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Israel Observes Holocaust Remembrance Day

  • Robert Berger

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man visits the Hall of Names at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 1, 2011.

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man visits the Hall of Names at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 1, 2011.

Israel is remembering one of the darkest chapters in Jewish history.

Flags were lowered to half staff late-Sunday as Israel began its observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day with a solemn ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem that was attended by senior Israeli officials and foreign diplomats.

Holocaust survivors lit six torches in memory of the six million Jews who were killed by the Nazis during World War II.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that more than six decades after the Holocaust, the Jewish people are again threatened.

Mr. Netanyahu said that Iran and its proxies - Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip - openly call for the destruction of Israel. He said that "Iran is even arming itself with nuclear weapons to accomplish that goal." He said the most important lesson of the Holocaust is that the Jewish people must not ignore such threats.

The prime minister said Israel is extending its hand in peace to its neighbors. But he warned that the Jewish state and its defense forces are determined that the Holocaust will never happen again.

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