Danon: It is not enough to condemn anti-Semitism, it is time to act

UN marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a special session of General Assembly.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ambassador Danon, Irene Shabbat, and Shraga Milstein
Ambassador Danon, Irene Shabbat, and Shraga Milstein
Israeli Mission to the UN

The United Nations on Monday marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a special session of the UN General Assembly during which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon delivered remarks.

In his speech, Secretary-General Guterres condemned the rise in anti-Semitism, saying, “75 years ago, when soldiers entered Auschwitz, they were stunned into silence by what they saw. It is our duty to learn the lessons of the Holocaust so it is never repeated. The most important lesson is that it was not an aberration. It was a culmination.”

Ambassador Danon began by addressing the fading memory of the Holocaust.

"As the decades go by, it becomes harder for us to remember...We are the last generation to have the privilege of learning about the Holocaust from those who had to endure its atrocities. And when memory starts to fade, so does the ability to believe that an event like the Holocaust really occurred. It becomes harder to believe the human race is capable of such evil," he said.

Danon drew a connection between hollow statements and lack of action. In the 1930s, "the leaders of the world may have denounced anti-Semitism, but that is all they did. That wasn't enough. It is not enough to condemn anti-Semitism. It is time to act against anti-Semitism."

Danon continued, "Anti-Semitism is a deadly disease that must be eradicated. We must find a cure for those affected by it today, and we must vaccinate our populations so that no one will have to suffer its fatal consequences in the future."

Holocaust survivors Irene Shashar and Shraga Milstein also addressed the audience. Mr. Milstein spoke about his experiences in the Bergen-Belson camp. He concluded by saying that "the Holocaust is not only a historical event without proportions but also a guide to personal choices in present day life. Those of us who survived this atrocity and people of good will across the world firmly believe that it is our duty to condemn and prevent any intolerance against people, based on ethnic origin or religion...We must never forget the lesson of the Holocaust.”

The event also featured remarks by the president of the General Assembly, representatives from the United States, Germany, and Russia, and a brief performance by the renown violinist Itzhak Perlman.