Opposition leader Tzipi Livni decried Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's use of "hysterical" Holocaust imagery in discussing Iran, saying it scared Israel's citizens and cast the Jewish state as weak.

"We are not in the ghetto and there is no place for Holocaust comparisons," Livni said. "The nation of Israel is strong. The Jewish Nation today has the brains and the ability to stop our enemies. We don't need to create an atmosphere of Holocaust threats and annihilation to scare the citizens."

Netanyahu compared Israel’s current situation to that of European Jews ahead of World War II in his address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference.

In his speech, Netanyahu displayed copies of letters exchanged between the World Jewish Congress and the US War Department at the height of the Holocaust in 1944, which implored the US government to bomb Auschwitz.

He said the current situation was different because Israel exists and has the American government’s support.

Livni added that proclaiming Israel's intentions through "speeches and declarations" mishandles the sensitive issue of Iran's nuclear program and whether or not to take military action against it.

"The time has come for these subjects to be handled with the quiet and secrecy they deserve," she said.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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