Israel marks Holocaust Remembrance Day amid war and fears for hostages

A nationwide moment of silence was held at 10 AM.

By Pesach Benson, TPS

Israelis marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday amid war, with a nationwide minute of silence and commemorations, honoring the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust.

Schools had special Holocaust ceremonies, lawmakers read aloud names at the Knesset, and television aired movies and documentaries about “the Shoah,” as the Holocaust is called in Hebrew.

A nationwide moment of silence was held at 10 AM.

But the war with Hamas and the fate of 133 hostages remained at the forefront.

During a wreath-laying ceremony at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum, a heckler called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign.

In a video of the ceremony circulating on social media, a man called out to Netanyahu, “We must not descend into the abyss again. What else is necessary for you to go home? Let the people of Israel remember their abandoned sons,” a reference to the hostages Hamas holds in Gaza.

Addressing the ceremony, Netanyahu drew a parallel between Hamas’s October 7 attack and the Holocaust.

“Let me clarify, the terror attack was not a Holocaust, but not because the intention was different. It’s the same. Hamas is driven by the same goals as the Nazis,” Netanyahu said.

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Vowing to bring the hostages home, Netanyahu added, “We are committed to putting an end to this ongoing menace. We will fight against the monsters of Hamas until the organization is eradicated. I say monsters, not only because of their atrocious acts but because they revel in them.”

Meanwhile, President Isaac Herzog drew attention to Holocaust survivor Alex Danzig, who is among the captives in Gaza.

The 75-year-old Danzig was born in Warsaw and settled in Kibbutz Nir Oz. Some 180 of the kibbutz’s approximately 400 residents were killed or kidnapped on October 7.

He worked as a historian and educator at Yad Vashem. Danzig frequently worked with Israeli tour guides who led annual high school trips to the concentration camps in Poland.

Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the anniversary on the Hebrew calendar of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

The Nazi Holocaust was carried out through genocide, forced labor, starvation, mass shootings, and extermination camps.

At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Around 30 of the remaining 133 hostages are believed dead.

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