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Τρίτη, 21 Απριλίου 2009

Sirens wail in Israel



Last update - 11:08 21/04/2009
Sirens wail as Israel marks Holocaust Remembrance Day
By Haaretz Service and The Associated Press


Frenetic Israel came to a standstill for two mournful minutes on Tuesday as air-raid sirens pierced the air in remembrance of the six million Jews who perished in the Nazi Holocaust.

Cars came to a halt and people froze in their tracks, many with heads bowed, in memory of the victims. An official wreath-laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial was to follow. In deference to the solemnity of the day, restaurants, bars and places of entertainment were closed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi were to attend the event.

At 10:30 A.M., the names of victims of the Nazi genocide were to be read out at Yad Vashem in a ceremony titled "every man has a name." The Holocaust Remembrance Day service was then to move to the Knesset half an hour later.

The main Holocaust memorial service was to be held at Yad Vashem at 1 P.M.

Israeli leaders Monday vowed that there would not be a second Holocaust, their pledges ringing in the shadow of a United Nations conference against racism in Geneva perceived as anti-Semitic.

At the official opening ceremony at Yad Vashem on Monday evening, Netanyahu said Holocaust deniers would not be permitted to repeat a genocide against Jews. He also criticized the president of Switzerland for meeting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday.

Speaking at the UN-sponsored racism conference on Monday, Ahmadinejad accused the West of using the Holocaust as a pretext for aggression against Palestinians.

Israel boycotted the conference, along with the U.S. and eight other
countries.

Holocaust Remembrance Day events

  • 4 P.M. - Rally by veterans of the Jewish underground in France at Yad Vashem's auditorium.

  • 5:30 P.M. - Rally by youth groups at Yad Vashem; Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar set to attend.

  • 6:30 P.M. - Meeting of the Generation to Generation NGO at the Tzavta conference hall in Tel Aviv.

  • 7:30 P.M. - Closing Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai.

  • 7:45 P.M. - Memorial service at Kibbutz Lohamei HaGetaot (Ghetto fighters); Defense Minister Ehud Barak set to attend.

  • 8:30 P.M. - Special screening of the documentary "Killing Kasztner" at the Jerusalem Theater.