Prime Minister Netanyahu On Holocaust Remembrance Day: “If we need to stand alone – we will stand alone.”

By | May 2, 2024

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 2, 2024 … Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, met with the Holocaust survivors who will serve as the torchlighters at the opening ceremony for Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu stated: “Izi (Itzhak Kabilio, one of the survivors) said here: ‘The State of Israel is the one and only sanctuary of the Jewish people.’ This is so correct, and Michael (Michel Bar-On, one of the survivors) said: ‘We cannot rely on the nations of the world who make promises.’

If it is possible to receive the assistance of the nations of the world, I am always for it. However, in the greatest Holocaust, great leaders like Roosevelt, who was told what was happening at Auschwitz and Birkenau and in the [other] death camps, they told him and he knew, his answer was that he would not lose a single pilot and refused to accept the Jews. They were great leaders. Churchill, who I greatly admire, tried to recruit his army but his army rebelled against him.

If we need to stand alone – we will stand alone. If it is possible to recruit the nations of the world, how much the better. But if we do not defend ourselves – nobody will defend us.

The strength at our disposal is the strength that I have heard here, we have no other.”

Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah in Hebrew) is a national day of commemoration in Israel, on which the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust are memorialized.

It is a sad and solemn day, beginning at sunset on the 27th of the month of Nisan and ending the following evening, according to the traditional Jewish custom of marking a day.
Places of entertainment are closed and memorial ceremonies are held throughout the country. The central ceremonies, in the evening and the following morning, are held at Yad Vashem and are broadcast live.

Marking the start of the day-in the presence of the President of the State of Israel and the Prime Minister, dignitaries, survivors, children of survivors and their families, gather together with the general public to take part in the memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem in which six torches, representing the 6 million murdered Jews, are lit. The following morning, the ceremony at Yad Vashem begins with the sounding of a siren for two minutes throughout the entire country.

For the duration of the sounding, work is frozen, people walking in the streets stop, cars pull off to the side of the road and everybody stands at silent attention in reverence to the victims of the Holocaust.

Afterward, the focus of the ceremony at Yad Vashem is the laying of wreaths at the foot of the six torches, by dignitaries and the representatives of survivor groups and institutions. Other sites of remembrance in Israel, such as the Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, also host memorial ceremonies, as do schools, military bases, municipalities and places of work.
Throughout the day, both the television and radio broadcast programs about the Holocaust. In recent years, other countries and Jewish communities have adopted Yom Hashoah, the 27th of Nisan, to mark their own day of memorial for the victims of the Holocaust.

Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day 2024 will be on Monday, May 6th.
The State Opening Ceremony will be held at Yad Vashem on Sunday, May 5th at 20:00.