The following is an excerpt from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Address to the Knesset yesterday.
It should be read together with Michael Oren's article today at Huffington Post.
Have the lessons of the Holocaust been learned?
For us, the Jewish people, the answer is yes.
For the rest of the world, the answer is no, or at least not yet.
Today, 66 years after the horror, we are here, in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of our nation. We, the representatives of the Jewish nation, are holding a special ceremony to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The lesson that we have learned, first of all, is that we are here, in our sovereign country, in our capital city.
We have learned another important lesson, probably the most crucial lesson to be learned from the atrocity, from the chain of atrocities that brought about one much worse; this has continued for hundreds and thousands of years, since we lost our country and our sovereignty, and since we lost our capability to defend ourselves. The lesson learned was that we had to restore the capacity of the State and the army for self-defense.
This lesson was understood by Herzl even before the great atrocity took place. He foresaw it, and we implemented it. . . .
Have we learned the lesson? The answer is yes. Has the world learned the lesson? Well, I think one thing is clear: the fact that global anti-Semitism is renewing and expanding is obvious. If anyone thought that anti-Semitism stopped after World War II and the Holocaust, it is now evident that it was only a hiatus. The same forces that you mentioned joining together, share a new/old anti-Semitism with the world, and so we must fight it, globally too. For that, I congratulate my friend Silvan Shalom, who, when serving as Foreign Minister, brought about an important United Nations resolution - marking this day, a resolution which was adopted by the UN.
This resolution is indeed implemented in many countries, which is an important achievement and in many ways also unique, at least in the ability to propose an Israeli draft resolution to this organization, which I am well familiar with, I spent a long time there. It was a milestone. But I still ask: does the world that condemns that anti-Semitism also condemn this anti-Semitism?
Every now and then, very feebly - it isn't just anti-Semitism; it is the regime - a member country of the UN, the regime of ayatollahs - stands up and knowingly and openly calls for the annihilation of at least another six million Jews, without even a hint of pretense. And nobody says a thing. Well, that's not exact. Here and there a comment might be heard, but where is the anger, the outrage? Where is the outcry? Where is the "J'accuse?" I'm not asking about us. We are here; we've learned our lessons. But where is the global uproar that should have risen from advanced communities around the world in response to explicit declarations of genocide, of exterminating a people, that same people! . . .
And we have a very disturbing historical phenomenon. I don't think that it is only hard for us, but for all civilized people, all civilized peoples, who allow such an affliction, such statements, such savagery, barbarism and primitivism to be uttered and spread. It is said; it spreads, becomes acceptable, commonplace, and always prepares the ground for the next action and also prevents those actions that will not take place.
I am aware that there are many leaders and good-hearted, conscientious people around the world. I know that they think what I think. I know that in their hearts, they tell themselves what I am saying today from this podium.
However, that will not suffice. Because in the face of this regime, that calls for our annihilation, and arms itself with weapons of mass destruction in order to fulfill its nefarious intentions, there should be a much stronger protest. . . .
Today [the world is] very aware of it. They know, they hear, they see, they photograph. You don't need special intelligence, you only need to turn on the television, hear the news, read the newspaper. Will they act? Will they talk? Will they really talk? Will they attack? Will they condemn? . . .
It is not only a threat against us, because it always begins with the Jews but never ends with the Jews. The hatred of Jews kindles an overall fire, and I expect that on this day, when I applaud the world for marking the most heinous crime in world history and the history of our people which was perpetrated against our people - I hope others will also learn the lesson. We already have.