Yad Vashem is organizing a major event in January that aspires to bring a number of world leaders, including US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, to Jerusalem in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
The Jerusalem Post has learned that leaders would arrive in Israel on January 26, spend one night here, and take part in the World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem the following day.
In addition to Trump and Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will also be invited, as will the to-be-determined British prime minister. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might also participate.
It is not clear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will be involved. Earlier this month, Putin – during a conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – invited Netanyahu to take part in a ceremony in Moscow next May, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis.
If Macron does take part in the event, it would be his first visit here as French president. This would be Trump’s second visit as president, and would come just days before the kick-off of the US primary election season, with the Iowa caucuses on February 3 and the New Hampshire primary eight days later.
The Post has learned that a major, unnamed donor has been enlisted to make the event possible.
President Reuven Rivlin alluded to the event in May during his speech at the official Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem.
“With the rise in antisemitic voices, I have recently approached world leaders to invite them to an international conference that will be held here at Yad Vashem next January, to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz,” he said. “Here in Jerusalem, together with presidents and heads of state, we will join forces in the uncompromising fight against antisemitism, xenophobia and Holocaust denial.”