President Paul Kagame has been awarded Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Award at the annual gala of The World Values Network in the New York for outstanding friendship with Jewish People.
The World Values Network was founded by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
During the event where Kagame was presented the award, he highlighted that Rwandans friendship with Jewish People is entirely natural because ‘we share experiences, which empower us to understand what justice and fairness mean’.
He stressed the need to resist hatred manifested though various acts.
“Hatred can never be justified, irrespective of whatever grievance one may hold.It may not be easy but it is our responsibility to keep this corrosive emotion in check and out of public affairs. We must always endeavour to act differently from those who adhere to ideologies of hatred,” he said.
Kagame highlighted that Rwandans prioritized reconciliation the journey towards recovering national unity.
“The price of redemption is repentance and it is sealed by forgiveness.Peace is built on mutual respect and sustained by compassion.As we know, acts of repentance and forgiveness among brothers and sisters are what have allowed us and allowed the divided family of Jacob to reconcile and ultimately become the nation of Israel which endures today. In Rwanda we see similarities with this lesson, everyday Rwandans are devoting themselves to the urgent task of deepening our national unity. Doing so must remain a priority for every future generation,” he said.
Kagame said that cases of denying trivializing genocide are on the rise around the world noting however that facts of genocide can’t be changed.
“They must come together to confront this serious threat and ensure that it does not take a root in any society,” he said.
Kagame commended Rabbi ShmuleyBoteach and World Values Network for the inititative to establish international genocide center.
He also honored Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who passed on last year. The latter wrote 57 books in both English and French featuring eye witnesses during the holocaust killings.
Wiesel is among pioneers to establish Holocaust genocide memorial in US.
He won a Nobel Prize for his book the night he released it 1958 in which he detailed eye witness testimonies during Holocaust.
World Values Network launched the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards gala to recognize people who strive to affect society positively in 2013.
All Photos:Village Urugwiro