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holocaust painting 311.(Photo by: AP)
Ashkenazy: Holocaust lesson learned
Netanyahu & Peres speeches called for world reaction to Iran's genocidal intentions
Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazy said at a Holocaust Memorial Day event at Yad Yitzhak's Massuah Institute on Sunday that today we face waves of anti-Semitism as we did then and calls by organizations, leaders and nations who wish to complete the ambition of the Nazi enemy. However, Ashkenazy said, today those enemies do not face a helpless people crying for the mercy of others, but a state resolved to defend itself and fight for its independence. We have learned our lesson and will do everything it takes so that the citizens of Israel can feel safe in their homes.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech
at the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at Yad Vashem on Sunday focused on the rising Iranian threat, a threat to repeat the holocaust. “In the face of [Iran’s] calls to erase the Jewish state from the face of the earth repeated time and again, we see at best mild protestations, and this too seems to be fading,” Netanyahu lambasted the international community.
President Shimon Peres before him also addressed the Irianian threat in his speech, stressing that the world can not display the apathy that cost so many their lives in the past.

"It is our right and duty to demand of the world's nations to not repeat their indifference, which has cost millions of human lives, including theirs. The United Nations must be attentive to annihilation threats coming from one of its members, against another member state," said Peres.

The central Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem began Sunday evening at 8 p.m. and was broadcasted live on Israeli television. The central theme for this year’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day will be the Voice of the Survivors – those who, according to a museum press release, “honor the victims and strive to safeguard their memory.”

President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are slated to speak at the ceremony. Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, himself a Holocaust survivor, will light the Memorial Torch. Hana Weiss will represent the survivors.

During the ceremony, Holocaust survivors will light six torches. First torch: Eliezer Ayalon; second torch: Leo Luster; third torch: Sara Israeli; fourth torch: Hannah Gofrit, fifth torch: Baruch Shub; sixth torch: Jakob Zim.  During the ceremony, short videos of the torchlighters’ testimonies - produced and directed by Shlomo Hazan - will be shown. 

Participants in the ceremony include musician Gali Atari and the Ankor Choir under the direction of Dafna Ben Yohanan, as well as the IDF Paratroopers’ Honor Guard. Lior Ashkenazi will recite a piece.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on television on Channels 1, 2, 10 and 33, and channel 9 in Russian, and by radio on Kol Israel and Galei Zahal.  It will last about one hour and a quarter.
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