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Fifth edition of the Geneva March of Life



On Sunday May 7, the fifth edition of the March of Life took place, beginning its route at the Place des Nations..

From left to right, Dr Hillel Heuer, Director Executve of UN Watch, Mrs Karine Fewks, President of Keren Hayesod Suisse Romande, H.E. Mrs Ifat Reshef, Ambassador of Israël in CH, Richard Pittet, President of Gesher Ha'haïm, Dr Grégory Lafitte, UN Affairs Director of European Coalition of Israël, Mr Michael Ruh, Swiss Director of March of Life mouvment

Her Excellency Ifat Reshef, Israel's ambassador to Berne, spoke to around 150 people about the challenges facing her nation, both in terms of the external security situation and internal difficulties. The terrible rise in anti-Semitism and the campaigns to delegitimize the State of Israel are worrying. In a way, Dr. Hillel Neuer echoed this concern, evoking the double standards to which Israel is subjected, notably by the irrational number of resolutions within the Human Rights Council, compared with other states which are for the most part ideological or religious dictatorships.

Dr. Lafitte went on to recall the essential contribution of the Jewish people to the world, and Theodore Herzl's ideal of a world without anti-Semitism, where the Jewish people would be honored. According to Dr. Lafitte, the latter proposal would be one way of freeing ourselves from anti-Semitism.

The walk went smoothly through the Pâquis district, crossed the Place Bel-air and finally ended in the old town at the Chapelle de l'Oratoire, where a memorial to the six million victims of the Holocaust was led by Eric Ackermann, officiant of the Great Synagogue, with the participation of three Holocaust survivors, Mrs. Paulette Rosenberg, Mrs. Tova Muller and Mrs. Suzan Farkas.

The chapel was founded by Pastor Louis Gaussen and members of the Evangelical Society in the first part of the 19th century.

Pastor Louis Gaussen's message, a man of revival, considered the special place of the Jewish people within God's plan. Samuel Widmer, after an introduction by Thierry Bourgeois, President of the Evangelical Network, reminded us how this pastor wondered, given the 18 centuries of existence of the Jewish people after Titus, whether we should be surprised at our (Christians') perseverance in cruelty and hatred towards this people, or at their patience and obstinacy.

Pastors Vincent Schmid and Abbé Allain-René Arbez reminded us how the divorce between Jews and Christians went wrong, and how it was possible for us to forget the roots of the Christian faith? And yet, whether in the Protestant or Catholic faith, changes have gradually taken place, one through the voice of Calvin and the other through the Second Vatican Council, the fruit of the influence of a Jewish historian, Jules Isaac, who in 1949 organized the Seelisberg conference, a turning point in Jewish-Catholic and wider Christian relations.

The march ended with a vibrant appeal from Yves Félix, vice-president of the Gesher Ha'haïm association, to consider our ways and meditate on the words of Dietrich Bonhoefer before his execution: "He who does not cry out in favor of the Jews, cannot praise God".

The event ended with Israeli music performed by Sophie Frank, Paul Hess and Natacha Catusse.





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