US Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey took to the floor of the Senate to speak about Israel on June 16, 2009. His speech followed the attack at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
This tragedy reminds us of the need of sound understanding of one of the darkest episodes in the history of the world. Far too many misrepresent the significance of the Holocaust, especially in regard to the State of Israel and her people. And far too many people deny it happened altogether, out of bigotry, hatred, and spite.
In the face of so much misunderstanding, I am compelled today to speak up about the role of the Holocaust in Israel's history and Israel's challenges in preventing anti-Semitic murder from continuing to happen.
Menendez clearly understands--"While the Shoah has a central role in Israel's identity, it is not the reason behind its founding and it is not the main justification for its existence."
To those who believe that Jews fell out of the sky into the midst of, as one commenter said in response to a recent post, "Indian country," the history outlined in Menendez's remarks may come as a surprise. I do not expect that anti-Semites will accept his comments as true, but there is not too much I or anyone else can do about them. Fair minded people, on the other hand, may come away with a new understanding and a new view.
Here is the speech from the Congressional Record. The index entry is [Congressional Record: June 16, 2009 (Senate)][Page S6613-S6614]From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov][DOCID:cr16jn09-91].