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Comments by Rabbi Dale Polakoff, President of the Rabbinical Council of America, at Rally in Support of Israel and Against Global Terror  
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Rabbi Dale Polakoff
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Sep 20, 2006 -- We’ve come together today to fulfill the words of the Torah reading of this past Shabbos – Atem Nitzavim Hayom Kulchem – today we are all standing together, men and women and children, young and old, Jew and non-Jew to support the State of Israel and to protest the presence at the United Nations just behind us of those who want to destroy the Jewish State and the Jewish People.

We stand together as a family united by a shared morality. We are those who could be here today – es asher yeshno po imanu omeid hayom – and we represent those who could not be here today – ves asher einenu po imanu hayom. Those who could not be here today are the sons of the State of Israel, her beloved soldiers held captive by those whose existence is based on a desire to deny us existence. We will say their names over and over again today and everyday until they are home with their families and loved ones.

Gilad Shalit
Ehud Goldwasser
Eldad Regev

Over 30 years ago we began to come together in this very spot to pray and to call out for the release of fellow Jews imprisoned in the former Soviet Union. We knew their names and their pictures were in our homes and our schools and our synagogues. When we gathered on Solidarity Sunday we would call out: Let our people go. Today, again, we gather here in this spot and today, again, we call out, Let our soldiers go, let our soldiers go, let our soldiers go … Let them hear our voices in Damascus and Teheran. Let our soldiers go, let our soldiers go …

In a few days we will observe the days of Rosh Hashana. We refer to this day in our prayers as Yom Hazikaron – a day of memory, a day on which we ask God to remember us for good.

We are a people of memory, and we have not forgotten the memories of our past. We have not fogotten those who rose up to destroy us and the world was silent. We have not forgotten their rantings and ravings which the world discounted. And for this reason we pledge that we will not ignore those who today deny the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state.

In that building yesterday evening, a scandel took place. In that building, whose organization rose from the ashes of WWII, a platform was given to the foremost Holocaust denier in the world who calls openly for the destruction of the State of Israel.

To Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, and those Islamic extremists throughout the Middle East and around the world who share his view we say: We will not forget and we will not allow the world to forget. Your bigotry and discrimination, your antisemitism and denial of history, your evil intentions to acquire weapons of mass destruction, reveal to the world what you really want.

And to the leaders of the free world we say, pay attention and do not forget. Do not allow history to repeat itself. Stand strong and together and defeat this evil regime.

Am Yisrael Chai. The people of Israel lives and will live forever.

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