By Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande
The American Jewish Council once again did an amazing job of making sure we received a broad understanding of what is going on in Israel today. On Thursday we visited Ramallah in Palestine and met with the spokesman for the Palestinian Authority negotiating team. Both Israelis and Palestinians remain hopeful of positive discussions when Secretary of State John Kerry visits next week. He has a huge challenge ahead of him with these peace talks. Everyone brings to the table thousands of years of their people’s history as well as their personal experience to the discussions.
Friday we visited Yad VaShem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum, and it was an incredibly moving experience. It is difficult to imagine how a people moves forward after 6 million are murdered, including 1.5 million children. The museum serves as a stark reminder that there is true evil in the world. The resiliency and spirit of the Jewish people is astounding.
The individual memorials also serve as a reminder to “Never Forget.” I was particularly drawn to the one for a doctor who took care of children whose parents were missing or killed. When the children were ordered to be deported to a camp he went with them, reasoning he wouldn’t leave them alone in life nor should they be alone in death. He is just one of the many heroes in the holocaust.