The following are excerpts from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address at this year’s recent Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony: “The last time I visited Yad Vashem was with the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper, a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people. We went through the exhibition rooms which present heartbreaking documentation of the destruction of European Jewry. All the exhibition rooms here are filled with such heartbreaking stories. When we left Yad Vashem, I told the Canadian Prime Minister that the primary duty of the Prime Minister of Israel is to ensure that there will be no more memorial sites like this, that there will never be another Holocaust.

I have said many times in this place that we must identify an existential threat in time and take action in time. Tonight, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, I ask myself: why, in the years preceding the Holocaust, did the overwhelming majority of world leaders and Jewish leaders fail to detect the danger in time? In retrospect, all the warning signs were there: the strengthening of the Nazi regime year after year; the horrific anti-Semitic propaganda which grew stronger with each passing month; and the murderous attacks on Jews which began as a trickle and transformed into a huge wave.  In retrospect, there is a direct line connecting the racial laws and the gas chambers.

Very few world leaders understood the enormity of the threat to humanity posed by Nazism. Churchill was one of them. Few among our leaders, primarily Jabotinsky, warned against the imminent destruction facing our nation, but they were widely criticized and their warnings were disregarded, and they were treated as merchants of doom and war mongers. So I ask: How is it possible that so many people failed to understand the reality? The bitter and tragic truth is this: it is not that they did not see it. They did not want to see it. And why did they choose not to see the truth? Because they did not want to face the consequences of that truth.

During the 1930’s, when the Nazis were gaining momentum, the influence of the trauma of the First World War was still fresh. Twenty years earlier, the people of the West experienced a terrible trench war, a war which claimed the lives of 16 million people. Therefore, the leaders of the West operated on the basis of one axiom: avoid another confrontation at any cost, and thus they laid the foundation for the most terrible war in human history. This axiom of avoiding conflict at any cost, this axiom was adopted not only by the leaders. The people themselves, primarily the educated ones, shared it too.

In 1933, for example, the year Hitler rose to power, there was a meeting of the Oxford University student organization – an institute from which generations of British leaders had emerged. Following a heated debate, the students voted for a resolution stating that they “would under no circumstances fight for their King and Country”. This resolution passed by an overwhelming majority only ten days after Hitler entered the Chancellery of Germany. And believe me: that message reverberated in Berlin. This example illustrates the West’s feeble attitude vis-à-vis the rise of Nazism.

Month after month, year after year, more and more information was received in London, Paris and Washington regarding the capabilities and intentions of the Nazi regime. The picture was becoming clear to everybody. However, “they have eyes, but cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear.” When you refuse to accept reality as it is, you can deny it. And this is precisely what the leaders of the West did. They dismissed the murderous Nazi rhetoric as internal German politics; they downplayed the seriousness of the danger of the military build-up of the Nazis, claiming that it was the result of the natural will of a proud nation, that it should be taken into consideration, that it should be accepted.

The reality was clear, but it was cloaked in a bubble of illusions. This bubble was burst by the stealth attack by the Nazis on Europe. And the price of the illusion and desire was very heavy because by the time the leaders of the West finally acted, their people paid a terrible price. World War II claimed the lives not of 16 million people, the unimaginable number of victims during World War I, but of 60 million, including one third of our people, who were butchered by the Nazi beast.  Citizens of Israel, my brothers and sisters, has the world learned from the mistakes of the past? Today, we are again facing clear facts and a tangible threat.

Iran is calling for our destruction. It is developing nuclear weapons… Today, just like then, there are those who dismiss Iran’s extreme rhetoric as one that serves domestic purposes. Today, just like then, there are those who view Iran’s nuclear ambitions as the result of the natural will of a proud nation – a will that should be accepted. And just like then, those who make such claims are deluding themselves. They are making an historic mistake. We are currently in the midst of fateful talks between Iran and the world powers. This time too, the truth is evident to all: Iran is seeking an agreement that will lift the sanctions and leave it as a nuclear threshold state.

Iran wants a deal that will eliminate the sanctions and leave their nuclear capabilities intact. Such a deal will enable Iran to be a nuclear state, and will bring the entire world to the threshold of an abyss. I hope that the lessons of the past will be learned and that the desire to avoid confrontation at any cost will not lead to a deal that will exact a much heavier price in the future. I call on the leaders of the world to insist on a full dismantling of Iran’s capability to manufacture nuclear weapons, and to persist until this goal is achieved. On the eve of the Holocaust, there were Jews who avoided crying out to the world’s nations out of fear that the fight against the Nazis would become a Jewish problem.

Others believed that if they kept silent, the danger would pass. They kept silent and the disaster struck. Today, we are not afraid to speak the truth to world leaders, as is written in our Bible: “I will speak of your testimonies before kings, and I will not be ashamed…listen, for I will speak noble thoughts; the opening of my lips will reveal right things.” Unlike our situation during the Holocaust, when we were like leaves on the wind, defenceless, now we have great power to defend ourselves, and it is ready for any mission. Look at the remarkable achievements we have made in our 66 years of independence.

