Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States ambassador to the United Nations under President Joe Biden, on Sunday at the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s Annual Gathering of Remembrance, ahead of Wednesday’s Holocaust Memorial Day. During her Senate confirmation hearing in 2021, Thomas-Greenfield vowed to stand “against the unfair targeting of Israel” for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, saying that the movement “verges on antisemitism.” She was confirmed by a rare, bipartisan 78–20 vote. Biden also included her in his cabinet and National Security Council.
Every year, at the Annual Gathering of Remembrance, the Museum of Jewish Heritage brings thousands of New Yorkers together to remember the Holocaust. As the museum’s website puts it: “Delivered by a city with one of the world’s largest communities of Holocaust survivors, the tribute has power that echoes across generations.”
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield spoke briefly, saying:
Thank you for coming together to remember the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust – and the millions more murdered by the Nazis.
Thank you for keeping their stories alive – stories of suffering and persistence, stories that teach us about the strength and dignity of those who had to endure this dark chapter in human history.
This past fall, I had the honor of rekindling the eternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. It was a moment that moved me beyond words. And it was a reminder of the awesome responsibility that we have to live up to a sacred promise: “Never Again.”
In this spirit, it is incumbent on all of us to do everything in our power to confront and push back against the alarming spikes in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial around the world – including sadly here in the United States.
That same commitment to embody the words “Never Again,” necessitates a powerful response to the unspeakable brutality and violence currently taking place in Ukraine – where shelling by Putin’s forces has killed thousands of civilians, including a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor. And in other conflicts and regions across the globe – from Burma’s genocide against Rohingya Muslims to China’s ongoing genocide against Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
I want to leave with you one final thought.
In December, I had the chance to come to the Museum of Jewish Heritage to dedicate the Children’s Tree, which is a descendant of a tree that a Jewish teacher – imprisoned in a concentration camp – planted and nurtured with the help of a group of Jewish children. After liberation, the survivors placed these words under the tree: “As the branches of this tree, so the branches of our people.”
I know the Jewish people will continue to branch out and thrive for generations to come.