Tonight, as we enter Holocaust Memorial Day, I cannot help but think of how important it truly is that we remember humanity’s horrendous period of darkness. People have always accused us (the Jews) of using the “Holocaust card” and never understood the real reason we say “Never Forget”.  With anti-Semitism running riot once more in the “civilized” world, in the UK, France, USA, Sweden, etc., can people really still ask why?

It is frightening to see what is happening, how “cool” it is to be anti-Semitic, how “right” it is to vilify Israel — criticism we can take, but let’s be honest and admit that the trend of “Criticizing Israel” is not really criticism but an insidious “feel-good” way to give in to inherent prejudices.

I am proud to be a Jew, I am proud to be an Israeli, I am proud that I live the 3,000 year old dream of statehood for the people of Israel. I am proud of our achievements, of our humanity, of our advancements, of our strength. I know that six million souls did not perish in vain for we have a safe haven today called Israel. It is not perfect as no place is. But it is my home!

It is my home where I can feel safe to build my future; it is my home which I can criticize and despair over when it makes mistakes; it is my home where I can make a difference and try to mend the wrongs; it is my home where diversity, tolerance and humanity are celebrated; it is my home in which I can feel tremendous pride for its unparalleled contribution to the future and wellbeing of mankind whether it be in assistance during crises or technological advancements; it is my home where children are cherished and loved and treasured. And let me tell you something- my home is beautiful! For all its faults, and there are many, there is no place on earth like Israel.

It is on days such as these that I am reminded of the terrible sacrifice of six million men, women and children who, as a result of this tragedy, enabled us to realize our dream of returning to our homeland. It is in dark days such as these that I am more convinced than ever of the vital importance of the existence of the State of Israel. And I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it is because of Israel that we can hold our head up high and say “I am a Jew” without fear and know that Never Again will we walk meekly into the gas chambers for we have the option to come home!