B’nai B’rith Europe was invited by the European Parliament on the occasion of the official visit to Brussels of His Excellency the President of the State of Israel Issac Herzog.
President Herzog addressed the Parliament in Hebrew stating “I stand before you today as President of the State of Israel, the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people, but my heart and thoughts go out to my brothers and sisters murdered during the Holocaust, whose only crime was their Jewishness and humanity.”
“The distance between a Facebook post and the destruction of headstones in a cemetery is shorter than one might think,” he said. “Delusional tweets can kill. They really can.”
He stressed: “Criticism of the State of Israel must not cross the thin line of denial of the very existence of the State of Israel, the nation-state of the Jewish people”.
At the end of his speech, the parliamentarians rose to applaud him. President Herzog then inaugurated the Holocaust memorial, located opposite the hemicycle of the European Parliament, a art piece donated by the Yad Vashem Institute to the Parliament, made by the German Jewish painter, Felix Nussbaum, who died in 1944 in Auschwitz-Birkenau, “The Refugee” 1939.
The reception was preceded by a discussion between President Herzog, the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola, Mr Alberto Israel, a survivor of the Shoah who told his story and presented his grandchildren, a symbol of future and hope.