Jerusalem, May 20th, 2015 – As world leaders celebrated Victory Day in different parts of the world earlier this month, the leadership of the European Coalition for Israel traveled to Israel to celebrate the capitulation of the Nazis and the subsequent creation of the modern State of Israel in its capital Jerusalem. The following is a statement from the three-day conference:
”The Holocaust did not create, nor legitimize, the modern State of Israel, but made it perfectly clear that the Jewish people needed a place they could call home. As we once again face a rise in antisemitism in Europe, the Jewish people now have a safe haven in Israel. For this reason, world leaders should do their utmost to protect, strengthen and support the only Jewish state in the world.
The failure of the world community at the time to live up to its commitments under the San Remo Resolution of 1920 – to create a national home for the Jewish people in Israel – led to a catastrophe for the Jewish people as the British closed the door to Palestine and other nations turned them away while the Nazis hunted them down. As we celebrate the victory over Nazism, we cannot forget that the victorious nations also bear their share of guilt. It would be wrong to believe that only the Nazis wanted the Jews dead: many citizens of the occupied nations aided the Nazis and countries that could have helped the Jews find a safe haven refused to do so.
Victory Day is therefore a day for soul searching and repentance as we re-commit to the safety and security of the Jewish people as they once again face deadly enemies on the streets of Europe and in Tehran.
There can be no VE Day as long as Jews are not safe on the streets of Europe and continue to face an existential threat of nuclear annihilation from Iran. The burning issue is not what happened 70 years ago, but rather how history will judge us if we fail to take action today.
In the midst of all this, Israel stands tall as a symbol of perseverance and hope. Israel is not perfect, as is the case with other Western democracies. However it is a light to the nations, not only in the Middle East, where it continues to be the only parliamentary democracy of its kind, but also to crisis zones around the world. Israeli teams reach out faster than any other nation, as was the case in Nepal recently and in the Ebola-stricken countries of West Africa.
As Europeans, we know that our societies have been shaped by Jewish thinking for centuries and are built on Judeo-Christian values. As we celebrate the victory over National Socialism and the liberation of the Nazi death camps, it is fitting to do so in the cradle of our civilization, Jerusalem, which stands out as the most visible sign of victory over the death angels of the Holocaust. Am Israel Chai! Long live Israel!
Footnote: The conference took place in Jerusalem from May 10th to 12th, and was followed by an educational study tour for ECI activists. The conference also marked the conclusion of a 100 day awareness-raising campaign which was launched in Auschwitz, Poland on January 27th – the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The conference was co-organized by European Coalition for Israel, Christians for Israel International and Ebenezer Emergency Fund and was attended by over 300 participants from all five continents.