NEW YORK – “An independent, strong, thriving and peaceful State of Israel is the
vengeance of the dead,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said at a ceremony for the
International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust in
the UN’s General Assembly hall on Thursday.
“On this day, when we
remember the six million victims, let us also remember two lessons: first, ‘the
Holocaust – never again.’ And second – an independent, strong, thriving and
peaceful State of Israel is the vengeance of the dead,” he said in Hebrew. “It
is also the comfort for those remaining alive. Thus we have the uppermost
responsibility to protect and defend it for the future
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Barak spoke of the defiance of the Warsaw Ghetto, noting
that “there is a direct line that stretches from their heroics to the
establishment of the State of Israel.”
He recounted having met Roni
Zuckerman, who in 2001 became the Israel Air Forces’s first female jet fighter
pilot, and came from Kibbutz Lohamei Hagetaot, established by survivors of the
Warsaw Ghetto, including Zuckerman’s grandfather Icchak Cukierman, also known as
Yitzhak Zuckerman and better known as “Antek,” one of the leaders of the Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising in 1943.
“Here in a nutshell is the story of Israel from
the Holocaust to rebirth,” Barak said. “Like the Phoenix, out of the
Barak’s remarks were part of the UN’s annual Holocaust
Remembrance Day. It is usually held on January 27, but was rescheduled this year
due to a blizzard in the New York area.
Also speaking in the program,
which honored the courage of women in the Holocaust, were Secretary- General Ban
Ki-moon and Rosemary DiCarlo, the US deputy permanent representative to the
“Let us renew our collective determination to heed the lessons of the
Holocaust,” Ban said. “The UN is fully committed to this cause.”
United States and the UN are “pledged to stand against the cruelty that led to
the Shoah,” DiCarlo said.