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Irwin Cotler, MP

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Statement on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Mass Atrocities

Posted on April 24, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of the unanimous adoption by this House of a resolution establishing a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Mass Atrocities, of which the worst is the crime which name we should even shudder to mention: genocide.

Today, we mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, as last week we observed Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yesterday also marked the 67th anniversary of the State of Israel, born out of the ashes of the Holocaust.

It is sometimes said that if there had not been a Holocaust, there would not have been a State of Israel, but it is the other way around. If there had been an Israel, there might not have been a Holocaust or the horrors of Jewish history.

Yesterday was also the birthday of former prime minister and Nobel Peace Laureate, Lester Pearson, who was an early advocate for the establishment of a Jewish state and in whose memory the resolution was established. May I close, in his memory, with the biblical prayer:

Oseh shalom bimromov Hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol Yisrael v’imru amen.

May God, who establishes peace on high, grant peace for all of us in the State of Israel. Amen.

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