Israel commemorated the six million Jews who were murdered by Nazis in the Holocaust on Monday with a two minute siren that brought the country to a halt at 10 a.m.
Events marking Holocaust Remembrance Day began on Sunday evening at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
The somber day is commemorated in Israel from Sunday evening until Monday at sundown.
Holocaust survivors and their families from Israel and abroad, members of youth groups and foreign dignitaries along with the country's political, civic and religious leaders were included in the Yad Vashem ceremony.
As always, Holocaust survivors, aided by young members of their families, lit memorial torches which served as both candles of memory and lights of hope for the future.
In addition, there was a military honor guard from the Israel Defense Forces, to symbolize the fact that Israel can now defend itself and, if necessary, Diaspora Jews as well.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, speaking at Yad Vashem at the annual ceremony marking the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day, articulated what can fairly be called his overall strategic doctrine. “The simple truth is that in our world, the existence of the weak is in doubt. When facing murderous countries and organizations, their chances of survival are not great. The strong survive, the weak are erased,” he stated.
Netanyahu said that the Jewish people experienced this during the Holocaust, “and that lesson is in front of our eyes at all times. The lesson is that we must be able to defend ourselves, by ourselves, against all threats and all enemies. Those who plan to annihilate us are placing themselves in danger of annihilation.”
Approximately 189,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel, of whom 45,000 live under the poverty line, according to data released by the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Survivors.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>