Herzog to Mark Holocaust Remembrance Day at European Parliament

President Yitzchak Herzog speaks before his departure to France. (GPO)

President Yitzchak Herzog will deliver the main address at the European Parliament Thursday, on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

During his visit to Strasbourg, France, Herzog will meet with King Philippe of Belgium, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and representatives of the Jewish communities from the Belgian cities of Brussels and Antwerp.

“This is an important and exceptional visit to the institutions of the European Union,” Herzog said in a statement before he left for France on Wednesday. “Belgium is a close friend of Israel and I am sure that my meetings with the King and government officials will act as a catalyst for many collaborations with it. The rest of the visit, to the European Union, has special significance.

“Israel’s relationship with the nations of Europe and the institutions of the European Union have an impact on almost every area of our lives as a people and as a state – from the economy to security, academia, science, culture, and so much more,” he continued. “My visit and meetings bring together the lessons of the past and a vision of a promising future of partnership between Israel and the nations of Europe.”

The centerpiece of Herzog’s visit will be his Thursday speech in front of Holocaust survivors on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which falls on Jan. 27 and commemorates the date when the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated.

“We must never forget that the Holocaust, the darkest abyss in human history, grew out of the fertile soil of the anti-Semitism that had spread through Europe for generations and tragically is rearing its head in many forms in the present day,” the President said.

“The historical responsibility born by the whole family of nations – and the nations of Europe in particular – requires us to not only deepen our remembrance and commemoration but also to draw lessons, to educate, and to wage a persistent, determined, and most importantly common battle against anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia.”

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