Photo: Flash90

Israel marks national Holocaust Remembrance Day

As in every year, at 10:00 AM sharp, sirens sounded throughout the Jewish State, bringing it to a complete standstill, in memory of the six million Jews that perished as a result of the heinous atrocities committed by the Nazi regime and its collaborators during World War Two.

As part of a special memorial ceremony held by the Israeli Legislature, Parliament Speaker Benny Gantz who is the son of two Holocaust survivors from Hungary and Romania, emphasized Israel’s obligation. “During these challenging days, when isolation is demanded of them in order to safeguard their health, it is important that they know – holocaust survivors in particular – and all of Israel’s elderly citizens in general, that they are not alone.”

The numerous Holocaust memorial ceremonies conducted across the Jewish State were kicked-off by the main event at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem. In contrast to previous years, however, the ceremony was held in accordance with governmental limitations pertaining to social distancing in light of the corona pandemic.

Among the various leaders to address the state event via video conference, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to draw the line vis-à-vis voiced parallels between the Holocaust and the current corona-related challenges. “We face many difficulties at this time, but by any measure they cannot and do not compare with the methodical, diabolical extinction of six million Jews. We are currently facing a dangerous plague, but plagues ravaged the ghettos and camps. The confinement of tens of thousands of Jews in a very small area claimed countless victims who died from typhus and dysentery. Of course, the situation today is entirely different. Today, we have a national home, we have our own country—a strong, advanced and highly appreciated country.”

In the past 24 hours, an additional 710 Israelis have tested positive to the corona disease, raising the total number of sick individuals to 13,883. This data signifies a 0.7% rise in comparison to the previous day. Another 481 Israelis were confirmed as ‘healed from the contagion’, raising the total number of cured individuals to 4,353. This indicates a substantial rise of 56%, in comparison to the previous day. Sadly 8 Israelis succumbed to the disease, raising the total number of Israeli corona-related victims to 181.

And while Jerusalem continue to combat the spreading of COVID-19, in his address Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu highlighted the importance of national sovereignty, in addition to the imperative willingness and strength to defend the Jewish State by its own means; saying “Israel must always be responsible for its own destiny. In any event, at any time, we must have the strength and the willingness to defend ourselves by ourselves. In the months since then, we received proof of this on a daily basis. The coronavirus outbreak requires a global fight against the virus.”

The Israeli leader further asserted that “Alongside our fight for our health and our lives, citizens of Israel, the fight to safeguard the country’s security continues at all times. The lessons of the Holocaust obligate us to be on constant alert. Radical Islam, led by Iran, continues to threaten to destroy us. These threats did not dissipate amid the coronavirus storm. They still exist, and we are as determined as ever to respond to them. The IDF and other security agencies are currently helping citizens through the coronavirus crisis, but make no mistake: we are as careful as ever to maintain our operational readiness to thwart any danger—at our borders and far beyond them.”