Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association
Association canadienne des propriétaires d’armes sans permis

Philosophical Basis
for Civil Disobedience

homebutton contacts button articlesbutton photos linksbutton

President’s Welcome
Congregation Agudas Israel
Yom Ha Shoah
Holocaust Memorial Service
April 12, 2008

Mr. Salzberg, Hazzan Schwarz, Lyn Yelich; Member of Parliament, Don Morgan; Member of the Legislative Assembly, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Joseph and Executive, Your Worship Mayor Atchison, Members of the Clergy, and Citizens of Saskatoon and Area;

It is a sad honour to welcome each one of you to the 26th Holocaust Memorial Service of Congregation Agudas Israel. We are a small community and your presence and support mean a great deal to us. The great author, Holocaust survivor and 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Elie Wiesel, has said, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference”. You are not indifferent, and that makes you part of fulfilling the fundamental Jewish precept, shared by many faiths, of Healing the World.

The Jews are not alone in suffering. Modern history has too many examples of human butchery. One scholar, R. J. Rummel, has estimated that purposeful state killings of civilians, which he calls democide, have taken the lives of 169 million people in the 20th century. Almost one-fourth of them (38.6 million or 22.8%) were victims of genocide. Others were victims of politicide, mass killing of political groups, indiscriminate state massacres, forced labor and concentration camps, of bombing of civilians, and of starvation imposed and reinforced by the state. The number of victims in this century surpasses the population of all but the five largest states in the world today. Holocaust and human rights education must never be reduced to a pathetic contest in suffering.

It must remain a call for education for all of us, but particularly the young people. How many of us know very much about the slaughter of the Beothuk aboriginals of Noval Scotia, Stalin’s systematic starvation of at least ten million Ukrainians, the Armenian Genocide, and the state ordered murders of millions throughout Asia by various governments. Even now, government sanctioned mass murder continues in Darfur.

It must be a call for dialogue; for us to speak with one another and commit ourselves to promoting respect and celebrating diversity. It must be a call for action; for us to press our governments at all levels to behave morally and decisively.

On behalf of Congregation Agudas Israel I want to thank everyone for being here.

David Katzman, President