Observing Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel is truly unique. It’s a day that is typically filled with gatherings to hear the personal stories of survivors, a chilling minute-long siren that is heard throughout the country in the morning, and official state ceremonies in both the evening and daytime. This year, because of the Coronavirus crisis, gatherings weren’t permitted and many of the stories of the survivors took place via Zoom. My personal custom is to watch a film that is centered on the Holocaust and to view the numerous stories of survivors that are featured on Israeli television.
However, this year was especially different. Annually, there is an official ceremony in Israel’s Knesset in which different MKs, including the Prime Minister, approach the podium and deliver speeches concerning the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. One of the MKs that spoke before the Knesset was Joint Arab List member Mansour Abbas, who is the leader of the United Arab List faction, the political wing of the Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement, within the Arab-majority party.