Netanyahu draws parallels between Nazis and Iran

March 17, 2023 by Pesach Benson
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Visiting Berlin’s Platform 17 Holocaust Memorial on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew parallels between Nazi Germany and Iranian threats against the Jewish state.

“Less than 80 years ago, six weeks before the end of the war, when Berlin was already in ruin, the Nazis sent the last shipment of Jews to be exterminated. Our world has changed. Germany has changed. The Jewish state was reborn,” Netanyahu said in his remarks, alongside Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz lay wreaths in honour of Holocaust victims at Platform 17 in Berlin, March 16, 2023. Photo by Haim Tzach/GPO.

“But we know that the calls for the annihilation of our people have not stopped. The main lesson we have learned is that when you are faced with such evil, you have to obstruct its evil designs early on, to prevent catastrophe,” Netanyahu said.

“We are now faced with other calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and millions of Jews. We have learned that the Jewish people must have the capacity to defend ourselves, by ourselves against any threat,” he said.

“But we also welcome the friendship of those who share our concern, our values and our desire to prevent these rogue regimes and these crazy ideologies from destroying our world. It is a trusted alliance, and one that I think is expressed in our standing here today.”

Netanyahu and Scholz were joined by Holocaust survivor Franz Michalski, representatives of the German Jewish community, and members of the Prime Minister’s delegation.

From 1941-1945, Platform 17 of the Berlin-Grunewald railway station was the primary location from which the Nazis deported 50,000 of the city’s Jews to ghettos and concentration camps further east.

Netanyahu was also scheduled to meet with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The visit was scaled down to one day because of Israeli protests against the right-wing government’s judicial reforms. President Isaac Herzog unveiled a compromise framework on Wednesday.

Netanyahu rejected Herzog’s proposals before departing for Germany.

Iran is believed to be the main topic of the Israel prime minister’s talks. German officials are expected to express their concerns with Israel’s judicial reforms.

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