By Lea Speyer –
“Shake thyself from the dust; put on thy beautiful garments my people.” (Isaiah 52:2)
Commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invoked messages of the Holocaust and biblical prophecy as a warning directed towards the expansionist and violent actions of the Iranian regime.
“Seventy years ago, the bells of freedom rang in the free world. The horrific nightmare that had engulfed all humanity in the depths of blood had come to an end in Europe,” the prime minister said in an address at Yad Vashem on Thursday.
“Leaders of modern countries realized that it was a propitious time to establish a new world order based on defending liberty, eradicating evil and opposing oppression. They articulated the most important lesson of World War II: democracies must not turn a blind eye to the aspirations of tyrannous regimes to expand,” Netanyahu stated. “A conciliatory attitude toward these regimes only increases their tendency for aggression. And if this aggression is not stopped in time, humanity might find itself in a much bloodier battle.”
The prime minister pointed out that “ahead of World War II, the world attempted to appease the Nazis. They wanted quiet at any price, and the terrible price did come.”
With the murder of 6 million Jews and millions of others during the Holocaust, the prime minister said “the conclusion was clear: there is no room for weakness when facing tyrannous regimes who send their murderous tentacles in every direction. Only by standing firm and adhering to the values of liberty and tolerance can we ensure the future of mankind.”
As world leaders shout “Never Again!” and promise to “oppose evil things as soon as they begin,” Netanyahu called these announcement “meaningless” as the same pattern that emerged before the Holocaust are happening before our very eyes once again with Iran.
“Did the world really learn a lesson from the inconceivable universal and Jewish tragedy of last century?” Netanyahu asked. “I wish I could stand here and tell you that the answer to this was yes.”
Just as the Nazis sought to overtake Europe, Iran seeks to overtake and destroy the Middle East, including the annihilation of Israel, the prime minister said. Human civilizations is facing growing threats that, if not challenged with a strong response, will overtake humanity.
“Radical Islamic forces are flooding the Middle East, destroying remnants of the past, torturing the helpless, murdering innocents. They hope to establish caliphates, more than one, like in the Middle Ages. At the same time, the extremist regime in Iran is oppressing its people; it is rushing forward and submerging the Middle East in blood and suffering – in Yemen, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Gaza and across the border of the Golan,” Netanyahu explained.
“Just as the Nazis aspired to crush civilization and to establish a ‘master race’ to replace it in controlling the world while annihilating the Jewish people, so too does Iran strive to gain control over the region, from which it would spread further, with the explicit intent of obliterating the Jewish state.”
The prime minister laid out the two main ways Iran is seeking to expand its power in the Middle East and carry out its murderous intent towards the Jewish state.
“Iran is advancing in two directions: the first is developing the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons and accumulate a stockpile of ballistic missiles; and the second – exporting the Khomeinist revolution to many countries by heavily using terrorism and taking over large parts of the Middle East.”
Netanyahu slammed world leaders for turning a blind eye to the true intentions of Iran as they desperately seek to make peace with the evil regime. “Everything it out in the open – it is all taking place in broad daylight, in front of cameras,” he noted. “And yet, the blindness is immense.”
Quoting the Prophet Isaiah, the prime minister evoked a message of warning from God “as the civilized world is lulled into a slumber on a bed of illusions.”
“‘For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples,’ said the Prophet Isaiah. The determination and lessons that were acquired in blood seventy years ago are now dissipating, and the darkness and fog of denying reality are taking their place,” Netanyahu warned.
Netanyahu vowed that, despite push-back from many Western countries, Israel “will not flinch” in identifying threats and protecting the future of the Jewish state and nation. “We will continue to insist on the truth, and we will do everything we can to open the eyes that have closed.”
“I do not want to mislead anyone. We have tests ahead of us. We are in the midst of a great battle against the languor, the weakness, the denial of reality – we will stand in full force,” he said.
“Seventy years ago we were a people of war refugees, powerless and voiceless. Today we express what we have to say, and we are determined to guarantee our existence and our future. It is our duty to fight those who wish to destroy us, not to bow down to them nor to downplay reality. We will not allow the State of Israel to be a passing episode in the history of our nation.”
With a message of hope, Netanyahu ended his speech by invoking the message of Isaiah 52:2, “Shake thyself from the dust; put on thy beautiful garments my people.”
“The nation of eternity has shaken itself from the dust, returned home, stood tall, established an outstanding country and an outstanding army, the Israel Defense Force, in which our brave and courageous sons and daughters serve,” he stated. “We will remember those who were murdered, we will guarantee life.”