Jewish leaders and dignitaries from Israel and other nations attended a memorial ceremony at the former Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Poland ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Amichai Chikli, the minister for Diaspora Affairs and the Fight against Antisemitism, represented the State of Israel at the event, along with the World Zionist Organization head the Combating Anti-Semitism and Community Resilience department Racheli Baratz-Rix.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, European Jewish Association (EJA) chairman, warned that the current levels of anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe are similar that which preceded the genocide of European Jews during World War II.
"The Holocaust was a result of hatred, incitement, ignorance, power and the silence of leaders. The current level of hatred in Europe is comparable to that which existed before the Holocaust, implying the potential for it to happen again if ignorance and silence persist.,” Margolin told the attendees.
“However, there is a crucial difference now: The presence of the State of Israel. Nevertheless, it has been learned that Israel cannot stand alone, and it is the responsibility of leaders to speak out and take action," he argued, in a reference to Israel's current war against the Hamas terror organization in Gaza.
The former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls contextualized the current Jew-hatred by stressing the genocidal nature of the Hamas and its Jihadist ideology.
"Hamas are not freedom fighters; they seek the extermination of Jews. It is imperative that we combat them,” Valls stated, and condemned the South African government for inaccurately equating Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense with “genocide.”
“When South Africa employs terms like 'genocide' and 'apartheid', we must reject such language. Behind these notions, we discover the influence of Iran and Turkey," Valls said.
While Hamas has mainly target is Israel and the Jewish community, the former French premier said the massacre on Oct. 7 massacre is a wake-up call for humanity.
"October 7 is a turning point for Western civilization. What happened on October 7th is related to Israel, but make no mistake, it is not only about Israel and the Jews. It is a problem that concerns all of humanity,” he warned.
The former prime minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, echoed Valls’ position.
"Following the tragedy on October 7, it is crucial to persist in the fight for civilization. The true adversary of the Palestinians is Hamas. We cannot attain the aspiration for peace with Hamas," Renzi said.
Former IDF Spokesperson Lt.-Col.(reserves) Jonathan Conricus, who was the face of the Israeli military during much of the ongoing war with Hamas, blasted South African government leaders for leveling genocide charges against Israel for its war effort to eliminate the terror organization in Gaza.
“I think South Africa should be on trial for supporting genocide because Hamas itself, by its charter and by its actions and by the statements of Hamas seniors after October the 7th, they promote and they try to achieve genocide,” Conricus told Joel Rosenberg during an interview on the TBN program, THE ROSENBERG REPORT.
Many anti-Israel demonstrations have been held in Europe, the United States and elsewhere amid the ongoing war. While Israel opponents frequently claim that they do not hate Jews, Jewish minorities around the world have experienced a surge of antisemitism in recent months that affects their sense of security.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is held annually on Jan. 27, memorializing the day when Russian forces liberated Auschwitz in 1945.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.