, after all; who would have really believed that innocent people were being gassed by the trainload merely for being Jewish?

Now there is no need for a Rudolf Vrba or Alfred Wetzler for what has since become the largest mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust. Hamas terrorists are filming themselves torturing, kidnapping and slaughtering innocent people in Israel, and posting footage on social media. Perhaps if there were no survivors to describe the rape of women, or reporters to describe the murder of children and babies, the claims would similarly be too outlandish to be believed. But members of Hamas have proudly boasted about its depravity. So the issue now is not that the world doesn’t know of the atrocities being committed against Jews in Israel. It’s that some of the most conventionally progressive groups and individuals, astonishingly, don’t seem to care.

This is not an expression of surprise, but more bewilderment that so many purported social justice advocates are failing the most basic test of human decency. Multiple student groups at Harvard University signed a statement holding Israel “entirely responsible for all unfolding violence”. Ontario NDP MPP Sarah Jama issued a statement that didn’t actually mention Hamas’s attacks at all, but instead urged Israel to “end all occupation of Palestinian land and end apartheid.” She later issued an apology after Ontario NDP Leader Marit Stiles called on her to retract her statement.

McMaster University’s CUPE local 3906 tweeted, “Palestine is rising, long live the resistance,” as families were being burned out of their homes and Holocaust victims were being carted off to Gaza. And Black Lives Matter Chicago tweeted an image of a paraglider with the caption “I stand with Palestine,” days after Hamas terrorists paraglided over a music festival near the Gaza-Israel border and tortured and killed hundreds of innocent civilians.

It is impossible to conceive of this type of callous indifference and deflection being expressed in response to the targets of any other terror attacks. We didn’t see public sector unions, for example, expressing support for the “resistance” following the 2015 Paris terror attacks on account of France’s ban on face coverings in public. Because that would have been insane.

Activist groups did not celebrate the 9/11 attacks with posters featuring images of planes and expressions of solidarity with Arab countries wanting the U.S. out of their affairs. That would have similarly been insane, and also sociopathic. And there were no mass gatherings in London, Sydney, Toronto or Montreal, celebrating the gassing of Syrian children (though protesters did chant “gas the Jews” at an anti-Israel rally in Sydney two days after the attack) or the pillaging of Bucha in Ukraine, or any other recent attack on innocent civilians. That’s because it is generally understood by decent people that visiting indiscriminate murder and violence upon people because of their religion or nationality is wrong. The exception, it seems, is when the victims are Jews in Israel.

Many Jews will not be particularly surprised by this. They are used to being something of a chameleon target: seen as lowly and uncivilized by the antisemitic right, while simultaneously viewed as too powerful as a group, from the perspective of the antisemitic left, to ever really be seen as marginalized, victimized or oppressed – even, apparently, when they are being murdered by people dropping out of the sky. That view of Jews as intractable oppressors explains why nominally justice-oriented organizations could show such indifference to the unconscionable suffering Hamas has inflicted on ordinary Israelis.

This was not a legitimate act of war, or an operation to advance Palestinian statehood. Indeed, ordinary Palestinians have and will suffer tremendously as Israel initiates a ground operation into Gaza – no nation could tolerate an attack of this scale and cruelty without such a response – and deaths are mounting on both sides. As agents of chaos, Hamas has been inordinately successful; even they likely couldn’t have anticipated the indirect support they’d receive from some in the West.

Most Jews have wondered at some point in their lives who would help them if the Holocaust happened now, and who would ignore, deflect, or excuse. I think we have our answer.

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