Israel’s ambassador to the U.S.: Our duty is to prevent another Holocaust (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Natasha Mozgovaya 04/20/12)
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Israel´s ambassador to the United States Michael Oren commemorated
Holocaust Remembrance Day on Capitol Hill on Thursday, along with
other U.S. officials and members of Congress, and warned against Iran
and the possibility of another holocaust.
Among the officials who attended the Thursday´s ceremony were U.S.
Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner, diplomats, leaders of Jewish
organizations, and veterans of the Second World War.
Oren spoke about trivialization of the Holocaust. “We must not allow
the memory of the six million to be trivialized. Human history is
rife with atrocities, massacres, and wars, but nothing that can be
equated with the enormity of the Holocaust. It is profoundly,
unbearably, unique,” said Oren.
Oren then turned the focus of his speech toward current times. “At
the same time, we must also acknowledge that evil did not appear
suddenly in the 1930s and depart in 1945, never to return again. We
must admit that the genocidal hatred of Jews that burned during those
years remains a fierce and re-combustible scourge. We cannot ignore
the similarities between the conditions that fostered the Holocaust
and those we now witness daily,” warned Oren.
Comparing the conditions of pre-war Germany with the situation in
Iran today, Oren described both as “economies in crisis, following a
war,” and likened the “supreme leaders” of each regime to one
another. Mentioning Iran directly, Oren said, “It denies the murder
of six million Jews by the Nazis while pledging to murder another six
Oren spoke about possible responses to the Iranian threat. “We now
have the opportunity—indeed, the duty—to confront Iranian leaders
with the unambiguous choice never posed to the Nazis,” said Oren.
“The Iranian regime can either abandon its military nuclear program
or face truly crippling sanctions and a credible military threat,” he
Addressing the American military veterans in attendance, Oren
said “my father was one of those GIs. He battled from Normandy to the
Bulge to the final victory, winning two bronze stars for valor.”
Oren thanked the veterans by saying “Not only as your son, but as
Israel’s ambassador to this great nation, I want to say thank you,
Dad, and thank you to all the brave Americans who fought alongside
Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner also spoke at the
ceremony. “When we think about the Holocaust, we are forced to come
to terms with more than just the evil of Adolf Hitler. We must also
confront the failures that allowed this genocide to occur -- the
moral failures, the institutional failures, the cowardice and apathy
and hate,” said Geithner.
A commemoration ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance Day is set to be
held at the Pentagon, with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and
Defense Minister Ehud Barak expected to attend. The two were said to
be discussing regional issues earlier in the day. (© Copyright 2012
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