Cedars-Sinai’s Yom Ha’Shoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Program – 4/11/2018


Yesterday at 10:00 AM Israel-time entire Jewish communities stopped what they were doing no matter where or what they were doing to remember that Hitler’s Nazi regime murdered about 6,000,000 MILLION Jews for no other reason than Aryan supremacist beliefs that Germans are a superior race and Jews are among the most evil sub-species of humans on earth. THE BELIEF IS JEW-HATRED POPPYCOCK!

 

Here is an excerpt from the Times of Israel including a two-minute video of the occasion:

 

Israel came to a standstill at 10 a.m. Thursday as sirens wailed throughout the country in memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War II.

 

Buses and cars halted on streets and highways as Israelis stepped out of their vehicles and stood with heads bowed.

 

The sirens were followed by ceremonies marking Holocaust Remembrance Day in schools, public institutions and army bases. …

VIDEO: https://content.jwplatform.com/players/JDTAPW6g-U4CTA3JQ.html

In the wee hours of yesterday morning, Ari Bussel shared an email of his remembrance of the Holocaust.

JRH 4/13/18

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Cedars-Sinai’s Yom Ha’Shoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Program – 4/11/2018

 

By Ari Bussel

Sent 4/12/2018 1:00 AM

 

I am the son of Holocaust Survivors, but this story is not about my parents, rather about their generation, about those who survived the Holocaust.

 

My father’s mother left one day, and did not come back.  One of the Polish neighbors informed the authorities.  The Poles did not only “follow orders;” the atrocities were not perpetrated only by the Nazis and at their direction.  The Poles were willing and often eager participants.  If I were in Poland today, such pronouncements would be punishable by law, for according to the new law, the Poles were themselves just innocent victims of the Nazis, nothing more.

 

Display of Holocaust Era Family Photo

 

On this Remembrance Day to the Holocaust and the Bravery (as it is called in Israel), we remember my grandmother on my father’s side (both seen in the picture above), my grandfather on my mother’s side and the entire extended family who perished during the Holocaust.

 

Yesterday you received from me a reminder of Cedars-Sinai’s Yom Ha’Shoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Program that took place today, April 11th, 2018.

 

I wrote that to me, Dr. Joel Geiderman’s 34th annual program is likely the most significant of all.  Doctors (MDs), nurses, staff, the general public and Holocaust Survivors gather year after year, for three and a half decades, to hear a lecture, have a box lunch, witness Survivors lighting six candles commemorating the Six Million Jews who perished during the Holocaust in WWII (1939-1945) – among which were more than one million children – and hear the recitation of Kadish [aka Kaddish] and El Maleh Rachamim (“God Full of Mercy”) prayers.

 

Dr. Geiderman graciously gives credit to others, but it is his program, and the generosity of an enduring gift by the Feintech family that enables this program.  Will it survive after Dr. Geiderman?  What will happen when there will be no more Survivors still living among us?

 

Today, Dr. Guiderman asked the children of Holocaust Survivors to stand up.  We stood and looked around – there were many of us; as many as the number of Survivors when I started attending this program so many years ago.

 

We gathered to bear witness, promising “Never Forger; Never Again.”

 

Yom Ha’Shoah 2018 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.

 

Beverly Hills, Jerusalem of Gold and Holocaust Survivor Max Webb

 

Prior to the start of the program, members of the Jerusalem of Gold Committee (the official celebration in 2017 of “The City of Angels Saluting the City of God” marking 50 years of the Reunification of Jerusalem, Israel’s capital) presented a proclamation issued by the City of Beverly Hills to Max Webb, a Holocaust Survivor.

 

The City Council headed by (then Mayor) Lili Bosse issued 100 individual proclamations to 100 Holocaust Survivors who were still alive at that time, vowing and promising “We Will Never Forget You!

 

Max Webb, who was unable to attend at that time, received his Proclamation today.

 

Holocaust Survivor Max Webb received his Proclamation 2018

 

Members of the Jerusalem of Gold Committee:

 

(Standing) Dr. Pablo Nankin, Susanne Reyto, Marina Waks, Zohreh Mizrahi (Seated) Ari Bussel, Max Webb, Shahla Javdan

 

Max Webb is either the last or one of only two or three surviving members of the 1939 Club.  Years ago, when Pastor John Hagee (the most famous Evangelical Christian supporter of Israel and the Jewish people, founder of CUFI) was still not known, the Israel Christian Nexus hosted his visit to Los Angeles.  We had three events scheduled in his honor.  A morning event, followed by a meeting with the Board of Rabbis at the Jewish Federation of Greater LA (where Rabbi Kravitz, the father, of Jews for Judaism, asked Pastor Hagee about proselytization attempts; Pastor Hagee did not blink as he replied:  “Teach your young ones; and then nothing will succeed to sway them from their beliefs” and added unequivocally “we support you, no strings attached; we do not want to proselytize your children”).  From there we continued to the Hillcrest Club, where the 1939 Club hosted a reception for Mrs. and Pastor Hagee.

