Nedan återges ambassadör Ilan Ben-Dovs tal på den internationella minnesdagen för förintelsens offer, söndagen den 27 januari 2019, i Stockholms stora synagoga:
Dear survivors and good friends.
We are gathered here this evening, 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, to commemorate the memory of the 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Shoah, among them 1.5 million children. One-third of the Jewish people.
For the first time in history, mankind has been witness to the industrial systematic extermination of a nation.
Auschwitz was of course not the only death camp. Let us remember the names: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Majdanek, Chelmno. Those were the death camps and there were many, many more concentration camps.
As we know, antisemitism did not begin with the Shoah. Jews were persecuted and humiliated for hundreds of years throughout Europe. But during those times, and especially during the time of the so-called Final Solution – Endlösung – we, the Jewish people, were weak, defenseless and helpless.
This reality changed once and for all May 14, 1948, with the rebirth of the Jewish state, the state of Israel, in our own and ancient homeland.
Since Israel was born, every Jew in the world has a safe haven – a place to go to, a home.
After the Shoah, the so-called classical, old, ancient antisemitism became somehow not politically correct and unfortunately since then, and especially in the last years, we are witnessing a new sort of antisemitism.
This time, it is aimed to delegitimize and demonize the state of Israel.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends.
We must emphasize. Criticism against Israel is a very legitimate thing. It cannot and should not be considered as antisemitism.
But when you have the leaders of Iran, as one example, daily calling for the destruction of the Jewish state, to the annihilation of the state of Israel – this is modern antisemitism.
When they call for the destruction of Israel, we in Israel believe in every word they are saying. We have 6 million reasons to believe in them and we take their words very, very serious.
What you have seen in recent years in some places – some places, not all of them – is a brutal, blatant and relentless campaign to demonize the state of Israel.
This is dangerous. This should be stopped. This must be stopped.
Let me conclude, dear friends, with words of our recently deceased great writer Amos Oz:
“Saying that Israel should cease to exist, or should not have come into being, this is crossing the line.”
We are all responsible for making sure that this line will never be crossed.
Am Yisrael Chai. Tack så mycket.
Foto: Frankie Fouganthin