On Tuesday, the three-day March of Nations conference culminated in a parade of over 3,000 Christians from approximately 40 countries who filled the streets of Jerusalem and displayed their love of God and the Land of Israel on the Jewish state’s 70th anniversary.
Outpourings of love for Israel always contain a moving spiritual element, but this gathering had an additional element: witnessing the flourishing State of Israel that has risen from the ashes of the Holocaust.
“This is the real victory over Nazism,” said Member of Knesset, Rabbi Yehudah Glick as he led the parade from Sacher Park towards the center of town. “The hearts of these people is stronger than all the darkness. The love in Israel is stronger than all the hate.”
The event was organized by the March of Life, an organization of descendants of Nazis who work to preserve the memory of the Holocaust in an effort to prevent such a horror from ever happening again.
The March of Life began in 2007 with a march of remembrance from the Swabian Alb to Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. Since then, marches have taken place in over 20 countries and in more than 350 cities.
With the motto, “Remembering – Reconciliation – Taking a Stand,” the March of Life is aimed at giving Holocaust survivors a voice, promoting reconciliation between descendants of perpetrators and victims as well as taking an unmistakable stand for Israel and against modern anti-Semitism.
As such, many of the speakers at the seminars and at the gathering that preceded the parade were Holocaust survivors. The stark contrast between the genocidal anti-Semitism of the Holocaust and the outpouring of love at the event was palpable.
Indeed, the love for Israel and the Jews was expressed at the edges of the parade where Israelis mingled with their foreign guests. Prayer sessions, formal and spontaneous, focused on dispelling the hatred of Jews that still lingers in the world.
This was the first event the organization has held in Jerusalem. It was scheduled to take place on May 14, the Gregorian calendar’s anniversary of the day when David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, declared Israel’s independence 70 years ago. Israel celebrates its independence on the Hebrew calendar’s anniversary, the 5th day of the month Iyar.