As we stand at the milestone of seventy-five years since the end of the Holocaust, it is natural to reflect on how far we have come and what society might have learned since those dreadful events.
Throughout my life, I have tried, in whatever very small way I can, to foster greater understanding between people of different faiths, to heal divisions and to remind people of so much that we share in common as opposed to what divides us. Indeed, as it says in Psalm 133 “behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”.
The Holocaust must never be allowed to become simply a fact of history: we must never cease to be appalled, nor moved by the testimony of those who lived through it. Their experience must always educate, and guide, and warn us.
We must be fearless in confronting falsehoods and resolute in resisting words and acts of violence
With 2020 being seen as the “super year”, kick-starting a decade of action for people and planet…I intend to do my utmost to ensure that the message of urgency, systemic change, collaboration and integration is heard.
Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink in time to restore the balance when we could have done? I don’t want to. And just think for a moment – what good is all the extra wealth in the world, gained from “business as usual”, if you can do nothing with it except watch it burn in catastrophic conditions?
Your history has been remarkable. Your future is set to be very exciting. I am much looking forward to seeing all your new developments as they come to fruition in the next few years.
The men and women of HMS Prince of Wales breathe life into her; without them, she is just a steel hull. They represent the very best of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and the wider Commonwealth.
It is a great delight to welcome you this evening to Buckingham Palace, as the festival of Chanukah approaches, and to celebrate with you the contribution of our Jewish community to the health, wealth and happiness of the United Kingdom.
Although I have only been here a short time, it is already clear to me why these islands are known, the world over, as the Happy Isles.