Livni: Israel strong enough to shed ghetto mentality

Livni: Israel strong enough to shed ghetto mentality

Contrasting Netanyahu, justice minister says country faces threats, but not the same as pre-war Europe

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

in Jerusalem. April 27, 2014. (photo credit: Amit Shabi/FLASH90)
in Jerusalem. April 27, 2014. (photo credit: Amit Shabi/FLASH90)

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni warned Israelis against keeping a “ghetto mentality,” at a Holocaust Remembrance Day event Sunday, saying the country was strong enough to avoid being bullied by every threat.

Speaking at a ceremony at Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak on Sunday night, Livni said the memory of the Holocaust naturally directs decision making in Jerusalem, but said it should not stifle attitudes of the current generation.

“Along with the memory, which reminds us where hatred and apathy are likely to bring us, it is important to not let the these dark events take control of our decisions and our future,” she said according to Ynet. “It is important that we pass on to the young Israelis, those who are learning about the Holocaust, the deep understanding, and the correct historical significance.”

Her statement came in stark contrast to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who used an address at the main state ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem to draw a parallel between world inaction in the lead-up to the Holocaust and current attitudes toward the Iranian nuclear program.

However, Livni said comparing the two was a false analogy.

“The citizens of Israel today are not facing the same dangers that confronted the scattered Jews of Europe,” she said. “Yes, the State of Israel in 2014 is still a threatened state, and there are those who refuse to recognize our existence and are acting to banish us from the world map in any way they can — but it is also a strong independent state.”

“Strong enough to deal with the threats. Strong enough to be a part of the world and not just withdraw into itself with the feeling of a ghetto. Strong enough to fight its enemies, and strong enough to establish peace with it neighbors, if and when it faces the partner for whom that is also true.”

Holocaust Remembrance Day began in Israel on Sunday night with a state ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem to commemorate the 6 million killed in the Nazi genocide.

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