PM: Jews will never again be powerless

Implying link between Iran, Third Reich, Olmert says Israel can't stay complacent in the face of threats.

Olmert speaks 298.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Olmert speaks 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
In a special Knesset session Monday marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert drew a parallel between the current threat of a nuclear Iran and the Third Reich. "The Jewish people will never again be without a home or the power to defend itself, as in the days of the Holocaust. Yet we are paying close attention and are more sensitive than any other people to threats of extermination," said Olmert. He added that Israel could not afford to stand by while other nations called for its annihilation. While he did not name Iran, he said the Jewish state must defend itself against calls "premised on zealous, murderous ideology, a tyrannical terror-supporting regime that recklessly aspires for regional hegemony, and a malicious program for developing weapons of mass destruction." While Israel was capable of defending itself, the international community could not stand by and allow atrocities to happen as it did during the Holocaust, Olmert said. "We call on others whose position is influenced by calculations of self-interest to abandon any foreign considerations and present one determined front in order to remove the shadow threatening regional peace and world peace," the prime minister continued. Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu also addressed the international community's obligation to fulfill its promise of "never again." "The allies knew everything, but did not dispatch even one pilot. They had intelligence in real time and some of the most enlightened leaders of the 20th century. But they were apathetic to the fate of the Jewish people," said Netanyahu. "Today, anti-Semitism is back in full force... There are frequent calls for Israel's extermination, yet the world remains silent or says very little." Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik said that while the international community may not have known the extent of Nazi Germany's actions during the Holocaust, present-day world leaders could not claim that they didn't hear the calls to wipe out Israel. "Today, there is no doubt about the existential danger we're facing, and no one could claim that they didn't know," she said.