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Peres: We were alone, without a country of our own
President at Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem says "today we have an excellent army that has gained the respect of the world."
President Shimon Peres spoke at the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem on Sunday evening. The following is an excerpt from the president’s remarks:

“We were alone, without a country of our own. The allied bombers that flew over Auschwitz did not drop even a single bomb on the mass murdering facilities.

“The Shoah finally established that there is no substitute for a homeland of our own. There is no replacement for the Israel Defense Forces. Today we have established our own homeland. Today we have an excellent army that has gained the respect of the world. We have a democratic regime that can protect as necessary and pursue peace as needed. This is the answer to an enemy, every enemy. Even today, after the Shoah, there is a regime in the world, whose leadership are Holocaust-deniers and - inciters. This should shock every person and conscience.

The fanatical leadership of Iran is a threat to the entire world — not just a threat to Israel. It threatens every home and every place. It is a real danger to humanity.

“The nations of the world declared that they will not accept a nuclear Iran. Now they must stand the test of their undertaking. We, the Jewish people, were victims of racism, persecution and discrimination, but we never neglected the commandment to respect every person.

Because every person, according to our tradition, is created in the image of God. Even in a darkened world we aspired, and will aspire to be a light unto the nations.

“This is the significance of the State of Israel: To physically defend our people, and morally defend our tradition.

Every citizen of Israel, regardless of religion or race knows that Israel is, and will be the most anti-racist country in the world.

Israel is the historical commemoration to the victims of the Holocaust.”

(Courtesy of the President’s Office)
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