Tags: Israel | knesset | auschwitz | session | holocaust | israel

Israel's Knesset to Convene at Auschwitz

Sunday, 29 Sep 2013 11:20 PM

In an historic first combining triumph with unspeakable tragedy, Israel’s legislature, the Knesset, plans to hold a special session on the site of the former Auschwitz death camp in Poland to mark the 69th anniversary of its liberation.

The session is scheduled to take place on January 27, 2014. Even more striking, the Knesset announced that a majority of its members will take part in the commemoration, including Arab-Israeli members. The date of the event also marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The primary objective of the mission – the first time the Knesset has ever convened outside of Israeli – is two-fold: to highlight the importance of not just remembering the Holocaust, but to also “have a conversation with elected officials from around the world about what needs to be done to make sure nothing of the kind ever happens again, anywhere in the world, especially as far as Jews are concerned,” said Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, speaker of the Knesset, in announcing the event.

Each legislator attending will be accompanied by a Holocaust survivor.
“This event has the potential not just to be a memorial but to develop into a symposium for elected officials to discuss how the Holocaust and anything like it can never happen again,” Edelstein said.

The fact that Israel Arabs will attend, as well as legislators and leaders from Poland and Russia and elsewhere in Europe, is especially important given the increasingly tense situation for many Jewish communities around the world, Edelstein said.

"The state of anti-Semitism is very troubling," said Edelstein said. "I know that every year the numbers are rising. This is the tendency — they are stable or rising."

In 2013, Jews are still vilified and described in often scathing, subhuman terms in much of the Arab and Persian Middle East. In Europe, surveys consistently have found that more than a quarter of all Jews have suffered from anti-Semitic harassment or attacks annually.
As a result, nearly half of Jews in France, Belgium and Hungary have told pollsters they were considering emigrating as they no longer felt safe, the Israeli Ynet news recently reported.

The event organizer and the person behind the project is Jonny Daniels, founder and executive director of From the Depths, a non-profit organization devoted to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and ‘connecting the Jewish past with the Jewish future.'

“At least one Holocaust survivor an hour is dying in Israel and we are getting very close to the point where there will be no more first-hand accounts left,” Daniels said. “The onus falls on us, not just as Jews and Israelis, but humanity as a whole, to learn, to be with the survivors and to understand what happened and to ensure it never repeats again.”

For more information please go to From the Depths.

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In an historic first combining triumph with unspeakable tragedy, Israel's legislature, the Knesset, plans to hold a special session on the site of the former Auschwitz death camp in Poland to mark the 69th anniversary of its liberation. The session is scheduled to take...
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2013-20-29
Sunday, 29 Sep 2013 11:20 PM
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