Spanish-Catalonian journalist Pilar Rahola addresses a packed audience in Israel.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Organized and sponsored by KKL-JNF in collaboration with the OLEI organization for olim from Latin American countries, Spain and Portugal, the event was the culmination of Rahola’s participation in the March of the Living in Auschwitz, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Memorial Day and Israel’s 70th Independence Day as a guest of KKL-JNF.
Pilar Rahola is a Spanish-Catalonian politician, journalist and activist. Her articles are published in Spain and in prominent media outlets in Latin America. Rahola, for those who are not acquainted with her work, is one of the most passionate and most important commentators in Spanish public discourse. Her top priority is the cause for Israel, which, as far as she is concerned, is a cause for the entire world.
Rahola said that this trip - her second visit to Auschwitz - was much different than the first time she went with her daughter 20 years ago.
“I was afraid going back to Auschwitz. But it is an honor to be invited to participate in the March of the Living, so I went,” she said. “Of course there were painful moments when that evil and the memory of so many millions of people with dreams and lives who were murdered penetrates, but at the same time there were the thousands of people with the Israeli flag, all saying that Auschwitz was not the death of the Jewish people. They were not defeated by Auschwitz.”
In Israel during the 70th anniversary celebrations, she said that while watching the young people dancing away, she thought “this is unstoppable”.
In her fiery, indomitable style, Rahola captivated the audience with her analysis of the current political situation as well as Israel’s achievements over the past 70 years of its existence, in comparison with the accomplishments of Europe and the Arab world.
But the most impressive thing about Israel, she said, is that people are happy.
“Your neighbors finance terrorism and are led by a totalitarian ideology which aims to destroy other societies, especially Israel,” she said. “So how is it possible to live so happily and to have created a society which is so normal here? While for 2000 years you have been persecuted and hated and have enemies who have tried to annihilate you, in addition to creating a secure, free and healthy society in the 70 years of the creation of Israel, you have created a normal society which helps defend fundamental human rights.”