‘Memory of 6 million must never be trivialized’

US Congress marks Holocaust Day; Israeli Ambassador to DC warns: “We cannot ignore similarities between conditions that fostered Holocaust, those we now witness daily’

WASHINGTON – The US Congress marked Holocaust Remembrance Day during its Thursday session.

Michael Oren Photo: AP

Michael Oren - Photo by AP

Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren addressed Congress and warned of the similarities between pre-WWII climate and the one prevalent today.

“Human history is rife with atrocities, massacres, and wars, but nothing can be equated with the enormity of the Holocaust,” he said. “It is profoundly, unbearably, unique.”

The legacy of the Holocaust, he added, “Endows us with a double duty. First, we must not allow the memory of the six million to be trivialized. But, paradoxically, our second duty is to prevent another Holocaust from occurring.

“(…) Things are indeed different than they were eighty years ago; Yet, 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 combustible scourge.

“We cannot ignore the similarities between the conditions that fostered the Holocaust and those we now witness daily,” he said.


‘Today’s world is different’

Oren further warned of the similarities between the Iranian regime and the Third Reich, saying that much like Nazi Germany, Iran too is led by a Supreme Leader, quashes all internal opposition, supports terror and seeks regional and global hegemony.

“(Iran) denies the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis while pledging to murder another six million – in Israel,” he said.

Israel, he continued, values the historic alliance with the United States, and “Fortunately, today is not eighty years ago.

“Though tired of war and wrestling with economic difficulties, the United States is not watching passively.

“On the contrary, the White House and the Congress are leading the world in imposing harsh sanctions on Iran.”

The world, he added, “Must never equate the Holocaust with any other event but we also must never let it recur. We must not compare the Holocaust to any other situation but, at the same time, we cannot forget.

“We now have the opportunity, indeed – the duty – to confront Iranian leaders with the unambiguous choice never posed to the Nazis: The Iranian regime can either abandon its military nuclear program or face truly crippling sanctions and a credible military threat.”

Holocaust survivors, he concluded, “Remind us to be vigilant, they tell us to stand strong. And they exhort us, always, remember.”


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By Yitzhak Benhorin