"Israeli citizens do not face the same dangers once faced by Jews in Europe," Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Sunday night at a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony. Speaking at the Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies in Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak, Livni said that though the state of Israel of 2014 is still threatened, it is also a strong and independent state.
"The Jewish people have undergone a transformation: from a yellow Star of David on the clothes of the helpless, to a Star of David etched in metal from which the IAF's fighter jets are made, as well as the IDF's tanks and ships," Livni stated.
While Livni distanced the climate faced by Israelis today from that which European Jews faced in the lead-up to the Holocaust, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a speech at Yad Vashem, drew direct comparisons between the two, urging world leaders to learn the lessons of the1930s, in reference to the Iranian nuclear threat.
The justice minister acknowledged that there are people who refuse to recognize Israel's existence and who work toward erasing it from the world map; but said that despite this, the country is independent and strong enough to cope with these threats, and powerful enough to be part of the world rather than "retreating into itself in ghetto mode." She added that Israel is both powerful enough to fight its enemies and strong enough to establish peace with its neighbors, "if and when it has a partner that is ready for it too."
"Six million Jews did not have this strength," she emphasized. "But with the strength that we have today, the six million victims will be forever engraved in our hearts. For them and for our children, we must remember, we must be strong and we must preserve Israel as a Jewish, democratic and Zionist state."