Holocaust taught Israel need to protect itself: Sharon (AFP-FRANCE PRESSE) JERUSALEM, ISRAEL 01/26/05 12:50 PM ET)
AFP} Agence France Presse
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JERUSALEM (AFP) - The Holocaust taught the Jewish people not to rely
on others for their protection, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
told a session of parliament marking 60 years since the liberation of
"The state of Israel has learned the lesson of Auschwitz. It has
learned to defend itself, to defend its people against its enemies
and to serve as a place of shelter for Jews," Sharon said in the
"The lesson is that we cannot rely on anyone but ourselves."
Sharon said that the allied countries knew about Nazi Germany´s
efforts to wipe out the Jewish people but did nothing to prevent it.
"The allied countries knew about the extermination of the Jews but
did nothing about it," he added. "They all did nothing to address the
"They did not want to involve themselves with what was happening. For
example, the refused to bomb the railways which were taking Jews from
Hungary to Auschwitz where 10,000 Jews were being killed every day,"
Sharon angrily denounced people who he said sought to compare
Israel´s "legitimate self-defence against Palestinian terrorists"
with the Nazis´ treatment of the Jews.
Quoting the late US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Sharon
said that anti-Zionism was merely anti-Semitism in disguise.
President Moshe Katsav, meanwhile, was flying out of Israel to attend
commemorations marking the Auschwitz anniversary in Poland on
Up to 1.5 million people were killed at Auschwitz in then Nazi-
occupied Poland from 1940 until its liberation by the Red Army on
January 27, 1945. At least six million Jews are thought to have
perished in the Holocaust.
"Sixty years after Auschwitz, the witnesses are passing away and
ignorance is growing. Much of the world does not know what happened
during that period," said Sharon.
"We will continue to act so that the memories of Auschwitz are never
Sharon said that Israel, whose creation in 1948 came three years
after the end of World War II, was the only place in the world where
Jews could feel safe.
"Israel is a little country ... It is the only country in the world
where Jews have the possibility of defending themselves.
"We will never give up on that. It is our historic responsibility, it
is my responsibility."
The Auschwitz commemorations also included a special session of the
UN General Assembly earlier this week which began with one minute of
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said on Tuesday that the UN
observance could mark a turning point in the role of the world body
in the Middle East.
"For the first time, I felt as an equal member of the United
Nations," Shalom said of the commemoration ceremonies. "It was the
first time that they talked in a positive way and not attacking us as
Israel has tense relations with the General Assembly which it
complains delivers "automatic majorities" against it on all issues
related to the Middle East conflict.
The assembly in 1975 adopted a resolution equating Zionism with
racism but it has since been rescinded. (Copyright © 2005 Agence
France Presse. 01/26/05)
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