More than 40 world leaders gathered in Jerusalem yesterday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The event is organized by World Holocaust Forum in cooperation with Yad Vashem and President Reuven Rivlin. Both PM Netanyahu and US VP Mike Pence spoke out against Iran, in addition to global anti-semitism.
Russian President Putin said, “Remember that there were collaborators in these horrific acts and their cruelty surpassed Nazi cruelty in many European countries. The Red Army brought about liberation from the Nazis, and we paid a price we never dreamed of paying.” He was clearly referring to Poland, where all of the death camps were located and where a significant percentage of the population either actively participated in the murder and persecution of the Jews, or passively supported it. Polish leaders refused to attend the commemoration.
French President Emmanuel Macron, Britain’s Prince Charles and German President Frank Walter Steinmeier also addressed the gathering. Steinmeier said, “The industrialized and mass murder of six million Jews, the most heinous crime in modern history against humanity, was committed by my people. I stand here and bow my head in deep sorrow.” He added, “The heavy historical journey of guilt is upon me, and I am grateful for the spirit of reconciliation. We are fighting anti-Semitism and are trying to stand against the poison of nationalism. We stand alongside Israel.”
VP Pence officially invited PM Netanyahu and Blue and White Chairman Gantz to Washington next week to meet with President Trump. The President is expected to reveal his peace plan before meeting with them. No invitation was extended to the Palestinians. While the details of the plan are secret, some details that have apparently been leaked included total Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and annexation of parts of the West Bank containing Jewish Settlements. Gantz will reveal later today whether he will accept the invitation.