Yuri Guy Ron – Reception in Honor of the German Delegation 1.5.08

Although I have accompanied your visit to Yad VaShem as part of the events in memory of the Holocaust, I am currently on my way to Europe, thus unable to take part in this important reception, as well as in the following events during your visit, including the reception at the residence of the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany scheduled for tomorrow. Nevertheless, I am confident that my friend and colleague, Adv. Asher Axelrod, Head of the Jerusalem District Committee, will respectfully host you on behalf of the Israel Bar Association, and especially the city of Jerusalem, its people and its lawyers
I see an enormous importance in the visit in Israel of such a distinguished delegation, headed by the Past-President of the German Federal Bar Association, Dr. Bernhard Dombek, and the current Vice President of the German Federal Bar Association, Mr. Ekkehart Schäfer, on the occasion of the Holocaust Memorial Day, particularly in light of the unusual incidents of Neo-Nazism and Holocaust denial, which increasingly occurred in the recent year throughout the world
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
In the course of life, I have met with more than a few German youths, whose views and opinions were among the ones most liberal and human. An entire nation must not be tainted over the deeds of its ancestors. In the current existing reality, this is an approach which does not correlate the views and opinions expressed among the German people in the present. All the same time, it is 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
During the month of May, I'll be participating in an opening of an exhibition, initiated by you, along with the dynamic and talented advocate, Yoel Levi, which will be presented in Amsterdam and is dedicated to the memory of Jewish lawyers and jurists from the time of Nazi Germany, who have been humiliated, disbarred from practicing law and whose lives were later taken away. In 2003, this exhibition was presented here in Israel, in Jerusalem, in this building, the home of the Israel Bar. I believe that the Jewish people and the German people will never allow this kind of reality to repeat in the future
We deem the relation, created in modern time between the Jewish and German people, to have a substantial significance symbolizing the attribute of the lesson from the past and the creation of a better future
Thank you very much for your annual arrival to Israel, and a special profound appreciation on behalf of the Israel Bar Association and all advocates in Israel for choosing to visit here today of all days