President Obama spoke about the need to combat racism during a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on Friday, telling gatherers that we have an “obligation not just to bear witness but to act.”
The president made the comments after a brief service and an hour-long tour of the memorial, which he later said was his second visit.
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"Nothing equals the wrenching power of this sacred place," Obama said. "If you come here a thousand times, each time our hearts will break. For here we see the depravity to which man can sink, the barbarity that unfolds when we begin to see our fellow human beings as somehow less than us, less worthy of dignity and life; we see how evil can, for a moment in time, triumph when good people do nothing."
The president’s remarks at the memorial were his only public ones during the three-day trip, according to the New York Times. On Thursday, Obama gave a speech that some analysts perceived as critical of Prime Minister Netanyahu, in which he urged young Israelis to encourage their leaders for more action in the peace process.
“We have the choice to ignore what happens to others or to act on behalf of others,” he said at Yad Vashem, adding that “the state of Israel does not exist because of the Holocaust but in the survival of a strong Jewish state of Israel the Holocaust will never happen again.”