Israel commemorated its annual Holocaust Remembrance Day
Jerusalem - XINHUA
Israel commemorated its annual Holocaust Remembrance Day with an official ceremony held in Jerusalem on Wednesday's evening.
Six Holocaust survivors, each representing one of the six million Jews killed in the holocaust, lighted six torches at the ceremony at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum.
From Wednesday sunset to Thursday, Israel is officially commemorating the genocide of the six million Jews killed by Nazi Germany during the World War II.
The annual ceremony at Yad Vashem marked the beginning of 24 hours during which shops, restaurants and places of entertainments are closed.
TV and radio stations are broadcasting solely Holocaust-related content, such as documentaries, interviews with survivors and melancholic songs.
The ceremony, attended by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, begun with the national flag lowered to half-mast.
"Anti-Semitism and the persecution of the Jews are not a fad, it is a difficult chronic disease," said Rivlin. "We will forever pursue the blood of our brothers and sisters, which screams at us from within the earth. We will continue to pursue the deniers, those who want to forget, and those who want to blur history," he said.
In his address, Netanyahu accused "the Arab world" of "inciting" against Israel and the Jewish people using means that are "worse than Hitler and Gobles."
He also slammed as "anti-Semitic" a resolution by the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) last year, in which the organization ignored the Jewish ties to the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem. The hilltop site is holy to both Jews and Muslims.
On Thursday morning, Israel's government will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem, where names of Holocaust victims will be recited and a two-minute siren will be heard throughout Israel.
Also on Thursday, over 10,000 young adults from over 40 countries around the world will gather in Poland for the world's largest Holocaust Commemoration, the 28th Annual March of the Living in the former death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.