UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon equated genocidal anti-Semitism and Islamophobia with the Middle East conflict, as he used his keynote speech at a New York synagogue's commemoration of the UN's International Holocaust Memorial Day to express his fears of "a whole generation of young people on both sides who risk growing up with a demonized, dehumanized – and utterly false – concept of their neighbours".
Addressing worshipers at a special service at the Park East synagogue in New York City in the presence of Holocaust survivors and members of the Diplomatic Corps Saturday, he added that Israelis and Palestinians alike "need to be educated to co-exist peacefully with their neighbours". "The only way to build peace is to build bridges and break down walls. Doing so will take courage, but it must be done," he concluded.
Continuing on to more traditional themes, he said that in order for genocide to succeed it not only takes a perverted ideology and meticulous organisation, but it also "takes many people – from leaders to ordinary citizens – to participate, cooperate or simply turn a blind eye". "This is perhaps the greatest tragedy of genocide – and the reason why we must be ever vigilant," he cautioned.