Syrian chemical ‘massacre’ evokes Holocaust horrors for Israeli leaders

A Syrian child wounded from the chemical attack by the Syrian regime on April 4, 2017 (Photo: screenshot)

JERUSALEM, Israel – The history of the Jewish people and chemical weapons evoke the worst memories of the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews died – many of them in gas chambers.

Perhaps it’s one reason why Israeli leaders from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to members of Israel’s parliament so strongly condemned the chemical attack by the Syrian regime on its own people.

Netanyahu said every human being should be shaken by the horrific images of Tuesday’s gas attack in northern Syria. He called on the international community to fulfill its 2013 commitment to complete the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons cache.

“If this is not done, there is no value to international commitments and treaties,” Netanyahu told participants at a memorial ceremony for the late Chaim Herzog, Israel’s sixth president and the father of opposition leader Isaac Herzog.

Syrian medical sources say at least 100 people are dead and another 400 injured.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also called on the international community to respond to the brutality, calling it “a stain on all humanity.”

“The international community in its entirety must come together to bring an end to this murderous madness and ensure that such scenes will never be repeated anywhere,” he said in a statement. International leaders, he said, must “work urgently to remove all stockpiles of chemical weapons from Syrian territory.”

Rivlin said the Jewish people well understand the dangers of “silence.”

“We, as a people which survived the greatest of atrocities and rose from the ashes (of the Holocaust) to be a strong and secure nation, we will do all we can to continue to aid the survivors of the horrors in Syria. We know all too well how dangerous silence can be, and we cannot remain mute.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett asked the prime minister to convene the security cabinet, saying in a statement, “The use of chemical weapons against civilians requires Israel’s security cabinet to rethink its stance.”

“Children are choking to death,” Bennett tweeted. “The world must act against the chemical massacre in Syria. I call upon President Trump to lead this effort.”

President Trump issued a statement condemning attack, in part blaming the Obama administration.

“These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a “red line” against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing.”

He also called on U.S. allies “across the globe to condemn this intolerable attack.”

This article originally appeared on CBN News, April 5, 2017, and reposted with permission.