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Jerusalem - As Israel Mourns 6 Million Holocaust Victims Netanyahu Says Don't Ignore Threats Against Jews

Published on: May 1, 2011 03:25 PM
By: AP
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the opening ceremony of Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 1, 2011. Israel is marking its annual remembrance day for the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in World War II. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the opening ceremony of Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 1, 2011. Israel is marking its annual remembrance day for the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in World War II. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Jerusalem - Israel’s prime minister warned Sunday that the nation must not dismiss Iran’s threats to its existence, drawing a parallel at a ceremony in memory of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust of World War II, a mass murder that still reverberates in the Jewish state more than six decades later.

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Iran and its allies, Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, openly call for the destruction of Israel, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and “Iran is even arming itself with nuclear weapons to accomplish that goal.”

He said the most important lesson of the Holocaust for the Jewish people is, “if someone threatens to destroy us, we must not ignore their threats.”

Netanyahu addressed a crowd of hundreds of Holocaust survivors, diplomats and Israeli leaders at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial center.

“The threat against our existence and our future is not theoretical,” he said. “It must be stopped.” Iran denies it is making nuclear weapons.

For years Israel has called for world action to stop the Iranian nuclear program, backing diplomatic efforts and sanctions but never taking the option of a military strike off the table.

At the memorial ceremony, six Holocaust survivors lit symbolic torches to mark the beginning of the annual observance.

At midmorning Monday, air raid sirens were to sound around the country to mark two minutes of silence in honor of the victims, followed by ceremonies called “Each Person Has a Name,” in which people read out the names of victims at Israel’s parliament and other public locations.

Holocaust survivors light six torches during the opening ceremony of Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 1, 2011. The torches represent the six million victims of the Nazi genocide. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)Holocaust survivors light six torches during the opening ceremony of Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 1, 2011. The torches represent the six million victims of the Nazi genocide. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Organizers explain that listing names gives the huge number of 6 million a personal element, as well as countering those who claim the Holocaust did not happen.

Israel has also been marking 50 years since the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi master planner who was abducted from Argentina and brought to Israel to face charges.

The 1961 trial marked a turning point in Israel’s attitude toward survivors, at first denigrated for being helpless victims. The stories that emerged from the trial, revealing the inhuman conditions Jews faced at the hands of the Nazis and relating their mostly ineffective attempts to rebel, won new sympathy for the survivors.

Just hours before the commemoration began, Moshe Landau, the chief judge at the Eichmann trial, died. He was 99.

The Holocaust ended with the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Allies in 1945, but the Nazi goal of killing all Jews and their ability to wipe out a third of the Jewish people in death camps still provide a prominent motif for Israeli politics and society.

Israeli soldiers solemnly stand during the opening ceremony of Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 1, 2011. Israel is marking its annual remembrance day for the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in World War II. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)Israeli soldiers solemnly stand during the opening ceremony of Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 1, 2011. Israel is marking its annual remembrance day for the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in World War II. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

About 200,000 aged survivors of the Nazi genocide live in Israel, some of them alone and destitute. On Sunday, Israel’s Cabinet took a small step toward giving additional aid to the survivors, recognizing their umbrella group as their official representative.

Because entire European families and communities were eliminated by the Nazi death machine, millions of dollars in bank accounts and other valuables remain unclaimed.

Project HEART, The Holocaust Era Asset Restitution Taskforce, has amassed a database listing over 650,000 pieces of property owned by Jews in prewar Europe.

Bobby Brown, the executive director of Project HEART, said the campaign hopes to deliver restitution to aging survivors before it is too late.

“Now is the time for us to do our utmost to give these heroes some of the compensation that has been denied them for so long,” he said.

The campaign is a joint initiative of the Israeli government and the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency.


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 May 01, 2011 at 07:35 PM oiber-chacham Says:

look who is saying ''don't ignore the threat against the jewish people''
this feckless pathetic coward,who sorounded himself with leftist traitors like Barak,Peres,he is guilty of just that,Israel is being bombarded by rockets day and night from the hell hole called Gaza,whole families are butchered by murderous terrorist animals,and what does this traitorous government do?,nada, nothing,zilch,they don't lift a finger to defend their country and it's citizens,oh i am sorry,they did something,as an answer to the rockets,Bibi and Barak,decided to take down some more security checkpoints,
Hezbbolah has amassed over 30,000 rockets aimed at Israel,Hammas has ammased over 20,000 rockets,Syria has over 40,000 rockets armed with weapons of mass destruction,Iran is working furiously on a nuclear bomb,which they promised to use against the zionist entity,
and what does this cowardly government with the most powerfull army in the middle east do? ANSWER.nothing, nada,zilch.
a new Auschwitz is being prepared against the jewish people,and this government knows it,and just like the Kapo's of 65 yrs ago,who not only did not help their jewish brothers and sisters,but actively helped to destroy theM

2

 May 15, 2011 at 07:20 AM Issy Says:

Hey, good to find soenome who agrees with me. GMTA.

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