Tibi: Shoah 'the worst crime against humanity'

Tibi was one of the only Arab MKs to participate in the Holocaust ceremony; condemns the "Nazi monster."

tibi 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
tibi 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
While Hamas's TV station recently accused Jewish leaders of creating the Holocaust to kill disabled Jews, Arab MK Ahmed Tibi Thursday called the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis "the worst crime against humanity." "I am full of empathy for the bereaved families who lost their loved ones at the hands of the Nazi monster, which planted seeds of death, hatred and racism," said Tibi, the only one of the MKs from Arab parties to participate in the Knesset's annual ceremony commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day. Ministers, MKs and President Shimon Peres took the stand in the Knesset's Chagall Hall, and read the names of family members and others murdered in the Holocaust. The ceremony opened with the song "Every Person Has a Name," played by the youth harmonica orchestra founded by Shimon Gogol, a Holocaust survivor who was forced to play in a death camp's musical ensemble. Six people were called upon to light six remembrance candles, each representing one million of the Nazi's Jewish victims. The choice of candle-lighters emphasized the theme of generations following the Holocaust, with two candles lit by grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. Peres read out the names of his grandparents, aunts and uncles who parted with the young Peres when he and his family immigrated to Palestine before the war, and was followed by a number of ministers and MKs, who read out names of family members. Others commemorated entire groups, with MK Moshe Kahalon (Likud) reading out the names of the children who were among the 700 Libyan Jews killed and MK Ran Cohen (Meretz) reading out the names of Iraqi Jews who were killed. Former Shinui head Yosef Lapid, himself a Holocaust survivor, read out the names of his family members, but also commemorated hundreds of Jewish residents of his home town of Novisad, Hungary, who were forced by local Hungarian Nazis to march to the frozen Danube River, and were then shot to death. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni chose to commemorate the names of women partisans who were killed "with their weapons in their hands" fighting against the Nazis in ghetto uprisings and as partisans in the French resistance movement. With the emphasis again on generational continuity, the ceremony concluded with a poem written by Malka Rosenthal, whose mother sacrificed herself and was shot to death in order to save Malka and her father who witnessed the whole scene from mere meters away. Malka survived the war, hidden by non-Jewish farmers for another two years in a barrel. Following the reading of the poem, Rosenthal and her children and grandchildren rose and stood at attention - three generations of a family that the Nazis tried to erase from memory - and sang, together with the rest of the assembly, "Hatikva."