The Importance of the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem

The Importance of the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem
Remarks by Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Israel

February 20, 2011

I want to commend all of you at the Simon Wiesenthal Center for your decision to build a Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. A few years ago I had the pleasure and the privilege of visiting the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and I saw first-hand what an impact this Museum had on such a diverse range of people, Jews and non-Jews alike, from hundreds of countries and all walks of life. Now that type of experience, that attracted 5 million people to that museum over the past 18 years will be made available to all those who come to Jerusalem.

Recently Rabbi Hier, my good friend, came to visit me. He is absolutely irrepressible; you can’t stop him. And I had the opportunity to understand from Rabbi Hier the remarkable vision behind this unique project. What is remarkable is not only the impressive design of the Center, but more importantly what you intend to do inside of it. This cultural and education Center which promotes the ideals of universal tolerance and respect will give visitors a better understanding of the history of our people as well as an appreciation of the need to protect the shared values that are so vital to our common future.
I think we can appreciate in view of what is happening in our world today, this earthquake that is taking place between Pakistan and Gibraltar, how these values of tolerance and respect for human rights are so important, so cherished and so endangered including in the times of turbulence.

So I have no doubt that the new museum will make an important contribution to the unity of our people, and to peace and to the understanding of what it is we really hope to see develop in our region and beyond. I look forward to joining you when the Museum opens its doors in Jerusalem—the sooner the better.

Thank you. Mazel tov. Keep up your good work. Congratulations.