The nation of Israel paused on Thursday to remember the Holocaust. For 24 hours, restaurants and entertainment venues shut their doors and TV stations dedicated their programming almost exclusively to Holocaust documentaries and survivor stories. Videos captured citizens from every walk of life stop on the streets, exit buses and cars or pause in grocery stores and malls to pay their respects. The scenes are some of the most powerful images each year as an entire nation honors those murdered in the Holocaust.
Israeli leaders marked the solemn day with a special ceremony at Yad Vashem Wednesday night. During the ceremony, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged world leaders not to revive the nuclear deal they signed with Iran in 2015
“History has taught us that deals like this, with extremist regimes like this, are worth nothing,” he said. “An agreement with Iran that will pave the way for nuclear weapons — weapons that threaten us with destruction — we will not be obligated to such an agreement in any way. We have only one obligation: to prevent anyone who seeks to destroy us from carrying out his plot.”
The United States and Iran began indirect talks in Vienna this week to discuss how to restart the deal after former President Donald Trump pulled out in 2018. The agreement, spearheaded by former President Barack Obama, puts restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. President Biden wants to bring the United State back to the deal to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. However, he said Iran first must stop violating restrictions on nuclear development outlined in the accord.
Israel considers Iran its archenemy and fears that new negotiations with Iran will pave the way for the Islamic Republic to obtain a nuclear arsenal. Netanyahu also used the ceremony to blast the International Criminal Court for investigating alleged war crimes committed by Israel and Palestinian terror groups. The premier called the investigation “absurd” and claimed it is rooted in anti-Semitism.
“During the Holocaust,” he said, “We had no rights, no country, no protector. Today we have a country, we have protection and we have the natural and complete right, as the sovereign country of the Jewish people, to defend ourselves from our enemies.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice