April 11 was Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. But since holidays in the Jewish calendar begin at sunset, the traditional moment of silence was observed at 10 a.m. Thursday. As is the tradition, a siren went off nationwide for two minutes. Wherever they were, Israelis stopped whatever they were doing, even pulling their cars to the side of the road to get out, and bowed their heads in remembrance of the 6 million Jews slaughtered by the Nazis during World War II. It is one of the most moving of all national traditions. You can read more about it and see photos of the remarkable commemoration ceremony here:
In a powerful Holocaust Remembrance Day speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put renewed force behind the promise, “Never again.” He not only remembered those who died before but also gave a solemn warning to both Holocaust deniers who want us to forget history and genocidal regimes such as those in Iran and Syria who would have us repeat it.
But Netanyahu also extended Israel’s friendship and support to the victims of those regimes. Referring to the children killed in Syria by chemical weapons, a chilling echo of the Holocaust, Netanyahu said, “One great lesson that has been with us since the Holocaust: Murderous evil that is not stood up against spreads rapidly and gradually, and threatens all of humanity." It’s a lesson that has too often been forgotten or ignored recently with horrific consequences. Let’s hope and pray that the world is finally waking up to the truth of it.