Hoenlein warns against ‘apathy’ at time of growing threats

'Guardian of Zion' award given to American Jewish activist.

By JUDY SIEGEL
May 24, 2010 17:34
1 minute read.
Guardian of Zion award ceremony

Malcolm Hoenlein with wife 311. (photo credit: yoni reif)

Friends of Israel, including many Jews around the world, are apathetic to the growing physical and verbal threats against Israel and Jerusalem, warned Malcolm Hoenlein, longtime executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, at a dinner in his honor at the capital’s King David Hotel on Sunday night.

Hoenlein, who received the 14th Guardian of Zion Award from Bar-Ilan University’s Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies, said, “We are living in an age of forgetfulness. We seem to be losing any connection to the past or we dismiss it. We will pay a heavy price for this,” he said, if friends of Israel and the Jews remain apathetic and ignore the signs of anti-Semitism and real threats against the Jewish state and the unity of Jerusalem.

He urged that they pay attention to the words of dictators like Mahmoud Ahmedinejad of Iran when they disclose their intentions to destroy Israel and denigrate the Jewish heritage of Jerusalem.

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“Leaders of democracies lie; dictators tell the truth,” said Hoenlein.

The Palestinians are intentionally trying to demolish evidence of the Jewish heritage of Jerusalem and are finding a favorable reception among many people around the world. This atmosphere hostile to Israel is spreading and finding a receptive audience among those who know little about the history of the region and the Jewish people, he said.

As our grandparents said they “didn’t know” when asked why they didn’t know what the Nazi regime would do, said Hoenlein, our generation would have to answer to their grandchildren when asked what they did to protect Israel and Jerusalem in the current hostile situation.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who spoke in a video message to honor Hoenlein, said he was a wise choice to receive the award and that he has used his courage, skill and wisdom to defend Israel and the Jewish people time and time again.

“The Jewish people are lucky to have him,” Netanyahu concluded.


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