CUFI attended a Holocaust Memorial Day reception this week at the UK Foreign Office, where Foreign Secretary David Cameron drew direct comparison between the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis and the actions of Hamas terrorists in Israel on 7th October.
Among the speakers was Holocaust survivor Eve Kugler, whose family was torn apart by the events of Kristallnacht, when she was aged just seven. Speeches were also given by Israel’s Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely, Lord Eric Pickles, the UK’s Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues, and Kellie Edwards, a Holocaust Educational Trust young ambassador.

Recalling moments in his life that he will “never forget”, the foreign secretary and former prime minister referred to a visit he made to the Auschwitz death camp nine years ago, where he was struck by the “mechanics of death” and the scale of murder” he witnessed there.

He then told the packed hall at the Foreign Office headquarters in Westminster that he had more recently visited Kibbutz Be’eri in the south of Israel, “not far from Gaza”, following the Hamas terror attack.

“You could see the bullet holes in the wall, the blood on the floor, the cupboards where children hid and were pulled out and murdered in front of their parents,” said the foreign secretary, who added the atrocity was “the deadliest attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust.”

Noting the continued plight of the hostages still held captive by the terror group in Gaza, with relatives present in the room as he spoke, and the upsurge in antisemitism  after 7th October, Cameron said: “Clearer than ever before, we stand with the Jewish people, we stand with the state of Israel, and we stand with their right to defend themselves as they go about this terrible war dealing with the legacy of 7 October. ”

Later in his speech, Cameron again stressed: “After the horrors of 7 October, we must renew our vow – never again. That is our solemn duty – today, tomorrow and always.”

In her speech, the Ambassador Hotovely said the Holocaust remains the “greatest stain” on humanity and noted how the world had vowed “never again.”

But the ambassador added: “This vow feels hollow after the 7 October. Hamas brutally murdered over 1200 innocent people.”

She said the terror group’s barbarity was driven by the same hatred of the Jewish people that fuelled Nazi Germany in the Holocaust, and said both “antisemitism and anti-Zionism” needed to be tackled.

In his speech Lord Pickles also stressed the danger of growing “denialism” of the evidence of Hamas atrocities. He contrasted this trend with similar denialism of Nazi horrors and of other genocides and pledged to work to counter the issue.

Lord Pickles also referenced the weekly pro-Palestinian marches adding they showed  “useful idiots were prepared to march with out and out racists.”