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The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

Remarks by Vice President Biden at Yad Vashem Memorial

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

 VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN:  I want to thank our hosts for showing us through Yad Vashem.  As a young father, when I introduced each of our sons -- who are grown men now -- to Europe at age 15, I took them first to Dachau for them to understand as young men the human capacity -- ability of mankind to be so brutal.  But also, I took my son here to Israel to let him know that the indomitable spirit of the human being is not able to be snuffed out.

What I wrote in the book is as a fan of the Irish poet William Butler Yeats.  Writing about his Ireland, he said, “Too long a suffering makes a stone of the heart.”  What I wrote here is that every day, Israel makes a lie of the poet’s words -- ”too long a suffering makes a stone of the heart” -- because for world Jewry, Israel is the heart.  For world Jewry, Israel is the light.  For world Jewry, Israel is the hope.  If anyone ever wondered about that, they ought to take the tour of the museum.  They would not doubt it again.  The word -- phrase “never again” is used so often it almost has lost its meaning.  But, again, all you have to do is walk through -- walk through Yad Vashem and understand how incredible -- how incredible the journey has been and the spirit a world Jewry and that Israel is such a central part to its existence.

Thank you.