Today, January 27, 2014, the largest ever delegation of Knesset members are convening abroad, on the grounds of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps, together with Holocaust survivors, for a historic gathering on combating anti-Semitism.
This symbolic parliament session is very significant — meeting just a few meters away from the gas chambers where millions of Jews were once murdered.
The event is being held on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a memorial day in honor of the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust. 2014 will also mark the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps by the Soviet Army and Allied troops.
Half of the Israeli parliament are with the Israeli delegation, and it is being led by coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin and the opposition leader, MK Isaac Herzog. Each member of the Knesset will be accompanying a Holocaust survivor. In addition, the delegation will include senior representatives of the Israel Defense Forces, both Chief Rabbis of the State of Israel and former Chief Rabbi Meir Lau (a Holocaust survivor himself).
The primary goal of the mission is to highlight the importance of remembering the Holocaust and to “have a conversation with elected officials from around the world emphasizing that action needs to be taken to ensure that nothing of the kind ever happens again, anywhere in the world, especially as far as Jews are concerned.”
In addition to the Knesset session at Auschwitz, the delegation will do a symbolic walk through the concentration camp. The group will then participate in a 3km march to the neighboring Birkenau camp where a memorial service will then be held to mark the 70th Anniversary of the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
According to the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel, at least one survivor in Israel dies every hour. It is therefore so important for in the Israeli government to remind the world that the annihilation of Jews must never happen again.
By Ora Shapiro
Credit: From The Depths