Israeli PM Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day: Jews ‘Once Again Being Targeted for Just Being Jews’

By Lauretta Brown | January 27, 2016 | 4:24 PM EST

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AP Photo)

( – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that “in Europe and elsewhere, Jews are once again being targeted just for being Jews.”

Netanyahu’s statement came Tuesday on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. He emphasized that “the memory of the Holocaust is more important today than ever.”

“Preserving the memory of the Holocaust is more important today than ever for in this period of resurgent and sometimes violent anti-Semitism,” Netanyahu wrote, “it is commemorations like this that remind us all where the oldest and most enduring hatred can lead.”

“Unfortunately, in Europe and elsewhere, Jews are once again being targeted just for being Jews. Around the world, Jewish communities are increasingly living in fear,” Netanyahu continued. “We see anti-Semitism directed against individual Jews, and we also see this hatred directed against the collective Jew, against the Jewish state. Israel is targeted with the same slurs and the same libels that were leveled against the Jewish people since time immemorial.

“Islamic extremists incorporate the most outrageous anti-Semitism into their murderous doctrines. We see this in Gaza; we see it in Raqqa; we see it in Tehran. And it’s not just Islamic extremists in the Middle East and Europe,” Netanyahu argued. “Even respected Western opinion leaders have become afflicted with hatred for the Jewish people and the Jewish state.”

Netanyahu called this hatred an “obsession” with the Jewish people and pointed out the United Nations’ frequent condemnation of Israel as one sign of this hatred.

“The obsession with the Jews – the fixation on the Jewish state – defies any other rational explanation,” he said. “While across the region, Islamist militants brutalize entire populations, enslave and rape women, murder Christians and gays, the UN Human Rights Council repeatedly condemns Israel. More than North Korea. More than Iran. More than Syria. More than all of them put together. Some things just don’t change.”

Netanyahu concluded that “one thing has changed.”

“The Jews have changed,” he said. “We are no longer a stateless people endlessly searching for a safe haven. We are no longer a powerless people begging others to offer us protection.”

Netanyahu also called on Europe and the world to stand with Israel.

“When a state like Iran and movements like Daesh and Hamas openly declare their goal of committing another Holocaust, we will not let it happen,” he said. “But Europe and the rest of the world must stand up together with us. Not for our sake; for theirs.”

Martin Schulz, the German head of the European Parliament, also marked Holocaust Remembrance Day Wednesday with a speech warning against rising anti-Semitism in Europe.

"It is unacceptable that Jews are reluctant to wear their traditional clothes and display religious symbols in the public because of fear of reprisals and aggression,” he said in Brussels Wednesday according to the Telegraph. "It is saddening when Jewish people consider leaving Europe because they no longer feel safe."

Following a rise in attacks against Jews in Europe, a record 9,880 Western European Jews have immigrated to Israel according to the Jewish Agency.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27th, marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland in 1945. The day commemorates the 6 million Jews, and 5 million non-Jews, murdered by the Nazi regime during World War II.

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