Europe has failed to learn lessons of anti-Semitism, Shaked says, pointing finger at UK Labor

The justice minister was speaking at a symposium marking 80 years since the Nuremberg race laws and 70 years since the Nuremberg trial.

May 4, 2016 14:27
2 minute read.
Ayelet Shaked Poland

Ayelet Shaked speaks at Nuremberg Symposium in Krakow, Poland . (photo credit: YOSSI ZELIGER,MOSHE MILNER)


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KRAKOW – Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called Wednesday on UK Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn to take a loud and clear stand and end the political career of any member of his party guilty of anti-Semitism, which she said is alive and well in Europe today.

“I call on the United Kingdom Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn to state clearly the Labor’s commitment to fighting anti-Semitism. Mr. Corbyn must clarify that anti-Semitic comments are not within legitimate political debate, and that anti-Semitic views should end a politician’s career and disqualify [him] from any future public office,” Shaked said, referencing the recent scandal in the Labor Party over anti-Israel comments made by former London mayor Ken Livingstone, MK Naz Shah and others. She also called on European leaders to “heed the British lesson and affirm that anti-Semitism is unacceptable.”

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“Make no mistake,” she said in comments that appeared to be directed at certain European countries, “the Israeli government cherishes our strong and warm relationship with friendly nations... but we will not compromise our sovereignty. We will maintain our might, defend our borders and secure our citizens.”

The justice minister was speaking at a symposium marking 80 years since the Nuremberg race laws and 70 years since the Nuremberg trials that was organized by the March of the Living International, the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights and Krakow’s Jagiellonian University, the same university, she noted, where her husband’s grandfather had studied law before leaving for Palestine in the 1930s. He was, she said, the only member of his family to have survived the Holocaust.

Shaked questioned whether Europe had learned the lessons of the Holocaust and charged that anti-Semitism continues unabated on the continent.

“We can witness anti-Semitism today; in fact, the anti-Semitic voices seem to get louder and stronger still,” she said. “There are Holocaust deniers, and others wish to slander Israel and blame it for all the world’s travails. We witness anti-Semitic attacks in the heart of Europe. We hear anti-Semitic slanders in European media. We feel anti-Semitic hatred in the continent that should have learned.”

Shaked said that unlike the period of the Holocaust, the Jews now have a state and that this is “an era of Jewish power.”

“Some of our detractors may find that notion offensive,” she added. “But like other nations, Jews now exercise power. Yes, we exercise power ethically yet resolutely."

“We are committed to the defense and security of the Jewish people,” Shaked continued. “Israel was founded on the premise of offering a safe haven for the Jews. We shall never depend on others for our survival. We will determine our own destiny. We must defend ourselves because others failed to help us.”

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