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Commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, the Speaker of the Israeli Parliament: Albania, a leader in the Balkans in the fight against anti-Semitism, forever grateful to the Albanian people
Written by SOT.COM.AL 27 Janar 2023
The Albanian Parliament met yesterday in a special session to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. On this occasion, there was a video message addressed to the Albanian deputies by the head of the Israeli parliament, or as it is otherwise known the Knesset, Amir Ohana. Ohana thanked Speaker Lindita Nikolla and the deputies for organizing the special session commemorating the past. Ohana said that Israel will forever be grateful to the Albanian people for their courage in the face of the oppressive Nazi regime. Ohana also touched on Iran's threat and said that Albania has experienced Tehran's brutal behavior closely. These circumstances, according to him, lead to stronger cooperation between the two countries at all levels. "Your Excellency, Speaker of the Parliament, Lindita Nikolla. Dear members of parliament, dear friends, ladies and gentlemen. As we mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is a great honor for me, as the Speaker of the Knesset of the State of Israel, to address you and the Albanian people. We in Israel know and appreciate the Albanian people. In the most difficult circumstances and risking their lives, Albanians acted to support the Jews during the Holocaust and to save many of them from the oppressive Nazi regime. The number of Albanians among the nations is inspiring and generous. Israel will forever be grateful to the Albanian people for their courage in the face of such evil. I would like to thank you Members of Parliament for empathetically and unequivocally adopting the IHRA's restriction on anti-Semitism in October 2020. In many ways Albania is a pioneer and a true leader in the Balkans when it comes to promoting a safe memory of the Holocaust and combating anti-Semitism. We deeply appreciate your country's principled commitment to this goal. Of course there is still a lot of work to be done. We are witnessing a huge increase in anti-Semitism around the world and in Europe in particular. Jews around the world do not feel safe walking the streets wearing kippahs and wearing other religious symbols in public. Israel, as the home of the Jewish people, is constantly and shamefully singled out in international forums. This discrimination is fueled by old anti-Semitic stereotypes and symbols. All of this is happening while a country like Iran publicly and openly threatens to destroy Israel and as it marches toward obtaining nuclear weapons. This year, Albania had to experience Iran's brutal behavior first hand. These circumstances require us to strengthen our cooperation at all levels. We must work together to promote a safer, freer world, so that the unspeakable tragedy of the Holocaust will never happen again," said Ohana.