12.5.2009 Yuri Guy Ron – Lawyers without Rights Exhibition – London

Good Afternoon
Standing here today, watching this difficult presentati on of the well known horrifying fate of Jewish advocates in the Second World War, I am overwhelmed with emotions, especially as the Holocaust Memorial Day was noted in Israel some weeks ago.
This exhibition, initiated by the German Federal Bar Association, along with the talented advocate Yoel Levi, dedicated to the memory of Jewish lawyers and jurists from the time of Nazi Germany, helps to keep forever in our minds, the fate of those who have been, for no fault of their own, humiliated, disbarred from practicing law and whose lives were later taken away
It was also presented in Israel in 2003, at the home of the Israel Bar in Jerusalem
I see an enormous importance in the existence of such exhibition traveling all parts of the world – many cities in Germany, Israel, America, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands – particularly in light of the unusual incidents of Neo-Nazism and Holocaust denial, which increasingly occurred in the recent time throughout the world
This exhibition is scheduled to travel to Antwerp and Brussels at the end of the year and at the beginning of year 2010 and I also hope that it will also travel to Italy, Ireland and Denmark, as it has been agreed with the presidents of these bar associations
I believe that the international advocates' community has a major impact with respect to the regulation of the interpersonal interaction between the individual and the government, and I see the legal profession as one which imposes an inherent personal duty on each of us
One should always remember that society was founded in order to serve its components individuals and not the other way around. Human rights and the rule of law, law that protects human rights and does not infringe them in the name of the administration, are the very foundation of every modern, democratic society
There is a famous say of Jewish wise men that: "fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge", which Jewish and universal meaning is not to put the blame for sins of previous generation on their descendents. All the same time, I believe that remembrance initiatives are imperative in order for the human society to make sure that history does not repeat itself
It is further crucial; to oppress every Neo-Nazi or anti-Semite expression arises. There is no justification to racism of any sort, not even in the name of a high value such as the freedom of expression. This, in my opinion, is one of the only exceptions allowing another value to prevail over freedom of expression
I deem initiatives such as this exhibition, created for the sake of investigating into the role and position of the legal profession around the world during the Second World War, to have a substantial significance symbolizing the attribute of the lesson from the past and the creation of a better future
In my eyes, the being of this exhibition in England, out of all places and at the current timing, has significant meaning. I agree that the concern for human rights throughout the world is not a relative concern but an absolute one. I agree that when human rights are being violated then all nations should unite and stand by their existence, all the more so by people who deal with law and justice. However, the great injustice that was caused to the Jewish people for many generations, and which has peaked during the Second World War, has also produced legal justice to its independent and safe existence of the state of Israel. The pursuit of Zionism is also the pursuit of Jews because Zionism is the answer to the pursuit of Jews. The safest way to avoid an additional future Holocaust against Jews is the existence of the state of Israel
I agree that the state of Israel does not have an insurance policy that allows it to conduct not according to international legal rules but it is appropriate to show proper and real human and professional sensitivity relating to investigations of the truth, when possible legal and other critics are being considered about the alleged conduct of Israel when it is fighting solely for its existence.
Even protection on world justified interests in a foreign country like Iraq, is not similar to a war on your home within the borders of your country
To the president of the German Federal Bar, Mr. Axel Filges, to the vice-president, Mr. Norbert Westenberger, my good friends, and to all of my friends in the German Bar, on behalf of the Israel Bar Association and all advocates in Israel, please accept our deepest appreciation for keeping this initiative alive and running. You are very dear to
Special thanks to
for the idea and its implementation in England, for the consent and concern for the execution of the exhibition here in London
We appreciate you very much and we thank you for the establishment of the exhibition at the capital of England
Greetings and "Shaloms" from Israel and especially from the Israeli lawyers, and that means a lot, since we have not less than about 45,000 lawyers in the holly land
Thank you all