All of us together–scientists, writers, teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs, employees, artists, farmers–the entire people of Israel, each one in their own field–together we have built a glorious state. The spirit of the people of Israel is supreme, our accomplishments tremendous. Seven decades after the destruction of the Holocaust, the State of Israel is a global wonder. The State of Israel is stronger than ever. It is a state that seeks peace with all its neighbours–a state with a will of iron to ensure the future of its people. “The people will arise like a lion cub and raise itself like a lion; it will not lie down until it consumes prey, and drinks the blood of the slain.”

Source: Breaking Christian News

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Israel has taken pride in a BBC report regarding the Jewish state’s genuine care for its enemies. The BBC is often seen as biased against Israel, but the report in question had nothing but good things to say about Israel over its selfless care for victims of the ongoing civil war in Syria, a nation still officially at war with Israel. BBC Middle East correspondent Kevin Connolly visited Ziv Hospital in the Israel town of Safed and brought back a story of Syrians under fire whose lives were literally saved by their worst enemy. Connolly interviewed a Syrian mother giving birth to her baby at the Israeli hospital after the clinic in her own village turned her away due to its inability to handle her case amidst the chaos of war.

The child “will one day have quite a story to tell. That is, if his parents ever decide to tell him,” noted Connolly. The woman was already in labour  when she was turned away from her local clinic. “Her worried husband knew that it was possible to get her treated in Israel—and so the couple began a dangerous race to the frontier in a country at war and a desperate race against time,” the reporter continued. Like many before them, the anxious couple came to a point near the Israel-Syria border where they knew Israeli military patrols would see them. Shortly after, an Israeli military ambulance picked up the woman and transferred her on time to Ziv Hospital.

Connolly pointed out that the new mother “was the 177th person to make the journey to the emergency room..” The astonished correspondent explained that the phenomenon has become so commonplace that an “informal system of patient transfer has become so well-established that some patients have even arrived with letters of referral written by doctors in Syria for their Israeli counterparts.” The director of Ziv Hospital, Dr. Oscar Embon, told the BBC that he hoped the experience of the Syrian patients would be different from what they had been raised to believe about Israel. “Most of them express their gratitude and their wish for peace between the two countries,” said Embon.

Of course, decades of indoctrination are hard to reverse in just a few short days or weeks. Embon said he doesn’t “expect the Syrian patients to become lovers of Israel and ambassadors for what we do here, but in the interim I expect they will reflect on what was their experience here and that they will reflect differently on what the regime tells them about Israelis and Syrians being enemies.” Connolly went on to write about the compelling human dramas taking place in the hospital. “Most of the patients…won’t talk about what they have been through—they are too frightened about what would happen to them back in Syria if it emerged they had been to Israel,” he noted.

One person who did talk was an Israeli Arab social worker who identified himself as Faris, whose job it was to calm the disoriented Syrian visitors, who find themselves being treated in an enemy state they have been taught is a bloodthirsty foe to all Arabs. Faris’ job is difficult. In addition to having to explain a complicated situation, he also must eventually say goodbye to people with whom he has formed a strong bond, knowing that he will never see them again. “When people come here for two months,” Faris said, “a relationship starts between you and them and becomes stronger. Then they go home and the sad thing is you can’t be in contact with them because their villages are ‘enemy’ villages.”

Source: Breaking Christian News

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Over a million people have already seen the film clip of Jesus walking to His death at Auschwitz produced by Jews for Jesus. Jewish people in particular are showing great interest in the new short film, which is being reported on in Israel’s mainstream media. According to Susan Perlman, the Director of Communications for Jews for Jesus, the film is getting more than 100,000 views a day. “This is way beyond our expectations,” says Perlman. “We wanted to start a conversation about Jesus,” says Perlman who has served Jews for Jesus since 1972. “We felt it was time to address the negative idea that believing in Jesus is not a Jewish thing to do,” she said.

Portraying Jesus walking into Auschwitz carrying a cross on His shoulder has certainly sparked a conversation in Israel. “We decided to use the iconic image of Jesus dragging His cross so that people would clearly recognize Jesus in the film,” says Perlman. Some Israeli newspapers are calling the film “the most tasteless YouTube video ever.” The crucifixion of Christ has never been easy for Jews, certainly not in the context of the Holocaust. “Jesus has often been wrongly associated with the perpetrators of the Holocaust,” says Perlman. “In reality, He is to be identified with the victims. As a Jew, Jesus may well have suffered the same fate of the six million who perished in the concentration camps,” she says.

It is true that if Jesus had been in Auschwitz, He would have died a nameless victim with a number on His arm. Watching Jesus carry His cross into Auschwitz looking like the same Christ figure so often blamed for the Holocaust may prove too much for Jewish people. “We expected this kind of reaction to the film,” says Perlman when asked about the multitude of negative reactions to the film from the Jewish community. “We are trying to stimulate a conversation over a difficult issue,” she explains. Some Messianic Jewish groups in Israel are concerned that the Jews for Jesus strategy may backfire and further alienate Jews from Jesus.

Jews for Jesus is an organization whose mission statement is “to make the Messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people worldwide.” The film was directed by Herb Kossover, a well-known Messianic Jewish Hollywood film maker, according to Perlman, and can be viewed in twelve different languages including Hebrew, Russian, Polish and German. “We contacted the German Director of Jews for Jesus who watched the film and told us that he agrees that we go ahead with the project,” notes Perlman. “In order to generate Jewish interest in the film its release coincided with Passover and Holocaust Remembrance Day,” says Perlman.

Source: Israel Today

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