Likud MK Ophir Akunis used a Holocaust memorial ceremony at the Knesset on Thursday to criticize Germany.
Akunis spoke at the event, whose guest star was German Bundestag President Bärbel Bas. He made a point of speaking in English when he spoke about the town where his family lived in Europe.
“97% of the community (was murdered), Madame Speaker,” he said.
Akunis then added in Hebrew: “Others can forgive the Germans. I don’t forget or forgive.”
Bas lit a memorial candle at the Knesset in memory of Irma Nathan, a woman from her hometown who was murdered in the Holocaust.
Nathan was the head of the welfare committee of the Jewish community in Duisburg until she was deported exactly 80 years ago to the concentration camp Izbica, where she was murdered.
“I humbly lower my head in shame before the victims of the Holocaust,” Bas said at the ceremony. “We cannot forget and we will not forget. Our historic guilt brings with it obligations. We must fight with determination against antisemitism in all its forms and keep alive the memory and pass it to the younger generations.”
Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid) told Bas that her visit symbolized the strong ties between the people of Israel and Germany – ties that he said are based on the historic responsibility that Germany took for the crimes of the Holocaust and for the security of Israel.