Knesset hosts annual Holocaust remembrance event ‘Every Person Has a Name’ 2023

President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, High Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut, Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, and many other ministers and Knesset members attended the Knesset’s annual “Every Person Has a Name” Holocaust memorial service on Tuesday morning.

Ohana recounted the 1930s world lightweight boxing champion Victor Peretz, a Tunisian Jew. In 1942, Nazi invaders ordered Peretz to Auschwitz to join the camp’s boxing squad, which entertained the guards. Peretz defended and saved dozens of detainees while winning 133 battles. “It doesn’t matter,” he said. Ohana said he was shot by a camp guard while collecting food for his fellow detainees.

President Herzog recounted the names and brief tales of his Holocaust-killed family.

“We do not remember numbers; we remember lives,” Herzog stated. Human creatures. The greatest accomplishment is reading the names of every Jew who died in flames in Jerusalem, in the heart of our Jewish and democratic nation-state’s legislative, eighty years later. Last night at Yad Vashem, Holocaust survivor Shoshana Weiss urged us to unite and protect our homeland because we have no choice. “Listen to her,” the president said.

Netanyahu discussed his father-in-law, Shlomo Ben-Artzi, a biblical scholar, educator, and writer who won the Ka-Tzetnik Fund Award for Holocaust Literature. The prime minister claimed Ben-Artzi’s twin sister Yehduit was killed in the Holocaust. Netanyahu said Shlomo would cry if he uttered her name his whole life.

Hayut, Likud ministers Yisrael Katz, Miri Regev, and Dudi Amsalem, United Torah Judaism MK and deputy minister Uri Makleb, MKs Ze’ev Elkin and Orit Farkash-Hacohen (National Unity), MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu), MKs Boaz Bismuth and Ariel Kallner (Likud), and MKs Moshe Arbel and Erez Malul (Shas) also read names.

Holocaust survivors memorialize.

Six Holocaust survivors lighted memorial torches, four of them were connected to Knesset members: Sofi Sachs, mother of MK Yasmin Friedman-Sachs (Yesh Atid); Paulina Davidson, mother of MK Simon Davidson (Yesh Atid); second-generation survivor Haya Nir, mother-in-law of MK Sharon Nir (Yisrael Beytenu) and second-generation survivor Michaela Akunis, mother of Likud minister Ofir Akunis.

Ministers, Knesset members, Holocaust survivors, and others, including Jerusalem mayor Moshe Lion, lit remembrance candles at the parliament entrance to start the day. Isaac Dari (1912-1943), from Oujda, Morocco, died at Majdanek. Ohana lighted the first candle in his remembrance.

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