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Prime Minister Sharon: 'Allies Bombed Targets Near Death Camp But Refused To Bomb Auschwitz Gas Chambers Or Railway'

Cabinet Minister Sharansky: 'The Arab World In General And The Palestinians In Particular Have Become the Center Of Global Anti-Semitism'

The Knesset

The Knesset has marked the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945. One million two hundred thousand people were murdered in Auschwitz, most of them Jews. After members of the House, Holocaust survivors and foreign diplomats stood in a moment of silence, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took the rostrum. Sharon charged the Allies knew the Nazis were exterminating the Jews of Europe but did not lift a finger to stop it. He accused the Allied powers of bombing targets near Auschwitz, but refusing to bomb the gas chambers or the railway that was transporting 10,000 Jews daily to their executions. Sharon declared that Israel has learned the lesson; she must depend only upon herself and will never give up its right to self-defense. Cabinet Minister Natan Sharansky warned ‘We are now in the same stage of anti-Semitism that preceded the Holocaust.

After his address in the House, Natan Sharansky was interviewed by David Essing:

Natan Sharanskey

David Essing: Cabinet Minister Natan Sharansky, what was your message to the Knesset here today, Sir?

Natan Sharansky: My message was, "Anti-Semitism didn't die in Auschwitz," that what made Auschwitz possible was the brainwashing which convinced many people that to kill Jews is for the interest of saving the mankind, and that it is our obligation of citizens of Israel to fight for the future, the security of the future of all the Jews of the world and to make sure this kind of brainwashing, which exists also today, will be stopped.

David Essing: Even after the liberation of Auschwitz we still see manifestations around the world, in Europe, in America, and even in Russia where Parliamentarians there have come up with anti-Semitic positions, just how serious, sir, is the situation today?

Natan Sharansky: I think this, we are in the same time of the stage which was, which prepared the soil for Holocaust. We are at the stage when the brainwashing, when the propaganda which tries to convince millions, maybe tens of millions of people, that Jews are the problem of the world and to kill a Jew is maybe something unpleasant but it is in the interest of all the world is, strengthening in many parts of the world, and we shouldn't ask ourselves whether a Holocaust is possible, because we all know it's possible, but we should ask ourselves, how is it possible that the same type of propaganda, the same type of arguments, the same type of brainwashing which characterized Hitler's Germany, now characterizes the modern world. That is the thing which we have to strike against.

David Essing: And in the Arab world, anti-Semitism, the manifestations there are ripe?

Natan Sharansky: The main base of anti-Semitism today is the Middle East and the Arab world. It is from Egypt, from Syria, from Saudi Arabia, from the Palestinian Authority that the most ... aggressive and dangerous, anti-Semitism is coming to the Free World. And this propaganda is amplified by the modern media, whether it is satellites, whether it is cables, and so on, and that's why it's so dangerous and that's why it is so important to fight against it.

David Essing: Even today, as we consider the possibility of some kind of with the Palestinians, on Friday we hear Muslim religious leaders preaching from the mosques, and so forth, to kill Jews. Is it going to be possible to move ahead, possibly towards peace with the Palestinians if this continues?

Natan Sharansky: I believe that incitements through the officially controlled media, or incitements, the extreme anti-Semitic statements made by official, Palestinian officials say [to] us more about their strategic plans than anything else, and that's why I believe that it must be the first and immediate demand from the Palestinian Authority to stop all this type of incitement, all this type of brainwashing immediately. They correctly say that in order to cope with the terror, to succeed in the fight against terror, they need time, but they need no time to stop these incitements. So there should be zero tolerance towards anti-Semitism from the very beginning of the peace process.

David Essing

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