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Auschwitz Anniversary: Why Bibi’s Speech Matters

As world leaders–minus President Barack Obama–gather in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, together with a small group of remaining survivors, it is worth considering just how far Jews have come. In the 1940s, Jewish leaders petitioned the Roosevelt administration to bomb the concentration camp, to no avail. Now, 70 years later, the Prime Minister of a strong Jewish state will stand before Congress and ask it to help prevent another Holocaust.

Much of the debate–in Israel and in America–over whether Speaker of the House John Boehner should have invited Benjamin Netanyahu, and whether Netanyahu should have accepted, is just habitual hand-wringing and posturing.

There is no way to save President Barack Obama’s relationship with Netanyahu, or with Congress. Obama has deliberately alienated both–partly out of strategic and political calculation, partly out of spite and a personal distaste for cooperation.

Netanyahu has one basic responsibility: to protect the security of the State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. That is why Ambassador Ron Dermer is correct to call Netanyahu’s speech to Congress a “sacred duty.”

Facing an active Iranian threat to destroy Israel, and a failing Western effort to contain that malevolent plan, Netanyahu would be violating his oath of office if he did not take each and every opportunity to make the loudest case for tougher international action.

On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, it is worth asking whether it was better for Jewish leaders to write humble letters and seek private meetings with officials who might perhaps be persuaded to do something to slow the ongoing destruction of an entire people, or whether they would have benefited more from having the biggest possible stage at the world’s most powerful podium to plead their case.

The answer is obvious–and this time we can actually stop the evil first.

Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.

Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak

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