(World War Two vets at the meeting)
The Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs on Wednesday marked the contribution of Jews, particularly those who fought in the Red Army, to the victory over Nazi Germany. On June 22, 1941, exactly 75 years ago, Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, a massive, undeclared invasion of the Soviet Union.
Committee Chairman Avraham Neguise (Likud) called on the ministers of housing and welfare to ease the housing problems of World War Two veterans and help make their lives easier in general. He also urged the Education Minister to increase the study of these fighters` heroics during the war. Some 250,000 Jews were killed in the war against the Nazis, and more than 200,000 received medals of valor and other military decorations.
MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Camp), who initiated the meeting, said ”This day, when the war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union began, is a tragic day for all people who hail from the Commonwealth of Independent States. It is a day on which the world of others collapsed, but there are still people among us who took an active part in defeating the Nazi enemy, and we must thank them for their actions and pass on to the students of Israel their legacy and heroics as part of the Red Army during the war against the Nazis.”
(MK Neguise with the vets)
World War Two veteran Avraham Greenzeid noted that some 1,600,000 Jews fought in the Allied armies during the war; 400,000 of them were soldiers in the Red Army.
Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp), who is a member of the committee, addressed the veterans and said, ”You represent a generation which saved humanity with supreme heroism, as millions lost their lives. Your story must reach every home in Israel. My father, Chaim Herzog, who was an office in the British Army during the war, would always speak with excitement about his moving encounter with the Red Army forces.” He called to speed up the construction of the Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II.
MK Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid) complained that the Israeli press ignores Victory Day over Nazi Germany, which is celebrated every year on May 9th, while MK Tali Ploskov (Kulanu) said schools should place a greater emphasis on the feats of the Jewish fighters and organize meetings between students and veterans.
MK Abdullah Abu Maaruf (Joint List) called June 22, 1941 a ”dark day for humanity” and called to mark it as a day of appreciation for the war veterans.
MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) thanked the veterans in Russian, while MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beitenu) said lessons about the Jewish fighters should also be given in IDF units.