Israel Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel came to a standstill for two minutes on Monday as the nation marked Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during World War II. An estimated 220,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel today.

At Sunday evening's opening ceremony at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem's Holocaust museum, Israeli leaders warned the world against apathy in the face of Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Accepting Israel's Destruction

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the world is gradually accepting Iran's declaration of destruction against Israel.

"Iran's leaders race to develop nuclear weapons and they openly state their desire to destroy Israel. But in the face of these repeated statements to wipe the Jewish state off the face of the earth, in the best case we hear a weak protest, which is also fading away," Netanyahu said.

"The required firm protest is not heard - not a sharp condemnation, not a cry of warning. The world continues on as usual and there are even those who direct their criticism at us, against Israel.

"Today, 65 years after the Holocaust, we must say in all honesty that what is so upsetting is the lack of any kind of opposition. The world gradually accepts Iran's statements of destruction against Israel and we still do not see the necessary international determination to stop Iran from arming itself," he said.

Standing for Israel

Earlier, Israeli army Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told the story of his father, Joseph Ashkenazi, a Bulgarian Jew who survived the Holocaust.

"Ín the name of my father who dreamed of an independent state and in the name of the millions who never got to see the fulfillment of their dream, I promise we will never again stand helpless," Ashkenazi said.

An annual study of anti-Semitic incidents from Tel Aviv University showed that after two years of decline worldwide, anti-Semitic incidents more than doubled in 2009.

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