 

I remember as we arrived with the guests and entered the hall where the reception took place, the members of the 1939 Club were already waiting for us.  The picture in my mind is of “small” and frail people, who were already “old” at that time, very old.  Alas, memories of a young man.

 

Max Webb, as you can see from the pictures, looks fantastic, although he has passed the 100 year mark either a year or two years ago!

 

In Israel, in each university, there is at least one building with his and his wife’s name on it.  He has always given most generously.  As he told Shlomo z”l and Frida Rosenblatt long ago:  “I have, so I am giving.”

 

This spirit of given has not diminished.  Its meaning is magnified when one learns (as I did from Mrs. Rosenblatt, herself and her late husband both Holocaust Survivors) that at home, before WWII, Max Webb’s family was extremely poor.  When he was walking to the Cheder (place of learning, the equivalent of elementary school), as he was lifting one foot after another, the water was pouring out from the bottom of the shoes (I am not sure if they even had soles).

 

Nate Shapell z”l

 

As a kid, I knew of Nate (Nathan) Shapell, for he used to underwrite the State of Israel Independence Day official Consulate reception in the Beverly Hills Hotel.

 

He and brother David (also deceased) have supported Israel in numerous ways.  The Beverly Hills annual extravagance was not even the cherry at the top; it was simply something they most generously did.

 

For members of the Israeli community, it was the most coveted invitation at that time, likely similar to receiving an invitation to the Oscars today.  I was fortunate to accompany my father year after year (as my mother shies away from such events).

 

Shapell continued to underwrite the reception until Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a world-wide directive to all its diplomatic missions prohibiting individual sponsorships of official events.

 

Several years ago, one of the leaders of the local Israeli community passed away.  General Shimon Erem founded and headed to his last day the Israel Christian Nexus, on whose founding board I had the privilege of serving (until Gen. Erem’s death).

 

Shimon’s wife Danielle, who will be 98 on September 22, 2018, has given me much of Shimon’s very extensive library, which we distributed among Jewish and Christian community- and religious leaders.

 

Among the books were two copies (second printing, 1974) of “Witness to the Truth” by Nate Shapell.

 

1974 2nd Printing Witness to the Truth by Nate Shapell

 

Here is an excerpt from the jacket to the book:

 

Nathan Shapell was 17yo when he Germans occupied his hometown in Poland.  Ordinary life vanished from the face of Europe; there was only survival and horror or death to choose between.  Shapell fought with every weapon at his command – his ingenuity, his resourcefulness, and his incredible courage – not for himself but for the lives of his family and friends.

 

After managing to outwit the Nazis hour by hour with his fellow Jews in the ghettoes, he was taken at last to Auschwitz, and from the summer of 1943 on, he endured was two few lived to tell.  He survived Auschwitz, death marches, and two more concentration camps.  Then his story, and Witness to the Truth, begins.

 

The book tells that story, and it also conveys a vote of thanks to those ordinary American soldiers and officers who found themselves in an unexpected role.  He bears witness to their humanity and decency; he also bears witness to eh survivors and to the silent dead.  Finally, he reaches out to all people, especially young Americans, to show them that a man can go through the worst hell imaginable, survive it, still love his fellow men, and even go on to become a part of what is now called “the establishment.”

 

Nate Shapell’s daughter, Vera Guerin, participates in the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day Program, until this year as the Chair of Cedars-Sinai board of directors.  So today I brought a copy of the book to her.  I suspected she has many copies at home, but she was grateful to have it.

 

Her aunt (Nate’s sister) was Max Webb’s wife.  Nate z”l and Max are brothers-in-law.  A small world indeed.

 

[Dr. Geiderman:  I do not have Vera’s or Max’s e-mail addresses; kindly please forward this to them.]

 

This is the story of One Proclamation, One Book and a ceremony in its 34th year, a commitment that keeps on going.  It seems that by design, they are all connected.  Likewise, in life, we – the Jewish People – are all connected; and we – the Saturday and Sunday People, Jews and Christians – are all connected.  We are one, all created in the image of our God the Almighty.

