Holocaust Memorial Day Marked In Washington Dc

ICEJ News, 20 Apr 2012

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was welcomed to the Pentagon Thursday for a commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day. "Today we pause to remember and honor 6 million souls who were murdered not because of anything they had done, but because of who they were," Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said during the ceremony, which was the first of its kind to be held at the Pentagon. "They bore witness to evil and to tragedy," Panetta continued, "and in their strength we all find inspiration -- inspiration to fight against the intolerance and indifference that allowed all of this to happen... we will never stop fighting in the memory of those who perished -- fighting for a better future, [and] fighting for a world safe from aggression, from tyranny and from injustice." He added that Yom Hashoah is a day to remember but also celebrate the Jewish people, "who overcame this tragedy and built a strong and vibrant Jewish state in Israel."

Panetta also pointed to Barak as a living example of how Israel had risen from the ashes of the Holocaust and become a strong nation, and also paid tribute to the US soldiers who had fought against Nazi Germany, a fight which he said played a large role in forming the US military into what it is today.

Israelís ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, also attended Holocaust Memorial Day events at the US Capitol rotunda on Thursday. Afterwards, he told the Jerusalem Post that "We have to prevent a second Holocaust from happening. When Iran says it wants to destroy the State of Israel, which just happens to have six million Jews, we have to take it seriously." He added that "we can never compare the Holocaust to anything. Itís in a league by itself. Itís uniquely horrific. (But) we also have to look for similarities. Itís not a coincidence that Iranís denying the Holocaust while seeking to perpetrate a second one."

In Iran, the state broadcasting company marked Holocaust Memorial Day by airing cartoons which mocked the Nazi genocide and implied that "the Jews" had orchestrated the event in order to extort money from European countries.

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