Dear friends of Israel:
The 27th of January, the day when the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated by Soviet troops, was established as a global day of commemoration by the UN in November of 2005. This year Israel has paid special attention to the memorial events in Germany and Poland. President Shimon Peres attended the events in Germany, whereas Prime Minister Netanyahu visited those in Poland. In his speech at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp he warned that with Iran a "new Amalek" has appeared on the world stage. When he reminded his audience of the Holocaust, he quoted a passage from Deuteronomy ("Remember what Amalek did to you"; Deut 25:17) and expressed Israel's deep concern over the threats coming from Iran. Israel needs allies from all over the world in order to face this threat. This is one of the reasons why the commemoration events in Poland and Germany were so important to Israel. An international boycott against Iran, led by the industrialized nations, might be the only chance to prevent the production of an Iranian nuclear bomb. Some efforts in that area have already yielded results. For instance, the German company Siemens has annulled a commercial agreement with Iran.
The visit of the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi can be considered as a part of Israel's efforts to mobilize allies against Iran and the threats coming from that country. When his Italian counterpart was in Israel early in February, Netanyahu called him one of Israel's greatest friends. During a visit to the national Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, Berlusconi said he understood that the terrible past of the Jewish people was always paramount in Israel's considerations. Referring to those who again challenge the very existence of the Jewish people, the Italian Prime Minister assured that the international community would oppose this threat "and act to ensure that this never happens." The visit of Italian government officials in Israel was bound to express the love and appreciation of Italians and the close ties between both peoples and countries. "We are here to show our recognition and our pride in the fact that we are part of a Judeo-Christian culture that is the basis for European culture."
In his reply to these well-meaning statements Netanyahu used the words of Theodor Herzl, the Zionist visionary. "When he was asked about the prospects for a future Jewish state in such a dangerous region, he said that the fate of the Jewish state would ultimately be linked to the West." Netanyahu further mentioned that both peoples, the Italians and the Jewish people, have made crucial contributions to Western civilization. "In both Rome and in Jerusalem, the foundations of Western culture were laid", said Netanyahu. "That is why it is vital that Italy and Israel stand side by side, proud of our heritage ... and determined to defend our future and our cultures."
Referring to this remarkable development in the relationships between Israel and European states, an Israeli commentator has said that it is amazing how countries such as Germany, Poland and Italy, once the worst enemies of the Jewish people, have now become Israel's best friends and allies. This "Western alliance" might also be a response to the conspiracy of Israel's enemies who claim that the attack on the World Trade Center and the terrorist attacks in several European cities were committed because the United States and the West are standing behind Israel. One more time we realize that there is a wide gap between two camps when it comes to Israel and that the scenarios mentioned in the Bible become more and relevant for our times.
Sharing with you the assurance that God will reveal His great power as He did with Amalek and that we should follow the example of Moses and lift holy hands to Him, I am sending you a warm Shalom,