 

Always,
Ari Bussel
bussel@me.com

Ellie and Dr. Pablo Nankin, Dr. Nepune Mizrahi, Esther Hezghian

 

Susanne Reyto, Janet Kirt

 

Beverly Hills Synagogue (YINBH) Cantor Nati Baram singing El Maleh Rachamim 

 

Lighting Six Candles [Representing 6,000,000 Murdered Jews], remembering the Six Million Jews who perished during the Holocaust [1 & 2]

 

 

Suzee and her mother, Holocaust Survivor Lili Markowitz

 

 

Esther Blaugrund, Zohreh Mizrahi and Shahla Javdan, a prominent leader of the Jewish Iranian community

 

 

Zohreh Mizrahi, Cantor Nati Baram, Dr. Pablo and Ellie Nankin

 

 

Below picture is from March 2, 2017, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Los Angeles Dinner “What You Do Matters:  Celebrating Max Webb’s 100th Birthday with a special tribute”

 

________________________

Minor editing by John R. Houk

Source links are by the Editor embedded for non-Jewish understanding.

 

© Ari Bussel

 

Ari Bussel Bio via BeverlyHills.org

 

Ari Bussel is Vice President of Operations at Saybrex International, a privately held family business specializing in the distribution of fine wines and spirits. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company and has held various positions in the company since 1993.

 

Prior to joining Saybrex, Mr. Bussel served as First Lieutenant in the Center for Systems Analysis at General Headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces, where he led the implementation of the Logistics War Doctrine in the Computerized Wargame Program.

 

Mr. Bussel is involved in a variety of philanthropic and civic activities. Mr. Bussel completed the Team Beverly Hills Leadership Program and served on the Environmental Sustainability Topic Committee of the City of Beverly Hills. He was a member of the Steering Committees of former Beverly Hills Mayor MeraLee Goldman and the current Beverly Hills City Treasurer, the Hon. Eliot Finkel. Mr. Bussel also completed and participated in the Community Emergency Response Training Program of the City of Beverly Hills as well as the Crisis Response Team of the Maple Counseling Center.

 

Mr. Bussel was among the founding members and served on the boards of Gen. Shimon Erem’s Israel Christian Nexus, the Western Region of Friends of Israel Firefighters and the Israel Institute for Alternative Energy Advancement. He completed the Salvin Leadership Program of the Anti-Defamation League.

 

Mr. Bussel writes regularly. For the past decade, his weekly columns appeared in print in Israel Jewish Life, Shalom LA, Muslim World Today and Israeli Week. Mr. Bussel’s articles appear on numerous websites, including Canada Free Press, Free Republic, NewsBlaze, SlantRight and OpEdNews. He is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club.

 

Mr. Bussel received a Master of Science in Operations Research from Stanford University and Bachelor’s degrees from UCLA in Applied Mathematics and in Economics with a specialization in Computing.

 

Mr. Bussel was an avid runner who completed the 2005 and 2006 Los Angeles Marathon.

 

Mr. Bussel divides his time between Israel and the United States, writing about the social, political, military and foreign policy fabrics of the two countries. Mr. Bussel is a member of the foreign press corps in Israel. Since 2008, Mr. Bussel has cooperated with award winning investigative journalist and author in a series of essays “Postcards from America – Postcards from Israel,” and since 2011 in a series of radio broadcasts “Conversations Eye to Eye.”

 

Address by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Yad Vashem


Benjamin Netanyahu Holocaust Remembrance Day 2

Ari Bussel sent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech for Holocaust Remembrance Day.

 

JRH 4/28/14

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Address by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Yad Vashem

 

Sent by Ari Bussel

Sent: 4/27/2014 2:14 PM

Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 27, 2014

 

The last time I visited Yad Vashem was with the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper, a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people. We went through the exhibition rooms which present heartbreaking documentation of the destruction of European Jewry.

 

Today in my office, I met Felah, an 82 year old Holocaust survivor. It was important to her to tell me on this day of all days how her memories as a child of seven who was forced to leave her two year old sister behind to die, how those memories are always with her. She told me, “I don’t remember what happened yesterday or the day before that, but as is the way of memories from that age, I remember the tearing, sad eyes of my two year old sister”.

 

I met Shalom, an 89 year old Holocaust survivor, who told me how he left home at 18. He was 13 and the conditions in the ghetto were deteriorating so he, a young boy, decided to leave. He said, “Mother objected and wailed and Father was quiet. He stood and put his hand on my heard and blessed me and told me to save myself”.

