• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin pose for a picture with world leaders during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem on January 23, 2020. Photo by Yonatan Sindel | FLASH90

Netanyahu reminds the world: Israel will defend itself

Andrew Tucker - 24 January 2020

In the largest diplomatic event in Israel’s history, leaders of over 40 nations met in Jerusalem late January to commemorate the 75thanniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps in January 1945. 

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded the world that Israel will no longer rely on others for its survival:

“Israel is eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by the Allies. Without that sacrifice there would be no survivors today. But we also remember that some 80 years ago, when the Jewish people faced annihilation, the world turned its back on us,” Netanyahu said. “The Jewish people have learned the lessons of the Holocaust: that we cannot take threats to annihilate us lightly; to confront threats when they are small; and above all, even though we greatly appreciate the help of our friends, to defend ourselves by ourselves,” Netanyahu said.

He continued: “The Jewish people have learned the lessons of the Holocaust: to take, always to take seriously the threats of those who seek our destruction; to confront threats when they are small; and above all, even though we deeply, deeply appreciate the great support of our friends, to always have the power to defend ourselves by ourselves. We have learned that Israel must always remain the master of its fate.”

While the world learned the lesson about evil, it did not necessarily learn the lesson about pre-emption, he argued.

“There are some signs of hope – and this extraordinary gathering is one of them. Today, the dangers of racism, hateful ideologies, and anti-Semitism are better understood. Many recognize a simple truth: that what starts with the hatred of the Jews doesn’t end with the Jews,” he said.

But, he added, “I am concerned. I am concerned that we have yet to see a unified and resolute stance against the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet – a regime that openly seeks to develop nuclear weapons and annihilate the one and only Jewish state.”

Calling the ayatollahs’ regime the “tyrants of Tehran,” Netanyahu said Israel “salutes President Trump and Vice President Pence for confronting the Tyrants of Tehran that subjugate their own people, and threaten the peace and security of the entire world. They threaten the peace and security of everyone in the Middle East and everyone beyond. I call on all governments to join the vital effort of confronting Iran.”

And he vowed: “I wish to assure again our people and all our friends, Israel will do whatever it must do to defend our state, defend our people and defend the Jewish future.”

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