The Jewish people is no longer powerless, but the international community needs to stand up against calls from Iran, Islamic State and Hamas to destroy the Jews, “not for our sake, but for theirs,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday.
Netanyahu, in a taped message marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, said that anti-Semitism – “the oldest and most enduring hatred” – has not died.
“Unfortunately in Europe and elsewhere, Jews are once again being targeted just for being Jews,” he said. “Around the world Jewish communities are increasingly living in fear as we see anti-Semitism directed against individual Jews, and we also see this hatred directed against the collective Jew, against the Jewish state,” he said.
Netanyahu said that today Israel is targeted with the same slurs and libels that “were leveled against the Jewish people since time immemorial.” Not only is “the most outrageous anti-Semitism” finding its way into the doctrines of the extremist Islamic movements, but “even respected Western opinion leaders become afflicted with hatred for the Jewish people and the Jewish state.”
Netanyahu said that “the obsession with the Jews, the fixation on the Jewish state” defies any rational explanation. For instance, he said, while Islamic militants are brutalizing entire populations across the region, raping and enslaving women and murdering Christians and gays, the UN Human Rights Council condemns Israel more than North Korea, Iran and Syria combined.
It is the Jews, however, who have changed, Netanyahu said, adding that Jews no longer need to beg for a safe haven or for protection.
“Today we are an independent and sovereign people in our own homeland,” he said. “Today we can speak out against the voices of hared, and those seeking our destruction. Today we can protect ourselves and defend our homeland. We have changed. We stand up and speak out, we defend ourselves.”
But, he asked, “Where is Europe, where is the rest of civilization? A state like Iran, movements like Daesh and Hamas openly declare their goal of committing another Holocaust. We will not let it happen. But Europe and the rest of the world must stand up together with us, not for our sake, but for theirs.”