Yad Vashem, the Israel Holocaust museum, issued a rare statement on Tuesday condemning the rampant bloodshed in Syria and blaming it on the indifference of the international community.
“In light of the horrific images emanating from Syria over recent days of the mass killing of civilians, including children, in the chemical attack, it would appear that the mechanisms and international bodies developed after the Holocaust to prevent the recurrence of crimes against humanity are failing,” declared Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev.
“The terrible scenes we are witnessing, right across our border, are a result of and continue to occur due to the indifference of the world. I call on the global community not to stand on the sidelines, but to act determinedly to put an end to the human suffering and provide humanitarian aid to the victims.”
In an unrelated item, Yad Vashem hosted an IDF General Staff forum on Monday as part of an initiative to increase Holocaust awareness among the nation’s soldiers.
During the day-long seminar, Shalev presented IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot with a special anthology to facilitate discussion between commanders and troops on the subject of Holocaust remembrance.
The anthology was initiated by the IDF’s Education and Youth Corps in cooperation with Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies. It contains texts and songs designed to provide a platform for dialogue regarding ethical issues and raise relevant questions for soldiers today, such as: What memory is engraved in your mind? Where did you first encounter the story of the Holocaust? Which of the texts in the anthology touch you directly? How do these voices echo into the future?