Israel must serve as a safe haven for all Jews and it has an army that is capable of guaranteeing their safety, Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said at an educational seminar at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial on Monday.
In an apparent reference to Iran’s nuclear program and the Tehran regime’s repeated endorsement of Israel’s demise, he said Israel has “an army capable of dealing with any enemy.”
Gantz was speaking three days before Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, and referred to Israel’s current challenges in that context. The Holocaust was the darkest time in the history of mankind, he said, but the world is different today than 70 years ago in that the Jewish nation has been revived and can protect the Jewish people.
If a Jew is beaten in Kiev during Passover, if Jewish schoolchildren are attacked in Toulouse and if Israeli delegates are attacked across the world, this underlines that Israel “must be stronger than ever,” Gantz said.
Gantz gave the address before members of the IDF’s General Staff, who were gathered at the national Holocaust memorial for a daylong educational seminar.
Gantz’s assertion that Israel can deal with any enemy is particularly poignant as Israel reportedly contemplates a possible strike on Iran to prevent the regime there from obtaining nuclear weapons. Recent days have seen various reports discussing Israel’s possible attack plans, while international negotiations with the Iranian regime, aimed at halting its nuclear program, continue.
“Warsaw, Vilna, Krakow, ghetto, hunger, diseases, death pits, men, women, children, shooting, elderly, massacre, Auschwitz, Treblinka, gas chambers…” — Gantz listed many bleak terms in his address. The list could go on for hours, he said. “One can’t count the number of shots fired or name all the ghettos and camps.”
Six million were murdered and left with no grave; the richest vocabulary cannot describe the horror of the Holocaust, said the chief of staff.
Yad Vashem shows all the anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews ranging back hundreds of years, from long before the Holocaust, Gantz said. “The IDF’s actions defending Jews in Israel and overseas are part of the chronology.”
“We must defend Israel and its borders, but also look around and lend a helping hand whenever a Jew is attacked for no reason apart from being Jewish,” Gantz stated.
Israel must be a home for all Jews, with an army capable of acting anywhere in the world in order to guarantee its safety, Gantz said, turning to the other members of the General Staff with a personal message: Commanders of the IDF are obligated to return to the stories told in this museum, he said, in order to remember their duty.