 

All the exhibition rooms here are filled with such heartbreaking stories. When we left Yad Vashem, I told the Canadian Prime Minister that the primary duty of the Prime Minister of Israel is to ensure that there will be no more memorial sites like this, that there will never be another Holocaust.

 

I have said many times in this place that we must identify an existential threat in time and take action in time. Tonight, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, I ask myself: why, in the years preceding the Holocaust, did the overwhelming majority of world leaders and Jewish leaders fail to detect the danger in time? In retrospect, all the warning signs were there: the strengthening of the Nazi regime year after year; the horrific anti-Semitic propaganda which grew stronger with each passing month; and the murderous attacks on Jews which began as a trickle and transformed into a huge wave.

 

In retrospect, there is a direct line connecting the racial laws and the gas chambers.

 

Very few world leaders understood the enormity of the threat to humanity posed by Nazism. Churchill was one of them. Few among our leaders, primarily Jabotinsky, warned against the imminent destruction facing our nation, but they were widely criticized and their warnings were disregarded, and they were treated as merchants of doom and war mongers.

 

So I ask: How is it possible that so many people failed to understand the reality? The bitter and tragic truth is this: it is not that they did not see it. They did not want to see it. And why did they choose not to see the truth? Because they did not want to face the consequences of that truth.

 

During the 1930’s, when the Nazis were gaining momentum, the influence of the trauma of the First World War was still fresh. Twenty years earlier, the people of the West experienced a terrible trench war, a war which claimed the lives of 16 million people. Therefore, the leaders of the West operated on the basis of one axiom: avoid another confrontation at any cost, and thus they laid the foundation for the most terrible war in human history. This axiom of avoiding conflict at any cost, this axiom was adopted not only by the leaders. The people themselves, primarily the educated ones, shared it too.

 

In 1933, for example, the year Hitler rose to power, there was a meeting of the Oxford University student organization – an institute from which generations of British leaders had emerged. Following a heated debate, the students voted for a resolution stating that they “would under no circumstances fight for their King and Country”. This resolution passed by an overwhelming majority only ten days after Hitler entered the Chancellery of Germany.

 

And believe me: that message reverberated in Berlin.

 

This example illustrates the West’s feeble attitude vis-à-vis the rise of Nazism.

 

Month after month, year after year, more and more information was received in London, Paris and Washington regarding the capabilities and intentions of the Nazi regime. The picture was becoming clear to everybody. However, “they have eyes, but cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear.”

 

When you refuse to accept reality as it is, you can deny it. And this is precisely what the leaders of the West did. They dismissed the murderous Nazi rhetoric as internal German politics; they downplayed the seriousness of the danger of the military build-up of the Nazis, claiming that it was the result of the natural will of a proud nation, that it should be taken into consideration, that it should be accepted.

 

The reality was clear, but it was cloaked in a bubble of illusions. This bubble was burst by the stealth attack by the Nazis on Europe. And the price of the illusion and desire was very heavy because by the time the leaders of the West finally acted, their people paid a terrible price. World War II claimed the lives not of 16 million people, the unimaginable number of victims during World War I, but of 60 million, including one third of our people, who were butchered by the Nazi beast.

 

Citizens of Israel, my brothers and sisters,

 

Has the world learned from the mistakes of the past? Today, we are again facing clear facts and a tangible threat.

 

Iran is calling for our destruction. It is developing nuclear weapons. This is the reason it is building underground bunkers for the enrichment of uranium. This is the reason it is establishing a plutonium-producing heavy water facility. This is the reason it continues to develop inter-continental ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads to threaten the entire world.

 

Today, just like then, there are those who dismiss Iran’s extreme rhetoric as one that serves domestic purposes. Today, just like then, there are those who view Iran’s nuclear ambitions as the result of the natural will of a proud nation – a will that should be accepted.

 

And just like then, those who make such claims are deluding themselves. They are making an historic mistake.

 

We are currently in the midst of fateful talks between Iran and the world powers. This time too, the truth is evident to all: Iran is seeking an agreement that will lift the sanctions and leave it as a nuclear threshold state, in other words, the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons within several months at most.

 

Iran wants a deal that will eliminate the sanctions and leave their nuclear capabilities intact. Such a deal, which will enable Iran to be a nuclear threshold state, will bring the entire world to the threshold of an abyss.

