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A ‘Star of David’ Moment Seven Decades Later

August 10, 2014

A well-known story about the Nazi occupation of Denmark relates how, when the order went out that all Danish Jews would have to attach a yellow Star of David to their clothing, that King Christian chose to wear one in solidarity with his Jewish countrymen, and that the Danish people followed city.  While the truth is that they did not, both the King and his subjects vocally opposed Nazi efforts, resisted plans to deport Jews, and organized a resistance movement that saved all but 65 of their neighbors from death.  While the truth is less dramatic than the legend that sprung from it, the Danish example is still clear and worthy of remembrance and emulation.

The Star of David’s use as a way for a genocidal regime to identify those whom it targets for abuse and destruction comes to mind as one watches events unfolding in Iraq, where the self-proclaimed state known by the acronym ‘ISIS’ (Tr: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’) is persecuting religious minorities, in this case Christians and Yazidis, is labeling the homes of the former with the Arabic letter ‘N‘ (‘pronounced ‘Noon’) to signify that the occupants are ‘Nazarenes’ – Christians.  Their identification precedes their execution, sometimes after forced conversion.  The focused campaign targeting particular groups for destruction meets the definition of ‘genocide,’ at least in the eyes of some observers.

While history does not exactly repeat itself, there is often a rhyme and rhythm to events.  This may be true in this case, as a Lebanese television station, in a country where there may be serious danger in doing so, is joining a worldwide movement of concerned people who are displaying ‘Noon’ on social media in solidarity with Iraqi Christians.  While it is impossible to know if a  revue such as the Danes mounted seven decades ago (they used boats to ferry nearly all of their Jewish countrymen to Sweden), perhaps this effort will focus international attention in such a way as to deliver these people from their oppressors.



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