|The Simon Wiesenthal Center is partnering with The King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence [located in Manama, Bahrain] for a global webinar involving leaders from the Gulf, Indonesia, Israel and the United States, commemorating the United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day which takes place every year on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27, 1945.
Among the leaders are Israel’s President Isaac Herzog; former Israeli Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau - who is also a child Holocaust survivor; KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Chairman of Indonesia’s 90-million-member Nahdlatul Ulama (NU); Rabbi Marvin Hier, CEO and Founder of Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance; and Reverend Johnnie Moore, leading American Evangelical Pastor and former member of the US Commission for Religious Freedom.
“For us, every day is Holocaust Remembrance Day. That is what motivated Simon Wiesenthal, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Chief Rabbi Lau, and all survivors of the Nazi Holocaust,” stated Rabbi Hier.
In his remarks, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, in part: “Today the minds of many in the international community, beginning with the United Nations itself, also must be liberated. There are too many leaders around the world, even in Europe, who are more than happy to honor the memory of dead Jews without working diligently to protect, respect and honor those Jews who are alive today.
KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf (pictured left) declared: “From the ovens of Auschwitz and the rubble of two world wars, there emerged a broad-based aspiration to establish a new world order, founded upon the highest civilizational and humanitarian ideals… We do not have time to wait for anger, hatred and a collective yearning for revenge to subside. Our actions will determine what kind of world our children and grandchildren inherit.”
Chief Rabbi Lau who was one of the youngest survivors of the Nazi concentration camp focused on one word: “Why”? He asked it as a starving 5-year-old and he has been haunted by that one word throughout his life. Rabbi Lau was a trailblazing one-person crusader for multifaith interaction who promoted peace with the late King Hussein of Jordan, Sheikh Tantawi, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Hindu leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and Indonesia’s late President Wahid.
Rev. Johnnie Moore stated: “The only way to confront evil isn’t through using brilliant and fancy words… it is through real deliberate action. Appeasement always fails if you are trying to appease this grotesque form of evil that we saw exhibited in its most potent form in all of human history at the occasion of the Holocaust.”
The co-conveners of the event are; Betsy Mathieson, Deputy Director of the King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence [She led the 24 member delegation of Bahrain religious leaders who came to Jerusalem in 2019 at the invitation of the Simon Wiesenthal Center] and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Associate Dean and Global Social Action Director, long active in outreach across the Arab and Muslim world.
“Why is an Arab country so interested in dealing with anti-Semitism? Anti-Semitism is not something which only affects our Jewish brothers and sisters. Anti-Semitism is an attack on religious freedom for every faith in the world… So, we join the world today in asking everyone to fight this horror, this evil, by sharing educational programs, by teaching the lessons of the Holocaust so that this is never repeated,” stated Mathieson.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization numbering over 400.000 members. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).