Speech at the Knesset Special Session Marking the Struggle Against Anti-Semitism

(Prime Minister's Office) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon - * We chose to mark this day of struggle against anti-Semitism on the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp - that horrible symbol of the Holocaust. * The allies knew of the annihilation of the Jews. They knew and did nothing. On April 19, 1943, the Bermuda Conference gathered, with the participation of representatives from Britain and the U.S., in order to discuss saving the Jews of Europe. All the suggestions for rescue operations which the Jewish organizations presented were rejected. They simply did not want to deal with it. * When, in the summer of 1944, the mass deportations in Hungary were carried out, the Allies did not bomb the train tracks which led to Auschwitz from Hungary, nor the murder facilities in Birkenau, despite the fact that they had the ability to do so. Allied planes attacked targets near Auschwitz, but they refused to bomb the camp itself, in which 10,000 Jews were murdered daily. Thus were 618,000 Jews annihilated in a number of weeks - the Jews of Hungary. The sad and horrible conclusion is that no one cared that Jews were being murdered. * During the most terrible critical hour, those in power, and the declared friends, did not lift a finger. This is the Jewish lesson of the Holocaust - and this is the lesson which Auschwitz taught us. * The State of Israel learned this lesson – and since its establishment, it has done its utmost to defend itself and its citizens, and provide a safe haven for any Jew, wherever he may be. We know that we can trust no one but ourselves. * These days, the generation which was witness to the horrors is disappearing, and ignorance is increasing. Fewer people around the world have heard of the Holocaust or are aware of what happened in Auschwitz. Sixty years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the evil which gave rise to the horror still exists, and still threatens us. * Israel is a very small country, blessed with talented and courageous people. However, it must always be remembered that this is the only place in the world where we, the Jews, have the right and the capability to defend ourselves, by ourselves. And we will never relinquish this. It is our historic responsibility. It is my personal historic responsibility.

2005-01-27 00:00:00

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