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Edelstein: When We Say ‘Never Again’, We Mean It

Minister Yuli Edelstein on International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Israel will make sure that another Holocaust doesn't happen
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 1/26/2012, 5:16 AM

Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein addressed the European Parliament on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Tuesday, and said that Israel will make sure that another Holocaust never happens again.

Mentioning the Wannsee Conference of January 24, 1942, in which 15 Nazi officials sealed the fate of millions of European Jews, Edelstein reminded that even before this conference, there were other conferences aimed solely at finding ways to eliminate Jews.

“There was the Evian Conference, where 31 Western nations debated the fate of the Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria,” he said. “Despite the pleas of Jewish organizations and the presence of international press, the conference achieved nothing. The great Western democracies made token gestures. Most claimed they have enough Jews already.

“There was the Munich Conference, where, in a futile quest for illusive peace, two leading Western democracies delivered to Hitler new instruments for future aggression,” he added. “In the frenzy of humiliation and dismemberment of Czechoslovakia no thought was given to the fate of hundreds of thousands of Jews of this country, no guarantees requested.

“There was the St. James Conference in London. In May 1939, Britain approved the White Paper, curtailed the Jewish immigration to Palestine and shut the door on the last real option of rescue.

He said that today “the purpose of the anti-Semites is the same – to deny the common humanity of the Jew, to single him out, to scapegoat him. 70 years ago, this worked perfectly.”

He then stressed, “Today, as the snow sets for the 70th time on the killing fields of Europe, where each garden, each meadow, each plowed furrow are fertilized by the ashes of my people, I come here in the name of my government, of the independent Jewish nation, to assure our friends, to make a promise to our enemies and to warn the indifferent: When we say ‘Never again’, we mean it. We will not wait for another conference with baited breath and forlorn hope. We will not beg for compassion and sympathy. We will not be made to live with constant threat of another Holocaust.

“We hope that this hour never comes,” he said. “We hope that the civilized world has learned the bloody lessons of appeasement. We hope that the moral majority of humanity will rise above the selfish calculations of profit and loss, the petty politics and the cowardice masked as caution. We hope that any threat to civilization will be defeated by force of universal moral fury and sustained pressure, not by bombs and bloodshed. Today, as we come together to remember the millions of victims of Nazi barbarity and of the world's indifference, I ask you to help us to keep this hope alive and to make it true.

“Let us all – Jews and Gentiles – take a stand together against tyranny and barbarism, let us destroy them before they'll swell with power, fed by the wealth of their lands and the blood of their victims. Let us deny them, in the words of Winston Churchill, those ‘lights of perverted science’ with which they plan to unleash a new Dark Age – first on their own captive peoples, and then on the rest of the world. Let us say to them, from here – we remember. We are vigilant. We are determined. We are united. We say to them together– never again.”