 

I hope that the lessons of the past will be learned and that the desire to avoid confrontation at any cost will not lead to a deal that will exact a much heavier price in the future.

 

I call on the leaders of the world powers to insist on a full dismantling of Iran’s capability to manufacture nuclear weapons, and to persist until this goal is achieved.

 

In any event, the people of Israel are strong. When faced with an existential threat, the situation of our people today is entirely different than it was during the Holocaust.

 

Today, we have a sovereign Jewish state. As Prime Minister of Israel, I do not hesitate to speak the truth to the world, even when faced with so many blind eyes and deaf ears. It is not only my right, it is my duty. It is a duty I am mindful of at all times, but particularly on this day, in this place.

 

On the eve of the Holocaust, there were Jews who avoided crying out to the world’s nations out of fear that the fight against the Nazis would become a Jewish problem. Others believed that if they kept silent, the danger would pass. The kept silent and the disaster struck. Today, we are not afraid to speak the truth to world leaders, as is written in our Bible: “I will speak of your testimonies before kings, and I will not be ashamed…listen, for I will speak noble thoughts; the opening of my lips will reveal right things.”

 

Unlike our situation during the Holocaust, when we were like leaves on the wind, defenseless, now we have great power to defend ourselves, and it is ready for any mission. This power rests on the courage and ingenuity of the soldiers of the IDF and our security forces. It is this power that enabled us, against all odds, to build the State of Israel.

 

Look at the remarkable achievements we have made in our 66 years of independence. All of us together – scientists, writers, teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs, employees, artists, farmers – the entire people of Israel, each one in their own field –  together we have built a glorious state. The spirit of the people of Israel is supreme, our accomplishments tremendous. Seven decades after the destruction of the Holocaust, the State of Israel is a global wonder.

 

On this day, on behalf of the Jewish people, I say to all those who sought to destroy us, to all those who still seek to destroy us: you have failed and you will fail. 

 

The State of Israel is stronger than ever. It is a state that seeks peace with all its neighbors – a state with a will of iron to ensure the future of its people.

 

“The people will arise like a lion cub and raise itself like a lion; it will not lie down until it consumes prey, and drinks the blood of the slain.”

President Peres spoke this evening at the Holocaust …


Shimon Peres 3

Ari Bussel sent the Holocaust Remembrance Day speech of Israeli President Shimon Peres.

 

JRH 4/28/14

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President Peres spoke this evening at the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day Commemoration at Yad Vashem

 

Sent by Ari Bussel

Sent: 4/27/2014 2:14 PM

Communications Department Office of the President of Israel

By Shimon Perez

April 27, 2014

 

“Israel is a deterrence against any attempt at another Holocaust”

 

“We must not ignore any occurrence of anti-Semitism, any desecration of a synagogue, any tomb stone smashed in a cemetery in which our families are buried. We must not ignore the rise of extreme right wing parties”

 

The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, spoke at the official commemoration ceremony for the Holocaust Martys’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem. President Peres spoke about the horrors of the massacre of Hungarian Jewry which took place 70 years today and of the destruction of the community in his home town of Vishneva. President Peres also took the opportunity to address the dangers of the rise of extremism and the need to be vigilant against anti-semitism across the world.

 

Please find a translated version of the speech:

 

My brothers and sisters, at this very moment I see before my eyes a heartbreaking image. Tens of thousands of people; young and old, male and female, all concentrated on the banks of the Danube River. They are all under orders to face the river, each one tied to the next. Behind them stand Nazi storm troopers, Germans and locals, who cut them down with bullets to the back. To save bullets they tied weights and stones to them so that the dead will drag the living down with them. Children were tied to their mothers, the young to the elderly. The bodies of the victims are pushed into the chilling, foaming waters of the Danube. Their cries rise to the heavens and are left without an echo. The perpetrators stand with smiles on their faces, as if they carried an act of heroism and won a brave battle. The blue Danube is painted red, in a single moment it became a floating grave, innocent victims, innocent people. Itamar Yaoz-Kest, a Jewish poet born in Hungary and sent to Bergen-Belsen, screams in one of his poems, “What is there to drink? They tell me people. Water with blood?” It happened in Hungary.

