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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Foreign ambassadors at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony

The Minister of Energy, Yuval Steinitz, and foreign ambassadors took part in a ceremony on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, held at Massuah Institute on January 25, 2019, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The theme of ceremony was the resurgence of antisemitism and racism around the world.

Minister Steinitz’ remarks included the following: “The world has not learned the lessons of the Holocaust. Today’s Iran resembles Nazi Germany. The world is doing very little to counter the Iranian aggression, which seeks to annihilate the Jewish state from Syrian territory.”

Anatoly Viktorov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the State of Israel, represented the diplomatic community with the first public speech by a Russian ambassador in Israel. In his remarks, he stressed the commitment of Russia and President Putin to fighting Holocaust deniers and emphasized Russia’s call for measures against any such attempt. He also mentioned Russia’s definitive role in vanquishing Germany in World War II and noted that thousands of Russian Jews had served in the Red Army, which had contributed a great deal to the defeat of the NAZI machine.

Richard Allen Greene, senior news editor for CNN and director of the survey that the network conducted in November 2018— showing that antisemitism in Europe was alive and kicking—addressed those present about why the survey had taken place and about its implications.

Professor Yehuda Bauer, one of the giants among Holocaust researchers in our time, said that antisemitism is not a Jewish problem but a global one. “Antisemitism is corrosive wherever it exists. It destroys society, politics, the economy, and the culture. Therefore, fighting antisemitism means fighting for humanity.”

Aya Ben-Naftaly, Director General of Massuah, wrapped up the event by saying, “When it remembers the Holocaust, the world has to know the antisemitism is a warning sign for any liberal and democratic society. The hatred begins with the Jews but never ends with them. In the first decades after World War II and the Holocaust, it seemed as though the horrors that had been revealed would forever restrain any manifestation of racism and antisemitism. However, this belief in the free and enlightened world, which solidified in the 1950s, was succeeded at the turn of the twenty-first century by accelerating processes of racist radicalization, antisemitism, and xenophobia.”

Prof. Yehuda Bauer lectures at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony

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