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Shaked: Anti-Semitism killing Jews, not stalled peace talks

At memorial service on International Holocaust Day, justice minister says world must stop blaming Israel for Mideast ills, unite against hatred

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks at a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on December 28, 2016. (Ohad Zwigenberg/Pool)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks at a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on December 28, 2016. (Ohad Zwigenberg/Pool)

Jews are being murdered today because of anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and incitement to terrorism, not because of Palestinian frustration over stalled peace talks, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked told foreign ambassadors in central Israel on Friday.

Her comments came on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marked on January 27 every year, the date of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945.

Shaked, of the right-wing Jewish Home party, told attendees at a memorial service at Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak, near Netanya, that it is clear that Israel is not the problem in the troubled Middle East, but rather the solution, Israel Radio reported.

She urged the ambassadors to join the war against incitement, terrorism and racism.

“The fact that the world closes its eyes to Iranian aid to the genocide in Syria, and chooses to repeatedly condemn the only country in the Middle East that really values human life is a sign of the world’s double standard and its unwillingness to deal with evil,” she said.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, speaks during a press conference on January 26, 2017. (AFP/ JOSEPH EID)
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, speaks during a press conference on January 26, 2017. (AFP/Joseph Eid)

The European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, said Thursday that the world had a “responsibility to remember” the millions of Jews and others murdered in the Holocaust during World War II, and also warned that racism and anti-Semitism were on the rise.

In a press statement, Mogherini said that “anti-Semitism has not disappeared, and European Jews have too often come under attack,” while “discriminations based on religion and on ethnicity are worryingly on the rise.

“We remember the genocide committed here, on European soil, just two generations ago,” she continued, citing the late Israeli statesman Shimon Peres, “now sadly no longer with us, [who] once said: ‘We are their eyes that remember. We are their voice that cries out.'”

“We have a responsibility to remember: a responsibility toward the victims, toward the survivors. A responsibility toward the future generations. And a responsibility toward Europe, and all European citizens,” she said.

Mogherini said that a united Europe “was the only way to ensure that ‘never again’ such tragedies would happen inside our continent” and that Europeans “must pass the message to younger generations [that] a peaceful and diverse Europe cannot be taken for granted. Anti-Semitism has not disappeared, and European Jews have too often come under attack. Discriminations based on religion and on ethnicity are worryingly on the rise. Each new generation needs to commit again to the foundations of our peaceful coexistence.”

Europe has seen a rise of far-right parties in recent years, as well as a string of deadly terror attacks that have claimed hundreds of lives.

Many eyes are now on France ahead of its presidential elections in the spring, where polls were currently showing far-right candidate Marine Le Pen qualifying for the second round of the presidential election in May where she is forecast to face — and lose to — conservative Francois Fillon.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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