Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day by vowing to ensure that the Nazi genocide of 6 million Jews during World War II will never be repeated.
“Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day and exactly 78 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. We in Israel mark this event by honoring the sacred memory of those who perished at the hands of a murderous Nazi regime. And we vow that this will never, ever, happen again to our people,” said Netanyahu.
“The difference now is that the Jewish people have the State of Israel. Israel protects itself by itself. We are a strong and vibrant nation and we have built up a powerful state that will not allow our enemies to inflict the very pain, suffering and devastating loss our people experienced during the Holocaust,” he continued.
“And there are those who still call for our destruction, day in and day out. We will not cower in fear nor will we allow the threats of these tyrants to intimidate us. For this enemy knows that at the end of the day, if needed, we can and will defend ourselves, and we will not allow our enemies to possess an ability to carry out its murderous agenda. We see them on their steady march towards obtaining the most lethal of weapons and I say to them here and now—we will stop you from obtaining them. And we do not forget or forgive the evil deniers of the Holocaust, which for them, one Holocaust was not enough,” said the prime minister.
“On behalf of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, on behalf of the survivors and those who perished, I vow to you as Prime Minister of the one and only Jewish state, that we will remain vigilant, strong and never allow the Holocaust to happen again. Never,” he concluded.
On Thursday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressed the European Parliament to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, held annually on Jan. 27.
Herzog delivered the main speech at a special session attended by lawmakers and Shoah survivors.
“The Holocaust was not born in a vacuum. We must never forget that the Nazi death machine would not have succeeded in realizing its nightmarish vision had it not met soil fertilized with Jew-hatred, which is as old as time itself. The stereotypical depiction of Jews had struck roots through Europe for centuries and generations, before the rise of Nazism. Nazi ideology intensified traditional antisemitism, and primordial fears fanned the flames of hatred,” said Herzog.
“Even before a single extermination camp was built, in the minds of the masses, the Jew was already human dust, sub-human. It is precisely for this reason, precisely because the Holocaust was predicated on much older antisemitic foundations that had taken root and flourished in Europe, that this dark abyss is a terrible, profound, and compelling lesson for the whole of Europe,” continued the Israeli president.
“When we stand together, here, in the beating heart of the European Union, we understand well the mission of memory that we all share: We recognize that at the memorial site to which we make pilgrimage, we must remember not only the Holocaust and the destruction, but also the sacred alliance forged alongside this horrific disaster, to sanctify the memory of the victims, to prioritize the welfare of the survivors who are still with us, to teach and educate in light of the lessons of the historic catastrophe that was the Holocaust, and to prevent any repetition of these ghastly crimes,” he added.