With World War II veterans bedecked in their medals looking on, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Iran and Nazi Germany were both evil regimes seeking to destroy the Jewish people, at the legislature’s ceremony marking the 73rd anniversary of Allies’ victory.
The veterans held a march, sponsored by the Immigration Absorption Ministry, outside the Knesset, along with a ceremony in honor of Victory in Europe Day, known as V-E Day.
“Today, like then, the Jewish people face threats,” Edelstein said, quoting the Passover Haggada, which says “in every generation, they try to destroy us.”
“Today, like then, we are a nation that stands alone. The nations of the world, as was proven by signing the Iran Deal, do not always see eye-to-eye with us about the magnitude of the threats to us and the free world. But unlike then, today the State of Israel is a military and economic power that for 70 years has stood strong and ready with an iron fist against any threat,” Edelstein said.
Edelstein thanked the veterans for their efforts in the war, pointing out that about a 1.5 million Jews fought with the Allies, a third of whom were in the Red Army. He said the end of World War II brought about a new, more civilized and freer era in human history.
“You remind us that, against those who want to turn off the light in the world, there will always be others who will relight it, and they will always, always win,” he said.
The V-E Day festivities in the Knesset came a day after the legislature passed a law making the Hebrew date of the victory over Nazi Germany a national holiday, in which there will be an official memorial ceremony and a prayer service at the Western Wall.
Shas MK Yoav Ben-Tzur, who drafted the law, said “it is appropriate for the Jewish State to remember historically significant dates for our people on the Hebrew date, specifically when it comes to the memory of the Holocaust.
In an apparent reference to Poland’s law against saying Poles cooperated with the Nazis, and trends in other post-communist states like Ukraine, Lithuania, Hungary, and others, Ben-Tzur added: “In the current reality, in which we deal with extremist and antisemitic leaders who want to erase and rewrite Jewish history, we must preserve it.”