Israeli Ambassador calls for promotion of worldwide peace
The Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Shlomit Sufa, yesterday called on the local and international communities to work together to promote peaceful coexistence.
She said collective and continuous efforts were needed to guard against human hatred towards other people occasioned by their religion, colour, or race in the world.
“I would like to remind you of our responsibility to stand up against inhumane crimes, hate speech, antisemitism, holocaust distortion, denial, and prejudice,” she said.
She spoke at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day jointly organised by the embassy, Germany, the United Nations (UN) in Ghana, and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Accra.
First observed on January 27, 2006, the day was set aside that year by the General Assembly of the UN in remembrance of the murder of Jews in Europe and North Africa during World War II by the German Nazi government.
About six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis between 1939 and 1945, together with other minority groups, physically or mentally challenged, homosexuals, who were considered undesirable.
The day also commemorates when the soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration and death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland on January 27, 1945.
Attended by the diplomatic community, Ghanaian agencies, and students, this year’s ceremony on the theme “Home and Belonging”, was marked with the screening of a film about one of the victims, titled “Where is Anne Frank.”
There were also music performances, and Jewish prayers, and candle lighting in memory of victims and survivors.
Mrs Sufa pondered over the hatred suffered by victims and survivors of the holocaust, and questioned why genocide was legitimised that such “a massive effort was made to wipe out a race in the most inhumane way possible.”
She called on humanity to be each other’s keepers, help fellow humans in any suffering instead of looking away as well as make every part of the world a home for everyone.
“It is important for us all to remember the past in order to preserve the future,” she said.
The German Ambassador to Ghana, Daniel Krull, said the German government had made efforts to promote peaceful coexistence over the years.
“Let us stand together against any time of systematic, state-sponsored disenfranchisement, persecution, and murder of entire groups determined by heredity wherever this may occur. Never again,” he said.
The UNESCO Representative to Ghana, Abdourahamane Diallo, conveyed the commitment of the UN to building defences against hatred in the minds of women and men, through public education.
He read speeches on behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Audrey Azoulay, and UN Resident Coordinator for Ghana, Charles Abani, which called for redoubled efforts to fight misinformation about the genocide and keep the memory of victims and survivors alive.
The Chairperson of the National Commission on Civic Education, Kathleen Addy, who represented Ghana, said the rejection of the past should give the world a new sense of responsibility towards one another.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR