Netanyahu's Likud Plans Weekend Party on Holocaust Memorial Day

While the world marks January 27 as International Holocaust Day, Israel's ruling Likud party will be in the throes of a weekend entertainment event in Eilat.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds blueprints from the Auschwitz concentration camp during his address at the UN, 2009.
Bloomberg

The anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, marked as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, falls on this Friday, January 27. 

The date has been commemorated for the past 11 years in accordance with a United Nations resolution passed in November 2005.  

The resolution was initiated by Israel, shepherded through by then- foreign minister, Silvan Shalom of Likud. 

“It’s important to note that member states that never mentioned the Holocaust implement the call of the General Assembly and hold national memorial days on January 27,” Shalom rightly boasts on his home page.

Various countries will hold ceremonies, memorials and other events as usual for this day.

In Israel it will be marked as well, albeit in a restrained fashion since Israel has its own Holocaust Remembrance Day on the 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan, which generally falls around April. 

The Knesset marked the international day on Tuesday. Yad Vashem will mark it on Thursday with a seminar for the diplomatic corps, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in attendance. Yad Vashem has also dispatched leading researchers and educators to points around the globe to participate in related events.

But some cabinet ministers, MKs and other Israeli officials have other plans for the weekend.  On International Holocaust Remembrance Day they will be taking a trip to the southern sunny city of  Eilat for an event, called “Likudiada 2,” which begins on Thursday and continues through the weekend. 

According to the event’s Facebook page, there will be stand-up comedy, a soccer tournament, a party till dawn, spa treatments, a heated pool, and even “an event paying tribute to Mrs. Sara Netanyahu.”  

Videos have been posted on the page to promote the event. One of them stars Culture Minister Miri Regev, who is expected to be one of the guests of honor. In the video, one of her assistants tries to get her attention as she’s engrossed in a book, but can’t seem to do so. 

“Minister, a phone call from the White House,” the assistant says, but Regev doesn’t seem to hear. “Minister, a phone call from the Kremlin,” she then tries, but Regev and the other people in her office don’t respond. 

But when the assistant says, “Minister, they’ve set the date for the Likudiada, it’s January 26,” Regev snaps to attention.

She doesn’t check her calendar and ask to have it moved because of the sensitive timing. Instead she tells everyone in her office, “Cut the bullshit, let’s move on it.”

People on the left forgot what it means to be Jewish,” a senior Likud figure once said to an elderly Kabbalist. 

It would be interesting to know how that same leader justifies holding a weekend of fun and entertainment that’s billed as “the Likud’s event of the year,” on the very day that Israel asked the rest of the world to honor the memories of six million Jews and other victims of the Nazis.