"During this time of fateful and brave decisions, our strength lies in our unity. If this requires expanding the collation and seeking broad national consent, then we must find a way to pull it off for the sake of the continued prosperity of the Zionist enterprise," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday evening during a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, adding that Israel won't hesitate to act against those seeking its demise.
"Today Israel needs to protect its security and boost its strength," said Barak, "Towards this end we need to cooperate with the (international community), particularly with the US."
Ceremony at Yad Mordechai (Photo: Tzafrir Abayov)
During the ceremony, which traditionally concludes the Holocaust Day events, Barak mentioned his grandparents, who died in the Holocaust. "The fact that we are here tonight…is a clear and, on some level, a vengeful statement – we are avenging the blood that was spilled, the women, children and the elderly who were murdered and tossed into the ovens or died other cruel deaths.
"You weren't able to annihilate the Jewish people; the opposite is true," said the defense minister.
"Unfortunately, the Jewish nation still has to fight for its existence. Racism, anti-Semitism and terror have not been eradicated," he said, adding that "anti-Semitism is partly the result of the appeasing attitude towards Holocaust deniers, headed by the Iranian president (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) who calls for Israel's destruction."
Barak concluded by saying, "This time the Jews have an option. We have the experience and proven capability, and we will not hesitate to act against those that threaten the Jewish nation's existence."