 

But then another image comes to my mind. A photo of the town where I was born and spent the first decade of my life. Vishneva. In Vishneva the Nazis used a different technique. They didn’t shoot the Jews. They burnt them alive. The Nazis, Germans and locals, gathered up all the Jews left in Vishneva, (half had already emigrated to Israel) and forced them to march to the synagogue which was made of wood. My grandfather, wrapped in a Jewish prayer shawl, stood at the head of the march, Rabbi Zvi Meltzer may peace be upon his soul. The same prayer shawl that I huddled under every Yom Kippur to listen to him recite the Kol Nidre prayer in his beautiful voice. They locked the doors of the synagogue and set it on fire with all the Jews still inside. No-one survived. Nothing was left of the synagogue. I can still hear the Kol Nidre prayer, which my grandfather would recite, in my heart. I visited Vishneva when I was Foreign Minister of Israel and I was accompanied by the Foreign Minister of Belarus, a delegation of senior government officials, and a honor motorcade. On the way to Vishneva we passed the train station at Bogdanov. The station still operates but during the war years the rails were heaving with carriages packed with Jews on the way to Auschwitz-Birkenau. I imagined hearing the trains. The contradiction between the noise of the motorcade and the screams of help from the trains was ghastly. This station, from which we travelled to Israel, is the station that took my people to the death camps. What happened to them could have happened to me. It could have happened to many of us here tonight.

 

“Saved” wrote Wislawa Szymborska, “because you were first, saved because you were last, because to the left, to the right, because it rained, because a shadow fell.” Everything was by chance. The murdered live in our hearts. Each of us carries in our hearts the grief of his brothers and sisters who perished, like we carry the genius of the creation of Israel. Israel is a monument of grief for their deaths, a monument of genius for their memory, in our homeland.

 

The question still reverberates in our head, which has no answer and which I doubt will ever be answered, “Where were these murderers born? Where were they educated? How did the landscape of cultured Europe transform into a harsh jungle in which wild beasts walked? We know the geographical answer; the human answer does not exist.

 

This year is seventy years since the destruction of Hungarian Jewry. The Nazis invaded on March 19th 1944, a year before the end of the Second World War, and four years before the creation of the State of Israel. They almost immediately set about destroying the Jews. They did it with brutal efficiency. Within a month all the Jews were labelled with yellow stars and concentrated in the ghettos. No-one allowed in, no-one allowed out. The hunger and epidemics preceded the bullets and the gas. Within another month all the rest were sent to the death camps. To Auschwitz-Birkenau. Close to half a million Jews were murdered for no reason. We won’t forget the Hungarian Righteous Among the Gentiles, who risked their lives to save Jewish lives. They are few in number but they carried with courage the image of humanity. The President of Hungary will take part tomorrow in the March of the Living in Poland, a gesture worth of admiration. However, we must not ignore any occurrence of anti-Semitism, any desecration of a synagogue, any tomb stone smashed in a cemetery in which our families are buried. We must not ignore the rise of extreme right wing parties with neo-Nazi tendencies who are a danger to each of us and a threat to every nation.

 

The State of Israel of today is not only the only possible memorial standing for our perished brothers and sisters. Israel is a deterrence against any attempt at another Holocaust. A strong Israel is our response to the horrors of anti-semitism but it does not excuse the rest of the world from its responsibility to prevent this disease from returning to their own homes. Allow me to say, based on 90 years of experience, that without a state of our own we would continue to live on our weakness rather than, as we do today, live on our historic and contemporary abilities. The State of Israel is not a passing event; it is based upon 4000 years of life. The history of the Jewish people contains no lack of anguish but it is filled with hope – the eternity of Israel will not lie. Israel seeks peace. Between people and between nations. Peace with nations near and far. We pursue peace because we pursue justice for all regardless of origin, regardless of faith. The right to peace is the right to life. I say with confidence – we are strong enough to repel dangers, we should not be scared of threats and we must not give up on peace.

 

As a member of the Jewish people I may not and I cannot forget the horrors of the Holocaust. As a citizen of Israel I will do everything in my power to ensure that the Nazis will not rise again. As a human being I will do everything in my power to bring peace between peoples. Between races. Between religions. Between nations.

 

We lost the best of our parents and the best of our children. But our faith that victories are temporary and values are eternal never erred. We will forever be a people who believe in values of man and values of heaven. In the name of the six million, among them one and a half million children, we will carry the torch of Jewish independence. The torch of freedom. The light of man. The belief that we will know an enlightened world in which every person treats the other as a fellow human being. And in which we are all born in the image of the Lord. May their memories be blessed.

________________________

For additional information:

 

Ayelet Frish – Spokesperson and Media Adviser to the President of Israel– 0506205111

Yair Zivan – International Media Coordinator, Office of the President of Israel – 0523450061

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