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April 19, 2012 1:38 pm

IDF Chief: “Jewish People Will Never Again Stand Defenseless”

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IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. Photo: IDF.

Full text of IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz’s message for 2012 Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, we stand as IDF soldiers and commanders and silently salute in honor of the bravery of the millions of women, men and children who were forced to suffer that terrible horror. Today we remember and remind of the heroes of revolts at ghettos and exterminations camps and of the Partisans who went armed into the forests, the Jewish warriors who fought and were even killed in the struggle against the Nazis, the tyranny and the racism in its ugliest form.

We remember the people that stood strong, retained their humanity and supported their loved ones, as much as possible, in the face of vicious death machines, despondently walking towards their death as proud Jews, and people.

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We look to those who did everything possible to survive the horrors, those who overcame the hunger and the disease, passed the selections, escaped from gunfire and gas chambers. They survived to recount their stories, so that the entire world will remember and not forget, to establish a national home for the Jewish people, to be a defensive shield and to confidently say: “Never again.”

We salute every single one of them, for the unique greatness in the face of an impossible reality. They are the eternal answer to anti-Semitic racial philosophy that tried to describe the Jewish people as “sub-human”, to Nazi propaganda on billboards and in the newspapers. They epitomized the word “bravery.”

The IDF draws from the memory of the Holocaust Remembrance Day military strength and ethical durability that directs it in every crossroad and drives it to victory time after time. This strength of both body and soul is with us at all times and especially now – when the winds of revolution undermine the stability of the Middle East and create an extremely complicated, multi-front challenge, while in the background we witness attempts to hard the State of Israel, its residents and Jewish people around the world.

As the children, the grandchildren and the great grandchildren of Holocaust survivors we now stand in IDF uniform, as the steadfast protectors of the State of Israel – a nation that was and still is the essence of their hope and their dream.

On this day of self examination we once again renew our oath to those who experienced the horrors of the Holocaust and the promise that the Jewish people will never again stand defenseless.

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