Israeli President accuses world leaders of turning blind eye to antisemitism, radicalism and human rights abuses for “economic or political gain.”
By David Hellerman, World Israel News
In a searing address marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israeli President Isaac Herzog blasted the international community for ignoring the lessons of the Nazi genocide.
“Though a great deal has been done, it is alarmingly clear that 77 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the shock is wearing off,” Herzog said at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on Thursday evening. “We are seeing a surge in antisemitic assaults online; a normalization of antisemitic terminology in mainstream media; and an introduction of social media platforms refocused on Jew hatred to newer, younger audiences.”
“We see how present-day radicalism and antisemitism are overlooked, for economic or political gain. And, perhaps most disturbing, we see how the truth about the past is trivialized, and alternative facts are drowning out history,” Herzog added.
The President also denounced efforts to whitewash or water down the Holocaust’s legacy, saying the Shoah was “not a disputed footnote in history” but “the most sickening assault humanity has ever committed.”
“We must make it clear to all radical regimes that they will never be treated as legitimate members of the international community until they end their calls for genocide and support for terror,” Herzog stressed.
“We must not allow political considerations to mute our moral compass and prevent us from speaking out, when those who commit gross violations of human rights attempt to use the UN or other international forums to hide or further their crimes. And we must expose and denounce any attempts to distort, rewrite or forget what happened, not so long ago,” he added.
Herzog also called on the international community to more widely adopt the working definition of antisemitism developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
In recent weeks, 10 U.S. states have advanced proclamations adopting the Berlin-based IHRA’s definition.
That definition has already been adopted by the U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia and other Western countries and institutions.
Herzog made a special point of singling out Iran and the world’s willingness to engage Tehran.
“We see the Ayatollah regime in Iran calling for the annihilation of the State of Israel, initiating terrorism against Jewish communities around the world, and murdering civilians throughout the Middle East while some simply look the other way,” he said.