Never Again, Again

By Beth Schwartzapfel

Published October 04, 2006, issue of October 06, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A new book by former attorney general John Ashcroft is raising some eyebrows — not for its content, which details Ashcroft’s career in the years before, during and after the attacks of September 11, 2001, but for its title, “Never Again,” which, to the Jewish ear, sounds more than a little familiar.

While the phrase “Never Again” was in use before World War II — it was the title of several early American films — it has, for Jews, become shorthand for an ongoing commitment to remembering the Holocaust. The phrase was first popularized as a Jewish rallying cry by militant Zionist leader Meir Kahane in his 1972 book “Never Again!: A Program for Survival.” Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, used the phrase as the title of his 2003 book “Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism.”

The title of Ashcroft’s book “came from the hours after 9/11,” said Juleanna Glover-Weiss, a senior adviser with Ashcroft’s consulting firm. “The president looked at him and said, ‘Don’t ever let this happen again.’” The book makes no mention of the phrase’s history, and when asked whether Ashcroft had it in mind when crafting his title, Glover-Weiss said, “This came solely out of those hours after 9/11.”

Foxman, for one, isn’t troubled. “We, the Jewish people, do not have a patent on that phrase,” he told the Forward. “‘Never again’ certainly applies in terms of 9/11. Americans were targeted because of who they are and what they are. It’s not genocide, but it was enhanced by hate, bigotry and prejudice.” Foxman said that when his book was published, he was told, “‘This belongs to Meir Kahane, and this belongs to Holocaust survivors.’ With all due respect,” he said, “that’s nonsense.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.