I am deeply honored to speak with you tonight, as the World Jewish Congress gathers in New York City with the leaders from across the world.
First, I want to thank Ronald Lauder, not only for his many years of friendship - and he truly has been my good friend, he even predicted early that I was going to win the presidency - but also for his leadership of this organization. He has done a fantastic job.
Today we are reminded of this organization’s long and heroic history fighting for the Jewish people. Your brave leaders warned the world of the planned atrocities that sought to extinguish an entire people.
On Yom HaShoah, we look back at the darkest chapter of human history. We mourn, we remember, we pray, and we pledge: Never again. I say it, never again.
The mind cannot fathom the pain, the horror, and the loss. Six million Jews, two-thirds of the Jews in Europe, murdered by the Nazi genocide. They were murdered by an evil that words cannot describe, and that the human heart cannot bear.
On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, we tell the stories of the fathers, mothers and children, whose lives were extinguished and whose love was torn from this earth. We also tell the stories of courage in the face of death, humanity in the face of barbarity, and the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people.
Today, only decades removed from the Holocaust, we see a great nation risen from the desert and we see a proud Star of David waving above the State of Israel. That star is a symbol of Jewish perseverance. It’s a monument to unyielding strength. We recall the famous words attributed to Theodor Herzl: If you will, it is no dream. If you will it, it is no dream.
Jews across the world have proved the truth of these words day after day. In the memory of those who were lost, we renew our commitment and our determination not to disregard the warnings of our own times.
We must stamp out prejudice and anti-Semitism everywhere it is found. We must defeat terrorism, and we must not ignore the threats of a regime that talks openly of Israel’s destruction. We cannot let that ever even be thought of.
To all of you tonight, who have come from around the world, let it be known, America stands strong with the State of Israel.
The meaning of that state for so many is captured by the words of a German Jewish musician. Escaping Germany before 1937, he settled in the ancient land of Israel. Sometime later, he received a visit from a British official, who found him living in a hut, with only his piano for company. The official recognized the musician and said: This must be a terrible change for you. The musician looked back at him and replied: It is a change - from hell to heaven.
Many of you here today helped fulfill the same dream, the dream of Israel for millions, a dream that burned in the hearts of oppressed and fallen and which now draws the breath of life from a joyous people each and every day.
Thank you for your leadership, for your service, and for your vision of a world that is more free, just and peaceful place for all of god’s people. Thank you and God bless you all.
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