“Never again,” was a phrase that lost its meaning for me as a child. Forever linked to then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin (it was his signature phrase) in reference to the Shoah, it eventually lost its meaning for me during the siege of Beirut, in 1982.
This is not to compare the events, because they couldn’t have been more different. Nonetheless, I was old enough to discern the discrepancies between the significance of this slogan, and the events that unfolded five years later, under Begin’s own watch.
Obviously, the late Israeli leader was troubled, not just by the past, but how it intersected with his present. As though to compare, it took 28 years for me to feel moved by the statement again. As far away as 1982 seems, the distance couldn’t feel shorter.