Quotations and the people who say them

by Yaniv Reich on October 26, 2009

This blog will also serve as a place to gather remarkable quotations about Israel/Palestine.

Today, Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi, IDF Chief of Staff, said this at a Holocaust memorial ceremony in Germany:

“I, Gabi Ashkenazi, a son of a Holocaust survivor, stand here today as the commander of the Israel Defense Forces, and carry with pride the flag of the state of Israel—the state of the Jewish nation,” and emphasized “the obligation to forever remember the most horrible atrocity in the history of mankind, and to make sure that we will never deposit our trust in strangers, or let anyone control the future of the state of Israel.” (emphasis mine)

As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, who very very nearly did not make it out of the concentration camps of occupied Poland, I can certainly empathize with Ashkenazi’s recognition of how far the Jews—and my family and I—have come since then. But that’s about where my identification with this statement ends.

I am particularly bothered by the paranoia, which I consider to be profoundly misplaced, of his “obligation” to “make sure that we never deposit our trust in strangers.”

This phrase reveals much about modern Israeli social psychology.

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