PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of the Cabinet Meeting
     
 
 
Briefing Room
 
27/01/2013 
יום ראשון ט"ז שבט תשע"ג
Photo by GPO 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:

"Today, we mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. I welcome Yad Vashem Council Chairman Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Board of Directors, Avner Shalev. This day was established at the initiative, and as a result, of systematic action by Silvan Shalom, who was then Foreign Minister, and I welcome the work of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, who has struggled for the commemoration of the Holocaust, and who has struggled against the new anti-Semitism that is flooding the world. Anti-Semitism has not disappeared and – to our regret – neither has the desire to destroy a considerable part of the Jewish People and the State of Israel. They exist and they are strong. Holocaust-denial is being spread by one of the world's major countries, not by a group or by individual countries or by marginal elements, but by Iran which, today, from the UN or any other platform, is the leader of Holocaust-denial while preparing for what they deem to be another Holocaust – the destruction of the state of the Jews. They are not halting their relentless and systematic race to achieve a nuclear weapons capability in order to realize this intention. We do not make light of these threats and we will prevent them. This is our primary mission as a government and as a people.

In the perspective of the almost 75 years that have passed since the Holocaust, what has not changed is the desire to annihilate the Jews. What has changed is the ability of the Jews to defend themselves. This ability finds expression in the state, the military, and the security services and in our willingness to act against those who come to destroy us. This ability is the difference between what was then and what there is today. Nobody will defend the Jews if they are not ready to defend themselves; this is another lesson of the Holocaust. It is impossible to rely on separate and independent action to defend the Jews if the Jews will not defend themselves.

Therefore, the root of the issue today, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is not what happened, but how we can prevent it from happening again and this depends on the ability and the determination of the state of the Jews to defend itself against those who would destroy it. To this end, we must look around us, at what is happening in Iran and its proxies and at what is happening in other areas, with the deadly weapons in Syria, which is increasingly coming apart. The Middle East is not waiting on the results of the elections and it will not stop during the formation of the government. There are many threats here, among the more difficult that I have pointed out and others, and the reality is developing apace. In the east, north and south, everything is in ferment and we must be prepared. Strong and determined in the face of all possible developments. To this end, I would like to form the broadest and most stable government as possible in order – first of all – to meet the significant security threats that face the State of Israel, and I am convinced of our ability to deal with these threats."